Finding the perfect Bikini for your Shape
Bikinis and the Beach Beckon!
Yes ladies it is that time of the year again when sun, sand, sea (and if you’re lucky daiquiris served by gorgeous men) beckon. However, we all know that this also means it is time to dig out the bikini or bathing suit and start exposing a little more flesh…shock, horror!
If you are anything like the rest of us you have probably joined a gym, been counting endless calories, been practicing slathering yourself in fake tan and booked yourself a serious bikini wax in preparation for the big occasion! But as if all that wasn’t enough you now have that nagging worry over finding that perfect piece of swimwear. Whether you’re curvy and full-figured or stick-thin and boyish, top-heavy, bottom-heavy, or somewhere in between, this guide will help you find your most flattering swimwear shape this summer.
We all know there is no magic formula that will instantly give us that killer beach body, however, choosing the right swimwear for our figures will enhance confidence and help to flatter those bits we are least keen on. At Make Me Fabulous UK, we are not in favor of dressing to “hide” any perceived “flaws “or focusing on problem areas. Everybody is different and all bodies are beautiful – no exceptions! What we will do though is help you to navigate the mine field that can be swimwear shopping by helping you to select pieces in cuts and shapes that you can trust will work best for your natural frame.
Body shapes and what to wear
What we’re trying to achieve?
Before we get into each individual body type, the one important thing to understand is that we are trying to achieve Balance. This is the single most important rule when swimsuit shopping and we should all be aiming for it whatever body shape we are.
What do we mean by balance? Simple – you want your bottom half and top half to balance out and for your body to look proportional. Humans love symmetry, so this is the most universally flattering look for the eye to perceive. Also, swimwear looks good on people who have healthy curves, so you should also be looking to emphasise those as well when making your selection.
Now that you get what we’re going for, here are some tips on finding the best bathing suit for your personal shape.
The Four Basic Body Shapes
The much lusted after hourglass figure! An hourglass figure is characterized by your bust being equal or very close in measurement to your hips. Women with hourglass figures also have small, defined waists. Examples: Scarlett Johansson, Selma Hayek, Jessica Alba, Kate Winslet, Kelly Brooke.
Tips for hourglass body shapes:
- When you have even proportions and curves, you can get away with a variety of different bathing suit looks. The bikini was made to show off these feminine curves!
- Look for halter tops, string bikinis with enough coverage for a larger chest, and anything that will give you extra support up top. You want your natural assets to be supported and lifted
- If you’re a skinny hourglass figure, you can wear the classic string bikini with no problems. Those with larger chests should be careful of skimpy triangle tops, though, as they rarely offer enough support or coverage
- Don’t do the mix-and-match thing! Wearing different colors on the top and bottom could make your body look disproportional. Stick to bikinis that match
Women with triangular body shapes tend to carry weight on the lower half of their body, normally around the hips and thighs. Triangular ladies usually have a hip measurement that is larger than their bust measurement and a small to average sized waist. Examples: KimKardashian, Shakira, Rihanna, Eva Mendes.
Tips for triangle body shapes:
- Having a triangular body shape usually means you also have a relatively flat tummy, so don’t be afraid to show it off in a bikini
- Use colour and pattern to balance your body out visually. Busy patterns draw attention, while dark, solid colours minimize attention. Try a patterned bikini top with a black bikini bottom for a cute mix and match look
- Always look for bikinis sold as separates, so you can get two different sizes for your top and bottom
- The strapless bandeau bikini top was made for triangular body shapes and avoids those wretched tan lines. It is also one of the only body types that can really pull it off. With this shape you can also go for ultra low cut or skimpy tops without looking vulgar or revealing too much
- If you want to boost a smaller chest, look for halter bikini tops or padded options. They’ll give you a few extra inches where it counts
- Play down fuller hips by choosing a very simple bottom that sits right on the hips. Avoid any bottoms that tie up at the side
If you have a large chest, wide shoulders, small hips, and are generally more top-heavy than bottom-heavy, you likely have the inverted triangle body shape or what is commonly referred to as the V shape. Examples: Victoria Beckham, and Angelina Jolie.
Tips for inverted triangle body shape:
- The main aim for inverted triangle shapes is to create the illusion of an hourglass body shape by balancing your lower body to your upper body and trying to draw attention away from your heavier top half
- You will want to choose a bikini that draws attention to your hips. Go for bottoms that have embellishment, rings, a belt or large prints
- The best bet top-wise is something with an underwire or halter shape, thick straps, and thick enough fabric to keep you in place. Make sure your top has enough coverage, too as the last thing you want is to show too much
- You can play down wide shoulders by choosing a top with bra-like straps that has a more square neck
- Don’t go for a strapless top – it will only squish you down and won’t provide enough support which will result in sagging which is not exactly flattering!
