Best Swimsuit Styles for Every Body Shape

With the impending warmer weather comes swimsuit season, which can be simultaneously the most fun and most awful season of the year. There is a perfect swimsuit out there for everyone and every body shape, though, and below are a few suggestions.

gottex one piece swim suit

Tutti Fruiti Swimsuit from Gottex

 Swimsuits for Apple-Shaped Women

Women with an apple-shaped body type carry their weight in the middle and have a less defined waistline. In general, the swimsuits to look for are those that conceal the middle and show off your legs.

Swimwear With Shirred Panels

The shirred panels on the fun Tutti Fruiti  swimsuit from Gottex (shown to the right) conceal the belly and cinch the waist for an illusion of a more defined waistline. This swimsuit in particular also comes with a tummy-concealing panel that sucks everything in. It is available in sizes 6-16, $128.

Diagonal Stripes

Diagonal and chevron stripes create more visual interest in the torso area. Stay away from horizontal stripes as they can make you look larger. This Robin Piccone mitred stripe swimsuit also has a fun, flattering sweetheart neckline and can be worn with straps for a little more support. Available in sizes 4-14, $138.

plus size swimsuit

Ruched one-piece sweetheart suit from La Blanca

Vertical Seams

Vertical seams visually slim the body by drawing the eye down. This retro-style swimsuit also includes ruching in the torso area, which artfully conceals a fuller belly, and a bandeau twist at the bust, which draws attention to the upper half of the body. A ruched La Blanca swimsuit with vertical seams is available in sizes 16W-22W, at $124.

Miraclesuit in Vicki style

Miraclesuit with bandeau tankini top

Swimsuits for Pear-Shaped Women

Pear-shaped bodies have narrow shoulders and fuller hips, with weight being concentrated in the hip, butt, and thigh areas. In general, look for swimsuits with brighter tops and darker bottoms, as this will visually draw attention to your upper half and make your lower half look slimmer. More specific styles to look for include:


Specifically, look out for tankinis that are a little longer and skim over the hips. This visually elongates the torso and de-emphasizes the hip area. The underwire bandeau tankini top from Miraclesuit is a great option because of the ruched detailing at the bust and because its long length skims the hips. Available in sizes 8-16 at $112.

Ruched Bikini Bottoms

A bikini bottom that covers more of your stomach and has ruching is a great way to conceal fuller hips and a fuller lower belly. This one from Miraclesuit (available in sizes 8-16, $68) is extra-flattering because its high Spandex content holds everything in.

Faux Wrap-Skirted Bottoms

Bottoms with faux skirts are also a good option because they hide the areas that most concern pear-shaped women and are less revealing than a regular bikini bottom. This faux skirt swimsuit from Gottex in particular also has a flirty, ruffled hem which makes it a little more fun. It comes in sizes 6-16, and is priced at $78.

ruffled bikini bottom

Ruffled bikini bottom from Bikini Lab

Swimsuits for Rectangle-Shaped Women

Rectangle-shaped women have bust, waist, and hip measurements that are very close to each other. In general, rectangle-shaped women can get away with more embellished and detailed swimwear. Also consider playing with colors and patterns, like a horizontally-striped top with a solid colored bottom, to add visual interest.

Bottoms with Ruched Detailing

This will be more appropriate for younger rectangle-shaped women, but a ruffled bottom adds additional curves in the butt area and is also flirty and fun. This one, from The Bikini Lab, is available in sizes XS-L; priced at $30.

Bikini lab swimsuit

Twist style bandeau from Bikini Lab

Swim Tops With More Detail

Rectangle-shaped women of all sizes can pull off swimwear tops with more detail. Consider:

  • Ruffles: A ruffle top is a fun way to incorporate color, pattern, and detail to your swimsuit without being too over-the-top.
  • Color blocking: This Trina Turk top is available in sizes 2-12, and is priced at $90. A color-blocked bikini top is perfect for more athletic rectangles as the color-block pattern adds curves to the chest area and it has fun back details as well. It is available in sizes S-L, at $29
  • Bandeaus: Perfect for smaller-chested ladies, the bandeau top, such as the twist bandeau from Bikini Lab adds curves to the upper body and prevents unsightly tan lines. This one is available in sizes S-L and is priced at $30.

Swimwear for Hourglass-Shaped Women

Hourglass-shaped women are curvy, with tiny waists. Swimwear that provides adequate support in the bust area is the key thing to look out for.

Tankinis With Wide Straps

Fantasie offers a tankini top with underwire cups and adorable polka-dotted wide straps, which provides good support for the bustier hourglass-shaped woman. In addition, this tankini top has adjustable side ties, which can cinch in and showcase a tiny waist, and can be altered for different coverage options. It is available in sizes 34D-38DDD, and is priced at $108.

halter style badgley mischka swimsuit

Halter style Badgley Mischka swimsuit


This dipback halter-neck style from Badgley Mischka is great for a few reasons – the shirred panels at the hip hold everything in, and the halter-neck style holds your bust in while drawing attention to it at the same time. The dip back adds a touch more sexiness while still providing adequate support for your curves. This swimsuit is available in sizes 4-14, priced at $114.

Underwire Bra Swim Top

This Tommy Bahama underwire bra style swim top is great because it provides adequate support without compromising on looks. It is a basic bikini top that would work well with a variety of bottoms. It is available is sized 34B-38DD, and is priced at $78.

The Most Flattering Swimsuit is the One You Feel Most Comfortable In

The key to swimsuits is to wear what you are most comfortable in. The above suggestions are merely guidelines, not strict rules to follow. Consider also functionality – whether you wear a one-piece or a string bikini depends on whether you’re swimming laps or laying out to tan – and fit. Enjoy the sun, and don’t forget the sunscreen!

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