Ah, I can almost smell the ocean and taste the cocktails! It’s nearly time to head to the beach. If you’re shopping for holiday swimwear you’ll have noticed there’s a lot of choice out there. We all want to look great on the beach but where do we begin? Not all swimming costumes are created equal so what are the best swimsuits for body type?
After all, you’re going to be pretty close to naked on the beach so choose the bikini, tankini, briefs or swimming costume that will make you look and feel fabulous! Knowing the best swimsuit for your body type will go a long way to helping you strut along the poolside with confidence!
Step 1: Get Naked!
First of all, let’s check what shape you are. To do this you’ll need to get in front of a full-length mirror, ideally naked – underwear can hold in tummies, bums and boobs and distort your measurements. Get your tape measure and notepad and pencil handy. Remember to close the blinds in your bathroom!
Take a good look at your body. Please try not to be critical of your body – it’s the doing the job of keeping you alive and letting you lead a wonderful life. Perhaps it’s the body that’s given you beautiful children? Perhaps it’s the body that let you know the joy of swimming in the warm sea, of climbing a high mountain, of riding a bike with the wind blowing in your hair!
Our bodies are simply incredible, so don’t focus on bulges and things you want to change. Instead, celebrate your true beauty!
Step 2: Have a Good Look!
Okay, let’s begin. Look at the shape of your torso, your middle body. Is it wider than your hips? Is it wider than your shoulders? Is there more weight on the top half of your body than the bottom half?
Next, measure around your natural waistline – usually the thinnest part. Then stand with your feet together and measure your hips at the widest part. Measure your shoulders at the widest part too.
Write the measurements down. It doesn’t matter if you use inches or centimetres. Once they’re written down it’s easier to see what parts are bigger or smaller and it will confirm your body type.
Tips to Remember:
- The tape should be as straight as possible, as parallel to the floor as possible, not twisted or drooping at the back.
- It’s hard to measure the shoulders – get help with this one first if you want and do the other measurements on your own. Measure close to the top of your shoulders, around the widest part.
- Don’t hold your breath when measuring your waist size!
Step 3: Discover Your Glorious Shape!
If your shoulders and hips are roughly the same measurements and the waistline is larger, or the same size, then you are an Apple Shape.
If your hips and shoulders are the same measurement but you waistline is much smaller you are an Hourglass Shape.
If your shoulders are wider than your waist and hips you are an Inverted Triangle Shape.
If your hips are wider than your shoulders and waistline you are a Pear Shape.
If your shoulders, waist and hips are all the same size you are a Rectangle Shape.
If your waist is larger than your hips and shoulders and you have a full tummy then you are a Diamond Shape.
Now that you know your shape, let’s look at what are the best swimsuits for body types.
Best Swimsuits for Apple Body Type
You have an average to big bust and broad shoulders. Your waist isn’t well-defined and it’s where you carry the most weight. You have narrow hips and fantastic legs!
Your ideal swimwear would draw attention to your legs and create a defined waist while making your torso look longer.
Look for: structured pieces, V-neck or wide necklines. Avoid high-waisted pieces, belted swimsuits or any fussy embellishments around the waistline. Ruched detailing or side cut-off styles will flatter. Tankinis are a good choice to hide muffin tops. Highlight your lean legs with a high cut bikini. Choose swimwear with a built-in tummy shaper or control panels for the bust and stomach. Keep everything between bust and hipline plain and simple. Avoid strapless tops and swimming costumes.
Best Swimsuits for Pear Body Type
Your lower body is wider than your upper body with full thighs and hips. You have narrow shoulders and a smaller bust. Your waist is well-defined.
Your ideal swimwear would emphasise your small waist and balance out your shape by making your upper body appear a little broader so that there’s a less noticeable difference between your top and lower body.
Look for: a swimsuit with a patterned or detailed top (to draw the eye there) and a plain bottom half. Halterneck tops are good for making your shoulders look broader and so will balance out your wider hips. A swimming costume or bikini bottom with a full brief (rather than high-cut) will distract from the hips, making them look smaller. A plunging neckline will draw the eyes upwards to the chest.
Best Swimsuits for Hourglass Body Type
You have a well-defined narrow waist and your shoulders and hips are roughly equal, providing balance. This means you have ideal proportions and balance. You’ll have a full bust and a rounded bottom.
Your ideal swimwear would show off your curvy bust and hips while defining your small waist.
Look for: outfits that will accentuate your natural curvy body, classic bikinis with underwire to support your boobs. A high-waisted bottom piece with a bikini top looks great. A simple and elegant one-piece swimsuit works for all hourglass shapes. Sweetheart necklines, Brazilian bikini bottoms and bikini bottoms with smaller sides are all excellent choices for hourglass body types.
Best Swimsuits for Inverted Triangle Body Type
You have a larger upper body with broad shoulders, a large bust and a wide back. Your shoulders are wider than your hips – they are the widest part of your body. Your waist is small, your hips are slim and your bottom may be tend to be flat rather than round. You tend to gain weight in your belly and upper body. Your legs are shapely and are a terrific asset.
Your ideal swimwear would aim to balance your broad shoulders or your large bust. Try to minimise the size of your top half to make you look more balanced. Use patterns or embellishments on the lower half of your swimming costume or bikini to draw the eye away from your upper body.
Look for: swimwear with full moulded cups, underwire and thick straps for adequate support. Use vertical stripes above the waist but not below. Deep V-necks would flatter your bust too. Halterneck styles provide support and shift focus to the collarbone and neckline. Swimsuits with skirts are a good choice too as they broaden your hips, in balance with your broad shoulders.
Best Swimsuits for Diamond Body Type
Your hips are broader than your bust and shoulders and you have a full abdomen. You tend to gain weight in your stomach, back, hips and buttocks. You waist is undefined and it’s the widest part of your body. You carry some weight in your upper legs but your lower legs are shapely and attractive. You have slender arms.
Your ideal swimwear would help to define your waist and provide support for your tummy.
Look for: off the shoulder styles, embellishments at the bust and shoulders. Go for necklines that are V-neck or sweetheart. A classic one-piece swimsuit is great for providing coverage for your tummy. Look for swimsuits with sexy cut-outs at the sides or ruching on the sides – both will distract from your tummy. Lots of swimsuits also have hidden control panels to flatten and stop any wobbles!
Best Swimsuits for Rectangle Body Type
Your shoulders, waist and hips are all around the same size – within 5% of each other. This is the most common body type. You have a small-to-average bust with well-aligned shoulders and hips. Your waist isn’t very defined and you tend to gain weight in your torso. You have lovely lower legs.
Your ideal swimwear would give you a defined waist and create the illusion of curves. It should show off your long, lean arms and legs.
Look for: off-the-shoulder, scoop or round open necklines. Swimwear with a belt helps to define the waist. To make your bust appear bigger, use bold prints, bright patterns, frilly edges and padding. Retro vintage-style swimsuits use seams and ruching to create curves. A higher-cut leg will emphasise your lovely lean legs, as will tie-side bottoms.
You’re Almost Ready for The Beach!
Okay ladies, now that you have an idea of the best swimwear for body types, it’s time to go shopping with a list of ‘must-haves’ and ‘what to avoid’.
You might also want to add some stunning accessories to your new swimwear:
- Sarongs, wraps and cover-ups
Above all, have fun and don’t forget to use plenty of sunscreen! You’ve worked hard for your holiday so make sure you enjoy it!
Founder of Plus Size Shapewear