- Inverted triangle shapes can do the opposite of what triangle framed ladies do when it comes to mixing & matching colors. Draw attention toward your bottom half with a brighter colored bikini bottom, and minimize your upper half with a dark colored or black bikini top. This will help create more of a balanced look
- Like the standard triangle shaped body type, you too need to look for bikinis that are sold as separates since you’ll probably wear a bigger size up top than on the bottom
- You’re one of the lucky few who can wear tiny string bikini bottoms without a problem so take advantage!
Rectangular body shapes or what is sometimes referred to as a column, are characterized by strong, broad shoulders, proportional hips, and the lack of a highly defined waist. Examples: Cameron Diaz, Hilary Duff, Kate Hudson.
Tips for rectangle body shapes:
- If you want to add curves to a boxy frame, ruffles, ties, and girly bow details create volume and draw attention to your hips and bust
- A one-piece can work for you if you want to create more of a waistline. Monokinis and one-piece suits that belt at the waist will help create more curves
- Girly details and patterns are your friend. Go for florals, crochet detailing, or even lingerie-inspired bathing suits to visually balance out a more athletic frame
- If you’re on the skinny side, look for tops with ruching and padding to add volume. You might also want to go for a side-tie bottom that will draw the eye to this area
- If you have no waist, the goal is to create a curvier look, so avoid anything with horizontal stripes, solid colors or really tiny bottoms our hips
- Bikini bottoms with some type of belt will work, as will some sort of detail on the bottoms like rings, ruffles or sides that tie. On top, aim for something that fills you out such as triangle tops or halter tops, and padding in the top can help give the illusion of more cleavage
- Look for adequate support. If you have a large bust, look for a bikini that has inside underwire for the most support. A halter shape and cut is good for a heavier chest because you can tie it up as tight as is comfortable to provide the proper support. Strapless tops can undermine the overall appearance of a woman with a fuller bust and might not provide enough support
- Just like there are parts you want to accentuate, there are also going to be areas that you want to downplay to avoid drawing too much attention to when you wear a bikini
- If you’re fuller bodied, don’t wear tankinis because they over-emphasize shoulders – the tankini top cut only really suits a boy figure and is never flattering for women who have a bit extra. (They also look like granny pants on the beach!)
- Curvy figures should avoid tie bottoms that are a little snug, as they might make the bikini bottom look too small. Ruching at the waist can work well, but keep it to the side, to flatter the stomach. High cuts will elongate the legs
- One advantage to wearing a bikini over a one-piece is that with a bikini, you don’t have to worry if the length of your torso is longer or shorter than average
- Patterns – these are best avoided if you don’t want particular focus on an area of your body – stick with a single color. Diagonal lines, however, are great for disguising weight
- Horizontal lines and patterns – avoid these for smaller busts
- Vertical stripes – don’t wear these if you have a long torso but they’re ideal for a short torso
- Ruffles – generally these are not a good decorative effect on a bikini because they add layers and therefore weight
- Do not wear a string top if you’re larger than a C cup
- Leave thongs to the celebrities. On the whole, they’re not flattering and show more than most people want to see
- Most importantly make sure you feel confident and comfortable in what you are wearing as there is nothing worse than feeling self conscious and body loathing whilst on your hols
Nutrition tips for a Bikini ready body
No more bank holiday BBQs, no more pretending you’ve got months to go. The bikini diet starts now, says Nutritionist, Jane Michell, founder of JanePlan, the UK’s only bespoke diet delivery service. Even if you’re not planning on hitting the beach, there will be plenty of summer parties to attend so the countdown really starts here!
With just a few weeks to go before the height of the summer holiday season, we asked expert nutritionist Jane to provide her top tips for bikini ready success:
• Find out your Basal Metabolic Rate then you’ll know how many calories to eat each day for optimum weight loss
• Keep a food diary and write down everything you eat and DRINK
• Start the day with a high protein breakfast. Research suggests that high protein food cuts hunger pangs. Real Greek yoghurt (not Greek style) is higher in protein than normal yoghurt. Try mixing fat free Total Greek yoghurt (a personal favourite) with 40g of muesli and berries. The soluble fibre in the muesli and fruit adds to a feeling of fullness and should keep you going until lunchtime
• If you do like cereal in the morning then eat no more than 40g and opt for low salt and sugar varieties
• Have a small mid morning and mid afternoon snack – 8 strawberries or a small peach is ideal
• Don’t eat on the run, sit down for lunch and combine a little protein, like tuna or cottage cheese, with green salad.
• Practice a carb curfew – no carbs after 6.00pm
• Grill lean meat or fish for supper, with lots of summer vegetables
• Avoid alcohol – there are 7 calories per gram of alcohol – the average glass of wine has around 140 calories!!
• Banish bread, biscuits, pasta, potatoes and rice
Good luck and have a great holiday!
To lose a stone before the summer holidays, check out JanePlan’s fantastic diet by visiting www.janeplan.com