How to Pick the Most Flattering Swimsuit for Your Body Type

Quick FACT: You and your beautifully unique body type can (and totally will) steal the spotlight in ANY swimsuit style - there are absolutely no rules or restrictions in fashion, and you are not confined to any specific style. Whatever style you choose - wear it like you own it!

Here at BikiniShops, we celebrate all body types and already know you’re absolutely flawless in every way. That said, when it comes to fashion, finding items that make you feel confident can be a major game-changer. We want you to see yourself for the true beauty queen you are - and to embrace it! 

So we’ve made a simple guide to help you find swim styles best suited to flatter your figure, according to the experts. 


What’s My Body Type?

If you want to find the perfect and most flattering swimsuit for your body type, you’ve come to the right place! 

To start - we need to pinpoint what body type you have. There are two ways to determine which type of body, or body shape, you have. Once you know which body type you are, you’ll be able to determine which swimsuit styles are likely to fit and flatter your body exactly the way you want them to. 

To determine your body type, you can go by: 

1) Body Type, or 

2) Body Characteristics and/or Features.

We will discuss both in this guide to ensure we cover all our bases. Let’s start with the most flattering swimsuits by body type.

According to the experts, a woman’s body type will generally fall into one of these categories:

  • Straight (Athletic)
  • Hourglass
  • Pear
  • Apple
  • Inverted Triangle
  • Plus Size 

Remember, it is important to understand what shape you are so that, in turn, you can better understand what silhouettes are most flattering for you. (By the way… who came up with these names for each body type?! I’m a pear, why aren’t the other types named after food items, too?)

Most Flattering Swimsuit by Body Type

Straight / Athletic Body Type -

Defining Characteristics: Hips and bust are almost identical in size (width - from the front view), with a slightly smaller waist. Many women with straight body types are looking to create the illusion of curves, or enhance the petite curves they have. 

The good news?

Fabricating the appearance of a curvy body is fairly easy - especially if you’re equipped with swimsuit styles that feature the right fit and silhouette. For a curvier look, opt in for swimsuits featuring cutouts, such as a monokini style. Bikini swimsuits with busy and bold prints can help enhance the size of both your chest and bottom, giving the illusion of a more hourglass shape. One-piece and two-piece swimsuits that have elements of texture and detailing - such as ruching, bows, and cutouts - are pretty much guaranteed to give you that little bit of added volume in all the right places. 

Hourglass Body Type -

Defining Characteristics: The hips and bust are the same or very similar in size (width), and the waist is noticeably smaller and well defined. Women with an hourglass shape are fortunate enough to be able to wear most any swimsuit styles, and have them all look nearly equally flattering. 

Fortunately for those ladies with an hourglass figure, this is one of the easiest body types to identify. Like the name suggests - hourglass ladies are shaped like… well, an hourglass! Bikini styles are ideal for hourglass body types, as they accentuate the shoulders and hips in a well proportioned way. That said, when choosing a swimsuit style, it’s best for hourglass ladies to opt for any suit with underwire to support their bust. Additionally, some padding on the top of the swimsuit is always ideal for hourglass shapes, as it adds some density where there may not be as much - evening out the top half of the body with the bottom half. Another consideration - aim for high waisted, full coverage swimsuit bottoms.

Pear Body Type -

Defining Characteristics: Pear body shape ladies identify by a waist that is very obviously defined, and hips that are larger than the bust area. Additionally, pear body shape ladies feature beautifully elegant and elongated necks, slim shoulder areas, and smaller arms.  

As a pear shaped individual, try picking swimsuits out that feature top detailing that accentuates movement - such as fringe or ruffle detailing, or a plunging neckline. Another option would be to add colorful, eye-catching jewelry to your swim look. By doing so, you are accentuating your bust area, and adding volume where there may not be as much. When it comes to swimsuit bottoms, pear shapes are best suited to wear clean, non-busy swimsuit bottoms. Due to the fact that pear shapes are generally wider on bottom, it’s most flattering to avoid extra frills or fabric down there. Many pear shapes like to wear clean-lined mini skirt bottoms, as they flatter and even out the body shape. Another tip - avoid wearing skimpy bikini bottoms, as this style highly accentuates the bottom half of the body. Triangle and halter top styles suit the pear body shape very well, as they bring the eyes upwards.

Apple Body Type -

Defining Characteristics: The apple body shape features a rounder mid-section, with less waist definition. This body type usually holds more weight in the waist area, and can also mean fuller waist and hips, as well as a fuller bust - not a bad thing at all!

Apple body shapes are usually tempted to hide their midsection with material, which can actually add bulk to the area. If you do choose to cover the midsection as an apple shaped individual, try to select fabric that is not busy, and is slimming around the waist area. There are specific types of materials that can lengthen the torso - always opt for that sort of fabric. Apple body types can rock any type/style of swimsuit (as can every body shape!), but the most flattering style for an apple body shape would be one-piece swimsuits, particularly ones with side prints or shirring down the sides and waist, which work to balance out this body shape.  

Inverted Triangle Body Type -

Defining Characteristics: Inverted triangle body types feature slim hips and legs, with proportionately wider shoulders and bust area. Since this body shape is usually top heavy with a sporty and/or athletic physique, it’s most flattering to choose swimwear that helps to define the waist area.

With an inverted triangle body type, halter tops that feature ruffles and/or fringe and texture are perfect to highlight the right areas of this shape. It is recommended that inverted triangle body shaped ladies wear lighter colored swimsuit bottoms, with volume or movement to them. By adding volume to the top of the swimsuit and to the bottom on an inverted triangle body type, the waist appears smaller. Overall, simple triangle style tops should be avoided with an inverted triangle body type.

Plus Size Body Type -

There are a few misconceptions regarding plus size body types - that “plus size” just means “bigger and wider” (WRONG), and that “plus size” body types should always stick with one-piece swimsuits (also, WRONG).

Many women are considered plus size, due to their height or the fact that they are quite curvy in the hips and bust area - regardless, there are no limits when it comes to plus size swimwear. That said, plus size ladies often opt for high waisted swimsuit bottoms - which the experts recommend (and, high waisted swimwear is totally in style!). Opt for a swimsuit top that fully supports your bust, which often means opting for material with a good lining to balance out your figure. 


At the end of the day - it does not matter what category your body shape fits into, you can rock any style and type of swimsuit you want! At Bikini Shops, we embrace every body type, and aim to offer affordable, trendy and flattering swimwear and swimsuit cover-ups for everyone!

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