Tips for Finding the Perfect Bathing Suit


I know that many of us would rather do almost anything other than shop for a bathing suit. However, the weather is “summery” and swimming pools are open, so it is a good time to make sure you have something suitable to wear– in addition to the sun screen mentioned above.

Small Bust:

  • Look for a suit that provides a touch of padding, or an underwire that can create décolletage.
  • Horizontal stripes, smocking, and ruffles around the neckline can create the illusion of more width.
  • String bikinis work well for a small bosom (if you also have a flat abdomen.)
  • One-piece cutout suits create curves.
  • Avoid bandeau-style tops and dark colored tank styles as they diminish curves.

Large Bust:

  • Find a one-piece with some structure in the bust such as a shelf or built-in underwire bra.
  • Wide shoulder straps will be most comfortable.
  • If you want a bikini, look for styles that are banded around the midriff and can be tied in back and around the neck to provide some lift while allowing you to make adjustments for a personal fit. Halter tops may also work.
  • Avoid strapless or bandeau tops which offer little or no support.
  • Details like ruffles or shirring around the chest should also be avoided.

Bottom Heavy/Hippy:

  • Select suits with eye-catching tops and darker bottoms to draw attention away from the hips and rear.
  • High-cut bottoms lengthen legs and have a slimming effect.
  • Sarong, skirted or boy- short bottoms provide more coverage.
  • Avoid printed and light colored bottoms.

Tummy Issues or Thick Middle:

  • One-piece suits with side shirring, ruching, or built-in control panels hide belly bulges.
  • Diagonal lines, chevron patterns and dark side panels that curve in at the waist have slimming effects.
  • Suits with high lycra content provide more tummy control.
  • High-waisted bottoms flatter the midsection.
  • Avoid styles that cut across the body horizontally.

Heavy Arms:

  • Try halter-style suits. Bathing suits that tie around the neck create a flattering silhouette at the shoulder line that take attention away from your arms.

Long Torso:

  • Horizontal stripes and detailing across the midsection balance this figure.
  • Tankinis with high-cut bottoms are ideal. The horizontal break helps the body look better proportioned.
  • Cut-out one-piece suits break up the torso area.
  • Boy shorts and ruffled skirts work well.
  • Avoid one-piece suits that are too short in the body and styles with vertical stripes and high necks.

Short Torso:

  • Bikinis with bottoms that sit low on the hips help expose as much skin as possible in the torso area and create length.
  • One-piece suits with plunging necklines and or cut high on the thigh create a continual longer appearance.
  • Vertical stripes can visually lengthen the body.
  • Solid bottoms with printed tops draw the eye up and create a longer look.
  • Avoid high-waisted bikini bottoms and suits with horizontal stripes in the midsection. Also avoid boy shorts and skirted bottoms that will draw the eye down and shorten you
To keep your swimsuit looking like new, it should fit snug and smooth allowing less room for pool chemicals and saltwater to do their damage. Rinse your suit with fresh water after each swim and wash occasionally with a mild cleanser. Always air dry your suit and try not to sit on abrasive surfaces like the edge of the pool. Wear a pareo, sarong or cover-up to protect your swimsuit fabric.