Take The Plunge in Swimwear for Your Body Type

No matter your size or body shape, few people fist pump at the thought of wearing a bikini. I mean, looking at the world’s smallest pieces of fabric cut and sewn into peculiar shapes is always outrageously fun. But putting them on, now that’s a different story!

In an effort to make things more enjoyable this season, I tracked down one of my favourite fashionistas – Afiya Francisco, from the Style House – to report on tips and tracks.

Our Kim D’Eon hit the beach with Afiya and talked body types and styles.  We battled vocal birds, adorable dogs, blazing sun and gorgeous scenery to get this story to our viewers. Life is tough, but somebody has to do it!

Now here are the top recommendations depending on your particular body type!

Rectangular/Boyish Figures

If you resemble the likes of Nicole Richie, Meg Ryan and Cameron Diaz the trick is to create the illusion of curves.

Photo: CPImages

Identifiers: You’re one of those ladies who wondered when your bosom would bloom and if your hips were ever going to show face. The good news is, with so many celebrities with this body type flaunting their frames in swimsuits it’s quite easy to source what styles work best. A perfect suit is one by Old Navy featuring ruffles along the bust and a diagonal print. The tankini and boy-short also allow movement for athletic girls and fill out areas that could use a boost in the “curve” department.

Depending on your proportions, a nice high leg line can work but be mindful not to cut off your torso with a high-waist band if it doesn’t work with the rest of your look.

Perfect For Pears

If you resemble the likes of Beyonce, Kristin Davis, Paris Hilton, Mischa Barton and Kate Winslet, you’re in the right place. You ladies are smaller on top and have a blessed curvier bum and hip area.

Photo: CPImages

When it comes to swimsuits, try to create balance with your body.  By adding bright colour, patterns and ruffles to the top and minimizing those same details on the bottom, you’ll immediately start to even things out. We used a Trina Turk top (from Banana Republic’s new line) and Old Navy bottoms. You can definitely mix and match suits these days.

Similarly, you’ll hear the term “triangle” out there.  Essentially – they’re the exact same.

Amp It Up Apples

Identifiers: For ladies who typically store fat around the mid-area you’re an apple.  The great news is you often have fabulous legs and trim thighs, which other women work hard to achieve.

Celebrities such as exotic Catherine Zeta-Jones, Pamela Anderson and tomboy Drew Barrymore are notorious for their ability to stylishly present their frames.

Here, Afiya shows Kim her favourite suit – a red suit from Old Navy that resembles Old Hollywood Glam.  For this shape you want to stay clear of short tops and belts on your swimsuits.  Think about elongating your torso and draw the eye down to those legs. There’s also this similar option below from La Vie en Rose with built in bra support ($59.95).

Afiya says the ruching acts as camouflage and defines an otherwise non-existent waist.


Hour Glass To-Go Shapes

The hour-glass body shape is one of the easier ones to identify – the hips and chest are fairly equal with a smaller waist (seriously, you can just visualize an hour-glass and imagine a body shape in its place).

Ultimate hour-glass figures belong to the late Marilyn Monroe, Kim Kardashian, Betty Brosmer, Sophia Loren and many other classic ladies.

Afiya says it is best to avoid the mix-and-match trend as it could look wonky on your frame. Keep the top and bottoms in the same pattern to help maintain the balance you already have.

Curvaceous Cats

For those looking for either a D+ cup or a size 14+ there are a lot of great swimsuit styles.  La Vie En Rose carries fun patterns and prints.

The new neutral is navy. It’s just as slimming and feels very fresh. And yes you can even pair it with black.  Afiya says it’s also a lot softer on the skin tone.

If you are into colour try going for the solid all over brights or play with classic polka dots and simply look for suits that offer attributes that work with your body.

At La Vie en Rose and Change we tracked down swimwear with high backs for those who struggle with upper back fat. There’s also a great variety of cup support, underwire, cup shape and padding.

Stores like Melmira (www.melmira.com), La Vie en Rose and Change (www.change.com) offer personal fittings to take the guess work out of your shopping if you prefer.

Helpful Resources for Savvy Swimsuit Shopping:










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