We don’t feel we’re speaking out of turn when we say that trying to find a swimsuit we actually think we look good in is of the most trying shopping experiences a woman can have. (That, and finding a well-fitting bra.) For even the most fit and confident among us, it can bring up any number of misgivings we have about our bodies: everything feels like it’s on display, from head to toe, and there’s not a lot of room left for error.
Unless you’re Kim Kardashian, who has proven time and time again she has no qualms about posting a good swimsuit selfie, you probably wouldn’t shy away from a little bit of help in the swimsuit area. While many women might think that simply covering up is the way to go—after all, one-piece bodysuits are absolutely having a moment right now!—there are actually a number of ways you can make your swimsuit work for you.
Scroll down for five fantastic tips on finding your best-fitting swimsuit ever!
If You Have A Larger Bust
“Look for halter tops with thick ties and bra-style tops, both of which offer great support,” Sabra Krock, creative director of swim shop Everything But Water, says. “Banded halter tops can offer great support without the oft-expected underwire. Bra-style tops are usually made for women with D or larger cups, and offer special inner construction that fits and flatters well.”
The most important rule: tops should hold your bust securely in place. A good test, Krock says: lean forward when you’re trying on a top. If there’s potential for spilling out of the top, try another size or a style with fuller coverage. Another tactic: shop tops and bottoms separately, not as a set—you might be a medium on the top and a small on the bottom, for example.
J.Crew Grid Dot Halter Top ($52)
For More Boyish Frames
“Suits with less coverage, such as tie-side bottoms and triangle tops create the illusion of curves,” Krock recommends. Tops or bottoms with bold prints, ruffles, and embellishments add intrigue and feminine flair, and can create the appearance of curves.” If neither of those styles tickle your fancy, reach for a monokini.
Lisa Marie Fernandez Bikini Set ($335)
If You Want To Slim Your Stomach
“Shirring is a must-have trend for a reason: the gathered fabric hides imperfections and creates definition in the waist,” Krock says. Another great option: reach for a one-piece that has colour-blocking at the waist, drawing the eye to the center and slimming your entire figure. “ Black and white graphic prints are on trend, and can be very flattering, depending on the placement of the print,” she says.
Karla Colletto One-Piece Tank ($288)
If You’re An Hourglass Shape
“An easy rule: showcase your best assets in bold colours and big prints and downplay worry areas with dark, solid colours,” Krock advises. By contrast, if there’s an area you want to enhance more, reach for the ruffles or other statement-making embellishments.
Basta Surf Reversible Flounce Bikini Top ($108)
Lisa Marie Fernandez Textured Bandeau Bikini ($375)
One-Pieces Work On Everyone
“There are so many figure-flattering, sexy one pieces in the market that work so well on all different body types,” Krock says. Don’t shy away from a one-piece, even if you tend to migrate toward bikinis and other barely-there styles; a one-piece adds an air of mystery and allure on any body type that many other kinds of suits simply can’t offer. “ The key to looking and feeling confident is a suit that best flatters your body. Pay more attention to fit than any particular trend or style – and be willing to try on a wide variety of suits.”
Zimmermann Animal-Print Cutout Swimsuit ($350)