Do you cringe when swimsuit season rolls around? When you know how to select the best swimsuit styles for your body type, swimsuit shopping is a lot less painful. Just follow this guide and you’ll be amazed. You won’t believe how much difference wearing the right swimsuit styles will make to boost your confidence!
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Swimsuit Shopping Doesn’t Have to Suck
You’re Hardly Wearing Any Clothes!
No matter how much we diet and how hard we exercise, many of us are just not that confident wearing a swimsuit. And, seriously… how many figure challenges can you really hide in a freaking swimsuit, anyway?
However, if you know the proportions of your body and which styles work best on your shape, you’ll be doing the very best that you can, given the circumstances. Therefore, this is why it’s super important to know your body type. Because, once you do you can try on only the bathing suits that will be most flattering to your figure, and ignore everything else.
From My Experience…
As I mentioned on our About page, I’m certified as a Fashion Consultant by the Fashion Image Institute. I previously owned a swim and resort wear boutique and have also done personal styling/wardrobe consulting for clients. So, as you can imagine, I have helped a lot of women find the perfect swimsuit for that upcoming honeymoon, vacation or cruise!
When helping a customer or client, it was important for me to determine what their figure challenges (and personal insecurities) were in order to steer them in the direction of the right swimsuits for their body types.
Be sure to refer to this guide before you start ordering swimsuits. I promise it will make your life easier. But, if you absolutely love something and you aren’t sure if it’s the recommended style for your body type, go ahead and try it anyway. Because, you never know…
Determine Your Body Type
Your unique shape falls into one of these 5 body types:
- Hourglass – bust and hips are about the same width, with a defined waist
- Round or Diamond – (or “Apple” ) – bust, waist and hips are close to the same width; usually smaller shoulders and no waist definition
- Triangle – (or “Pear”) – hips are wider than shoulders and bust
- Inverted Triangle – (“Athletic”) Shoulders are wider than hips; may have full bust – the body area above the waist is larger than below
- Rectangle – (or “Square”) bust, shoulders and hips are close to the same width with little waist definition
General Guidelines to Select the Best Swimsuit Style for Your Body Type
Follow these guidelines regardless if you’re shopping for a one-piece or 2-piece bathing suit. The reason is, even one-piece bathing suits have many variations in styles between the top and bottom half. Therefore, evaluate swimsuit top and bottom styles individually for your body type, even if you’re looking a one-piece suit.
An hourglass body type is considered the “ideal” body shape, because it is perfectly proportioned. As a result, it is the easiest to dress. Therefore, dressing all other body types involves camouflaging certain areas to make them look more proportionate, or more like the hourglass shape.
If you are an hourglass shape, follow these guidelines to select the best swimsuit for your body type:
- Swimsuits with underwire bra style or halter style tops are best for a large bust. These styles give lots of support and will uplift your bust.
- Full coverage bottoms with or without high waist will look slimming.
- Details around the mid-section like ruching or embellishments will highlight your waistline.
Round or Diamond Body Type
Here, the objective is to accentuate curves to give the appearance of a smaller waistline, or to get the illusion of a slimmer profile overall.
- One-piece swimsuits, monokinis and tankinis with high-waisted bottoms are your best friend. This is because they provide the most coverage and will hide a belly pooch.
- Ruching around the middle will camouflage the tummy and add the appearance of a waistline.
- Underwire bra tops or halter style tops will provide the best bust support and uplift.
- A skirted bottom will add more coverage, as will a sarong cover-up.
Triangle or Pear-Shaped Body
With the triangle or pear-shaped body, the objective is to minimize the hips and maximize the bust to get them to look more balanced.
- Wear a solid color on the bottom
- Full-coverage bottoms, boy shorts, and hipster cut bottoms (in a solid color) will provide good coverage.
- High cut legs will make the legs look longer and visually slim the hips.
- Add dimension to your top by wearing a brighter color, print, or horizontal stripes. Ruffles and embellishments will also highlight the top half of your body.
- For the top, wear a strapless or bandeau style to make your bust look wider. Or, wear moulded cup styles with padding to add structure and dimension to the chest.
Inverted Triangle Body Type
Here, you want to minimize the top half of the body and visually add dimension to the hips for balance.
- Halter top styles and bra tops will make the shoulders appear less broad.
- Sweetheart necklines will add curves, softening the top half.
- Avoid anything like a camisole or simple tank top, bandeau or “tube top” because those horizontal lines will only make the shoulders look more dominant.
- Stay away from ruffles or too many embellishments on the top because that will also highlight the dominant top half of your body.
- Full coverage bottoms and mid-rise or low-rise hipster styles are a safe bet.
- High-cut legs will draw attention to the legs and away from the top half, to visually balance things out for an inverted triangle body type. However, stay away from a swimsuit with high-cut legs if your legs are large and you’re self-conscious about them.
- Try wearing a brighter color or pattern on the bottom, with a more subdued solid color on top.
- Opt for details and embellishments such as bows or other accents on the bottom to add fullness to your bottom half.
Rectangle Body Shape
A rectangle shaped body needs waist definition.
- Look for swimsuit styles with color-blocking or cut-outs around the waist to visually give definition in this area. Color-blocking or cut-out details on the sides can provide a similar effect.
- A triangle or halter style top, or a bra-style top with padding or plunging neckline is best for accentuating curves on top. This will make the waist appear more defined on the rectangle body type.
- Side-tie bottoms will add definition to the hip area giving the illusion of curves. Other details like bows, sashes and belts add dimension and create the illusion of a curvier figure.
- Look for suits with diagonal lines and ruching or shirring effects around the waist area.
Time to Go Swimsuit Shopping for Your Body Type
Now that you know what styles of bathing suits are best for your body type, swimsuit shopping should be so much easier for you. Now, you will feel confident and pretty on your cruise or beach vacation. However, remember – these are just guidelines. If you really love something, try it on. Because, you may end up loving it… and rules are meant to be broken! 😉
- About Belle Inspired
- How to Find Your Body Type Like an Expert
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