Temperatures are starting to rise, pools will be opening soon, the lake is calling, and beach trips are planned. This all points to one daunting truth: swimsuit season is upon us, ladies. Everyone, stay calm! We are here to help relieve some of the fear and anxiety that often comes with finding the right swimwear! This guide will help you find the right swimsuit for your specific body type, so that you can splash and sun in style! Keep in mind, most women are really a combination of two of the main body shapes (apple, pear, inverted triangle, curvy/hourglass, athletic/ruler). I made a category for plus size as well, but really any of the main body shapes could be plus size. Hopefully you’re able to take some of these tips and guidelines and apply them to your own, beautiful self!
If you are a classic hourglass shape (fuller in the bust and hips), the key is to highlight those awesome curves, while still having plenty of support where you need it. Steer clear of strapless, and look for something with an underwire built in. High-waisted bottoms are super flattering for you because they offer enough coverage, but draw the eye to the smallest part of your bottom (which is right below your last rib).
Nanette Lepore Origami One-Piece, Nordstrom.com, $160
Asos.com, $34 & $25
Miraclesuit One-Piece, Nordstrom.com, $158
Topshop Scallop One-Piece, Nordstrom.com, $60
If your figure is pretty much straight up and down (smaller bust and narrow hips without a defined waistline) you can have fun with lots of different styles since you don’t require much support. Try to stay away from anything that will overwhelm your small frame, like too much bulky material or padding. If you want to create the illusion of curves, go for monokinis with strategic cutouts and plunging necklines, or a peplum style to create the illusion of a defined waist.
Asos.com, $31 & $22
Becca High Tea Bikini Top, Nordstrom.com, $68
Ted Baker London Illiana Mesh Detail One-Piece, Nordstrom.com, $169
BCA Free to Be One-Piece, Nordstrom.com, $60
If you carry most of your weight in the midsection, it’s important to look for a swimsuit that conceals the tummy area in a flattering way. A one-piece or a tank-ini is the way to go. Try to find a suit with rouching or a thicker material that won’t cling or be too see-through.
La Blanca Sweetheart One-Piece, Nordstrom.com, $119
Ted Baker London Focus Bouquet One-Piece, Nordstrom.com, $149
Miraclesuit New Directions Escape One-Piece, Nordstrom.com, $182
Robin Piccone Harper One-Piece, Nordstrom.com, $178
Magicsuit Yvonne Halter One-Piece, Nordstrom.com, $172
If you carry more weight throughout your hips and are smaller on top, it’s important to try to balance out your figure. Something eye-catching on top (like beading, an interesting neck line, ruffles, etc.) will help balance out the lower half. Since you require less support on top, you can have fun with trying out all different kinds of tops, such as strapless. While you want to have plenty of coverage on the bottom, you also don’t want to add any extra volume or attention to your bottom half. Many pear-shaped women think that little ruffles or micro skirts on the bottom are flattering, but it only draws the eye downward. If you do feel like you need a little more coverage on the bottom, make sure the skirt covers the largest part of your hips. Also, when mixing tops and bottoms, try keeping a solid, darker colors on the bottom and a bold pattern or bright color on top.
TAVIK Emme Halter One-Piece, Nordstrom.com, $168
Friday Sporty Swim Top, Jcrew.com, $54
L Space Ruffle Swim Top, Nordstrom.com, $86
Byrds of Paradise Sanya Off the Shoulder Bikini Top, Nordstrom.com, $40
Tory Burch Costa Smocked Bandeau Bikini Top, Nordstrom.com, $115
La Azteca Halter One-Piece, Nordstrom.com, $119
If you have a large bust and narrow hips (think a triangle or pear flipped upside down), then you want to find a swimsuit that has tons of support on top, and isn’t too baggy on the bottom. I suggest looking for bottoms with adjustable ties, so you can secure the swimsuit close to your body and avoid any sagging or bagging. Don’t be surprised if there’s a big difference in the size of your tops and bottoms (for example, you might be a medium on the bottom, but an extra-large on top). That’s why most tops and bottoms are sold separately!
Convertible Bikini Top, Barenecessities.com, $148
Pour Moi Black Dahlia, Barenecessities.com, $54
Tommy Bahama Halter Tankini Top, Nordstrom.com, $104
If you are plus size, you want to find swimwear that will give you plenty of support and coverage. Look for something with thick straps, underwire, and built-in boning throughout the suit. Rouching and thicker materials will also be most flattering. If you’re concerned about having enough coverage over the bum, look for a suit that has an attached skirt. These skirts aren’t just flattering, but can also add fun style to your swimwear look!
Strappy Back One-Piece, $98.90, torrid.com
Pleated Cup Mid-Kini Top, $74.90, torrid.com
Black Tie-Front Underwire Skortini, $65.45, swimsuitsforall.com
Parade Underwire Swimsuit, $57.40, swimsuitsforall.com
Striped Underwire Swimuit, $57.40, swimsuitsforall.com
I hope this helps you tackle swimsuit shopping! Here’s to many sunny days ahead!