Memorial Day has come and gone and summer is officially here. It’s time to assess your swimsuit wardrobe. I need a new one this year and so do several clients. With a few swimsuit shopping sessions coming up, I’m thinking about what I want to teach my clients the most.
The most important thing to keep in mind when you’re shopping for swimsuits is your body type. (Click here to read through the different body types and figure out which one you are if you haven’t already.) Now that you have your body type in mind, read on for tips on how to find the right swimsuit for you.
If you’re bigger on bottom, you want to choose a swimsuit style that minimizes your bottom half and adds volume to your top half. Look for bold patterns or embellishments on top like ruffles or flowers. You may be tempted to cover up your bottom half with boy shorts or the like but having too much fabric on the bottom will actually make your bottom half look even larger. Instead, go for a bottom that fully covers your rear end but hits mid-rise on your waist and cuts up a little bit higher on the sides to slenderize your hips and thighs.
Above: (1) Yes, you can wear horizontal stripes. The higher cut sides will slim your bottom half and the extra detail at the top will balance you out. And you’ll be very on trend with the graphic black and white. (2) Keep it simple on the bottom with this solid, high cut style. The strings allow you to adjust the bottom perfectly to avoid lumps. The flowers on top will draw the eyeline up and balance out your lower half. (3) This is another great example of keeping it solid and simple on bottom and adding some interesting detail up top to balance things out. The scoop neck is a bust enhancer as well.
If you’re bigger on top, make sure you keep the top simple with a v-neckline and plenty of support (look for tops that have underwire and are shaped more like a bra) and go for a fuller coverage bottom like a boy short or higher waist that will balance out your top half.
Above: (1) The bra-like cups will give you support while the high waisted retro style bottoms will enhance your curves (2) This one piece halter will give you lots of support while the extra coverage on your legs balances things out (3) Yes, you can still wear strapless as long as your top has plenty of support like these molded cups.
If you are bigger in the middle, your goal is to add structure at your mid-section and draw the eyeline up with a little bit of added volume or embellishment at the top to balance out your tummy.
Above: (1) Black is always a slimming option. The high cut legs and strapless top draw the eye away from your mid-section (2) Ruching is your best friend if this is your body type. The added knot detail up top helps draw the eye up. (3) This blousy style will hide your tummy while giving you a low waist line.
And, you should know that Spanx makes swimsuits, yep, that’s right, and they’re cute.
If you are an hourglass shape, stick with solid colors and simple shapes to minimize your curves. Look for tops with plenty of support and a full coverage bottom that hits mid-rise on your waist and cuts up a little bit higher on the sides to slenderize your hips and thighs.
Above: (1) You can still do prints when you’re curvy if you keep them more subdued like this animal print. The v-neck line will minimize your bust. (2) Show off your small waist in a two piece. Choosing a solid color and plenty of support will help minimize your curves. (3) Or, show off your curves in a retro style suit that flatters the curves on both top and bottom and highlights your smaller waist.
If your shape is straight, play up your curves by looking for bold colors and prints that add volume and embellishments on both the top and bottom. Either go for a two piece with embellishments or a one piece that defines your waistline.
Above (1) The overall print will give you curves while the structured waistline gives you a more defined shape. (2) Ruffles on both the top and bottom will add some va-va-voom! (3) A bold printed bikini will add volume on top and bottom while leaving your waistline bare and defined.
What are your biggest challenges when swimsuit shopping?