Main image: Essential cut-out one piece, £175 at Moré Noir
Whether you’re one of the lucky few jetting off on a post Covid-19 holiday, or simply hanging out in the garden to make the most of this summer’s heatwave, a bikini is an absolute must.
Bikinis can get a bit of a bad rep for being for supermodels only, but choose the right cut and shape, and they’ll be one of the most flattering swimwear you own. And where swimsuit trends come and go, you can always count on a classic bikini to stand the test of time, just make sure you don’t scrimp on the quality.
Much like shopping for underwear, buying a two-piece can be a daunting affair, so I asked GYKO swimwear founder Sophie for her top tips on how to shop for bikinis to fit your body shape.
Best bikinis for small busts
Want some extra lift without lots of structured padding? Look for double lined tops which feature ruching in the middle or halter tops that lift and draw inwards. Avoid tube tops which flatten and often slip down.
Best bikinis for large busts
Just because you have a larger bust doesn’t mean your bikini should have to look like a supportive bra. Opt for thicker shoulder straps and under-bust banding instead of underwire. You’ll still get all the support you need and as long as the straps are adjustable you should find the perfect fit.
Best bikinis for short women
To elongate your legs opt for a high-cut bottom or one-piece or choose a pair of bottoms that you can style above your hip such as a tie-side.
Best bikinis for hourglass figures
You know that perfect pear of high waisted jeans you have which you feel nips in your waist just perfectly? The swimwear version of this can be found in high-waisted bottoms which feature a tie mechanism at the waist, or panelled swimwear with simple vertical and horizontal seams which do the same trick.
Best bikinis for those who don’t like bikinis
Prefer swimsuits? Style a flattering high-waisted swim bottom with a bikini top you love. Feel 60s chic in seconds but still comfortable and covered enough as you do in a one piece.
How to buy a timeless bikini
Colour is everything, it’s fun to choose colours you wouldn’t usually go for. Whilst I love being bold, if you find yourself always choosing bright colours and being annoyed at the colour they fade to next summer (note: good swim fabric shouldn’t do this so check-in on the quality first), then why not try earthier tones, a rust or khaki green – natural colours look brilliant on a wide range of skin tones.
How to style a bikini
Look for versatility in the way you can style or tie for your swimwear to give you multiple looks from one piece. Can you adjust the straps at the back to change from a low back to cross back, can you tie the bow at the front to nip in your waist. Great pieces should be able to be styled the way you want to wear them. Make sure you accessorise with a gorgeous beach bag too.