If you thought shopping for women’s swimwear was simply about choosing between a bikini or a one-piece, think again. There’s a world of choice on offer this summer, whether you’re inspired to hit the pool ahead of London 2012 or just want to kick back on the beach. Whatever your aims, the important thing is finding a swimsuit to flatter your figure and give you super-powered body confidence.
Luckily, there’s a host of clever swimwear designs around that will help you look and feel amazing! Thanks to built-in control for your problem areas, including reinforced panels of fabric to flatten your tummy and underwire to support your cleavage, you can feel body confident whatever your size, shape or style.
So how do you pick the right suit for your shape? Check out our guide to this season’s swimwear.
Best for: covering a tummy
The classic swimsuit is the ideal choice if you’re looking for more coverage over your tummy. However, it does draw attention to your legs, so if you’re self-conscious about your thighs, it may not be your best option. These days, many one-piece swimsuits also have a built-in panel to flatten your tummy and underwired bra cups which will give your cleavage a great boost.
We love: Women’s authentic one-piece swimsuit, £25, shop.adidas.co.uk
Best for: a sexy back
A racerback puts a sexy spin on the classic one-piece shape. It’s ultra-flattering and can provide a greater range of movement for your shoulders when swimming. It suits those looking for good coverage around the stomach and it’s a favourite among competitive swimmers and sports enthusiasts as its flexible and secure design is perfect for training.
We love: Speedo aqua charge suit, £26, www.very.co.uk
Best for: athletic figures
A strapless bikini top which often comes with detachable straps is a great choice for sun bathing as you can avoid any awkward tan lines. It looks great on those with a straight ‘up-and-down’ figure.
We love: ASOS twist bandeau, £16, www.asos.com
Best for: curvy figures
With a bra style top and well-cut bottoms, the classic bikini shape is great for women with curves! Opt for an underwired top to provide plenty of support for your cleavage, and high-cut bottoms to visually lengthen your legs. Don’t be afraid to show off your stomach – this style is all about va-va-voom curves.
We love: Fantasie San Jose balcony bikini top, £36 and bottoms, £26.50, www.next.co.uk
Best for: petite figures
It might be skimpy, but the string bikini can be really flattering for petite types. The lack of support in this style and the string ties means it works best on those with a smaller bust and hips. Opt for styles with frills and padding to give the illusion of curves.
We love: Love Label triangle frill bikini top, £10 and bottoms, £8, www.very.co.uk
Best for: pear shapes
Balance out your bottom-half and cover your tum with a tank-style top and briefs combo. Go for a dark coloured, plain bottom to draw attention to your top, and look for styles with ruffles or patterns on the vest to emphasise your toned upper bod.
We love: Resort ruffle spot tankini set, £27, www.very.co.uk