With summer fast-approaching, it’s the perfect time to refresh your warm weather wardrobe–and add a few more cute swimsuits to the mix. With so many styles and silhouettes to choose from, though, it isn’t always easy to figure out which will look best on you.
Here are some tips for how to find the most flattering swimsuits for your body so you can hit the beach in confidence and style.
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What’s My Body Type?
The key to finding the most flattering swimsuits for your body is to identify and understand your body type. You can measure around your bust, waist and hips to help determine which body type most closely reflects yours. For most people, it’s easy enough to identify their shape with a quick look in the mirror.
The most common body types are: rectangle, athletic, hourglass, pear and apple.
- Rectangle: The rectangle shape is normally best identified by having waist measurements that are similar to the measurements of your hips and bust. Since your waist is not dramatically defined, this body type is sometimes also called a straight or ruler body shape.
- Athletic: Typically, an athletic body shape is similar to the rectangle shape, but differs in the shoulders. With an athletic build, the shoulders are often a bit stronger-looking and broader.
- Hourglass: With an hourglass shape, your bust and hips are a similar size, but your waist is smaller and more defined. Fittingly enough, this body shape is quite similar to the timepiece it gets its name from.
- Pear: The pear shape is identified by a defined waist and curviness at the bust and hips, but with hips that are noticeably wider than the shoulders and bust.
- Apple: An apple shape is also a curvy shape, but its features are a wider shoulder and bust area than the waist and hips.
Fashion and health websites often use fruit and other metaphors to describe body types, which seems a little weird at first but can actually be quite helpful to understanding which yours resembles best. Different types of swimsuits are more flattering on certain body types over others. Once you identify yours, you can start choosing styles that will enhance all of your best features.
Dressing for My Shape
After you’ve identified your body type, it’ll be much easier to narrow down your options and uncover the silhouettes, colors, prints and patterns that will be most flattering on you.
If you’re a rectangle shape, swimsuits with feminine details can help add balance and the illusion of curviness to your straighter silhouette. Try to steer clear from boxier silhouettes, like boyshorts and square necklines, as they can make you appear straighter than you actually are.
- Bikini separates in tropical prints and ruffled details can add some playfulness and movement to your look.
- Cute one-piece swimsuits with high cut legs and deep necklines can be super flattering, and really draw attention to your lean arms and legs.
- Belted one-piece swimsuits, or those with cut-out sides, can help create definition in the waist.
- Halter top swimsuits can look very flattering on rectangle shapes, especially in a sweetheart or v-shape neckline.
As with a rectangle shape, athletic bodies look really great in swimsuits that balance their strength with a bit of curvy playfulness. Rectangular silhouettes may not be the most flattering choices for this body shape, so you might consider steering clear of straight necklines, rashguards and boyshorts.
- Cute swimsuits with flirty ruffles add softness to an athletic body and are the perfect balance for beautifully built shoulder muscles.
- Prints like polka dots, florals and summery gingham offer a feminine touch that looks great against an athletic build.
- As with the rectangle shape, belted one-piece swimsuits or those with cut-out sides or ruching flatter the waistline.
If you’re an hourglass shape, you already have a natural curve to your body, so styles that highlight your waist and offer support where you need it most are going to be key. Retro shapes and classic silhouettes in solid colors complement your curves nicely, without going overboard.
- High-waisted bikinis are super flattering on hourglass shapes, as they highlight the waist. Pick a simple bottom that’s free from ruffles or other exaggerated details.
- Cute one-piece swimsuits with ruching at the waist enhance the natural hourglass shape. Solid colors balance out your natural curves.
- Tops with underwire or thick straps will offer support so that you can have fun in the sun without discomfort.
Pear shapes are wider on the bottom, so when dressing for this shape, balance out your curves with playful details on the top. Separates might be easier to pair together since you can usually size up on the bottom and down on the top if you need it.
- Cute bikinis with a solid bottom and bright or floral top help balance out your proportions and play up the curviness of pear shapes.
- High cut bottoms help to elongate the legs and are very flattering on shapely bottoms.
- Vertical stripes on a tie-front bikini bring the attention up and help lengthen the torso.
If you’re an apple shape, styles with ruching in the middle or a dramatic v-neck can help to enhance the natural definition in your waist. Look for styles with visually interesting prints or strategic color-blocking.
- Side paneling helps elongate the body in a flattering way. Look for styles with prints in the middle and dark solids on the sides.
- Sweetheart necklines are beautiful on apple shapes and often come with thick straps that offer support for a fuller bust.
- Empire waist one-piece swimsuits highlight the narrowest portion of the waist.
Every Body Is Unique
Remember that attractiveness isn’t defined by your body shape, and that bodies don’t always neatly fall into one category. While these tips can certainly help guide you towards finding cuts and styles that enhance your natural shape, there’s nothing more beautiful than a happy woman wearing a big smile! You can’t go wrong in a swimsuit that fits you comfortably and, most importantly, makes you feel confident when you wear it.