How to Buy the Perfect Swimwear

Swimwear model, wearing her hair in a bob
Photo: Hpepper/Shutterstock
Okay...don’t run away. I know...just the thought of buying swimwear can drive some of us insane. I mean after all most of us don’t think bathing suits flatter us at all. But, if you choose your bathing suit to flatter your body rather than expose its weak points, you’re going to end up loving your swimwear.
Go Up A Size
Get the number out of your head. When it comes to swimwear, it’s normal to wear a suit that’s one and maybe even two sizes larger than your normal dress size. For some reason, swimwear isn’t usually sized like normal clothing. So if you usually wear a Size 6 but think a Size 8 swimsuit is more comfortable, don’t freak out.
It’s not about the numbers, it’s about what’s comfortable. When you wear a bathing suit that fits you right, you’ll automatically look better than when you tried to squeeze into a too-small piece just because the size was smaller!
Look For Support
So you can’t wear a bra under your swim wear but that doesn’t mean your breasts should be ignored. Whether you’re busty or have a smaller chest, there are bathing suits designed to accentuate your positives. For example, if you’re top heavy, you should go for swimwear that has adequate support.
This means an under-wired top or a halter neck are great ideas. Also, make sure the straps are wide and not skinny spaghetti straps. Broader straps provide more support than you realize.
But what if you’ve got a smaller bust and don’t want to look flat-chested without your push-up bra? Simple! Go for a bathing suit that has a bit of padding. Remember not to overdo it and choose padding that looks natural and not like you had an overdose of a plastic injection!
If you’d rather do without the padding, pick swimwear that has ruffles or detailing around the bust. Bandeau styles are great because they’re known to make women appear top-heavy.
Torso Tricks
Take a good look at yourself. If your torso is proportionate with the rest of your body then you don’t have to worry but for some of us, our torsos are too long or too short when compared to the rest of our body.
If you’ve got a shorter torso, you need to elongate it and a great way to do this is by wearing vertical stripes or patterns that create the lengthening illusion. On the other hand, if your torso is longer, you must steer clear of the vertical stripes and instead focus on styles that elongate your legs instead by wearing a piece with a high cut legline. Or, you could focus the attention on your neck, by wearing a bathing suit with a low neckline.
Bigger Bottoms
If you’ve got wider hips or an ample bottom and would like a swimsuit that tones it down a little, you needn’t worry. The basic idea is not to draw attention to your bottom so I would say go for a two piece with a darker, one-toned bottom and a printed or patterned top. Darker colors always have a way of creating a slimming illusion. Choose a piece with a fuller bottom rather than a skimpy number.
Tummy Control
Luckily for us, we live in a time where swimsuits are almost always designed with tummy control, especially one piece suits. If you’re heavy around the middle, a one piece bathing suit is always a wise choice. A low neckline is a good way of drawing attention away from your midsection. A bit of ruching or draping is also a good way to hide your belly. If you’d still prefer a two piece, a tankini is always a better option than a bikini.
Color Choices
Like any other outfit, colors can have an effect on the way your body looks in a bathing suit. Darker colors disguise problem areas while lighter and pastel colors draw attention. Also, mismatched two pieces are a good way of focusing attention on positive areas. Wear a block of color on the part you’d rather hide away and wear a printed or patterned piece on the part you’d like to accentuate.
Patterns & Prints
Remember, prints and patterns have a way of making your body seem larger than it already is. So if you’re going for the slimming effect, choose small to medium size prints and leave those large floral prints out. Stripes also need to be used wisely. While vertical stripes can be slimming, horizontal stripes can widen your appearance!
Sensible choice of colors, patterns and styles can make anyone look sexy in a bathing suit so the next time you go shopping, keep these tips in mind!