Shop for your body shape

by alexander Housalas

According to most women, the hardest thing about shopping online has to be sizing. It doesn’t matter where you shop; each brand enviably has its own idea about female sizing and what will suit each body shape.

The bad news?

Swimwear tends to be the hardest to shop for online… even though you may feel more confident trying that bikini on in the comfort of your own home ( with your own lighting… yeah we hate change room lighting too…) if your buying wrong for your body shape, your never going to feel like your really rocking that swimsuit.

The good news?

We’re here to help make that easier for you! What you need to do first is find out your measurements ignore the size of the bikini and know what the best swimsuits for your body type are.

Whether that’s adjustable straps, a killer one-piece or super skimpy swimsuit – knowing what works for you will help you feel more confident! And who doesn’t want that?

Choosing the right shape of swimsuit for your body type is not just a matter of aesthetics: it’s all to do with how our brains process visual information too. Specific visual patterns fool the brain into seeing something that’s not there or changing the way your body appears. The type of bikini you choose has as much to do with style as it does science. Isn’t that incredible?

Choosing the best swimsuits for your body type can be a daunting prospect. Not only do you have to have a good idea of the shape of your body, but you also need to understand what will pair with it well. As we all know, that’s easier said than done.

Don’t worry though: in this article, we’re going to explain the whole lot. We will investigate each body type so that you can find the best bikini for your body shape.[/vc_column_text]

Rectangle Shape

This shape of the body is also called as the straight or ruler body.

Having a rectangle body shape means having waist measurements that are less than 9 inches smaller than the hip or bust measurements. So, you are not particularly curvy, your waist is not well-defined, and your weight is fairly distributed throughout the body.

You can also determine whether you are a rectangle or not using percentages. If your waist is between zero and 25 per cent smaller than your shoulders and bust and your hip, bust and shoulder measurements are within about 5 per cent of each other, then you have a rectangle shape.

When you think about it, this makes a lot of sense. Your shoulders, chest and hips define the overall shape of your torso and the position of your legs. If they’re all within a couple of inches of each other, the shape of your body doesn’t vary much as you travel along with it.

But here’s the question we all want to answer: which are the best swimsuits for rectangular body shapes?

If you have a rectangular body shape, the main objective of your bikini is to generate the appearance of curves. You can do this through several methods:

  • Choose swimsuits with ruffles, frills, and diagonal line
  • Go for halterneck tops and thin straps: these will create the impression of a more “feminine” appearance
  • Don’t wear bandeau-style tops: these will make your figure appear more masculine
  • Emphasise the curviness of your chest with a tie knot or bow at the front

As for bikini bottoms, the priority is the same: to generate the impression of curves. You can do this by:

  • Choosing bottoms with ties or cinches to the side. The larger the cinch, the more the illusion of curves.
  • Select bottoms with a higher cut around the hip. Lengthening the hip will create the illusion of curviness
  • Choose solid colour bottoms. This will help to improve the overall impression of curviness when paired with patterned tops

Triangle Shape

Triangle aka pear body shape is characterised by large hips which are wider than your bust. Other characteristics of this body shape are a defined waist, and proportionately slim arms and shoulders. Weight is distributed more in your bottom and legs, rather than your upper body.

For those wanting to get technical, triangle-shaped bodies are those where your hip circumference is no more than 5 per cent larger than your shoulders or bust. 

So, suppose your shoulders are 40 inches around. If your hips are slimmer than 42 inches (42 is five per cent larger than 40), then you are officially triangle shaped. 

With that out of the way, which tops should you opt for if you have a triangle-shaped body?

  • Choose halterneck tops. Halternecks help to soften the shoulders and bust, making it appear more rounded and feminine. 
  • Choose tops with a strong underwire – this will help to support large cup size breasts
  • Use thick straps to help reduce the perceived size of your shoulders
  • Stick with plain colours to avoid over-emphasising the bust area. 

What about bikini bottoms for triangle-shaped bodies. Use the following general rules: 

  • Use bottoms with embellishments, like cinches. These will help widen the hips. 
  • Use bold patterns and make use of horizontal stripes. Horizontal stripes will, again, make your hips appear more full.
  • Choose boy shorts: these have the expected effect of making your hips look wider.

Hourglass Shape

This body shape characterised by hip and bust measurements nearly equal in size, with a narrower waist measurement. Your shoulders are slightly round, and your legs are in proportion with your upper body.

(Did you know that statistically speaking only less than 8% of us are hourglass-shaped??)

