The Best Swimsuits For YOUR Shape

You’re not alone in daydreaming about beach hair, a sun-kissed complexion, and sand between your toes. They’re thoughts crossing our minds, too — especially now that stores are stocking (and, in some cases, already selling out) of bikinis and one-pieces. Of course, the whole deal surrounding bathing-suit shopping is kind of stressful. Stressful enough that we sometimes (okay, all the time) put it off until the last possible minute. 

There's usually bad department-store lighting, if you're doing the deed in person. Ordering online has its host of issues, too. Like finding out that what you thought looked great on the website's fit model is, in actuality, totally wrong on you. At times, the whole process can feel disheartening. 

In an effort to remove lingering anxiety and frustration from the swimsuit-shopping equation, we've broken down 11 common body types and outlined tips for finding a suit that feels tailored to your shape. Whether you're a bikini fan or a one-piece girl, on a budget or ready to splurge, we have your answers, ahead.


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Apple
For women with apple-shaped bodies, your waistline is your widest measurement; your hips and bust are narrower in comparison. In this vein, swimwear styles that elongate the line of your body will be the most flattering — think one-pieces with deep V-necks. They’ll highlight your neck area and show off some tasteful skin, too. If you’re busty, look for options with zippers or adjustable strings that let you control your coverage.
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This asymmetrical maillot's flattering, deep V-neck is a trendy beachwear silhouette for spring '15.
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Between its sexy, open back and keyhole front, this one-piece definitely isn't skimping on skin.
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Madewell's patterned maillot features a flirty, peekaboo neckline and an extra tie in the back for additional support.
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Talk about a deep V...this one is va-va-voom.
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Ballerina
Your slender, muscular frame can handle a range of swimwear styles without much fuss. But, you'll feel especially complemented in a bikini that boasts sporty vibes. Halter necks and racer-backs are fair game, as are materials such as mesh, which will further highlight your athletic limbs. Beach volleyball is your jam, after all.
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The color-blocking on this halter-neck bikini adds a sporty touch.
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Opening Ceremony's two-piece features an athletic silhouette, but its tropical print keeps it from feeling too sports-bra-esque.
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Racer-backs and boy shorts are where it's at — if your beach-going involves physical activity, that is.
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Explore your athletic side in this bikini's airy mesh paneling and zipper back.
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Ruler
Like the name, ruler-shaped bodies are fairly straight throughout — there isn’t a ton of delineation between one’s shoulder, waist, or hip. The key is finding a maillot that subtly enhances the curves Mother Nature already provided you. An exaggerated sweetheart neckline, ruched midsection, or graphic print will help fill out your shape a bit without resorting to monstrous push-up bras.
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Eres' painterly one-piece has a ruched bust — and an internal, gummed strip, so there's no slippage when you take a dip.
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Despite its plunging, sweetheart neckline, you'll still have plenty of support from this one-piece's molded, padded cups.
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Seafolly's retro-feeling, ruched maillot will help support and enhance your existing curves.
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Molded balconette cups and underwire provide plenty of shape and support.
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Busty
Supportive swimwear can sometimes feel like an oxymoron if you have breasts any larger than a C cup. But, fashionable options aren’t just for members of the IBTC. The key is an underwire top with adjustable straps. While most swim sizing runs small, medium, large, etc, there are plenty of stores — J.Crew and ASOS, for starters — that size tops in standard bra measurements. This helps make the shopping process less guess-and-check overall.

For bottoms, try ones with thicker waistbands, like high-waisted briefs or boy shorts, to help balance your larger top.
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J.Crew has tons of underwire tops for extra support, minus all the padding.
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More than a pretty bikini, this underwire style is available in A-B or C-D cup sizes.
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Freya offers a variety of punchy prints and colored swimwear for large busts — this one goes up to a double-F cup.
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A bikini that you don't feel confident or supported in isn't a very good one. Thankfully, ASOS carries a diverse, fashionable selection of plus-size options.
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Hourglass
Hourglass figures are easy to identify because they’re very symmetrical: Your chest and hips are equally proportioned, and your waistline is your narrowest measurement. Since many retailers design with this shape in mind, you’ll have an easier time shopping for swimwear than others. With this in mind, you also have a unique opportunity to experiment with unexpected cutouts and creative silhouettes. Use your “classic” shape to your advantage.
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These cutouts create the look of a bikini, but you get the coverage of a one-piece. Clutch.
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Topshop's laser-cutout midsection is a fun way to show some skin.
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Stella pretty much nailed the whole "weird cutout" thing with this maillot.
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A plunging neckline and a low back are just begging for an hourglass shape.
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Carrot
Picture a carrot, if you will: It’s an inverted triangle. Similarly, this body type is wider on top and gets slimmer as you go down. Bikini bottoms with add-ons like ruffles or tiers will even out your broader-set shoulders — while also providing shape to a petite derriere.
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Side ruffles on the bottom will add width — to help balance your lower half with your top.
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A flirty texture that's just right.
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A flouncy, bright-yellow bottom will draw eyes down; shifting the focus from your broad top.
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Long Torso
If you have a long torso and short legs, the most flattering swim style for you couldn’t be more on-trend this season: high-waisted bottoms. The retro silhouette is suitable on a number of shapes. For yours, it’ll shorten your midsection and elongate your limbs — proving itself a win-win.
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Aside from the color of this two-piece (which we love), it's fishnet-mesh side panels are reason enough to click "submit order."
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Vintage-inspired and with pastel color-blocking? Enough said.
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We're going bananas for this waistline.
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Pear
The opposite of carrots, pear-shaped bodies have narrow shoulders and broad hips. You’ll want a bathing suit that accentuates your delicate upper body, bringing the attention to your arms, shoulders, and clavicle. Bandeaus work wonderfully with smaller chests: One that cuts straight across your torso will create the appearance of width. A brief bottom will complement your curvier hips, but high-waisted cuts aren’t out of the question, either.
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Araks' bandeau has a center cutout and white piping that will add width where you need it most.
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This bandeau offers moderate coverage and support by way of its lightly padded cups and boning at the sides. It's also a perfect style to mix and match with your existing bikinis.
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Petite & Compact
Being petite has it perks. Bikini shopping, for one, doesn’t generally require alterations — hallelujah. If you’re petite all over, you have an opportunity to wear less-supportive swim styles that bustier and fuller-figured women might shy away from — the classic string bikini, for example. With its adjustable ties, you can maneuver the two-piece however you like, to achieve a snug fit.
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Adjust RVCA's spaghetti straps and string brief so that everything is fitted to you.
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Nothing says "summer" like a bright pattern and turquoise straps.
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The bikini's festive tassels had us at hello.
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Short Torso
Your waist is naturally high and your legs extra-long. Steer clear of high-waisted bottoms that’ll shorten your torso; instead, craft the appearance of a longer midsection with low-rise bottoms. Ones with ruching in the waistband can be adjusted higher or lower, depending on your personal preference.
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A thick, ruched waistband that's adjustable and, more importantly, flattering.
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An ideal beach bum outfit: The bottoms sit low on your hips but offer plenty of coverage
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Low-rise bottoms with side slits will lengthen your torso in a snap.
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Small Chest
If you don’t need much in the way of support on top — and sometimes forgo bras altogether — you have more flexibility than most when dressing for the beach. All of this season’s cool, crocheted bikinis and unique, knit textures are yours for the wearing — and with relatively little fear of wardrobe malfunctions.
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Play with textures like crochet...because you can.
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A basic, black crochet top can be mixed and matched with any bikini bottom.
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Your not-so-basic black bikini.
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