How to choose swimwear for your body type

The right swimwear is one that makes you look good and feel good as well. As important as it is for your swimwear to flatter your body shape, it is also equally important that you do not compromise on comfort while choosing your swimwear. That said, every woman knows how overwhelming and challenging swimsuit shopping can be. Regardless of your body size and shape, finding a swimsuit that complements and flatters your body can sometimes be a bit overwhelming and daunting process. So to help you out, we have rounded up the most important tips you need to know that will help you narrow down your choices from the limitless swimsuit options to pick up the perfect swimwear for any body type you may have.

Tips for choosing the perfect swimwear for your body type

Identifying your body shape is the first tip to finding the ideal swimwear for your body type. There are different body types and sizes and swimwear, some that suit your figure may not look so good on another. Your body shape is the primary determinant in how swimwear and clothing, in general, will fit you and as a woman, the more you understand how you’re body the better you’ll be at choosing the right pieces for yourself. That said, to help you figure out the body type your shape falls under, it’s helpful to take down the measurement of your body features. You can do it yourself or have someone do it for you (when taking a measurement, ensure that the tape is neither too tight nor loose enough to slip in order to get the accurate figures).

  • Shoulder - measure around your shoulder.
  • Bust - measure around the fullest part of your breasts.
  • Waist - Measure around the smallest part of your natural waist.
  • Hips - measure around the widest part of your hips.

After taking your measurements, compare them against the standard statistics of body types to help you determine yours. According to industry experts, there are five main types of body shapes namely pear shape, apple shape, hourglass shape, straight shape, and an inverted triangle shape. Now let's get to how you can choose the right swimwear for each body type.

Swimwear for hourglass body shape

This type of body shape is denoted by a small and well-defined waist often 8 to 12 inches slimmer than the bust and hips. The bust and hips are usually very close in measurement with the hips being about 1 to 3 inches wider than the bust. The appearance is typically well balanced and the shape mimics that of an hourglass as the name implies. If your body type falls under this shape, here are things you should look out for when shopping for swimwear;

  • Go for swimwear that will accentuate your small waist.
  • Go for bottoms with high cuts as they will enhance the appearance of your bottom and elongate your figure.
  • One piece swimwear with cut-outs on the side will also help to bring the emphasis to your waistline.
  • Avoid bottoms with extra embellishments like ruffles and frills as it will only add extra weight to you already well-rounded bottom.
  • Avoid bottoms designed like boy shorts as it will cover up your curves and give you a boxy and heavy figure.
  • Most swimsuits will work on women with this type of body figure, the most important thing is to ensure that it emphasises your best assets and features.

Swimwear for pear body shape

The pear body shape is identified with a defined waist which elegantly slopes out to wide hips that are usually much larger than the bust. Here are some tips for pear shaped women when bikini shopping;

  • Halter neck bikini tops and bikini tops with push-up wires and padded cups will help to accentuate your small bust to give the illusion of an ample bosom.
  • Go for tops with extra details like fringes, ruffles, beadings, accessories, and even a plunging neckline.
  • However, you should avoid these extra details on your bikini bottom as it will only make you look larger down there, especially if you are trying to draw the focus away from your bottom.
  • Experiment with swimwear with horizontal stripes across the bust to make the chest section look fuller and balance out your bottom.

Swimwear for apple body shape

The apple body shape is identified by no definition in the waist and a bust much larger than the hips. The waist is typically closer to the hips in measurement while the bust is fuller and rounded to give a top-heavy shape. When you want to shop swimwear by body type, women with apple shapes should;

  • Avoid swimwear with extra details around the mid section, you do not want to add bulk to your waist.
  • However, you will want bottoms with lots of frills, tassels, ruffles, bright colors and patterns as the extra details will help to add bulk to your bottom and draw the attention away from the bust area.
  • Go for one piece swimsuits that cover up your midsection, especially the ones that are visually styled to give the illusion of a longer torso.
  • Experiment with one piece with shirring or prints on the side of the swimsuit to balance out your shape. The idea here is to create a pattern that makes it easy for the eyes to travel down the body instead of being stuck on the bust or mid-section.
  • Opt for supportive tops with thick straps that will provide adequate support for your large bust.

