Article repost from Wikihow.
Swimsuit shopping might seem like a painful and futile exercise, but it’s possible to find a suit that fits your body well and makes you feel great. An astute swimwear shopper will be aware of all the suggestions outlined in this article.
1. Know your body type. Your shape––where you naturally distribute weight––determines which swimsuit will look best on you. Measure your hips at the widest point, waist at the smallest point, and bust at the fullest point for the best reference, since swimsuit sizing and styling depend on these ratios. Here are suggested interpretations of your body shape:
- Pear shape: If your hips are significantly wider than both your waist and bust, you’re probably a pear.
- Apple shape: If your waist is significantly wider than your hips, and equal to or nearly as wide as your bust, you might be an apple.
- Hourglass shape: If your bust and hips are about the same width, but your waist is significantly smaller, you’re a classic hourglass.
- Straight (also known as ruler or banana shape): If you’re thin all around, with no significant difference between your hips, waist and bust, you’re a straight shape.
4. Choose colors and fabrics that will highlight your best features and downplay your less-loved parts. The secret to a good swimsuit is drawing the eye to the most flattering parts of your figure; this will help you to feel more comfortable as well as looking your best. Here are some basic tips to follow:
- To highlight a feature you like, use a bright color or pattern.
- To hide something you don’t like, use a solid color.
- If you have pale skin, use black or deep jewel tones, such as dark purple, navy, and maroon.
- If you have dark skin, bright colors can actually be more flattering and help hide what you don’t like.
- To add volume (such as to the bust or hips), choose a piece with ruffles in that area.
- To hide volume (such as on the waist), use shirred or ruched fabric.
- Don’t be afraid to buy separates that don’t match perfectly! Say you want to highlight your bust but draw attention away from your hips. You might buy a bikini top in a bright solid or pattern, and a bottom that’s a dark black, blue or brown (depending on the top).
5. Select the right cut. Here’s a quick rundown of what you might want to favor/avoid:
- A one-piece will hide your waist. Choose one with shirred panels over the stomach, or in a dark, solid color.
- A 1940s-style, bathing-beauty bottom that’s high-waisted can also help hide a waist. Again, go with a dark color or shirring.
- A tankini will highlight your waist, because it draws the eye to the section of skin that’s showing. If you love your waist but not so much your hips or bust, choose this.
- Boyshorts make your hips look wider, regardless of color. If you have a large bust and want the hips to match for a classic hourglass shape, choose boyshorts. However, be aware that this style can feel uncomfortable for some women, so be certain of fit before you purchase anything.
- High-cut bikini bottoms make legs look longer. If you’re short, or you’re long in the torso, this is a good selection.
- Halter tops draw attention to the bust, as do triangle tops.
- Tie-front bikini tops draw the eye to the bust, as well as pulling the breasts closer to one another, effectively making them look larger. If you have small breasts and want them to look larger, this might be a good fit.
- Bandeau tops will make the bust seem wider. If you’re a pear shape and you want to imitate an hourglass shape, choose a bandeau top with ruffles or another busy detail.
- For a large bust, look for a straight across cut at the top of your swimsuit with wide set straps to minimize your bust. Try a bikini top with an underwire and a thick chest band for extra support. A thick chest band will prevent jiggling so that the bra stays where it should be and you can’t fall out.
6. Select the swimsuit suitable to its primary use. It’s pointless buying a string bikini if you plan on swimming laps or surfing; it’ll be floating off in no time, embarrassing you no end. Bikinis are fairly limited in terms of active workouts in a pool or the sea, but a more solid tankini would hang in there no problems. Sports swimsuits often have added features to help with support, streamlining and comfort, so check them out if you’re planning on doing more than keeping cool by the pool.
- Most lifeguard work requires a one piece swimsuit in a plain color, perhaps the color of your lifesaving crew. You might also need to add shorts or a wetsuit to complete the uniform.
- One piece swimsuits can be very sexy, especially when you choose nice colors and a flattering fit for your body.
7. Ask a professional for help. If you’ve tried shopping on your own and just can’t find anything that works, request some assistance. Go to a store that carries styles you generally like, and ask a salesperson for his or her take on your situation. Be upfront about what you like and what you want to hide, and don’t be afraid of the feedback you get–just respond in accordance and you’ll probably end up with something you like.
8. When you think you have found the right one, take the straps of the swim suit and try to pull them up to your ears. If they reach your earlobes or anywhere below that, it is a good fit. (This is only for racing suits or practice suits.)