Much like shopping for underwear, shopping for swimwear can be a bit of a pain. It’s always tricky to get the size right (how on earth are you meant to fit in a size M bikini set when you’ve got small boobs and a bigger bottom?!) – and let’s be honest, those changing room lights are never flattering.
But once you find that holy grail of the perfect bikini or swimsuit, there’s no denying that major confidence boost on the beach. Which is why we thought we’d do all the leg work for you and select this summer’s best high street and designer buys, for every single body shape and concern.
Not that we’re saying you need to cover up anything, wear whatever makes you feel comfortable and fabulous, that’s our motto. This is merely a useful guide in case you’re looking for something specific. Because when has the ‘one size fits all’ thing ever worked?
Best swimwear to hide your tummy
The classic swimsuit is perfect if you’re looking for a bit of coverage, but that doesn’t mean it has to be boring. This season, swimsuits come in all cuts and prints, so you can have fun with your holiday wardrobe. Look for pieces with a control panel to give you that extra support.
Best swimwear to hide thighs
If you’re concerned about thighs, look for bikini bottoms with a bit more coverage, like skirts or shorties.
Best swimwear to hide cellulite
While you can opt for the aforementioned skirts or shorties, swimsuits with a longer hemline are also a great shout if you want to conceal cellulite.
Best swimwear to hide stretch marks
This is a bit of a tricky category, as it really depends where your stretch marks are, eg, boobs, tummy, thighs. Generally speaking, a swimsuit with a skirt is a handy solution, but if the marks are just on your breasts, a bandeau bikini could do the trick.
Best swimwear for pear shapes
Pear-shaped bodies, where you are heavier on the bottom and narrow at the shoulders, are typically difficult to buy for. They key is to balance things out. Draw attention to the top with a bold print or ruffles, and keep the bottom plain.
Anna Paola, founder of Paolita swimwear, says, ‘If you’re feeling daring, a plunging neckline will draw attention to your top half.’
Best swimwear for apple shapes
Apple shapes tend to be have broad shoulders, full bust and tummy, and slimmer legs. Opt for darker colours that will create a slimmer silhouette, and swimsuits with tummy control but a high cut to highlight toned legs.
Best swimwear for curves
Hourglass figures suit the retro swimwear trend beautifully. Typically, the high-waisted bottoms on retro bikini sets accentuate the small waist and curvy bust and rounded hips.
Best swimwear for athletic figures
For boyish or athletic shapes, playing around with prints and textures is the solution. Anna says, ‘Frills can help create the illusion of curves, and triangle tops are perfect for breaking up straight lines and adding curves.’
Best swimwear for plus size figures
There are so many great plus size swimwear brands to choose from these days, that you really don’t have to limit yourself to a boring one-piece. Try a monochrome bikini with a high waist, or if swimsuits are more up your street, try a design with tummy control and a contrasting neckline to draw the eye upwards.
Best swimwear for small busts
To create volume, you can go crazy for bold prints or frills. Plus, bandeau tops were made for you.
Best swimwear for big busts
Needless to say, if you’ve got a big chest, support is what you’re after. You’ll probably want to shop somewhere you can buy the top and bottom separately, this is really a scenario where a size S set won’t cut it. Don’t be afraid to go for cups as they’ll give you that extra boots, and thick straps and underwires are your friend.
Anna adds, ‘Halter and underwired bikini tops offer the perfect amount of support. Tie side bikini bottoms are perfect if you have small hips.’
We hope this little guide helped… now it’s time to shop our edit below.