Swimwear for straight or rectangle body shape

As the name implies, this type of body shape is straight owing to the minimal difference in measurements. Here, the measurements for the bust, waist, and hips are usually 2 to 3 inches between each number. Women with this type of body shape should go for swimsuits that give the illusion of curves. To create this effect;

  • Go for swimsuits with lots of details - ruffles, tassels and similar embellishments on both the bottom and the top. The idea here is to add volume to these areas.
  • Try out bikini bottoms with strings, any design that makes you look larger on the bottom will be flattering.
  • One-piece swimsuits with side cut-outs will give the illusion of a smaller waist for a more curvy figure.
  • Experiment with patterns that mimic the lines of an hourglass figure to create the illusion of a cinched waist.
  • Avoid bandeau bikini tops and go for tops with padded cups to create the illusion of a fuller bust.
  • For extra dimension go for high cut bottoms that will lengthen your legs and enhance the roundness of your bottom.

Swimwear for inverted triangle body shape

The inverted triangle body shape is another top heavy body type characterised by wider shoulders and bust with a lack of definition in the waist and narrow hips. This type of body shape is more common in women who are into sports, hence the athletic physique. To pick out the ideal swimsuit, women with this type of body shape should go for a swimsuit that would minimise their chest region while enhancing the waist and hips.

  • Go for halter tops that will minimise your top heavy appearance and avoid swimsuits with tops that will make your bust look bigger than it already is.
  • Opt for high-waisted bottoms to highlight your waist and bring more dimension to your hips.
  • Consider bottoms that come with extra details and embellishments to give the illusion of wider hips.

Now, regardless of your body type, any body shape can have a small bust or a large one, depending on your proportions. That said, whether you have a large bust or a small one, the ideal bikini for you may differ slightly from what other women with your body type may wear. To ensure your swimwear works with your bustline, here are some tips to follow when choosing swimsuits.

Swimwear for large bust

Women with large busts should go for swimsuits that provide support for their large bust.

  • Opt for bra styled bikini tops with cups and underwire that will provide more support to your cleavage.
  • Avoid bikini tops with thin straps. Thick straps with double stitched bands will be more comfortable and supportive.
  • Avoid bikini tops with extra details and embellishments, you do not want anything that will increase the volume of the bust or draw attention to the chest region.
  • On the other hand, ensure that you are drawing attention to your bottom by going for bikini bottoms with straps, strings, bold colors, and catchy prints.

Swimwear for small bust

A and B cup women will not need as much support as women with larger busts, but you will need swimsuits that enhance the bust to create the illusion of a fuller chest.

  • Embrace tops with extra details such as bows, patterns, ruffles, and frills for more volume.
  •     Bandeau styles, tiny scoop tops, and halter tops will make your bust look bigger, go for them.
  • Swimwear tops with plunging necklines will look make your small bust look great.
  • Bikini tops with push-up padding will give you that extra lift that can flatter your bust, which is what you want.

General tips to follow when shopping for swimwear

Below are some things to keep in mind when swimwear shopping to ensure you select the ideal swimwear that will look exceptional on you.

  • Focus on the type of fabric

Pay extra attention to the type of material. Polyester, nylon, PBT (a blend of polyester) and elastane (spandex and lycra) are the most recommended types of fabrics to go for when buying swimwear. They are strong, easy to wash, snag-resistant and do not wear thin easily. They stretch easily meaning they are form fitting and comfortable to wear.

  • Look out for colors and patterns

The colors, details, and patterns on your swimwear can also affect how it looks on your body. Avoid bright colors and catchy patterns on parts of the body where you do not want to draw attention to as they tend to highlight these areas. Solid colors will camouflage problem areas to ensure that the eyes are drawn to the areas you want to accentuate.

  • Choose the right cut

Ensure that the cuts on your swimwear will show off your best features while covering up the areas you may be insecure about. A high waisted bikini or one piece will hide the waist while high cut bottoms will give the illusion of longer legs. Halter tops, triangle tops, and tie-front tops will accentuate the bust if that is what you want.

Wearing a swimsuit that does not flatter you can make you self-conscious and uncomfortable which will not be great for your confidence, especially when you are just trying to relax and have fun. Hopefully, you can draw insight from the tips provided in this article to find the best-fit swimwear for your body type so you can strut around in confidence any time you put on a swimsuit.