The Perfect Swimsuit for YOUR Body Type
Welp, it’s here. Swimwear shopping season! Woot woot. We all know that bathing suits offer fewer camouflage options, but take heart. We still have MANY tricks up our sleeves to bareing our bareness without embarrassment.
When shopping for a bathing suit, keep both your horizontal and vertical body type fixed firmly in your mind. Try not to get distracted by cute prints, bling, and advertising hype. And disregard younger trend magazine advice for “the right suit for your body type.” They are usually incorrect and simply cut and paste by an intern edited by a 20 something who had no clue of the issues of a second act figure.
First, regardless of body type, be sure to purchase a suit with very good construction. This will probably mean you can’t get away with cheap “bargains,” but it also means the suit will retain its shape (and yours!) throughout the season.
Look for a solidly built-in bra that FITS, underwire if needed, boning, built-in control panels where necessary, and high-quality fabric. Ralph Lauren, Miraclesuit, Robin Picone, and Swim Solutions are all usually very successful at delivering excellent construction and style options.
Second, Avoid solid white suits, horizontal prints, and metallics. All three exacerbate any problem areas.
Finally, decide in advance to declare a moratorium on self-loathing. Love yourself, however you show up, right now. LIfe is short and the enjoyment of summer, sun and water are ours to enjoy. Enjoy it!
Speak kindly to yourself as you try on different styles, and be gently accepting of yourself so that you can place the focus on learning to costume your body with flattering swimwear.
That being said, let’s dive into the best suit for your body type!
Know the Basic Styles
1. Maillot: A classic, form-fitting suit with no inner construction or foundation. Broad square shoulders should avoid racer back styling.
2. Two Piece: As brief as a string bikini thong or as much control as a firmly constructed underwire foundation support. A two piece should be avoided by those with a thick midriff.
3. Strapless: Best for sunning, not swimming, strapless suits broaden shoulders often slenderizing fuller hips.
4. Halter: A backless style that fastens around the neck. The smaller the bustline the more flattering it will be. Halters also slenderize shoulders and can broaden hips.
5. Blouson: A dropped waist, blousy style that gathers at the hip. Camouflages a large waistline and a full bust, but is not flattering on small-busted or full hipped figures.
6. Surplice: Diagonal bodice line that slims and is attractive on all figure types.
7. Dropped Waist Ruffle: Lengthens torso draws attention away from bust, good for Y body types.
8. Ruffled Top: Adds visual fullness to bustline, as are puckered and shirred tops. Drawing attention away from hips they are good for A body types.
9. Sarong: A skirted swimsuit fastened high on one hip. Its construction allows good underwire support to be built into the suit and is slenderizing for all figure types.
Shop For Your Type
X/Hourglass: Many styles will flatter the X shape, so a great place to begin is the one piece suit with V-neck. If your bust is large, make sure you have adequate coverage and support; if your bust is small, look for extra padding.
A/Triangle: Minimize hips by accentuating the bust. You can do this by adding a ruffled top, print on top/solid on bottom combination, or deeper neckline to draw the attention upward and create balance. Swimdresses can be excellent choices if you nead to minimize the rear.
Y/Inverted Triangle: Create balance by adding fullness to the hips while minimizing the bust. Opt for excellent bust support, then draw attention away from the bust with a square-cut, higher neckline. Consider a solid color on top with a print on bottom, as well as sashes or bands to draw attention toward the hips.
I/Rectangle: The goal here is to create the illusion of curves. Select a suit with a form-fitting waist. Accentuate the bust with push-up padding. Draw attention away from the waist by including prints such as polta-dots, avoid solids, and consider ruffles and embellishments around the bust and hips. A modest tankini can be a great choice.