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The Best Bathing Suits for Different Body Types

Bathing suit shopping is an annual tradition most women dread, from fitting rooms to trying to find a flattering suit. If you know where to start shopping, you can find the best bathing suit for your body. Different suits flatter different body types, but a swimsuit that looks good, fits well and functions nicely can make your outings to the pool or beach relaxing and fun.

Apple Shapes

If you have an apple-shaped body and carry weight primarily around your midsection, look for the traditional one piece or a tankini-style swimsuit. Suits with control panels or shaping may help to create a more hourglass figure by physically nipping in your tummy. Ruching, strong diagonals or vertical color blocking can create a more flattering shape. Choose a suit that makes the most of your figure assets. Higher-cut legs can visually lengthen your body, while a well-cut neckline can show off cleavage.


Pear-shaped bodies carry weight in the hips and thighs. A bikini can be ideal if you have a toned tummy, but choose one with a darker bottom or a stylish short A-line skirt. Opt for a tankini for more coverage, but consider going with a print or a bolder top and a plainer bottom. Many tankinis and bikinis can be bought as separates, allowing you to select different sizes if necessary. Padding and wider straps on your top can help to balance a larger bottom. If you prefer a one-piece suit, be sure that it fits well. Opt for a suit with detailing and color toward the bust.

Athletic or Rectangular Builds

If you are straight up and down with minimal bust, waist and hip definition, choose a suit that adds curves to your shape. Bust detailing, like ruffles and underwire cups or padding, will round a slender bustline. Avoid suits without any definition or support in the bust. Try low-rise boy shorts with waist detailing to create a rounded hip line and emphasize a flat stomach. If you prefer a one-piece suit, look for one with a belted waist and defined bustline.

Hourglass Figures

Evenly proportioned hourglass figures can wear a variety of suit styles, but good bust support can be important. If you are larger busted, look for a suit sized by cup sizes for a good fit. Halters are especially flattering. While covering up a larger bustline can be tempting, high-cut suits are apt to create an unflattering flattened chest. Emphasize your slender waistline with a wrap-style suit or wear a well-fitting and flattering bikini or tankini, if you are happy with your midsection.

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