Style Tips

Swimsuit Bonanza: The Perfect Fit for Your Body Type

We chat with swimsuit fit experts for tips on how to find a suit that's right for your shape. And because we heart you so much (it's true), we've also pulled together a selection of sizzling swimwear to rev you up for the summer days ahead.

Photo by Andrew Soule

Photo by Andrew Soule

No shirt, no pants? No problem! With summer peeking around the corner, it’s time to shed those layers of clothing and slip into something a little more revealing for lounging poolside. But before you start pumping up the inflatable floaties, there’s that small but oh-so-tricky feat of finding the right swimsuit that properly shows off all your high points, maintains a good, comfortable fit and covers up the bits that you may not be so fond of. What kind of suit is flattering for large busts? What kind of bottom would be best for more boyish figures? Should I bend over after I put on the suit to test its snugness? These are all questions that Canadian swimwear boutique owners Fay Yeung of Sandpipers in Toronto and Rosebud Seads of Paradise Boutique in Victoria, B.C. have boat loads of knowledge about. Here, the two fit experts shed a little well-needed light into the murky world of swimsuit fit and how to go about finding the right suit for your body type:

What styles are best for large busts?

Fay: Underwire or strong fabric for support. There are all kinds of large cup-sized swimsuits these days. If support is not necessary, anything goes.

Rosebud: Halter or underwire.

What styles are best for small busts?

Fay: Demi cups, padded bras paired with smallish bottoms or padded string bikinis. It all depends on the person’s tastes.

Rosebud: Bandeau or sweetheart neckline.

What styles are best for large hips?

Fay: Not boy-leg bottoms! Moderately cut bottoms that are a seamless cut could look really good.

Rosebud: A wide band that is adjustable.

What styles are best for thin/boyish figures?

Fay: For one-piece, princess seams or cleverly placed prints would work well. For two piece, find a focal point in the bust. Also, banded bottoms or hipsters that broaden the hips are good styles.

Rosebud: High-waisted bottoms or cut-out suits.

What bottoms are best for achieving the perky “bubble bum” look?

Fay: Believe it or not, the best way to achieve this effect is through slimmer cut, less coverage bottoms.

Tips for trying on bathing suits?

Fay: Try swimsuits on when you are in a good mood, and when you do not need a swimsuit urgently so that you are not under a gun to buy. Fix your suit after you put it on, straighten up your posture. Anything that would make a dress look good applies to a bathing suit as well! Also, when you put on a one-piece swimsuit, pull the fabric from the tummy up and work it to the back, and pull the fabric on the back down to cover the rear. Stretch out your arms and fix your bust into the underwire cup or soft-shelf bra. To put on a two piece, fix all the straps on neck and back tight, and tie pants. Don’t be lazy. Tie up the all the straps according to your own body fit.

Rosebud: Shop at a boutique with helpful sales staff. Don’t bring boyfriends as they’ll only get frustrated!

Swimsuit cleaning and care tips?

Fay: A good swimsuit fabric cleaner will remove chlorine, body oil and keep colours brighter. Of course all finer things in life require care: always hand wash your swimsuit.

Rosebud: Hand wash and hang to dry. Always wash after swimming in pools and hot tubs as chlorine kills your suit.

Any additional tips on finding the best swimsuit for your figure or tips in general?

Fay: Try to look at your body in an objective way, find the suit that is right for your body and not the one that looks good on Kim Kardashian. Keep an open mind, there are swimsuits for everyone, all body shapes could look fabulous in bathing suits.

Rosebud: You have to love the suit and feel good in it.