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There is a stylish and sexy swimsuit out there for everyone — even though it may not be obvious when you’re standing in a store full of unforgiving spandex! Here’s everything you need to know to make your swimwear shopping spree go, well, swimmingly.
To support my full bust…
I need… A halter top
A tied-around-the-neck style is a great option for a larger bust – not to mention a perennial “retro” style. For maximum support, look for a style with a wide wraparound band, thick shoulder straps and an underwire. Slightly less well endowed? You can benefit from the halter’s lifting action too, but choose a sexy triangle-esque style, à la Halle Berry as a Bond girl. And remember that swimwear that comes in bra sizes (at the very least cup-sizes) is your best bet for a perfect fit.
Trend tip: The nautical feel that was all over the runways (and that’s admittedly a fave every summer) translates perfectly onto this timeless shape. Make a splash in stripes, polka dots or red, white and blue.
To make my chest more voluptuous…
I need… A bandeau bikini
Those of you with a smaller bosom are blessed with the ability to rock an unlined, unstructured bandeau beautifully. (In the B to D-cup range? You will feel more comfortable in a structured suit with light padding, boning or underwire.) Many styles come with removable straps, which is a great option to get a little versatility from your suit. Bonus: A retro bandeau style is not only a fashion-forward option – it’s also a great way to minimize unsightly tan lines.
Trend tip: Suits that combine a bandeau top with retro boyshorts or high-waist bottom are the perfect way to balance the top’s skimpiness and nab the season’s vintage vibe. They’re a cute, a fun way to rock some Brazilian flair on the beach… Hello, bombshell!
To disguise my tummy troubles…
I need… A tankini
Offering the sex appeal of a bikini with a little more coverage (a tankini is a tank-top plus a bikini bottom), there’s good reason why the tankini is an enduring combo. If you’re looking to camouflage some tummy trouble, nothing beats a fitted shape embellished with some gathers and ruching.
Trend tip: D&G’s white and crochet runway stole the spotlight for summer and their knitted swimsuit was no exception. Probably not ideal for serious swimming, this look (or try macramé, which is also sexy) is guaranteed to look fabulous at a poolside gathering.
To define my waist…
I need… A monokini
With its funky cutouts, a one-piece with cut-outs can seem like a sartorial disaster waiting to happen when in fact, it can be a veritable silhouette saver. The most popular style is cutout on the sides, creating an hourglass figure for athletic body types, or simply playing them up for already curvy figures. All those straps and ties can create bulges if even a little too snug; so don’t hesitate to size up.
Trend tip: From Emanuel Ungaro to Emilio Pucci, the sexy cutout style is a runway favourite. The best styles feature bright colours and whimsical patterns – it’s not called fun in the sun for nothing!
To look chic and covered-up…
I need… An elegant one-piece
While a two-piece top and bottom can be sized differently, a one-piece has to fit like a glove, so while this style is flattering for all figures, you’ll definitely have to try on a wealth of styles. The key if you have a long or short torso? Shop for styles that are specifically cut for your bod. Also, seek styles with adjustable straps that can make a world of difference.
Trend tip: Our favourite one-piece swimsuit trends were spotted at Lanvin (draped and drop-dead chic), DKNY (youthful floral print with an asymmetrical top) and Michael Kors (belted).