The first step to buying a flattering swimsuit is to ID your body type. Then, you can shop for the best suits that are a good match for you. The goal, of course, is to find a suit in a flattering fabric that has clever cuts seemingly designed for your figure. Your suit should also make you feel confident—and sexy. Use our cheat sheet to find the best suit for your body type.
If you have a large bust
When you’re buying a swimsuit for a large chest (bigger than a C cup), choose a style with moulded underwire cups. Bra-style sizing with adjustable straps allows for additional support and a more flattering fit. If you want to minimize your chest, choose a solid dark colour. Try a halter neckline with an extra-wide strap to give support and added interest without showing too much cleavage. Or if you’re looking to enhance your chest, choose a medium-sized pattern with a sweetheart neckline. If you’re feeling risky, try a V-neck or keyhole neckline to reveal just the right about amount of cleavage.
Asos Curve belted swimsuit in navy floral, $76, asos.com. Lauren Ralph Lauren button swim collection, $71, thebay.com. Women's slender tunic one piece, $155, landsend.com.
If you want to disguise a tummy
If your waistline is your largest measurement, look for styles that will elongate the line of your body. It’s safe to stick with one-pieces, halter styles and deep V-necks. Be on the lookout for Spanx-like slimming fabric and strategically placed colour or ruching panels to help camouflage your middle. When it doubt, select a medium-sized all-over print to keep the eye moving.
Pint Zero treasure swim collection, $90, thebay.com. Women's slender ultra-high-waist bikini bottom, $71, landsend.com. Tropical-print cut-out one piece, $36, forever21.com.
If you’re looking to create curves
If your body is fairly straight up and down and there isn’t much of a difference between the width of your shoulders, waist and hips, you can create subtle curves that Mother Nature didn’t give you. Look for graphic prints, exaggerated outlining, panels, feminine necklines, moulded cups and strategically placed ruching. Keep your eyes peeled for moulded blaconette cups to create shape, retro sweetheart necklines for a girly vibe and clever panels to optically widen the hips and chest.
We Are Handsome Bermuda panel one piece, $340, shopbop.com. So Solid tuto one piece, $160, eberjey.com. Profile by Gottex cabaret bandeau one-piece swimsuit, $148, thebay.com.
If you're working with an hourglass shape
If your chest and hips are equally proportioned and your waist is your tiniest measurement, congratulations, you have one of the best body types to dress for the beach. With this in mind, have fun and experiment with cutouts, high-waisted bikinis and plunging necklines. If you really want to nip in your waist and enhance your other assets, pick a swimsuit with a belt detail.
Asos daisy stripe plunge belted swimsuit, $70, asos.com. Gather-halter one-piece swimsuit, $105, jcrew.com. Jessica Simpson underwire bikini top, $79, and high-waist swim panty, $45, additionelle.com.
If you want to slim your hips
Finding a suit to flatter wider hips can be done in two ways: Either balance things out by drawing attention to the upper body, or camouflage them. If you want to show a bit more skin, choose a suit with added detail up top, either with a plunging neckline, punchy pattern or interesting hardware. If showing less skin is the route you choose, look for a sexy swim dress or swim skirt.
Women's slender knot-front swim dress, $168, landsend.com. Point Zero solid swim collection, $90, thebay.com. Women's DD-cup slender floral tunic one piece, $105, landsend.com.
How to tend to your bikini line
Three ways to diminish cellulite