FAKE IT, FLAUNT IT
Whether you want to reveal or conceal, don’t miss your guide to finding the perfect swimsuit for your body type.
Swimsuit season is !nally here! "at means that we can !nally hang out by the pool without a care in the world, right? Unfortunately, navigating the frightening world of swimsuit shopping can scare a lot of women into hiding until jacket season returns in the fall. Sure, this season’s new swimwear styles are beautiful and innovative, but are they #attering? Read on for tips and tricks to !nding swimwear that disguises your not-so-favorite attributes while playing to your physique’s greatest strengths.
Pear-shaped women are sometimes at odds with their curvaceous, feminine hips and derrières, which some seek to flaunt while others prefer to disguise. Fortunately, there are lots of swimwear options to flatter your shape, no matter what you choose. To show off a triangle-shaped figure, look for special design elements that draw attention to your lower half. Swimsuit bottoms with vertical ruching down the back hug your cheeks and show off a full bottom, which can also be accented with ruffles for a girly flair. Accents that sit low on the hips like a chain belt, tassel ties or a fold-over waistband can also show off a pear-shaped frame. Two-piece swimsuits with a bottom that resembles a miniskirt have long been recommended for hiding a curvy lower half, but they actually emphasize large hips, so try a high-waisted style for a suit that hugs every curve. If you prefer to downplay your shape, try mix-and-match separates that allow you to customize your look. An attention-grabbing top with accents like sequins and beading paired with a sleek bottom piece will draw the eye upwards towards your neckline and away from your lower half.
Women blessed with a large bust and broad shoulders seek swimwear that highlights their assets while keeping their top and bottom halves in balance. Some women with the inverted triangle body type often dread swimsuit shopping season for a variety of reasons – many brands don’t offer precise cup sizing, underwire tops are few and far between, and it’s hard to find suits that keep the chest area secure but still look contemporary and stylish. Luckily, tons of designers have jumped on the big-bust bandwagon in recent years, resulting in a wealth of fashionable options. For those with a large chest, a halter neck is a girl’s best friend: it lifts everything up while emphasizing your décolletage. If you want a twopiece suit, look for brands that offer lots of mix-and-match options for tops and bottoms, and tops that have a built-in underwire and a wide strap for all-day comfort. In-store, touch the fabric to test its texture – fabrics that snap back tend to lift the bust and make you look leaner. A boy-short bottom will balance out a big bust and keeps the look modern.
Lucky you: this is one of today’s most coveted figures! While some women may be at odds sometimes with their va-va-voom frame, showing off or downplaying your feminine figure is no sweat. Just remember, it’s all about working with your dangerous curves. A fun option for hourglass shapes is to get inspired by a blast from the past. Pin-up worthy swimsuits celebrate a curvaceous figure, popularized when a healthy and curvy frame was the most celebrated shape. The fullcoverage bottoms and alluring necklines of vintageinspired swimsuits like Norma Kamali’s emphasize the curve from your bust to hips. Try a tie-front or twistfront bandeau or a classic maillot to get the look. Alternatively, bikinis look great on an hourglass figure. Try one that has a sporty vibe with elements like belt buckles, zippers, racerbacks, neoprene and piping to get that enviable Bond-girl vibe à la Ursula Andress. For maximum impact, grab a sporty suit in a bold look-atme color like coral or turquoise, or try a graphic print that makes your curves the canvas.
Women whose bodylines are generally straight up and down, including a waist that is not noticeably discernable from the bust and hips, can use innovative fabrics and embellishment to visually sculpt their ideal frame. A solid-colored suit with print or details at the waist can draw the eye in, creating the illusion of an hourglass silhouette. Try a one-piece tank in a darker color like olive or navy blue with cut-out detailing around the waist, and experience the optical illusion for yourself! Additionally, a oneshouldered swimsuit is an oval-shaped gal’s secret weapon – not only does it make the eye zig-zag, creating curves, but it looks ultra-sophisticated too. Get the most out of your middle with accents that hit right at the waist. Bustier-style longline tops cinch you in when paired with a classic bikini bottom, or try a high-waist short with a bandeau top for the same hourglass effect. The most elegant hourglass options are usually one-piece swimsuits with a fabulous sash, metallic belt, or other embellishment at the waist to show off your curves.
