Body Type Swimwear Guide
Hey Seaster, we know that shopping for swimwear can be daunting. Our goal here is to offer you suggestions on which Haikini works best with your body type, so you can feel fully confident in it!
Do a simple google search on “female body types” and you’ll be greeted by articles about the five traditional body types- apple, pear, hourglass, inverted triangle and rectangle.
The problem with these categories is that it is incredibly outdated. The term “pear shaped body” has been used to describe the female body since the 1800s, and it is far from being representative of modern women.
Other than the hourglass figure, these outdated terms describing the female body are also tied with negative connotations of not being ideal. Since then, there have been some progress in body type research, and changes in how the female body is being represented in fashion today.
It all sounds complicated, but dressing well for your unique body does not have to be!
What does it mean to dress well for my body type?
Dressing well for your body type is simply creating a body silhouette that is visually balanced. An hourglass or rectangle body type is visually balanced because the upper portion and the lower portion of the body are equal, and thus considered visually pleasant.
Body type fashion guides exist to offer suggestions that help you to create the illusion of an hourglass figure. For example, many articles suggest small-chested girls to wear a bikini top with ruffles. But what if you don’t like ruffles? What if there’s nothing wrong with having a small chest?
We wish to remind you to celebrate the body that you have been given, hourglass or not. We don’t all look like models, and diversity is beauty in itself.
So we would like to do away with the 5 traditional body type swimwear guide, because nobody says “I can’t wear this because I have an inverted triangle body type”. Instead, we’re going to explore options that complements your body features i.e. “this design flatters my broad shoulders.”
Let’s get started!
If you have smaller busts:
Don't fret, finding a suit that flatters your bust is an easy task. If you prefer an extra boost, avoid triangle string bikinis as they provide no cleavage support.
Lace-up ties in the front and scoop neck bikinis are great in providing lift in the bust area, especially if the tops come with paddings. You can also choose bikini tops with extra embellishments (ruffles, bow ties etc.) as it gives the illusion of a fuller bust.
Seasters, take note of the pros too! Since you need little to no bust support, you can comfortably pull off more skimpy styles that ladies with big busts can only dream of wearing without the dangers of nip slips. When it comes to swimwear, you have the widest range of choices than anyone else!
If you have fuller busts (C-D cups)
Seasters with fuller busts need supportive styles that offer comfort and coverage (no nip slips), without sacrificing style. The best tip we have is to buy according to your bra size (eg. 36C), and not clothing size (UK or US sizes). This will ensure that the bikinis will fit the busts.
If you are shopping at a mall or on a site that does not offer bikini tops according to your cup, there are certain features and designs you can look out for. Halter bikini tops and underwire bikini tops are the go-to styles for ladies with fuller busts as they provide substantially better support than others. If you do not like the feeling of underwire in your bikini tops, look for those that have a medium to thick elastic band underneath the fabric that covers the busts.
If you have fuller busts but your body frame is small, choose bikini tops that comes with an adjustable band size. Usually ladies with these type of bodies have a lot of trouble in finding bikini tops that fit the bust and the under-bust at the same time.
The same can be said for ladies with smaller busts but bigger body frame. Adjustable bikinis are the way forward as it brings not just excellent functionality, but also style! There are so many ways to create adjustable bikinis, and here at Haikini we are all for them.
If you have broader shoulders
Surfers, swimmers, we think that your broad shoulders are a defined athletic feature and should be celebrated! If you prefer not to accentuate them, we have a few tips for you.
Choose bikinis that have thinner straps, and are set wider apart. This means that the straps should come closer to your shoulders and armpits. This is because it helps to give the illusion of a narrower shoulder width, thus visually balancing your body proportions.
You can also choose to wear asymmetrical necklines, such as one-shoulder tops and swimsuits. This is because asymmetrical necklines help to draw attention away from the width of your shoulders.
Bandeaus, or bikinis with a straight cut across the upper body are visually lengthening. If you do not want to accentuate your shoulders, choose bikini tops with V or U-shaped necklines.
If you have a larger arm circumference
V-neck or halter necklines draw attention away from the arms, to the neck and the chest. When you can, opt for thick straps and avoid thin straps as you may find it emphasises the arms.
Any off-shoulder swimsuits are great as the sleeves cover up the widest part of your arms, and hides fat under the armpits.
If you have shorter legs
To create the illusion of having longer legs, high cut bottoms are the way to go! High cut bottoms are also known as "high leg" or the "80s style bottom". These bottoms rise above your hips, bringing your waistline up, instantly adding inches to your legs.
Whether you are wearing a two-piece or one-piece swimsuit, the secret the elongating shorter legs is to show more skin strategically- with high cut bottoms!
If you have a shorter torso
If your goal is to visually elongate your torso to successfully create a more balanced proportion, you want to pick the clothes that:
1) Lifts your bustline (the measurement around the bust)
2) Lowers the hipline (the measurement around the hips)
By picking the pieces that helps achieve 1) and/or 2), you can create the illusion of a longer torso.
Tops that lifts your bustline includes high-neck tops and one-shoulder tops, the same goes for one-pieces.
For bottoms, try to opt for low-rise bottoms (or just wear the bottoms such that the bands are lying on top of your hipbone, and not above it). Bottoms with a "squarer" cut is also preferred over high-leg cut. A squarer cut lowers the hipline and helps elongate the torso.
Generally, females with short torsos do not find high waist bottoms flattering as it covers too much of their midsection, making their torso appear even shorter.