Every woman’s body is different, and that means every woman has different requirements for a swimsuit.
Whether you’re looking to cover up back fat, support a larger bust, accentuate a smaller behind, or create the illusion of an hourglass figure, you need a swimsuit that will flatter the assets you have while drawing attention away from problem areas.
Choosing a swimsuit is much like choosing any other outfit. Just as different styles and cuts of blouses, dresses, skirts, or slacks will flatter different body types, differing styles of swimsuit work best for differently shaped women.
Here’s what you need to know about choosing a swimsuit that looks great on you:
Flatter Your Bust
If you’re a smaller-busted girl, you may want to choose a suit that will make your top curves look curvier. Choose a suit with extra fabric at the top. Ruffles, rucking, or other embellishments can make a smaller chest look bigger, as can a suit with extra padding in the cups.
If, on the other hand, you’re a large-busted girl, you’re going to need a suit that provides coverage and support. You don’t want to fall out of your swimsuit top the first time you’re hit by a wave, nor do you want the discomfort of poor support.
Skip suit tops that come in small, medium, or large; eschew string bikinis. Instead, look for suits with cup sizes and underwire support. If you’re a D cup, for example, look for a D-cup swimsuit with internal structure that will keep your girls in place. Thick, double-stitched straps are also a good idea.
Enhance Your Torso
The right swimsuit can do a lot to hide love handles, suppress back fat, accentuate curves, or even add height. If, like many women, you’re not crazy about showing off your abdomen, consider a swimsuit with a high-waisted bottom that comes up past your belly button.
High-waisted swimsuit bottoms bring a flattering vintage look to your beach attire, and they’re great for hiding belly fat and love handles. The right high-waisted swimsuit can offer all the coverage of a one-piece, with the stylishness of a bikini.
If you have an athletic, toned body, you may want to choose a bikini or monokini that will show off your abdomen. To add girlish curves, look for suits with ruffles or frills around the hips or bust; avoid bandeaus that cut straight across the bust, and if you choose a one-piece, choose one with some structure. To lengthen a short torso, look for low-rise bottoms that will add length by showing skin. Lift the bust line with a halter or crop top that will draw the eyes up.
One-piece suits can be very forgiving. If you have wide shoulders, a solid-color suit with distinct side panels can help balance out your shoulders and hips. Pair this with an asymmetrical neckline to draw the eyes down on a diagonal instead of straight across. Choose a high-backed one-piece with thick straps to tame back fat.
Hide Your Butt and Thighs — Or Not
Larger thighs or butt don’t have to embarrass you at the beach. Many high-waisted suits, especially vintage ones, offer ample coverage in the caboose. Find coverage for large thighs, or cellulite, from a skirted swimsuit bottom. Many skirted swimsuit bottoms are long enough to cover the tops of your thighs, and some are even longer.
But maybe you have the opposite problem — a flat, nonexistent derriere. If that’s you, look for a more revealing suit. A cheeky swimsuit bottom can round out a flat bottom. Lengthen short legs with a high-cut bottom that will make your legs seem longer by showing more skin. A thong or string bikini bottom is ideal for this, but an 80’s-style suit can serve the same purpose while preserving more of your modesty.
Choosing the right swimsuit is all about choosing the style that looks best on your body. Consider which attributes you want to show off — and which you want to hide — before you go shopping. Try on several suits to get an idea of what looks best on your body — and don’t forget to have a blast at the beach!