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A guide to buying womens swimsuits

Summer is the perfect time to buy a swimsuit, whether it's for relaxing on a beach, taking on holiday to wear by the pool or simply for sunbathing at home. Nevertheless, buying a swimsuit is a purchase that many women find tricky, for many reasons. Some people, for example, dislike trying on swimsuits and finding that many shapes and styles are unflattering, particularly in the harsh store lights and mirrors. Knowing what style of swimsuit if most flattering for your body type is key to making the whole process of buying a swimsuit easy and stress-free. Here is a guide to body types and the corresponding womens swimsuit styles:

The majority of women fall into various categories of body shape, which are often referred to as the shape of fruit they most resemble. The four main categories of body type are apple, banana, pear and hourglass- well, strictly speaking the latter isn't a fruit. If you are unsure of your body type, it's a good idea to take a note of your measurements around the hips, bust and waist, and the following information should make it clear which category is most descriptive of your figure.

The Apple Body Shape

Apples tend to be round in shape with large tummies and busts, that are often larger than hips. Apples often have slender looking legs. Choose a bandeau top in a dark colour to minimize the bust. Traditional one piece swimsuits in dark plain colours are flattering to this body shape. Choose high cut legs to maximize the appearance of the hips and to give the illusion of a slim waist. Avoid fussy necklines, but ruffles and layers around the hips are positive.

The Banana Body Shape

Unsurprisingly, the banana body shape describes a figure that is straight up and down, with little variation in the waist, chest and hip sizes. If you are slim and athletic and have a banana figure, you might want to look or swimming costume to add curves. String bikinis are a good option for this figure type as the ties help to create the illusion of curves, and the style emphasizes an enviable flat stomach. Styles with high cut legs also help to give curves, as are tankini styles, that break up large blocks of material. Look for light shades and pastels to make your body look larger.

The Pear Body Shape

The pear body shape is very common in women and describes a figure that is wider on the bottom half. If you have a waist and top half that is noticeably more slender than your hips and thighs, there is a good chance that the pear is your body type. Look for styles to maximize your bust while minimising your hips and thighs. A good way of doing this is to choose a bikini with the top half in a lighter shade than the bottom half. Bikinis and tankinis are generally a good option as they allow you to choose styles that define the area of the body. Shorts are a flattering style of bikini bottom, particularly if they have added slimming panels and a halter neck top would make your figure look balanced.

Avoid bandeau style tops that can make your shoulders and bust appear smaller and high cut bottoms that can enlarge hips and thighs.

The Hourglass Body Shape

An hourglass figure describes a figure with a waist that is noticeable smaller than the hips and chest, giving a curvy silhouette and the appearance of a traditional hourglass. Marilyn Monroe famously had this type of figure. If you are lucky enough to be an hourglass, choosing a swimming costume should be easy as most swimsuits are designed to suit this body shape. However, avoid one-piece costumes that might be too wide in the waist, and perhaps avoid bandeau style tops that can flatten bustlines. Always try on a swimsuit first, before buying, and check that it fits correctly.

When buying a swimsuit, always opt for the best quality you can afford, as better quality swimming costumes look and feel better, owing to the superior quality of the fabric and the design.

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