Fashion | April 28th 2017

How to choose swimwear for your shape and style

Heading out to the beach, poolside or a sunny back garden soon and wondering how to choose swimwear you’ll feel and look great in? We know that figuring out what works best for your body type can be a frustrating process, but our swimwear guide below should help point you in the direction of the right swimsuit or bikini type for you.

We’ve teamed up with super blogger Lucy Williams AKA Fashion Me Now to share her top tips on which swimwear we should be buying for this summer.

The Swimsuit

how to choose the best swimwear for your shape: one-piece

“Without doubt, the one piece is the simplest way to ease into swimwear season and nowadays there are so many different styles that help you feel sleek, streamlined and in no way frumpy. If you’re wanting to cover a little more or just want to build up to that itsy-bitsy bikini by the end of the week, a swimsuit is a great way to kick off a week on the beach.

Avoid the cut-outs and bandage-styles and go for a classic mono-colour suit with thin straps or a bandeau-style. Low backs can help show a little more skin while high leg styles keep legs looking long. High-neck, halter styles can look really cool on smaller top halves too.

Works for:

Everyone, just choose your neckline to suit. High necks work on smaller top-halves and scoop necks or halters are better if you need more support.

Shop the Look:

All products in this round-up are available to buy online with click & collect delivery to your nearest CollectPlus store.

Clean cross-back mono stripe swimsuit, £22 at ASOS.

Cross-back high leg swimsuit in black, £16 at ASOS.

Halter neck

how to choose swimwear for your shape: halter neck bikini

This is probably the most versatile, suits-all bikini style. If you’re got bigger boobs, wearing an underwired bikini can sometimes look and feel like you’re wearing a bra on the beach whereas a supportive halter with thicker straps and a band underneath gives the same kind of support with a “beachier” feel.

Halters give shape to just about everyone and exaggerates the narrowest part of you as well as showing off shoulders. Equally, if you’re smaller on top and want to look fuller, a triangle halter top makes the most of what you’ve got and creates a bit of cleavage with zero padding needed.

Works for:

Again, everyone. Thicker straps and/or wires are good for bigger boobs, whereas triangle halters can be adjusted to suit just about everyone and look great on small frames.

Shop the Look:

Halter ring detail bikini top, from £35 at The White Company.

Micro halter strap bikini top in lemon yellow, £9 at ASOS.


bandeau bikini top

One of the main appeals of the bandeau is probably the lack of potential strap marks but there are lots of different types to suit. From the classic bandeau (straight cut both on top and bottom, quite literally like a band) to strapless style that have knots, twists or V cuts in the centre to create more shape, there’s lots to choose from.

Classic, simple bandeaus are super sleek on petite frames but others will likely find variations on the style more flattering and easier to wear. Look for thin gel strips inside the bikini or detachable straps if you’re the jumping-in-the-pool type.

Works for: Those who want to avoid strap-marks at all cost and show off slender shoulders.

Shop the Look:

Twisted bandeau bikini top, £10 at Missguided.

Vero Moda scallop trim scarlet flame bandeau bikini top, from £18 at ASOS.

Triangle Bikini & Tie-Side 

triangle bikini

This is one of my favourite swimwear style and the easiest to mix and match with other styles. Tie or string side bottoms are the best for adding as much length as possible to legs (so ideal for petite ladies) and are also incredible flattering. There’s nothing worse than bikini bottoms that dig in; they’re uncomfortable and they can create unwanted bulges and bumps on just about everyone.

The joy with tie-sides bottoms is they can be adjusted to sit on the hips without digging in so you get a more stream-lined silhouette whatever your figure. A tiny detail but one that really works. Equally a strappy triangle bikini is super versatile and looks great under clothes too as it sits like a normal bra rather than a halter. I also like being able to slip the straps on and off in the sun too to avoid those dreaded tan lines.

Works for:

Tie-sides are great for pear shapes or if you’re worried about love-handles. They also make legs look longer which is great if you want to look a few inches taller on the beach.

Shop the Look:

Zulu and Zephyr rib triangle bikini, £45 at ASOS.

Gingham triangle bikini top, £12 at ASOS.

Black scallop detail triangle bikini top, £15 at Missguided.


Many people falsely believe high-waisted bikini bottoms are designed for curvier figures when in fact the opposite is true. On the whole, they actually accentuate curves rather than diminish them so are actually ideal for those with athletic or boyish bods who want to create more of an hourglass figure. There’s also a really nice retro vibe to them.

I love the look of these suits on the right person and they’re great if you’re an active beach-goer and wanting to swim/surf/snorkel from dawn to dusk. Stripes and spaghetti strap tops keep the look sporty and fresh, while florals and metallic details with halter or bandeau tops have an old-school glamour to them.

Works for:

Straight up and down figures and petite frames look great in high-waisted styles. Equally, if you’re conscious of your tummy there are a great way to feel more confident.

Shop the Look:

Red high-waisted bikini bottoms, £8 at Missguided

Black floral embroidered high-waisted bikini bottoms, £12.99 at New Look.

Illustrations © Emma Jones

April 28th 2017 - by @CollectPlus