I’m not going to sit here and tell you that bathing suit shopping is suddenly going to be easy after reading this post/watching the YouTube video.
If so, I’d be a liar liar pants on fire. (Sorry. I have kids).
What I will say is that it will be easier, and honestly, when it comes to bathing suits, that’s the best we can hope for.
Hence, this video.
But before we get into flattering every body type, let’s talk about 3 cardinal rules of non-frumpy swim style.
Note: All of the swimsuits in this post (and many other styles) can be found in my swim catalog.
Make it Fashion
Bathing suits are not a whole separate section of your wardrobe. They are an extension of your personal style. So rather than picking silhouettes and colors and patterns that scream swimsuit (and often, loudly) pick styles that align with your personal style.
Keep it Classy
Nothing is as sophisticated or as universally flattering as a sleek black (or your version of black, i.e. navy or charcoal or chocolate) maillot. It’s elegant and streamlined and just plain chic. And it’s a foolproof solution when you want coverage, comfort, and classiness. (I really hate the word classy because it’s not, you know, classy, but it just worked here). Here, some classy suits (there’s that word again) for the different body types.
Cover Up Chic-Ly
Rather than choosing frumpy, full-coverage suits aimed at women over 40, choose a sleek scuba style suit or a chic coverup. The scuba or neoprene suits offer coverage and control while still looking chic, and are a huge step up from most skirted suits or swim shorts. Coverups add style and coverage, and you can choose a full version, like a dress or a caftan or a kimono, or cover strategically with a sarong or flowy pants.
A Suit for Every Body
Style Dial Red & Purple (1 and 1/3)
As a proportional Style Dial Red (1), with balanced shoulders to hips and a defined waist, you’ll want to look for the following:
- Consistent pattern and color throughout
- Vertical neckline
- Waist detail at natural waist (not an empire or dropped waist style)
The following suit checks all the boxes. (Because of the plunging neckline, this would be best for a small bust).
Style Dial Red (1) Swimsuits
Style Dial Orange & Green (2 and 2/3)
As a Style Dial Green (2), you have the trendy, coveted curves on the lower half of your body, with more shape in the hips, bum and thighs and narrow shoulders. Use interesting necklines and horizontal details at the top of the suit to balance your body, and keep the bottom half simple and “quiet”.
- Interesting necklines, including off the shoulder, asymmetrical, ruffled, scoop, or square necklines.
- Simple, streamlined bottoms without ties, beads, or other embellishments
- Stronger color/bolder patterns at the top balanced by darker/neutral/subtle colors and patterns at the bottom.
- Waist definition at the smallest part for a Style Dial Green, which is high (empire style).
This suit checks all the boxes: Bright at the top, neutral at the bottom, interesting neckline, definition at the high (empire) waist.
Style Dial Blue (3)
As a Style Dial Blue (3), you have a supermodel, straight body type, with proportional hips to shoulders and little waist definition. You may even have broader shoulders than hips, and may put weight on around your middle. Here’s what to look for in a suit:
- Ruching, gathering, crossfront and draped styles that create waist definition
- Vertical necklines, ideally, although horizontal can work too if your shoulders are not broad
- Waist detail at the high waist (empire) or low waist (dropped) and not around the middle
This suit is perfect for a Style Dial Blue (3).
Chic at the Beach
Looking chic at the beach is both simpler and more challenging than it seems. Feeling your most confident in a swimsuit comes down to getting 3 key details right:
- Find a suit that flatters your body
- Find a suit that speaks to your personal style and makes you feel lovely
- Complete the look with chic coverups and accessories. A wide-brimmed hat, pretty sunglasses, and summery slides are all essentials.
And now, I’d love to hear from you! What’s your biggest struggle when it comes to swimwear. Share it in the comments below, or comment on my YouTube video!