Contrary to popular belief, in order to have the perfect summer body you’ll need two things; the summer and a body.
In 2020, we spent the summer trying to find some normalcy in the wake of the COVID-19 pandemic. Over 1 year later and less than 6,000 new COVID cases, it’s safe to say we’re beginning to move on to the new normal. One of the many results of the pandemic was the new bodies most people acquired while they worked from home. Whether you used your time to eat whatever you wanted or work out, summer bodies are looking a bit different this year.
No matter your shape or size, ALL bodies deserve to be flaunted on the sandy beaches and sunny pool parties. Having the perfect summer bod is one thing, but knowing how to dress it in a swimsuit that flatters your shape, requires some research. Knowing what areas to highlight and what areas to contour is such a confidence booster. We’ll dive into the various body types below, but in the meantime, here are a few general tips you can use while swimsuit shopping:
- Don’t shy away from adjustable straps and ties on a swimsuit. When in doubt, they will lift and secure your body parts to stay in place.
- If you’re unsure of your swimsuit size, go smaller, not larger. Unlike clothing, a swimsuit will look and fit better in a smaller size. Your bikini will expand in water and give you the coverage you need. A larger suit will also expand, giving you a larger silhouette.
- Quality fabrics are a must! Avoiding cheaper fabrics can prevent wardrobe malfunctions on the beach.
- Because your body changes day by day, it’s important to go swimsuit shopping every few years. Don’t rely on pieces you’ve had for 2 or more years.
Now that we’ve got that out of the way, let’s move onto body types. Because you can’t possibly sum up every woman’s shape in one post, we’ve compiled a list of 8 of the most common body types. With this guide, you’ll be able to shop for the perfect swimsuit to go with your perfect beach body.
1. Large BustSource:creative services
Women with a large bust often need specialized tops for additional support. Swimsuits with underwire, adjustable straps, and molded cups help lift the breast up, giving them the support they need.
Example: Niecy Nash, Kenya Moore, Jill Scott
- You’ll definitely get the support you need if you look into swimsuits that match your typical bra size.
- A swimsuit with a surplice-wrap silhouette around the breasts give you room for adjustments.
- Swimwear with underwire, adjustable straps, and high backs give your breast much needed support. If you identify as a woman with a large bust, consider having 1 of, if not all 3 of these characteristics for your bikini top.
What to Avoid: Stay clear from tops with ruffles, embellishments, or distracting patterns.
2. Apple ShapeSource:creative services
Women with an apple shape are wider in the bust and shoulders, with a rounder stomach and slimmer legs.
Example: Star Jones, Queen Latifah, Oprah
- Swimsuits with ruching in the mid-section create the illusion of a cinched waist.
- Patterns are your friend, especially diagonal stripes and prints.
- Embrace a plunging neckline. A deep-V swimsuit can accentuate your bust-line while elongating your body.
- High-waist bottoms with control panels can flatten and smooth you out in the stomach area.
What to Avoid: String bikini bottoms will make your midsection look more pronounced. If you’re trying to conceal your tummy, opt for boy shorts or high-waisted bottoms.
3. Plus-SizeSource:creative services
A woman with a plus size body type can have a combination of shapes. Whether she’s has an hourglass or an apple silhouette, the general idea is that supportive and flattering coverage is important. If any of the above body types resonated with you, apply the swimsuit guidelines to your search, then factor in your size.
- Depending on your body type defer to the above categories.
Example: Lizzo, Monique, Gabourey Sidibe
What to Avoid: Stay away from monokinis to avoid redirecting the attention to your widest body parts.
4. HourglassSource:creative services
A woman with an hourglass shape is equally proportionate between the bust and hip lines. Think of the number 8.
Example: Cardi B, Megan Thee Stallion, Porsha Williams
- Much like the swimsuits for larger busts, you want to wear something that has underwire, and adjustable straps.
- Like the swimsuits for women with pear shapes, you want to go with a high-rise bikini bottom. A combination of the two will support you on top and highlight you on the bottom.
What to Avoid: Stay away from bulky fabrics on the top and bottom!
5. AthleticSource:creative services
A woman with an athletic build has more muscles with minimal curves.
Example: Taraji P. Henson, Kelly Rowland, Karrueche Tran
- Believe it or not, less is more. Wearing a swimsuit with minimal coverage will give you the illusion of a curvier body. Opt for a simple triangle or bandeau bikini.
- Monokinis and one-piece swimsuits with cutouts on the torso area also give the illusion of curves.
- Bikini bottoms with the ties on the side can give you a fuller look. Don’t be afraid to go one size down to plump up the booty.
What to Avoid: Looks like the rule of thumb is to avoid bulk fabrics, but especially for someone with an athletic shape.
6. Tummy ControlSource:creative services
A woman who would benefit from a stomach concealing swimsuit likely carries weight in their midsection.
Example: Jill Scott, Lizzo, Star Jones
- If you’re going to wear a two-piece, opt for a high-waisted swimsuit that provides a great amount of coverage in the midsection. Also consider a tankini style.
- A one-piece with surplice-wrap silhouette can also slim down the midsection.
What to Avoid: If concealing your tummy is the goal, you want to stay away from triangle and tie-waist bikinis.
7. Small BustSource:creative services
Women with a small bust wear bikini tops that are typically an A or B cup. Because they need minimal support, they can get away with padded bikinis and bandeau tops.
Example: Issa Rae, Toni Braxton, Karrueche Tran
- Take advantage of triangle tops because they can give the illusion of a bigger bust area.
- Bikini tops with the extra padding are your friend. They will create the perfect cleavage for your swimsuit.
- When in doubt, grab a cute bandeau top! The simple tube top is a great option for women with a smaller bust line.
What to Avoid: Stay away from bikini tops that have too much material. Like mentioned before, too much fabric highlights instead of conceals.
8. Pear ShapeSource:creative services
Women with a pear shape typically have a smaller bust, with wider hips.
Example: Lala Anthony, Rihanna, Beyonce
- High cut swimsuits accentuate the hips and thighs in a sexy, tasteful way, balancing the body proportions.
- Swimwear with a plunging neckline reallocates the attention from the hips to the bust.
What to Avoid: There’s no need for bulky bikini bottoms when you have a pear shape. Too much fabric will highlight your hips and thighs in an unfavorable way.