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How to find the right swimwear for your shape

Becky Ashton12 September 2018

Swimwear, just like women, comes in lots of different shapes, sizes and colours and getting the right one for you can be the difference between striding on to the beach full of confidence or hiding away under baggy clothes.

So which person do you want to be?

To know what style will suit you best it’s essential to know your body shape. Once you understand that and have embraced it then you can set about finding the perfect swimwear solution that will highlight your best bits and hide your not so favourite features.

Whatever you might think of your body shape you will fit into one of the following shapes; pear, oval, inverted triangle, hourglass, top hourglass or straight. So read on to find out what your shape is and what you should be wearing.


Your hips are significantly wider than both your waist and bust.

If this describes you, then it’s likely you’ll want to give the appearance of smaller hips and bigger boobs so a two-piece is a better option as it gives you more flexibility to achieve the goal.

Starting with a bikini top, you want to go for padded cups or at least underwired to give you the best lift possible.  Either a balcony style or bandeau will be able to help enhance your assets as long as it’s the right fit – there’s nothing worse than swimwear which flattens everything. 

When it comes to choosing your bottoms you want to go for a high waisted option rather than briefs which sit on the hips, which will only enhance them and draw the eye line to the wrong places.


Your hips and bust are the same widths but your waist is significantly smaller.

If you’re lucky enough to be blessed with an hourglass figure then you can pretty much wear anything on the beach – although as with all clothing some styles will obviously suit you better than others.

If you’re a particularly curvy hourglass then you might prefer an underwired option to give better support and lift.


You are slim all round with no significant curves

If you’re lacking in curves and have a straight body shape then you want to look for a style that gives the illusion of curves. This can be easily achieved with the addition of ruffles and padding. Ruffles on both tops and bottoms will help create the illusion of a fuller bust and curvier hips, while a ruched middle of a swimsuit is perfect for anyone who has anything to hide.

A cut-out swimsuit can also help create the appearance of curves.


Your waist is larger than your bust and hips but your hips are narrower than your shoulders, while breasts are usually ample in size.

The key for anyone described as an oval shape is to minimize your waist so it looks in proportion with your hips and bust.

Asymmetric necklines, ruffles and belts will all help to turn your oval into an hourglass. As you want to take attention away from your waist you could also consider enhancing your cleavage.

High cut bikini bottoms or swimsuit will make your legs look longer and slimmer while halterneck and tie front tops can help enhance the cleavage. 

Top hourglass 

Similar to the traditional hourglass shape but your bust is larger than your hips.

Just as someone with an hourglass shape can wear almost any swimwear, the same can be said for the top hourglass, although a bikini will help to really highlight and enhance your assets.

If you don’t want to emphasise your breasts then a supported bandeau top will help, while thicker straps will also help to balance out the proportions. Bottoms with ruffles or boyshorts will help draw attention away from your boobs.

An inverted triangle 

You have large breasts but your hips are narrow and your waist is not well defined.

Being somewhat top heavy, you will want a solution which balances your proportions, so something which minimises your bust but highlights your waist and hips. 

Support is the key so opt for suits with underwire or moulded cups to give you all the support you need. 

Avoid ruffles or embellishments on your top though if you're hoping to minimise the focus on your chest. When it comes to bottoms high waisted options will help create the appearance of hips.

Now you know what to look for, happy shopping!

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