The Ultimate Swimsuit Style Guide

Summer is in full swing which means it’s time to find the perfect swimsuit. With so many options on the market, it can be tough to know where to start. Whether you’re headed to the beach or the pool, there are a few key things to keep in mind when choosing the right swimsuit. We’ve put together a comprehensive swimsuit style guide to help you find the perfect swimsuit.

First, consider your body type. Are you petite or plus-size? Do you have a long torso or a short one? Knowing your measurements will help you choose a swimsuit that flatters your figure. Second, think about the style of swimsuit you want. Are you looking for a one-piece or a two-piece? A tankini or a bikini? There are a variety of styles to choose from, so take some time to try on a few different options. To make things a little easier, we’ve put together a style guide of the most flattering swimsuit pieces for each body shape.

swimsuit style guide for pear/triangle body shapes

How To Choose a Bikini for a Pear-Shaped Body?

The trick to choosing flattering swimwear is getting the upper and lower body proportions in balance. A pear body shape tends to be proportionally bottom heavy. So to balance it out, you’re aiming to add more curves and volume to the top, narrow the waist, and draw the eye away from the hips. You can do this by choosing certain types of swimwear, and avoiding others.

One-Piece Swimsuit

Fit is important here: you’ll find many one-piece swimsuits are too tight below or too loose up top when you’re a pear. If you’re struggling to get the right fit, try a tankini combo instead. That said, there are a lot of great one-piece options out there. Look for designs with eye-catching necklines and details up top, and plenty of coverage below. Also, look for swimsuits that combine light colors and patterns around the chest with plain, darker colors around the waist.

Bikini Tops

Pear types typically have small breasts, in which case you can have a lot of fun making the most of what you’ve got! Strapless bandeau tops are perfect for Pears, while padded bikini tops and push-up bikinis with bold patterns, elaborate styles, and sexy, revealing necklines are all great for emphasizing your bust’s natural curves. Playing with bikini textures and ruffles is a good way of adding overall volume up top.

Bikini Bottoms

Besides their stylish retro look, high waisted bottoms add coverage to your hip and butt while emphasizing the curve of your waist. When it comes to bikini bottoms, high cut waistlines are more flattering, and will also help to elongate your thighs. If you prefer the extra coverage that boardshorts or swimshorts offer, take extra care to get a good fit and feminine cut, as boy shorts tend to be unflattering for wider hips. Pairing a swimsuit with a sarong is often a better way to combine coverage with style.

swimsuit style guide for inverted triangle body shapes

How To Choose a Bikini for an Apple-Shaped Body?

The trick to choosing the right swimwear for any body shape is to balance out the proportions and emphasize your strongest features. In the case of an Apple shape, you’re aiming to highlight your chest and legs, while adding to the curve of your hips and waist.

Add emphasis to the curve of your hips with patterned bottoms and side-ties.

Mix & Match tops and bottoms to fine-tune to your personal dimensions.

A tankini top paired with a high waisted bottom will tone and flatter.

One-Piece Swimsuits

A fitted one-piece can help elongate and add definition to your figure. Look for designs with eye-catching shapes and details around the hips and neckline, with darker colors around the middle to flatter a wider waist. Deep V-necks and sweetheart silhouettes will highlight your neckline while zips and adjustable straps will allow you to dial in your perfect level coverage. Also, don’t be afraid to try out ruffles around your waist: even though they add volume they’re fun and will create a visual waistline.

Bikini Tops

Even though you probably have a large bust, it’s fine to go for bold, designs that draw the eye up to the bust and neckline. If you have wide shoulders, avoid strapless or spaghetti strap designs, otherwise… go wild on bikini top styles.


Bikini Bottoms

With your bikini bottom, a good approach is to opt for curves that will narrow hips and add shape to your waist. A retro high-waist bikini bottom is a great way to define and accentuate your figure. For narrower waists, a skimpy, horizontal waistline bikini bottom with side ties will emphasize the curve of your hips and butt while highlighting elongated legs.

How To Choose a Bikini for a Rectangle Shaped Body?

Because a banana shaped body is well balanced, you can wear pretty much any bikini or swimsuit, and it will look fine. However, because you have a relatively straight silhouette, it’s good to know which swimsuit styles work best for creating curvier-looking hips, waist and breasts.

One-Piece Swimsuit

A swimsuit that’s cut high on the hips with a deep, plunging neckline is perfect for adding emphasis to smaller breasts and hips. Add a belt to make your waist look even slimmer. For the ultimate in silhouette shaping, a monokini with cut-out sides can bring the illusion of an hourglass shape to the straightest of rectangles

Bikini Tops

If you’re blessed with a slender rectangle body shape, a skimpy triangle style top will add flattering curves to your bust, giving you a more feminine silhouette. Halter bikinis and tank tops also look fantastic on rectangle body types.

Bikini Bottoms

When it comes to bottoms, to get that curvy bikini body look you’re aiming to minimize your waist, and maximize your hips and butt. Classic straight-across, tie-sided bikini bottoms are ideal for emphasizing the curve of your hips. Bold patterns and colors, ruffles, frills and ruching are also perfect for adding extra volume to your hips.

How To Choose a Bikini for an Hourglass Shaped Body?

If you’re lucky enough to have an Hourglass figure, looking good in a bikini is easy – you just need to keep your naturally even proportions in balance. The simplest way to achieve this is to wear matching sets – mixing different bikini tops and bottoms can throw off the balance, making the process more complicated. 

One-Piece Swimsuit

Lengthen your legs and add emphasis to your natural curves with a high cut hip and plunging neckline style. For maximum curve enhancement, go for a side-cut monokini.

Bikini Tops

Highlight your full bust with a classic breast-enhancing triangle bikini top. If you have a smaller chest, try a sexy strapless/bandeau design. If you have larger breasts, you may prefer the extra support of a halter top.

Bikini Bottoms

When it comes to swimsuits for curvy hips, simple bottoms that cut right across the waist look great. But, if you want to enhance your natural curves even more, then add volume with ruffles and other embellishments. For the retro look, a high-waist bikini will draw the eye to your narrow waist.

About Outfit Formulas®

Much like combining the ingredients from a recipe to create a meal, an Outfit Formula is a combination of pieces to create a complete look. It’s like meal planning for your closet! The beauty of an Outfit Formula® is that you can make it your own by shopping your closet and filling in any gaps by looking for similar pieces at your favorite stores. 

If you need more summer style inspiration, then we know you’ll love the Outfit Formulas® Summer 2022 Capsule Wardrobe! This guide is your key to effortlessly chic summer style, and includes 30+ days of easy, casual outfit ideas that can be dressed up or down to fit any occasion. You’ll also get a shopping list of essential items and on-trend pieces that are perfect for summer. So whether you’re hitting the beach, going out with friends, or just want to feel confident in your everyday style, this guide has you covered!

July 12, 2022
by outfitformulas

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