Finding the right swimsuit fit can be challenging depending on your body type.

The first step in finding the right style or fit for you is to learn about your shape. Here are some of the common body types and styles that work well for each.


Characteristics of having a pear-shaped figure are when your hips are larger than your bust and you have a nicely defined waist, an elegant neck and proportionately slim arms and shoulders.

If this is the case, your waist is your best asset, so don’t be afraid to show it off.

Fashion experts suggest trying a cutout, which draws the eye upward. Side cutouts sculpt the midsection in a wearable take on the monokini for those wanting to get creative and add some style. A bright print and a lace-up top add plenty of interest.

Small bust

Fashion experts recommend finding a suit that flatters your bust. This can be a challenge. The best bet is to lean towards tops with embellishments or ruffles to give the illusion of a larger chest. Alternatively, a suit with padding can help to give you a little something extra.

Huge bust

If you are on the heavy side up top, string bikinis are not your friend, nor are bathing suit tops that come in size S, M and L. Cup sizes and underwire will offer you the support you need so you won’t be all over the place when you take a dip. Fashion experts suggest looking for thicker bathing suit straps and double-stitched bands for the most flattering results.

Broad shoulders

There are a few things you can do to balance out your body when you have a set of broad shoulders. First, opt for a solid-colored suit with printed panels along the side. This will help create the look of an hourglass figure, thus evening out a boxy upper body. You also can rock an asymmetrical neckline, which will draw the eye up and away, instead of straight across.

Compact, athletic body

The goal is to give the illusion of more curves, which is easily done with a top with cups, padding and gathering and by picking a print and bright colors. Don’t go for straight-across bandeaus, boy-cut briefs or shapeless full-pieces, as these will only enhance your athletic figure.

Erica Van Buren can be reached at

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