How to Choose a Swimsuit for Your Body Type

As we are all aware, swimsuits come in all different shapes and sizes. From one pieces to two pieces, tankinis and bikini tops, skirted bottoms to high waisted bottoms, and many more. There are numerous options to consider when shopping for a new bathing suit, and an infinite number of ways to mix and match swimwear. Choosing the right swimsuit for your body type will make you more confident in and out of the water. However, the biggest mistake we make when shopping for our swimwear is thinking that we should fit into a swimsuit. As Anne Cole famously said, “There is no such thing as a bad figure. There are just bad swimsuits.” Instead of finding a way to fit into a swimsuit, find a swimsuit that perfectly flatters your unique shape. 

As you shop for your perfect swimsuit, some of the most important things to think about when choosing a swimsuit are your body shape and how the swimsuit makes you feel. Here’s how to choose the perfect swimsuit for your body shape.

How do you measure yourself for the best swimsuit fit?

To know what bathing suit will best fit your body shape, you first need to understand your body’s unique measurements. Use a measuring tape to measure the following areas:

  • Your Shoulders
  • Your Torso
  • Your Bust
  • Your Waist
  • Your Hips

To get the most accurate measurements, wear your undergarments or form-fitting clothing while measuring these areas. When measuring your shoulders, take your measuring tape and wrap it around the top of both your arms. To get an idea of how to accurately measure your torso, bust, waist, and hips, take a look at our size guide, which will also help you understand what size swimsuit to order from Anne Cole. Once you record your measurements, take a look at the following body shape descriptions to determine which best matches your measurements. 

Pear Body Shape

If you've noticed that your hip measurements are wider than your shoulders, you may have a pear shape body. If you fall into this category, your hip measurements would be at least 5% wider than your shoulder measurements. 

Pear shaped bodies can have:

  • A curvy lower body
  • Hips and thighs that are wider than the shoulders
  • Narrow shoulders or smaller bust

Pear shaped bodies look best in a swimsuit style that:

  • Flatters your lower body curves
  • Accentuates your waistline and torso
  • Highlights your chest or bust


Swimsuit Recommendations:

Pear shaped bodies look best with bathing suit cuts that show off lower body curves instead of hiding them. For example, instead of pairing your bikini with boy shorts, show off your curves by wearing high waisted bikini bottoms. Draw attention to your top by selecting bikinis with underwire or halter support, vibrant patterns, and interesting details, such as this underwire bikini top with a twisted front. One piece swimsuits, tankinis, and swim dresses can also flatter your shape by accentuating your waistline and figure.

Inverted Triangle Body Shape

Inverted triangle body types have wider shoulder and chest measurements in comparison to their hip measurements. In most cases, shoulder and chest measurements are at least 5% wider than hip measurements. The name is derived from the way the body shape forms an upside-down triangle figure.

Inverted triangles may have:

  • Broader shoulders and chest
  • A medium or larger bust
  • Narrow hips and waist

Inverted triangle body shapes look best in swimsuits that:

  • Draw attention to the neckline
  • Draw attention to the hips
  • Bring flair to the bottom half of the body

Swimsuit Recommendations:

If you have an inverted triangle body shape, bring a little flair to your bottom half by trying on a swim dress with a skirted bottom or bring attention to your neckline with this stunning swim dress with a plunging neckline. Eye-catching halter bikini tops can be matched with bold printed foldover bikini bottoms or bikini bottoms with a side tie detail.

Apple Body Shape

Apple body shapes have wider shoulder and chest measurements in proportion to lower hip measurements. Unlike inverted triangle body types (see above), these shapes tend to carry more weight in the body's waist and top half. If your shoulder and chest measurements are at least 5% wider than your hips, and you also carry more weight in the waist, you may have an apple body shape. 

