Key features: Available both padded or unpadded, with plunge necklines and adjustable neck tie.
Ideal for: All bust shapes and sizes, with support coming from the underband rather than the cups. Especially suitable if you have broad shoulders, or to balance your figure if you are pear shaped, should you wish to do so.
If: You want to avoid tan lines, opt for a bandeau style instead.
Key features: Usually has removable straps for multiway styling, so you can switch it up according to your mood and tan lines.
Ideal for: All shapes and sizes, even small busts. For more support, opt for cup sized options and underwired hold.
If: You do want to give the appearance of more cleavage try ruched or twisted fronts.
Key features: Traditionally offering minimal coverage and adequate support up to a D cup, tying at the neck and the back.
Ideal for: Tan seekers.
If: You have a bigger bust but want a triangle bikini, opt for an over-the-shoulder high apex top, offering great support for DD upwards.
Key features: Elegant plunge neckline with low centre front for a revealing cleavage. Cups are usually padded with both underwired and non-wired styles on offer.
Ideal for: Most figures, but especially pear shaped silhouettes.
If: You’re looking for coverage, try a crop top instead.
Key features: Over-the-shoulder straps and a full cup, plus increased coverage.
Ideal for: Larger bust sizes as the underwired styles give bra-like support, while smaller sizes can enjoy non-wired crop tops.
If: You want a secure hold while being active in the waves or on the sand, this is a great choice of style.
Key features: Many include integral bras and cups and a fixed underbust band so offer great support.
Ideal for: Those who want a little extra coverage and an alternative to a swimsuit.
If: You are different size on top and bottom or have a long body, tankini is the style for you.
Key features: Removable straps so you can style it multiple ways and the choice of padded and unpadded cups.
Ideal for: All shapes and sizes, and those wanting to avoid pesky tan lines.
If: You want extra support, choose cup sized options and underwiring.
Key features: Halter neck swimsuits have a tie or fastening at the neck.
Ideal for: Pear shapes, as the halter neckline balances out the hips and thighs, and draws the eye upwards.
If: You have broad shoulders, this is also a flattering style option.
Key features: Thanks to technological advancements there are many control features, including strategically placed panels to flatten the tummy, all-over firm shaping, sculpting side ruching and power mesh linings.
Ideal for: Those who want to enhance their silhouette and feel held and supported.
If: You prefer bikinis but still want shape control, opt for a high waisted brief style.
Key features: A relatively high neck and wide straps along with non-wiring for comfort and security.
Ideal for: Anyone swimming lanes or hitting the loungers – look and feel great whatever your activity.
If: You’re a serious swimmer, you may want to look for a specialized sports suit as a regular swimsuit may fade over time with significantly more exposure to chlorine.
Key features: Offer good rear coverage and standard leg cut.
Ideal for: Anyone and everyone, whatever your shape.
If: You want more coverage, opt for a high waisted brief, or for lighter coverage choose a tie side option.
Key features: Tie sides that are generally adjustable making them a flexible fit option.
Ideal for: All body shapes and those wanting only light coverage.
If: For more support and coverage, choose a high waisted or classic style.
Key features: Flattering coverage and some include shape control too.
Ideal for: All body shapes and those wanting extra hold.
If: You want lighter coverage opt for a tie side or classic style option.
Find a style that fits you well. Nothing will flatter you if you feel uncomfortable or the swimsuit sags on you and fails to make the most of your figure. Remind yourself while shopping for a swimsuit that you deserve something of quality that you feel good in; don't settle for less.
Look for styles made for curvier figures. For example, the 50s style one-piece swimsuits were made to accentuate and celebrate curves and are very flattering. They have lower hip rises, higher waists and provide plenty of upper body support.
Find your body accent. Strut your stuff and show off your favorite parts of your body. If you want to show off your chest more, wear a lower cut swimsuit with a longer hip side. If you want to cover your chest, find a high-necked swimsuit.
Consider your color palette. Which colors look good on you, and which ones make you look sickly? Figure out whether you are a winter, summer, spring, or autumn. Choose colors that complement your skin tone and make you look healthy.
Try ruched fabrics and wraps. Ruched side panels can enhance your silhouette, and ruched fabric and wraps in general can be flattering and more adjustable in size.
Find something that supports your chest and feels comfortable. You want to be able to swim, walk, and play comfortably in your swimsuit, without constantly pausing to adjust. In the dressing room, stretch and try lightly jogging in place. Will you feel comfortable?
Look or fun patterns. Bold, bright patterns look flattering and festive. Choose a print with shapes and colors that make you feel happy. If you're a little pattern-shy, try swimsuits with solid panels on the sides.
Experiment in the dressing room. If you aren't sure about a swimsuit on the rack, try it on, just in case it looks awesome on you. You may be surprised at what you can pull off!
Remember that different brands size differently. You may be a size 16 in one brand and a size 18 in another. This is okay. Be willing to go a size up or a size down from your general size, in case one particular swimsuit is cut differently.
Don't fear the bikini. New styles such as fatkinis and more bikinis geared towards plus-size women are hitting the market. They include flattering high-waisted bottoms and plenty of support for your chest. Your body is beautiful and you are not required to cover it up.
Find swimsuits that you personally love. What are your favorite colors, silhouettes, and patterns? What sort of swimsuit makes you smile and look forward to wearing it? Search for swimsuits with details you like, so that when you go out to swim, you feel confident and beautiful.