What She Wears: Swimwear
It’s sun-holiday season again and it’s time to start shopping for some swimwear.
All you need to do is arm yourself with a little knowledge of the style most flattering for you and remember that nobody is perfect. We all have something that we´re a little self conscious about, but really it’s about finding something that suits us and then wearing it with confidence. Here are some tips on which swimwear suits your body type.
Swimwear to suit your skin tone
Before you decide on the best shape swimsuit or bikini, keep in mind the colours that suit you. You want to have a little bit of fun with the colour but you don’t want to end up looking like the lifeguard either!
Paler skin tones should opt for dark-ish colours, as light colours can make you look even paler on the beach. The ¨professional¨ sunworshippers wear neutral coloured bikinis at the start of the holiday moving on to whites and brights the more tanned you get. This means at least four bikinis for a seven day trip though! My word of warning when you´re choosing the colour: be careful if you're choosing white - make sure the swimwear is well lined or you may end up with some unwanted attention!
Swimwear to suit your body shape
Swimsuits or "one pieces" as they're called, can work best if you’re conscious of your tum as bikini bottoms can tend to squeeze around the mid section. From muffin tops to less than flat stomachs, look out for swimsuits with rouching (a detail which is slightly scrunched up material) as this deflects from the tummy area. Pleats and ruffles too can hide a multitude of sins too.
Ensure the suit has a good Lycra content; this will help to keep your stomach looking flatter. Strapless or one shoulder swimsuits work well and can add a little VA VA voom. And finally, you should avoid horizontal stripes as they´re just going to draw the eyes across.
Hippies and Booties
For the fuller pear shaped figure, go for a touch of flamboyancy on your top half. Choose a bikini or swimsuit with a bold print or colour on the top and dark bottoms to draw attention up to the ear and away from the rear! Disguise a large bottom by going one size down with your bikini – going a size up leads to too much fabric on show.
The skirt style bikini bottom works well for your figure - it's a sleek short style that just covers what it needs to. Avoid string bikini bottoms which provide little support and lots of unnecessary detail on the hip area. For those of you with smaller hips, string bikini bottoms work well because you can tie them tighter on this side.
You have the option of going a bit crazy with the prints, stripes and colour, so go ahead!
For the more voluptuous lady "on top", look for halter neck bikinis or swimsuits. They provide good support and pull you up and in. Bikini tops with wide straps are also a good choice because they help support and are more comfortable all round. Here the opposite applies to ´The Hippies’ – bikinis that are dark on top and lighter on the bottom draw attention away from those larger than life assets. Avoid the bandeau or triangle style top styles. An underwired bra top is crucial for you too – you need all the support you can get (you wouldn’t go bra less in a dress, so don’t go without and underwire in a bikini or swimtogs).
`Little Gems` (small bust)
If you´re small on top, you may want a little bit of enhancement – padding, underwire and push up tops can give you a little bit of oomph.
Demi-cups (half cup style) also give the illusion of being a little more busty by showing off some more flesh.
You are one of the few that can pull off the bandeau and cutesy ruffle style bikini tops.
Avoid tops with excess fabric. Remember the skimpier the better here!
Taller Flower (long torso)
For those of you a little longer on the upper body, tankinis are a great option. They make the body appear in proportion and also get to show off a little mid riff flesh.
Choose a style with a V-neck to show off some cleavage too.
Slightly high-waisted bottoms, (don’t go extreme) can make your legs appear longer.
The latest cut-out swimsuits are great for your body type because they break up the torso - again making it appear shorter.
Short and Sweet (short legs and torso)
If you find gravity is pulling you down, choose swimwear that will lengthen your body. Don’t think that by pulling your bottoms up higher makes your legs look longer -it just looks silly. A hipster style bikini bottom (think Sophia Loren) suits every body shape.
Here you have the option of vertical stripes in a bikini or swimsuit. They will make you appear taller.
A solid colour one piece creates a long appearance; try the one strap for that sexy look.
A great source for bathing suits including plus size swimwear is Swimsuitsforall.com.
A woman always looks good from the waist up, so cover down below with a sarong. Otherwise, be sure to pick yourself up a kaftan for those several trips to the bar. It’s not just about your choice of swimwear that people see – a matching kaftan and wedges will complete your look perfectly. So go on, get out there and strut your stuff!
Ann-Marie Proudfoot writes for Irish fashion website WhatSheWears.ie