Apple body shapes can have:

  • Wider or broader shoulders
  • Less defined waistline
  • Narrower hips and thighs
  • Curvy or fuller bust line

Apple shaped bodies look best in swimsuits that:

  • Accentuate the neckline
  • Have shirred details at the waistline
  • Show off the legs


Swimsuit Recommendations:
Apple shape bodies can flatter their figure with plunging necklines that draw attention to their neckline, such as this one piece swimsuit with a plunging neckline. Flattering bandeau tankini tops, as well as bright and colorful tankini tops, will show off your figure and pair nicely with high waisted bottoms or swim skirts.

Rectangle Body Shape

If you find that your shoulders and hips are roughly the same in measurement, and your waistline is fairly straight rather than curvy, you may have a rectangle body type. These body types tend to have a less curvy silhouette and have balanced measurements between the lower and upper half of the body. 

Rectangle body shapes can have:

  • Small bust or medium bust line
  • Straight waistline
  • Same sized hips and shoulders

Rectangle body shapes look best in swimsuits with:

  • Details that draw attention to the shoulders and neckline
  • Supportive tops that accentuate the bust
  • Bold waistline details such as shirred sides or asymmetrical patterns
     

Swimsuit Recommendations: 

Rectangle body types will look best in swimsuits with bold design details that flatter the waistline. For example, one piece swimsuits such as this colorblock mesh high neck swimsuit and colorblock bandeau one piece have asymmetrical designs to create the illusion of a well defined waist, while showing off the shoulders. Bandeau style tops such as this twist front bandeaukini swim top can be worn two different ways to draw attention to the neckline and shoulders and have shirred details to shape the waist and bustline. Pair with a side tie swim bottom or a classic skirt swim bottom to highlight the hips.

Athletic Body Shape

Similar to rectangle body shapes, athletic body shapes will have similar or equal measurements in their shoulders and hips. Athletic body types are not as curvy and may also have a straight silhouette like a rectangle body. However, the main difference is that athletic body types have:

  • Muscular or broad shoulders and arms
  • Toned waist without curves 
  • Small to medium-sized bust

Athletic body types look best in swimsuits with: 

  • Tops with thick bands that show off the shoulders
  • Bottoms with side details
  • Bold waist details

Swimsuit Recommendations: 

Athletic body types can show off their frame and shoulders with halter tops such as this elegant keyhole halter tankini or this colorful halter neck bikini top with horizontal stripes, which can be paired with a side tie bikini bottom. Bold, asymmetric patterns on this colorblock mesh one piece or this trendy textured halter band one piece will flatter your waist and figure. 

Hourglass Body Shape

If you find that your shoulders and hips are similar or equal in measurement, and you have a well-defined waistline, then it is likely that you have an hourglass shape. An hourglass figure may have:

  • Equal width hips and shoulders
  • Medium to large bust
  • Narrow or well-defined waist

Hourglass body shapes look best in swimsuits with:

  • Supportive bikini tops
  • One piece swimsuits
  • Bottoms that show off the hips and legs

Swimsuit Recommendations:

Hourglass body shapes will look great in any bikini that shows off the waistline and provides support for the bust, such as this colorful underwire bikini with a twisted front or this halter strap textured bandeau bikini ,which will go perfectly with its matching textured high waisted bottoms. One pieces such as this bold colorblock bandeau one piece or this elegant lingerie maillot one piece are sure to help your figure stand out.

Confidence Is Key

Each woman’s body shape is unique, and we recognize that not every woman will fit perfectly into these few shapes (we’re not meant to). Anne Cole understands that the right fit for every body matters, so we encourage our customers to find the right size for their swimsuit using our size guide. Whatever your shape, size, frame, or silhouette, we want you to feel confident in the swimsuit you choose to wear. The most important question to ask yourself when you wear your swimsuit is: “Do I feel beautiful and confident?” The key to finding the perfect swimsuit for your body shape is confidence. What matters is that you embrace your beautiful shape and find a flattering swimsuit that works perfectly for you. Feel confident and feel beautiful!