Swimsuits for Your Body Type
When it comes to swimsuits, we all have our own problems. I’ve yet to meet a woman who is 100% confident with how she looks in a bathing suit. Even the Victoria’s Secret models have gripes about their own bodies. No matter your shape, I believe you have every right to wear a bathing suit you love and feel comfortable in. The key to achieving this isn’t just picking out the cheapest or trendiest suit, it’s learning what shapes, colors and styles look good on your figure. So whether you’re petite and worry about looking like a boy in a bikini (like me!), or curvy and wondering if you can pull off those boy shorts, here is a little guide from me to you.
(1) Madewell ruched floral bikini top & string bikini bottom (2) Fringe trim bikini top & bottom (3) Target striped tops & bottoms (4) Mara Hoffman printed bandeau bikini
Swimsuits for Petites
Triangle tops work best for petites, since the shape accentuates your slim frame. String bottoms are great, since they can easily be adjusted to fit your slim hips and stomach. You can get away with fun patterns and bold colors, so make the most of it! Avoid one-piece suits or bottoms with too much coverage, which can overwhelm your tiny frame. High-waisted bottoms can cut off your figure at the worst spot, too.
(1) Blue underwire bikini top and high waisted bottoms (2) Crocheted flounce bikini (3) Underwire retro balconet top (4) Mara Hoffman rainbow printed bikini
Swimsuits for Pear Shapes
Pear-shaped women are smaller on top but bigger on the bottom. String bikinis can be a bit too skimpy, so try bottoms with thick straps or rings on the side. A push-up top or tops with ruffles or details will make your chest appear larger and balance off your wider hips. Search for “retro” styles – these were made for your body.
(1) Madewell bikini (2) Floral embellished bikini (3) Floral bandeau bikini top & bottom (4) One-shoulder monokini
Swimsuits for Athletic Shapes
To add curves to your straight up-and-down frame, choose a fun bottom. Boy shorts, cheeky shorts, and bottoms with ruffles will do the trick. Push-up or padded tops add curves where they are needed. If you’re more of a one-piece gal, try a monokini – the cut-outs add curves and show off your toned body.
(1) Bandeau swim top & side-tie swim bottoms (2) Criss-cross monokini (3) Black and white bikini (4) Bandeau top & cheeky low-rise bottom
Swimsuits for Hourglass Figures
Bandeau tops work well paired with a skimpier bottom (just make sure there is enough support in the top). Solid colors or two-toned suits (think color-blocked) really let your curves take center stage.
(1) Push up bikini (2) Rosette floral bikini (3) Scalloped bikini (4) Floral print bandeau top & hipster bottom
Swimsuits for Small Chests
Bandeau tops cut straight across and offer nothing to define your shape – they actually make your breasts look smaller. Small chests look best wearing tops with details. Whether it’s ruffles, a bright pattern or embellishments, anything that draws attention and adds weight to your top works well on you. Push-up tops add some lift, too.
(1) Floral swimsuit with underwire (2) Bandeau top & skirty bottom (3) Polka-dot underwire top & retro brief
Swimsuits for Large Chests
If you have a large chest, you likely already know that underwire is your best friend. This may remind you too much of bras, but it is a must when it comes to swimwear. Underwire will support and hold your girls in whether you’re just laying on the beach or actively swimming. Halter tops with thick straps are also a lifesaver for you D-cup-and-up ladies.
(1) Red nylon swimsuit (2) Ruffle 1-piece V-neck swimsuit (3) Halter one piece (4) One shoulder ruffle swimsuit
Swimsuits for Apple Shapes
If you have a belly, don’t worry! There are still tons of cute options. Opt for one-piece suits with fun details on the top, like cute straps or a bow. This draws the attention upward. High waisted bottoms and tankinis also work for those of you who want to show off a little of your stomach. Avoid any crazy patterns, which will just draw attention to unwanted areas.
Bathing suits are so fun to shop for, I actually fit in 2 different categories lol.
the more choices, the better! I fit into two, too!
Super cute picks – I’m so happy swimsuit season is finally here! Bring on the ruffles for us flat chested gals 🙂
I think it’s so true that with swimsuits you need to dress for your body type! I was just stressing over ones that were expensive and then found two in H&M that fit great!
They have SUCH cheap options there!
Love that Miu Miu scalloped bikini in the small chested section – so cute!!
me too- wish it was more affordable though!
These picks are soo cute–especially the athletic ones cause I have the figure of a 12-year-old boy!
I’m boyish/straight/petite, too, so I feel your pain!
Love this guide!! Great picks, too. Loving all the color.
