Guide to choosing swimwear for women

As a guide to choosing swimwear for women it’s worth remembering people come in different shapes and sizes. You also need to consider what the swimwear is for and what it is made from.

When choosing swimwear for women here are a few things to keep in mind:

  1. Swimwear material
  2. Know what the swimwear is for
  3. Body shape – be honest!

1. Swimwear material and colour

If you swim a lot your swimwear is going to be exposed to a lot of chlorine from pools. This will bleach your swimwear over time and cause it to become baggy. Look out for swimwear that advertises chlorine resistance and shape retention, and that dries quickly.

If you are going to spend more time by the pool than in it, look out for high UV resistant swimwear. The focus here is on a material you feel comfortable in. If you are not a dedicated swimmer you need something that is comfortable for long periods out of the water. A few tips:

  • If you have a bodily feature you like use bright colours to highlight it. Alternatively, to hide a less loved feature use solid colour
  • Dark purples and navy blues are good for pale skin. Bright colours are better for darker skin
  • Use ruched fabric to hide a wider waist. If you want to add a little volume try ruffles

2. Know what the swimwear is for

If you are pounding out the lengths or doing a lot of sea swimming a string bikini won’t cut it. You’ll be topless in no time. If you simply want to post by the pool during a summer break then it’ll do fine.

When choosing swimwear for women remember swimwear designed for sporting activity will offer streamlining and support. So, if your plan is to be active think one piece sport swimwear first. Head for bikinis if your plan is to pose.

3. Choosing swimwear for women by body shape

Ensuring you have the right swimwear for body shape is vital. It’s important to be honest with yourself or the person you are buying for. It can make a world of difference.


  1. Short torso If your body is short in proportion to your legs, you will want a swimsuit that gives the impression of litheness. Try a bikini with a halter-top to emphasize the bust and shoulders. Pair this top with bikini bottoms that sit low on the hips.
  2. Long torso To give the impression of long legs, try a one-piece swimsuit or bikini with high-cut legs. High-cut legs shorten the torso and lengthen the legs.

Pear shape
A pear shape has often been the plague of women, but it no longer needs to be so. To flatter a pear shape, try pairing an eye-catching bikini or tankini top with subdued bottoms in a dark color. This type of swimsuit will draw attention toward your more appealing characteristics.


  1. Large bust. Thankfully for women of all bust sizes, swimsuit designers are now offering one-piece swimsuits and bikini tops with bra-style support. For a large bust, look for a straight across cut at the top of your swimsuit with wide set straps to minimize your bust. Also, be sure to try a bikini top with a hidden underwire for extra support.
  2. Small bust. To add curves and subtle cleavage to a small bust, look for a bikini top with triangle-shaped cups and a tie-front. These features will add shape and the appearance of size to your small bust.

Plus size

In general, you will want to look for swimsuits in darker colors in a plus size, as these colors will have an overall minimizing effect. However, you do not have to rely solely upon black swimsuits.

Deep reds and blues will have the same effect and are a bit more appropriate for summer fun.

To accentuate curves, look for a fitted swimsuit with a defined waist and a high percentage of Lycra/spandex. A high-cut leg will also slim your legs and hips.

Flabby Stomach

Choose a loose tankini instead of a bikini or 1-piece. Bikinis totally expose a jiggly belly, and trying to squeeze into a one-piece will not slim your stomach, only emphasize it. Don’t worry, the Shape Up and Tone programme will help you lose any jiggly belly problems

Boyish Body

Try push-up cups and twisted bandeaux to enhance your cleavage. Buy control fabrics, ruching and draping to create a waist. Wear boy shorts and low-leg briefs to add curves to your hips.