Are you planning a holiday this year? If so, the chances are that you’re on the lookout for stylish, flattering swimwear – even if it’s just to wear lounging by the pool.
If you don’t feel truly confident strutting your stuff in beachwear, take heart from the fact that I’ve never met a woman who does! Rest assured though, no-one else is nearly as bothered about your wobbly bits and perceived shortcomings as you are!
Unfortunately, I can’t turn you into Elle MacPherson aka “The Body” (who is frankly a freak of nature, in the nicest possible way) but by making the right beachwear choices, you can certainly look better and feel more confident. Use this guide (along with my catalogue suggestions) to save yourself from unsuccessful and demoralising shopping trips.
Neat Hourglass – lucky you, most styles work on your frame. Choose a style that emphasises your figure.
Full Hourglass – the key word for you is ‘support’. Spaghetti straps are not your friend and will probably dig and pinch your shoulders and neck. And forget strapless styles too. Look for a ‘proper’ bra style top that can be adjusted at the back. Avoid frills on your bottom half as these can add bulk.
Triangle/Pear – aim to lift the eye up and away from your bottom and thighs. Wear bright colours on your top half and plain deeper shades on your bottom. Look for wide necklines with some dsetailing. Although it may seem counter-intuitive, full-coverage bottoms only serve to make your bottom look bigger so, whilst you may balk at a thong (which I think even Elle might struggle with!), big pants are not your best friends. High cut legs lengthen and draw attention away from your wide point, and a slanting line is slimming.
Inverted Triangle – minimise your broad shoulders by keeping detail on your top half to a minimum. A halter neck will draw the eye inwards, and boy short style bottoms will build up this area to balance out your body shape. You would also benefit from brands that sell two pieces in different sizes, particularly if you have a full bust.
Oval – a fitted one piece can elongate your frame. It is worth investing in good tummy control. Choose a busy all-over print that distracts the eye. Tankinis can be a good option if they float over the tummy. You could also try a swimdress which will glide nicely over you tummy and create a nice long line over the body.
Rectangle – Opt for side panels that will give the illusion of curves. If you carry weight around your tummy, look for swimsuits with a busy print and detailing on your bust and hips.
Whatever your shape, don’t forget to buy one or two beach cover-ups too. Not only will they protect you from the sun but they also take you stylishly from beach to bar with your modesty in tact.
For examples of cover-ups and swimwear for different body shapes and where to buy, check out my latest catalogue.
The Dreaded Fitting Room
And finally. I would always encourage you to try clothes on before you buy (unless it’s online, of course) but please don’t get too demoralised when you try swimwear on in store. For some reason I cannot fathom, most changing rooms have mirrors and lighting that are deeply unflattering and emphasise every ripple and imperfection. Therefore, try to focus on the fit of the beachwear and what it does for your shape, rather than your cellulite. The chances are you will look much better when you try it on again once you’re back home and in natural light.