Thanks! I figured everyone already has a basic black one so I should show some color!
That green monokini from Forever21 is EVERYTHING. Buying it it NOW.
I’m not a 1-piece girl,. but that one makes me want to be!
I consider myself petite, but lately I’ve been really into one piece bathing suits. Mostly because I feel like I’m too old to be walking around in a bikini, especially with family around (so awkward!). 🙂
aw I loved the ones you put on Twitter last week!
Great guide! I find Victoria’s Secret’s bottoms fit me the best. I’m always admiring the bikinis in Target but the bottoms seem to run large.
YES! I have the same issue- they definitely make their bottoms for large-hipped ladies
Lovely selection Rachel….I thoroughly enjoyed going over your guide!!! Wish I could still rock those teeny 2 pieces but with my stretch marks I guess I should be happy with any lovely one piece!
Fantastic post Rachel. I think so many women are getting trapped into this thought that if it’s trendy, it will look ok on me, then they hate how they look all summer. Such a great guide. Love, Richelle from Lynn + Lou
So true! I try not to buy them unless I really like how they look
This is an amazing post! I usually never know how to describe my body shape but here I’d have to go with big cheted. Eeek. Now it’s time to shop!
buying bathing suits is my least favorite shopping excursion each year. I’m just getting myself back into running now, so I’m hoping by my first beach trip I’ll fit into a different category haha
haha I hate it, too. I think every girl has a love/hate relationship with swimwear!
Great tips! I’m loving that madewell bikini 🙂
This is a great post! Definitely always looking into bigger bottoms with some good straps!
Super cute selections! I always wish I had a smaller chest so I could rock a ruffled top, some of the ones you picked are so adorable!
Such a great post! I haven’t shopped for a swimsuit in almost 6 years. Yikes.
Had no idea but I have triangle tops and string bottoms and I’m petite! Woohoo!
haha you’re already dressing correctly for your body shape then!
So many pretty options here! I’m always drawn to bright colored solid bikinis with a halter top. I need plenty of coverage on my bottom too!
this is so helpful! thanks, lady 🙂
I love the purple one under athletic! This must have taken hours to do but I really appreciate it!
haha it was fun though!
Ah i love the Mara Hoffman in the petite section – I should really just get it already but I’ve been hoping it goes on sale!
I agree with you on the sale part!
i’ve been wanting to buy a one piece and I love the one shoulder one you chose!
one-shoulder ones are so stylish!
Such a great post! I love all the suits that you featured here too. Adorable.
Great selection! Love the print on that Mara Hoffman bikini! I bought a DVF bikini years ago (on sale!) while vacationing in Miami and it’s still my go-to suit 🙂
Get the most wears out of it while you can!
Ironically, I was just online shopping for swimsuits! haha. I found a ruffly push-up top, which should help out my flat-chested woes. My problem is that I’m a mixture of body types so I don’t always know what to do with the rest of my body. I’m a mix of small-chested, athletic and pear shape haha how?! Oh well. Stupid thighs…
haha I’m a mix of a few, too- don’t worry!
I have a small chest and made the mistake of buying a bandeau top last year. You’re right that they’re definitely not flattering! Great tips!
I just find that they make them (being boobs) look even flatter and weird! But maybe it’s just me? haha
I can never figure out what type of body I have, BUT I do know that I love me a one-piece!
What a great post! I always gravitate towards the same types of swimsuits because I know they work on me.
So many fun suits to choose from!! You nailed your picks! This is my first year of wearing a tankini….eeek!! Momma feels like she has gotten too old to show off the belly at the community pool! 😉
aw stop! you can totally still pull it off, but I understand what you mean 🙂
So many awesome choices! I really love all the retro inspired ones!
This is actually SO helpful! I loooove the topshop cornflower scallop suit but they don’t have my size! So cute though!
I know, I was bummed they are almost sold out, but still wanted to include it because I liked it so much!
I love bathing suits, but shopping for them is such a chore! Good tips for big chests – underwire is SO key (and I speak from experience), so forget that they remind you of a bra and just do it.
Exactly- nothing worse than having them flop all over the place. Although sadly I wouldn’t know about that 🙁 haha
SO many cute choices! Of course I LOVE that Mara Hoffman two piece!
I’m definitely an hourglass shaped woman but dear god, I would never wear that suit Kim Kardashian is wearing! Less is not always more lol. I think I’m going for a one piece this year, I’ve seen way too many cute ones and I want to give it a try 🙂
haha Kim isn’t a great role model in terms of appropriate clothing, I agree!