How to Choose the Right Bathing Suit for Your Body Type

Estelle Puleston

Posted on March 06 2018

The warmer weather is finally on its way and it's time to pick out a new bathing suit - or five! As much as we all love a bit of retail therapy and prepping for a holiday, shopping for swimwear in particular can be rather less fun. Fraught with frustration even.

Unless your festival style revolves around the latest glitter boobs trend, chances are it's the beach or the poolside where you're going to find yourself as undressed as you'll ever be in public. And though your attitude to life may be as laid-back and bohemian as they come, even the most confident of us have some body niggles we feel self-conscious about.

Our top piece of swimwear style advice is to just wear what you love! Nothing says 'free spirited' like doing your own thing, whatever anyone else may think of it. However, if you're looking for a few tips and tricks to help you feel like your most beautiful self on the beach, read on for our guide to choosing a swimsuit or bikini that flatters your body shape.

Swimwear for pear shapes - girls with fringed bikini tops and flower crowns

Bathing Suits for Pear Shapes

You're a pear shape if: you have a small-to-average bust, and a bootylicious hip-to-waist ratio.

Pear shapes have fabulous hips, so show them off with a high legline. It also has the added benefit of elongating your legs! If you're self-conscious about this area, sarongs are eternally on-style but do remember to tie it so that it drapes down at one side. A hemline that cuts straight across your thighs will make them look even wider.

If you want to appear more hourglass-y, the key is to draw attention to your upper half. Look for a padded, push-up or textured bikini top (we love fringing!). A bold and colourful print also works wonders - just remember to pair it with a plain bottom half so that the eye is drawn upwards.

At the same time, you can make your hips look subtly narrower by going for close-fitting bottoms (no bulky tie-sides!) in a dark and slimming colour.

Swimwear for apple shapes - tie side bikini bottoms

Bathing Suits for Apple Shapes

You're an apple shape if: you have narrow hips plus a large bust or broad shoulders.

An apple shape is essentially the opposite of a pear, which means the style advice is the reverse. Think simple, sleek and dark for your upper half. Then go as wild as you want with your bottom half - prints, vibrant colours, ruffles... anything goes!

Thick side ties on your bikini bottoms are especially good at creating the illusion of bigger hips. High leglines too, though shortie-style bottoms have much the same hip-widening effect if you prefer the extra coverage.

Swimwear for straight body shapes - white crochet swimsuit

Bathing Suits for Straight Shapes

You're a straight shape if: your bust, waist and hip measurements are all quite similar.

A straight or rectangle figure sometimes gets called 'boyish', even though it's perfectly feminine just like any other! Wishing you had a bit of booty though, or a more defined waist? Luckily, it's easy for you to create the illusion of a more curvaceous figure.

If you're a one-piece kind of girl, look for one that's plain on the top and bottom, but with some kind of detailing around the waist. It could be anything - lacing, a cut-out, even just a line of contrasting colour. The idea is to define your midsection, visually creating a waspish  waist.

If you prefer bikinis, go big and bold! Add inches to your bust and your hip-line with frills, fringing and padded bikini tops. A golden belly chain that hits right above your navel will emphasise your middle.

Swimwear for hourglass shapes - green bikini

Bathing Suits for Hourglass Shapes

You're an hourglass shape if: your waist measures significantly less than both your bust and hips.

This curvalicious figure is the envy of lots of beach babes, and it's no wonder because it looks fab in just about anything. To really make the most of your shape though, go for a matching bikini set or a one-piece with an all-over colour or print. It'll keep your naturally-balanced proportions looking that way!

Like the straight shape above, you can use belly chains and waist detailing to add extra emphasis to your nipped-in waist. High-waisted bikini briefs are particularly good for this too, since they hit where your midriff is narrowest.

If you've got a style tip to share that works for your body type, leave it in the comments section below!

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