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Body Shapes and Swimwear - A guide to Choosing the Perfect Style.




Summer is on it’s way, and with our glorious beaches and backyard pools, the swimsuit is an essential in your wardrobe. I would estimate that 99.9% of women, including me, abhor shopping for swim wear.  If ever you are going to strike poor lighting and a ‘fat’ mirror in a store change room, this is the time! It must be done though, and like all clothing purchases, I strongly recommend trying on before you buy. Before you even head to the shops though, do this. Strip down to your underwear,  stand before a mirror and look at your shape (imagine someone drawing a police body marker line around you). Here’s how to roughly determine your body shape to help you choose the right swim wear.



Hourglass: You have a discernible waist, and your hips and shoulders are equal width.

Triangle: You have a discernible waist, but your hips are wider than your shoulders.

Inverted Triangle: You have a discernible waist, but your shoulders are wider than your hips, and/OR you are big busted.

Rectangle: No discernible waist, hips, waist and shoulders are all the same.

Oval: Hips and shoulders are narrower than abdominal area.




Now, back to your mirror again. Which bits of your body do you like best? Is it your bust? Do you have a toned, flat tummy? Great legs? This area is what you want to highlight, enhance and draw attention to. Doing this will automatically detract attention away from your less favourable features.  To highlight a feature, choose a bright colour and/or pattern. To hide, use solid colour.


You’re now ready to go shopping….


I went around a few stores today and took some photos of different swimwear, and I want to point out some features to look for on each one, to help you make the best possible choice.




From Target, this set will highlight the bust and hips, giving shape to a rectangle and enhancing an hourglass. A foldover on the bikini bottoms is useful as the rise can be adjusted to suit your tummy.




Also from Target, same bottom, different tops. I personally like to buy all three pieces when this option is available. The bottoms have a frill on the hips, making them perfect for an inverted triangle, or a rectangle. The bikini top is ruffled – great for small busts, and rectangles.




This set is a terrific option for inverted triangle, visually balancing out the figure. I love the vintage feel to this one, it’s from Bra’s n Things.



For the triangle – the pattern on the top draws the eye up to the bust while the solid colour of the bottom does not attract any attention. Also from Bra’s n Things.



This cute set is great for hourglasses, and small busts. It’s as cheap as chips from K-Mart.








These three are from Millers. The vertical lines, and option to rouche at the hips are great features on swimsuit 1. A higher cut lengthens your leg, so if you are long in the torso, but shorter in the legs, take the option and rouche up. Notice how the lines on the bust are slanted – very flattering and draws the eye upward.


Swimsuit 2 is a great option for ovals. You can’t see it in the photo but it is a crossover bust, gathering over the stomach and has control panels built in too!


Set number 3, which is sold separately, is a lovely option for both the hourglass and triangle shaped ladies.  Also gathered over the stomach, so great for hiding a bit of a tummy.



Here’s another tummy control one-piece, (above) which would suit almost all body shapes! Available at Bra’s n Things.



For the plus size ladies, these very cleverly designed one pieces are available at City Chic. The eye is drawn up to the bust on the black and white suit, and the printed suit has black ruched panels down the side and a very sneaky vertical pattern down the centre, which lengthens and slims.



Lastly, from Target. The blue piece is great for rectangles, hourglasses, triangles and inverted triangles, and those with a less than perfect tummy. The black is perfect for triangles and ovals – the eye automatically comes upwards.


A couple of final things to note.

Boy leg bottoms, regardless of colour or pattern will make your hips look wider. This is very useful if you are large busted as it will visually balance you out. Boy legs are not always comfortable for a lot of women, and you need to beware of  the ‘camel toe’.

Triangle and halter neck tops draw the eye. A bandeau top widens – great for triangles. For large busts, look for a straight line across the top, with wide shoulder straps. And support.

I hope this information helps you find the perfect swimsuit!

See you at the beach soon!



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