It’s official. Warmer seas, lighter layers, the longest day, festival fever and great escapes… Summer ticks all the boxes and it’s finally here! It also signals the arrival of the annual hunt for that perfect piece of swimwear that covers… and reveals!
Finding a swimsuit that both flatters and reveals enough to get you a decent tan (whilst still being comfortable and appropriate) is the annual swimwear challenge… assuming you’re brave enough to shed the layers in the first place (repeat after me: I shall feel the sun on my stomach this year!).
But I have to admit to being pleasantly surprised at the choice on our great British high street… bikini, one-piece, tankini… high leg, low leg, Brazilian… shorts, skirts, briefs… halter-neck, bandeau, underwired, balcony, wrap (wrap style bikini tops are very trendy this season and they are perfect for both small and large bust body types) – the list went on.
So put an end to the fear and frustration that comes with swimsuit shopping and follow our guide to find the perfect swimsuit for you.
Packing tip: if you plan to spend most of your time on the beach then pick your swimwear first and work other items around them. You should also aim to have a minimum of two bikinis or swimsuits for a 1-week holiday (pro rata accordingly).
Pear body shape
Features: slim shoulders and broad hips. You carry your weight around the hips, bottom and thighs; however you are likely to have a well-defined (and tiny) waist and a fairly flat stomach.
- Flirty skirt detail balances out wide hips.
- Halter-neck and tankini styles maximise the bust and broaden the shoulders.
- Take full control of your tan lines in a strapless bandeau bikini, they were made for you!
- Mix and match plain darker bottoms with a bold coloured top, this will slim your lower half and add volume to your upper body.
- Avoid high-waist shorts-style briefs.
Athletic body shape
Features: A sporty, strong body with few curves. You will normally have broad shoulders and square hips, long arms and legs, a slight waist and a small bust.
- If you’re small on top look for ruffles, bold prints and cut-out detail (perhaps not all at once), which add curves to a boyish figure.
- Prints and ties will also take swimwear in a new direction.
- V-shape briefs will give the illusion of curvy hips.
- Avoid triangle bikini tops.
Hourglass body shape
Features: Upper and lower body (shoulders and hips) approximately in line with each other, you are likely to have a defined waist and fuller bust.
- Classic bikini with a bra style top (underwired and moulded cups for added support).
- A well-structured bandeau-style top with a sweetheart neckline will keep your cleavage under control.
- If you swear by wrap tops (perfect for an hourglass shape) look for the same detail in your swimwear.
- Full briefs cut high on the leg will lengthen the leg and slim thighs.
- Avoid briefs with tie sides.
Apple body shape
Features: Generally in proportion, you carry your weight around your mid-section and you don’t have a defined waist. You are likely to have great legs.
- Look for one pieces with hidden support panels or ruched detailing, which will help create a streamlined silhouette.
- Tankinis are also good for creating the illusion of curves, but ensure the top reaches [and just covers] the bikini bottoms.
- Avoid fussy detail or print; instead opt for simple styles and plain colours.