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The Perception of Swimwear: Which Style Enhances Your Body Type?

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Ah, a week away in the glorious sunshine at a destination abroad: it’s something we look forward to all year long, although this is paired with the stress of searching for clothing to take with us that will make us feel our best.

Swimwear in particular can be tricky as there is a range of styles, and it’s important to discover which one is most flattering for you so that you can feel confident and look fabulous.

One step you can take to discover the perfect style for you is recognising your body shape. The terms may seem confusing, but once you are aware, the search for swimwear feels a lot less overwhelming.

So don’t be afraid to splash out on a designer swimsuit that suits your body – you can be rest assured knowing that your choice is enough to make your confidence radiate.

The good news is, we are here to advise you on the most flattering styles for each body shape so that you can embrace your features.

Rectangle shape: using the art of illusion

For those whose waist measures similar to your bust, along with your shoulders and hips also being similar – this is known to be a rectangle shape.

The art of illusion is your best friend when it comes to enhancing your figure, and for a rectangle body shape, this involves high-leg-cut swimsuits.

Not only do they accentuate your hips, but they also create the illusion that your legs are longer; perfect for petite women who are wanting to appear taller.

However, this style tends to have low coverage – so for a more modest look, perhaps for a family holiday, you can always go for swimsuits with detail on the hips, such as ties.

Cut-out swimsuits are a great way to draw focus to your hips and bust while simultaneously slimming your waist.

To create a look of an hourglass figure, you could go for something with a plunging neckline, giving the illusion of a curvier figure.

Adding volume is necessary to add some curves, such as push-up swimsuit tops which can enhance your body. Or if you’re aiming for a more subtle look, ruffled tops and bottoms are a slightly toned-down way to add some contrast between your features.

Straight-shaped designs can emphasise the straightness of this body type, so if you hope to achieve a curved look, then avoid rectangular swimwear. Instead, look for triangle shapes – they can be altered to achieve your desired look, whether that be full or low coverage.

Pear shape: contrasting colours

A pear body shape, also known as triangle-shaped, describes those who have shoulders and busts that are narrower to the hips, as well as a defined waist.

The search for a swimsuit that fits a pear-shaped body can feel endless, with many one-pieces being either too loose or too tight. Or, if your struggle isn’t quite the fit but more so the style, swimsuits that look fabulous on triangle body shapes often have light colours around the chest and contrast the darker colours on the waist.

Similar to a rectangular body shape, adding volume to your chest can help you with your proportions. From push-up tops to a padded bikini, this trick will draw some attention away from your hips and instead towards your bust. For some extra emphasis, try a patterned top with bold colours.

To emphasise the curve of your waist, focus on high-waisted bikini bottoms – aside from elongating your legs, they provide coverage on your stomach if that’s one of your make-or-breaks for swimwear. Unlike a rectangular body type, ruffles, frills, and even ties on bikini bottoms can draw too much attention around your hips, giving you a disproportionate appearance.

Inverted triangle: emphasising your hips

The inverted triangle shape represents those whose shoulders and bust are wider than their hips.

Particularly for this body shape, a bigger bust can be an obstacle when searching for swimwear, so swimsuits that include an underwired top are your answer. Not to mention, a patterned swimsuit can take away the focus from one part of your body, as well as evening your proportions out.

Thick straps on your bikini top can help you to keep your bust in place, as well as giving your shoulders a narrower appearance.

Patterns solely on your chest can draw too much attention and accentuate this area instead of your hips, so try to limit patterns to a one-piece swimsuit or bottoms only.

Dark colours will help take focus away from your chest, so consider pairing a black top with patterned bottoms to create an hourglass shape.

Frills, tassels, bows: these, or any sort of embellishment, are key to creating the illusion of wider hips. Horizontal stripes will assist you with this, but it’s best to avoid wearing this pattern on your top half. Not only that, but high-leg bottoms that show slightly more skin will give the appearance of wider hips.

Apple shape: details are key

Characteristics of someone with an apple-shaped body include a similar size across your bust, waist, and hips, but your shoulders and hips will be narrower.

One-piece swimsuits can be very flattering for your figure by giving a slimming effect; ruched or gathered sides and panelling are just some of the details you can look out for to give the illusion of a smaller stomach whilst also creating the appearance of curvier hips. Colour blocking with swimsuits is another one of our tips to alter your silhouette.

Underwired bikini tops will be your saviour to enhance your bust as well as helping to give you a bit more support – and on that note, avoid anything strapless to save you the trouble of pulling up your top frequently. A deep neckline will accentuate your features but be sure to have no embellishments in order to prevent a disproportionate look between your chest and shoulders.

The right pair of bikini bottoms will give you the opportunity to create an hourglass illusion, so look for high waist which can tuck your tummy in and emphasise those hips. Patterned waistlines may give you the opposite effect by accentuating a narrow waistline, so save the patterns for the one-pieces.

Hourglass: accentuating your features

Last but not least, an hourglass body shape defines women with hips and typically a fuller bust that measures similarly, while having a narrow waist.

Belted one-piece swimsuits can truly highlight that narrow waist while emphasising your curves. Adding a plunging neckline can accentuate your features further, although if you like your swimwear to have more coverage, then a round neck is still a great way to embrace your figure.

For a fuller bust, a triangle bikini top may not be the best choice as there is a lack of support – however, there are still plenty of styles that undoubtedly will flaunt your body.

With that in mind, padded tops with thick straps are the best option to meet your needs and, if you want to show more skin, you can still opt-in for a deep neckline.

Hourglass-shaped bodies aren’t limited by much in terms of bottoms, but those with this body type can sometimes feel as though their torso is short. To lengthen it, look for low-rise bottoms; not only can it elongate your stomach, but it will also embrace your narrow waist. High-waisted bottoms are still suitable for your shape though, as they can emphasise your wide hips and small waist.

It’s important to feel good in your swimwear, whether that be for a well-deserved break from your hectic schedule or even just a relaxing trip to the spa.

Finding a swimsuit that you can be confident in might seem difficult with so many different styles, but once you have recognised your body type, it can be a lot simpler.

Hopefully, our tips will alleviate some of your shopping stress and narrow down the best styles to suit your shape.