 If you have an hourglass figure looking good is usually easier than if you have a differently-shaped body. You have the benefit of not having to emphasise any particular part of your body: it’s already well-proportioned.

With that said, there are some rules that hourglass women will want to follow when choosing a swimsuit for maximum effect. 

  • Hourglass women should choose swimsuits with extra support. Hourglass-shaped women tend to have medium to large breasts which can exert a considerable downward force. Choose swimsuits and bikini tops with large supportive bands or wires. 
  • Match your top with your bottoms. Because hourglass women do not have to emphasise or hide any particular part of their body to achieve desirable proportions, they can afford to go all matchy-matchy. Stick with tops and bottoms which go with each other for maximum visual impact and beauty. 
  • If you have ample curves, stick with darker colours. Dark colours have a naturally minimising effect. Brighter and bolder patterns can make your hips and bust look larger than they actually are. 

Pear Shape

Known also by the name ‘Inverted triangle shape,’ this body shape describes a person who is generally well-proportioned, with broader shoulders and bust, and narrower hips. The body is not necessarily as curvy through your hips, and it doesn’t have a well-defined waistline. This body shape resembles that of Naomi Campbell.

 Those with pear-shaped bodies have a lot of options for looking fabulous in swimwear. The main objective with pear shape bodies is to find clothing that minimises the size of the hips while emphasising the width and depth of the bust and shoulders. 

If you think you have a pear-shaped body, then you should try the following: 

  • Try mixing and matching your bikini tops and bottoms. Pair a brightly patterned or frilly top with plain bottoms. The frills and patterns of the upper half will accentuate the shoulders and bust, while the plain bottoms will minimise the hips. 
  • Avoid, if possible, boy-style bottoms. These bottoms will over-emphasise the hips and make them appear more full than they are. 
  • Choose high-cut bottoms which show off more of your hips. The high cut with simulate the appearance of feminine curves and help your legs to look longer in relation to your body.

Round Shape

Typical characteristics of the round or oval body shape are having a large bust, narrow hips and a full midsection. You tend to gain more weight in your stomach, back and upper body. You also have flat buttocks and slender legs.

If you have a round shape (also sometimes called an apple shape), then your task is to minimise the appearance of your midsection and emphasise your arms and legs. You want to choose bikinis and swimsuits that make your stomach and waist look as small as possible while creating the illusion that your bust and hips extend outwards from your body. 

Creating ideal proportions when you have a round shape might seem like a challenge, but with the right swimwear, it’s surprisingly easy. 

Use Side Panels

Side panels reveal segments of skin around your waist and stomach, without showing off the whole lot. The great thing about side panels is that they are eye-catching and create the illusion of deeper curves. Look for swimsuits with cut-outs at the side and choose designs which emphasise your waist. 

Use V-Shaped Prints

Strategically-placed V-shaped prints help to make your waist appear smaller. The V-shape of the pattern makes the shoulders and bust look more substantial, and the waist and stomach smaller. If you tend to store fat in these areas, then look for patterns, panels, or mesh inserts which minimise the appearance of the waist while amping up sexiness too. 

Choose High-Waisted Bottoms

High-waisted bottoms, as discussed above, help to elongate the body. But they can also help those with round figures in another way by drawing the eye inward at the waist. The additional skin on either side of the bikini bottom makes your figure appear wider at the waist than at the hips, even if the proportions are somewhat similar. 

Choose Empire-Waisted Swim Dresses

Empire-waisted swimsuits end in a skirt to emphasise the hips and take attention away from the middle of your body. 

Look For Swimsuits With Ruching and Ruffles

If you have a round body shape, then ruching and ruffles are your friends. Although ruching might be a bit of a retro look, it’s making something of a comeback of late, finding its way into the swimsuit lines of practically every major manufacturer.  Pleating is a great way to hide lumps and bumps and draw the eye away from so-called “problem areas.”

Ruffles are an excellent way to balance narrow hips and strong shoulders. Bathing suits with a central bodice often feature long ruffles or pleated sections around the hips to create contrast with the mid-section of your body. The colour of the ruffles can make a big difference to your overall appearance. Darker ruffles look sexier and bright colours more playful. 

Choosing the perfect swimsuit if you have a round figure can be a challenge. But with the right approach, it’s not impossible. Nothing is stopping you from wearing a bikini if you want, but in general, those with round figures tend to benefit most by wearing traditional one-piece swimsuits. 

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