Some might be surprised to learn that slender women shopping for swimwear experience a bit of the “grass is always greener” complex, too. While they are more likely to find a variety of swimwear in their size, finding a suit that fits and one that flatters are two different things altogether. For slender frames, it’s all about creative details that give the illusion of curves. Ruching on the top and bottom creates visual volume which drapes softly across the body – try a sculpted bandeau top with a bit of ruching and a lightly-padded cup to emphasize your bust. Another bust-enhancer is the draped overlay top style, which pulls the eye away from the torso to create definition. Bandagestyle strappy suits aren’t flattering on all body types, but slim women can rock this edgy look, which offers the allure of a true bombshell. Slim frames can go crazy with embellishment, which add visual interest and traces the shape of your natural curves. Beading, studs, and rows of ruffles are flattering on slim women and offer plenty of feminine appeal.
Petite women sometimes struggle with finding a swimsuit that will give them a long and luscious look. Lengthening the torso is simply a matter of creating an optical illusion using the right cuts and colors. A plunging deep-v neckline can make a girl that’s 5-foot-2 look six inches taller instantly. The best deep-v options are usually one-piece suits with a halter neck: the eye travels across the vertical line from the curve of the neck down to the ribcage and the sliver of exposed skin dramatically lengthens the torso. To take this look a step further, try this neckline with a zipper accent or soft draping that skims over your curves. Alternatively, sculpt long, elegant legs with a bottom that shows a little skin. Bottoms that are high-cut on the legs are the easiest way to look noticeably taller, and they’re sexy in a classic way. Medium-coverage bikini bottoms, dubbed “cheeky” bottoms by some swimsuit makers like Victoria’s Secret, recreate your bodylines, lengthening your legs and torso to capture the look of a glam Brazilian girl.
Women who are lucky enough to have towering model height generally fall into two categories – the ones that play down their stature, and the ones that have embraced their Amazonian looks. For those that want to channel the look of a petite girl while lying poolside, choose shapes that cut across the body horizontally. A straight strapless bandeau top makes the torso look shorter, especially if it’s a mediumlength one that falls to the waist – the sliver of skin at the navel above your bottom piece shortens the body several inches. Boy-short style bottoms operate in a similar fashion, de-emphasizing the length of the legs and torso. To show off your fabulously tall frame, try swimsuits that accent your neck, shoulders and hips. Women with lots of height look amazing in surfer-style wetsuits with cap or short sleeves because they show off the elegance of the shoulders and the covered-up top half accentuates your long, lean legs. Details on the hips like cutouts or other embellishment like tassel ties, metal rings or leather accents help tall frames achieve a goddess-like look.
You’ve worked hard for that toned body – now is the time to show it off! Athletic girls with muscular arms and legs sometimes have trouble highlighting their svelte physique while still maintaining their feminine allure. To emphasize your toned build, channel the healthy beauties of old-school Sports Illustrated models, who made activewear swimsuits sexier than ever. Try a classic tank swimsuit in a photorealistic or graphic print – the scoop neck will show a bit of décolletage while the simplicity of the cut shows off your refined frame. Extrasporty details like scuba fabrics, grommets and zippers add to the appeal. If you want to soften your toned bod, don’t be afraid to go full-blown girly. We’re talking the whole nine yards – pink and pastel tones, lace, jewelry-like accents, ruffles, and more. This season’s draped and floaty bikini tops give the bust a little extra oomph. Try a bandeau top with a sexy sweetheart neckline that fakes a soft and curvaceous frame, or bare a little skin with a sensual backless onepiece that will have all eyes on you. From edgy strappy styles to sophisticated maillots, there’s a swimwear style that looks phenomenal on every shape and size. Your manner of dressing in everyday fashion can easily carry over to swimwear – just remember how you feel when you wear your favorite dress, and look for elements of that look in your new swimwear. When you shop for your new swimsuit this season, don’t get distressed in the dressing room under those unforgiving fluorescent lights – take a deep breath and remember the things that are most beautiful about your body, and the traits that make you uniquely you.