Swimsuit season typically brings about a wave of dieting, anxiety, exercising, and of course, searching for that bathing suit that hugs and loosens in all the right places. The search for the holy grail of bathing suits can be less stressful once you identify your body type and learn what styles look best with your specific shape. Each body is different, but the most important thing in bathing suit shopping is balance. Different styles, patterns, and colors can help every body type achieve the perfect balance that will have you looking your best for summer frolicking.


Rectangle (Athletic) – Banana Shape

If it’s curves you lack, flounces and ruffles are your partners in crime. A two-piece will give fullness and dimension to your top and bottom, creating a defined, feminine curvature. Tasteful ruffles make this effect even more accentuated. More tricks for a two-piece include bold colors, interesting designs, horizontal stripes, and a healthy dose of padding. If you prefer a one-piece, choose a suit with a solid bold, bright color and a darker color around the waistline. This gives the illusion of a waist and is a perfect choice for those with a more athletic body type. Creative cutouts around the midsection also draw attention to the waist in a one-piece. If you’re looking for a little more artificial bathing suit booster, Envy Swim push-up bathing suits by Voda Swim (www.vodaswim.com) are known to make you look up to two cup sizes bigger.

Triangle (Wider hips or a larger derrier)

For a triangle body shape, you want to choose a suit that highlights your slim upper half and minimizes your widest part. Solid colored boy shorts are a great choice to keep everything secure, but still show off your curves. Paired with a bold print on top to draw attention up, this look makes your best assets the main attraction. A plunging neckline in a one-piece can also help balance out your figure. For extra coverage on the upper thighs, opt for a straight fit, skirted bottom.

Inverted Triangle (Broader Shoulders or Larger Bust) Apple

If you are bustier on top, your best bet for a bathing suit top is something with an underwire or halter shape and thick straps to keep you in place. Bandeau tops are not the best option, they can make you look unflatteringly saggy. To draw the eye more towards the bottom choose a brightly colored or printed bottom. Keeping with the solid colors on top creates a more balanced look for an inverted triangle body type. For broader shoulders, try a ruffled, brightly colored pattern on the bottom and stick with something solid and simple on top. If you’re not large chested, you can also try a bandeau on the top.

Oval (Bit of a Tummy) – Pear Shape

If you have a bit of a belly, look for a style that accentuates and supports your chest and clearly differentiates your top from the bottom. To carve out a waist, a wrap suit is the way to go. Similarly to a wrap dress, the fabric is wrapped snugly around the waistline, keeping everything nice and tight. A good way to distract from a little extra cushion around the midsection is an interesting neckline or ruching. An eye-catching neckline draws all the attention up, try a sweetheart halter or a V-neck with detail. Ruching offers subtle concealment that also looks fashionable. Empire waist styles also help to make your middle look smaller.

Hourglass (Defined Waist)

Women with hourglass figures typically have a full bust and hip area. That means plenty of underwire and low rise bottoms. Support on top gives your chest a perky boost and low rise bottoms make your torso look long and thin.  Ruching is the curvy woman’s secret weapon and can be used to cleverly camouflage any problem areas. A classic one-piece is a good option for hourglass figures because it emphasizes your smallest point, your waist. It’s usually better to limit the mixing and matching because your top and bottom are already naturally proportional.

No matter how your body is shaped, there are plenty of bathing suits options that will make you look and feel your best. The key to success is simply understanding your body and dressing it accordingly.

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