If you haven’t already booked your summer holiday, I expect you’ve started thinking about where to go. So, with that in mind, I thought I’d help you figure out your perfect holiday wardrobe, starting off with swimwear.
Most people are filled with anxiety when selecting their beach attire. Not surprising really, as you’re going to be exposing a lot of flesh and who doesn’t want to look their best? So, here’s my guide on choosing the perfect swimwear for your holiday, including the hottest styles currently available.
Before even stepping foot into a shop, you need to know your body shape, so you can select the most flattering bikini or swimsuit that works for your type. There are several categories of body shape to consider; in fact, most people fall under two.
Determining your shape
- Little or no waist, with your shoulders approximately the same width as your hips would be classified as an athletic figure.
- Narrow hips, coupled with noticeably wider shoulders will make you a triangle.
- If you have a slight upper body with substantially larger hips, this is known as pear shape.
- Below 5ft 3ins with everything in proportion would classify you as a petite.
- If you have an ample bust, generous hips, but a smaller waist, then you are blessed with an hour-glass or curvy figure.
- If you’re carrying weight around your middle with a generous bust, then you’re probably going to fall into the apple shape category.
Girls with this kind of shape can afford to be plucky in their choice of swimwear. If this is your shape, you can pretty much wear anything. So, choose styles that are bright, bold and make people look at your amazing figure!
If you’re athletic shape, you’ll want to try and create a waist, so look for bottoms that have a belt. And if you’re looking to boost your boobs, opt for a halter-neck style top.
- Colour block bikini, bikini top, £26 from Next
- Baku Suit With Frilled Deep Plunge & Padding, £85 from ASOS
- John Lewis Bassa strip top, £10 from John Lewis
- John Lewis Bassa stripe bottoms, £8 from John Lewis
As a triangle shaped woman, think about drawing attention away from the shoulders and towards the lower half of your body. Look for bottoms that have embellishment: ruffles, a skirt, rings, a belt, ties, bold prints.
- Plain tie-front bikini, £10 from Warehouse (also available in black and aqua)
- Resort ruffle bandeau swim dress, £29 from Very.co.uk
- Melissa Odabash Paris bikini, £212 from Net-a-Porter
Around 60% of women in the western world are pear shape. Pears are complete opposites of triangles, so what we’re looking to do here, is distract attention from the bottom half and draw the eye up the body. A pear shaped lady needs to look for a top with lots of detail, padded cups to boost your boobs and balance the body out, together with bottoms that offer full coverage and a high cut leg.
- Orange Seafolly Goddess bikini, £97 from Selfridges (also available in indigo, black, lapis, sable and white)
- Blue ruffle bikini, £22 from Next
- Ted Baker one shoulder swimsuit with buckle £65 from ASOS
This is another shape that is quite easy to dress. What you’re looking to create with your bikini is a cleavage and to lengthen the body with a high cut bottom. Avoid large prints as these will just overwhelm you. Petite ladies can get away with triangle bikinis and should look for vertical stripes to elongate their bodies.
Hour-Glass or Curvy Shape
The majority of bikini and swimsuit styles available will suit the curvy girl, the exception being a bandeau top, as it lacks the necessary support a curvy girl needs. Hour-glass girls typically have a bra size exceeding a C cup, so you should be looking at tops that have under wired support and / or side boning, which will help give you a lovely shape. This is one of the categories that I fall into and since discovering Heidi Klein about 6 years, I have been a loyal devotee to their fabulous bikinis for girls with more up top! This is the bikini I’m currently sporting when needing to don swimwear. They’re not cheap, but I’ve still got my first ever Heidi Klein bikini that I purchased back in November 2006 and it’s still got plenty of life left in it! Freya and Fantasie also have good options for the hour-glass girl.
Halter-neck tops, or wide-strapped tops are also very flattering on hour-glass ladies. Look for good coverage on the bottom and go for plain dark or bright colours.
- Laguna wide strap bikini, £210 from Heidi Klein
- Black Goddess bikini, £22.98 from New Look
- White halter-neck swimsuit, £149 from Harrods
An apple shape lady is looking to disguise her midriff and to make it look smaller than it actually is. Look for swimwear with a high percentage of Lycra, which will help hold you in and smooth out your silhouette. A new trend this season is the ‘70s “blouson” swimsuit or blouson tankini, as they don’t cling tightly to your tum, but blouse over; it’s really quite flattering. Also, choose a top that either has a built-in bra, or one that lifts and supports your boobs.
- Resort shape wear bikini, £30 from Very.co.uk
- Black Bondeye Nip Tuck one piece, £56 from Sand in my toes
- Leopard print blouson swimsuit, £35 from ASOS
Just because you’re pregnant doesn’t mean you can’t look stylish by the pool or on the beach. Firstly, you’ll need to decide if you want to expose your bump, or cover it up. Whether you choose a one-piece or a bikini, ensure that it provides plenty of support up top.
- Navy spotted bikini, £24 from Marks and Spencer
- Love Boat swimsuit by Pez Dor for Figleaves, £60 from Figleaves
- Dark pink tankini, £34 from Next
Domestic Princess tips:
- Determine your body shape before buying.
- Always rinse your bikini / swimsuit after swimming to remove salt or bleach – this will prolong the life of it.
- If you find a bikini / swimsuit that you love and fits like a dream, if you can afford it, I’d suggest buying a couple of them.
- If buying separates, buy the bikini bottoms one size up, to avoid creating extra lumps and bumps where it may cut in.
- Never be tempted to buy a thong bikini – leave these to the Brazilians!
- Do not contemplate wearing a string bikini top if your boobaloobs are larger than a C cup.
- Identify parts of your body that you would like to accentuate.
- A tightly tied halter-neck will create a deep cleavage.
Finding the perfect bikini or swimsuit can take time and needs a bit of perseverance. If you apply these simple rules and try on different styles and brands, be assured, you will find your perfect swimwear. Do you have any other tips on buying your perfect swimwear? Which shops are your favourite ones for beach attire? Please share them with me!
With much love
The Domestic Princess
PS Look out for a forthcoming post to help the gents with their swimwear dilemmas.