It's official: Summer is nearly here, and the hunt is on for swimwear that feels like you've discovered a goldmine as soon as you try it on. To help in your search, we chose some of the best swimsuits by body type, along with a few general guidelines for each that can aid in your search. Although we've gathered four of the most common body types here, this is by no means an exhaustive list. Women's bodies are much too diverse to peg down to a handful of terms. What we have attempted to create here is a starting point. You may find yourself fitting a certain category to a T, or perhaps you're a combination or in between types.
If choosing the best slimming swimwear is a concern you have, we suggest keeping in mind what your goals are. What areas of your body would you like to emphasize? Which areas would you like additional support in? As you go through this list, keep these goals in mind. Above all, the most flattering swimsuit is one that makes you feel as beautiful and confident as you rightly deserve. Think of the below list as an outline, a way to jump-start your search—and don't be afraid to experiment and have fun. Keep reading for four of the most common body types and a selection of the best slimming swimsuits for each.
Hourglass figures are defined as having hip and bust sizes that are about equal, with a narrow waist. You may be looking for a bathing suit that provides adequate support in the bust without skimping on coverage in the bottom, as well. A bikini can be a good starting point as it accentuates the smallest area of your body: the waist. A high-waisted bikini creates a defined waistline because it begins at the narrowest part of your torso. Look for coordinating pieces to create a more proportional look.
Triangle body types, also referred to as "pear" shapes, tend to have wider hips in proportion to the bust and shoulders. Creating additional volume around the bust with ruffles or layers can add proportion to the hips. The triangle's smaller bust size means you have more freedom with tops—low-cut, off-the-shoulder, and strapless styles emphasize a long neck and draw the eye upward from the hips. Solid, dark-colored bottoms minimize the appearance of the hips while paneling and color-blocking on bottoms create a slimming effect.
Body types that fit into the rectangle category tend to have a hip width proportional to the shoulders, with a less defined waist and a small to average bust. To emphasize curves, opt for a one-piece, which will add further definition to the bust and hips. One-pieces with cutouts at the waist can help define the mid-torso. Paneling or color-blocking that narrows at the waist can similarly create an emphasized waistline. Don't be afraid to experiment with bold color and patterns, which can add further definition to narrow areas.
Inverted triangles tend to have broad shoulders and narrower hips. This body type may also be on the bustier side, although an inverted triangle is more defined by shoulder width than bust size. The goal with swimwear here is to provide plenty of support for your upper body while emphasizing your collarbone and neckline. One way to do this is with halter-top bikinis, which will create an eye line downward from the shoulders to the waist. If you need additional support in the top, look for styles with underwire cups or boning at the sides, along with thick, sturdy straps.