My own experience buying the best swimsuit has changed over the years.
I’ve certainly been down the ‘buy it at the supermarket in the resort’ routine. I’d say that 90% of the time I’ve regretted this approach. My latest best swimsuit has managed to last the duration of the holiday and if I’m lucky the duration of the summer back home.
A fortnight in the sun, in and out of the sea, covered in sun cream and my best swimsuit is starting to look a bit jaded! It’s not fitting quite as well, the colours are fading and let’s not mention the padding!
One such swimsuit I had to wash completely separately, as the magenta dye was not fixed. This wasn’t just the first wash but every wash! I was worried that I was leaving a pink trail whenever I went swimming! This disastrous purchase even turned a pair of shorts pink and all I’d done was wear them over the top of my bikini.
The best swimsuit is the one that looks good on you! Sounds obvious but not always so easy to put into practice. Let’s start off by saying that choosing a swimsuit follows the general rules of any other item of clothing. You want to create balance in terms of your body shape. So if you have larger hips smaller bust (pear shaped body) give the impression your bust is bigger and hips smaller. This will create balance.
My best swimsuit for you guide below shows what to look for.
I will then round off this post by giving you an overview of brands to consider in the swimwear market. Not only in terms of design, those that really think about women’s bodies but also those with high sustainability credentials.
So how do you choose your best swimsuit?
Let’s look at the key areas of body shape and your figure to give you some guidelines:
While you might not think it (I know I don’t) a small bust means you have a great choice of swimsuits, but if you’re looking to make your bust appear bigger look for:
- Push up/padded styles
- Horizontal patterns
- Ruffles on the top half
Avoid skimpy triangle shaped bikinis with no support and solid colours on the top.
You want a swimsuit that will give you some support and be comfortable, so look for:
- Thick straps
- V Neck or halter neck – both styles will flatter your bust
You will find push-ups and skinny straps uncomfortable.
You have a fuller tummy than bust. While you may be conscious of your tummy you have fantastic legs. Show off your legs and take attention away from your tummy area by looking for swimsuit styles:
- One piece
- Panel designs on the sides – as this will help define your waist
- Printed centre panel – will create a vertical line and make you look taller
Avoid low-rise bottoms if you do prefer a bikini.
Pear Shape Body
Draw attention to your smaller bust and defined waist. You may be conscious of your hips and thighs so play these down. You can do this with:
- Ruffles on your top half
- Brighter colours on your top half
- Consider Tankini or Skirtini styles
Avoid a bright coloured sarong or bottom half so you do not draw attention to your hips
Hour Glass Body Shape
Your curves look fabulous in a swimsuit. Most styles will look great but remember to keep your look balanced
- Bold prints will flatter your curves
- If you are a curvy hourglass look for a swimsuit with some support – underwire or bandeau styles
- A one piece with a v neck and or mesh tummy panel will look fabulous
If you want to go for ruffles and details – this will look best on top and bottom rather than either on the top or the bottom.
Athletic Body Shape
You have a straight and generally very lean body shape. To create some curves you want to look for swimsuits that:
- Have ruffles or horizontal lines to add some width to your bust and hips
- Push up or padded tops
- One piece with cut outs on the side will also create shape and definition
Similar to a small bust avoid skimpy triangle bikinis with little or no shape and shapeless one piece swimsuits
Your shoulders are wider than your hips. You may have a full bust. To create some balance you should consider:
- High waisted two piece swimsuits
- A one piece with side cut outs will create an hourglass shape
- Pattern or detail on the bottom half to create balance
Avoid tiny bottoms, a high neck and embellishment on your top half
Best Swimsuit Brands
Putting together this blog took more time than usual. Why? I was determined to recommend some sustainable swimwear brands. Almost everywhere I looked there was a compromise to be made either in terms of:
- The range – in terms of being able to recommend to you a range of styles to reflect the ones I’d recommended
- Quality – without paying the earth.
- Sustainability rating
It was a tall order, but having narrowed it down below are some I’d suggest you check out.
Deakin And Blue
Rosie Cook founded Deakin and Blue when she couldn’t find a swimsuit for her twice-weekly swims in her local lido. She found that most swimwear did not cater for women’s body shapes.
All Deakin and Blue products are made from recycled nylon fishing nets and are manufactured in London.
Empowering women to feel great in swimwear in a sustainable way is at the heart of Rosie’s brand values. I was lucky enough to interview Rosie recently, click here to watch.
Husband and wife team Mauricio and Sonja was started when Sonja was looking for a bikini that would suit her athletic lifestyle.
Woodlike Ocean offer customized sizing if a customer wants a bespoke fit.
All products are made from recycled plastic.
For every purchase you make a 1% donation to the Healthy Seas initiative. This goes towards helping to fund the work to recover the plastic in our seas.
Part of the H&M Group Monki offers a swimwear in a range of different styles at High Street prices. They do use sustainable fabrics in some of their products – look for their Monki Cares when looking at garments.
H&M are one of the biggest names on the High Street working towards improving their sustainability rankings.
If you swim as a sport or competitively Zoggs is a familiar brand. Made for swimming rather than lounging. Available online. They are essentially a High Street name, sizing is standard fit rather than customized. Look for their EcoLast range for sustainable fabrics.
Based in Shropshire supplying direct to consumers. Kiniki offer locally produced products finished to a high standard. Every stage process is done in-house. They have also patented a ‘Tan Through’ fabric, but given it’s patented, understandably there’s not much information about how it’s made.
Kiniki have a detailed sizing guide on their website.
Not sure about your body shape? Check out my Body Shape Guide for reference.
If you are struggling to find a swimsuit that fits properly, is affordable and you would like an expert to help then look at local lingerie shops. I have a very good one close to me. A trained lingerie fitter will be able to give you great advice about fit and brands.
One Last Favour
Would you like to learn more about sustainable style? Why not join my tribe where I share tips and information about how to make sustainable choices when it comes to our clothes.