Gone are the days of triangle bikini tops and speedo one-pieces. I’m not exactly sure what has happened to the bathing suit industry, but it seems we have beautiful, sexy, feminine options now more than ever for all different body types. You have flounce sleeves, over the shoulder tops, cutouts on the sides, high-necklines, high-waisted bikinis… so many flattering details that make the poolside or beach our new fashion playground. I can appreciate however, that finding a swimsuit for your body type can be quite the challenging assignment, which is why I put together some tips on how to select and buy a swimsuit both in-person and online!
General rules on how to select and buy a swimsuit for your body type
Listen, before you get all sassy and be like “just wear whatever you want” I want to make it clear that most women still lack the confidence to wear a bathing suit in public. My actionable tips are to help these women select a suit that makes them feel amazing. Of course, by all means, you can completely ignore my recommendations and wear whatever you like! But that would sort of go against why you came to read this article in the first place, am-I right? 😉 So here goes:
- Look for a bathing suit that is well made, of high-quality fabric and that will stay put.
- Patterns, texture and darker colours are typically more flattering if you are self-conscious.
- Know your body type and the type of fit you are looking for:
• High-waisted bottoms are great if you want more support in your tummy or behind.
• Full coverage tops, underwire or sporty bras are perfect to support a large chest.
• One-piece swimsuits are amazing at keeping you sleek and tucked in, especially if you just want to swim and enjoy yourself in the water… no fussing around!
• Low backs are not very comfortable if your back is not lean.
• Triangle tops and bandeaus generally work for smaller chested women.
• High cut swimsuits generally look better on pear shaped women or leaner women. If you are an apple shape or have a soft belly, this swimsuit may create a visible crease that is not very attractive in my opinion (this is what I struggle with personally!)
• Low cut bathing suits that show side boob typically work for small chested women or pear shaped women.
• A deep V neckline is great for larger chested women, reverse-triangle shape or women with broad shoulders since it creates more length in the neck area.
• I love pale colours, but if you are not naturally sleek, it will tend to show all your crevices (personally I hate being able to see the dip in my belly button). Pattern materials can be an option to help with this issue.
• The over-the-shoulder tops are my personal favourite. They have so much style and provide a more interesting silhouette. Although it can create bulk if you have a larger chest or shoulders, you can forgive it for the tiny hourglass effect is has on your waist.
• I am generally not a fan of the tankini or skirt bathing suit, but I understand their purpose. Personally, I would opt to get a killer one piece instead.
• If you are a heavier plus-size woman, I would focus on getting a suit that fits you well and that is supportive. Have fun with colour and print! Maybe splurge on a killer cover-up (if you so choose to!).
• I used to be concerned with tan lines, but I have recently discovered SPF and want to protect my skin. So regardless of the cut of your swimsuit, tan lines should not be the guiding principle of your seclection.
Regardless of my tips, you should own your body and wear what makes you feel amazing!
Tips on how to buy swimwear in-person
• Be open-minded! Just try everything on, you never know what will work on your body
• Get a swimsuit that fits more tightly then lose. Once it hits the water, bathing suits tend to droop and that is not a good look for anyone.
• Don’t focus on the size, focus on the fit!
• It’s never a bad thing to look your best. Do your hair, put on some makeup, shave your legs and underarms (if you subscribe to hair removal practices, of course!) I just mean that if you go in with your most confident-self, it will help make the try-on way more fun!
Tips on how to buy swimwear online
• Look at the size guide and measure yourself.
• Buy the recommended size for your measurements and don’t focus on the actual size- it’s not uncommon to need one size up in swimwear.
• If you follow influencers with your body type and size for inspiration, ask them what size they bought.
• Use sites like Ebates.ca when you can, to get cash back when buying online.
• Look for great deals, promotions or coupons before buying.
• Buy one suit to test out the brand’s sizing, and then make a larger order.
• Try to get free shipping (ALWAYS!) and check if there are any extra duties to pay.
• Check the return policy.
• If returning is a hassle or not worth it and the product is inexpensive, buy the same suit in two sizes and sell the one that doesn’t fit (consignment, kijiji or marketplace on Facebook).
About my new one-piece bathing suit
I was gifted this amazing black one-piece bathing suit Gottex Profile Sex On The Beach High Neck Swimsuit (Size18) from UK Swimwear, a leading swimwear site that offers quality products for women of all shapes and sizes. They even carry a line called Seaspray, which offers longer length swimsuits for women with longer torsos. And of course, they carry a variety of plus-size bathing suits for all my fellow curvy girls!I absolutely adore this one-piece bathing suit and will be wearing it all summer. Something about the trendy high neckline and cutouts on the sides makes this bathing suit both sporty and sexy at the same time. Because of the thick high-quality fabric, I feel very supported and tucked in.