Swimwear for All Body Shapes

From small busted to round and curvy, we've got you covered


Words by Tanya Grimson
June 12th, 2015

Yes! We can finally admit that summer has officially begun and whether you are planning on vacationing or staycationing, you’re going to need a brand new swimsuit or bikini, depending on your holiday of choice and, of course, your style of choice.

Like fashion, swimwear too has its own trend life with the classics staying firm but some new contenders also popping their heads up this year. The good news for those partial to the classic triangle style is that it is not going anywhere, nor do I think it ever will. As they say, ‘if it ain’t broke, don’t fix it’. However, we are seeing a handful of fresh trends emerging that are new for this season (but old in style) such as high-waisted bottoms that have a distinctively vintage feel. I think we can credit Taylor Swift and Katy Perry for this re-launch but ultimately we have to thank Marilyn Monroe for showing us how big pants on curvy shapes equal abundant sexiness. Other trends that emerged on the swimwear runway were high necks (think crop tops for the beach), the bandeau, and the classic all-in-one swimsuit in a multitude of variations, from cut-out to high neck form.

So, armed with all this brand new swimwear trend information at hand, let’s get the best of both worlds and tap into a selection of the nicest styles around that are not only on-trend but body-conscious too; no matter what your shape is, we’ve got you covered.

The Triangle Bikini

Triangle bikinis are here to stay, but the big news is the introduction of neoprene. Drawing on its original roots (scuba wear) before it became outerwear, bonded neoprene fabrics provide extra support when needed due to the heaviness of the fabric. So, we tend to like this one.

Body Shape:

Much more suited to small/medium size busts and surfer/athletic types due to lack of support and coverage — unless you opt for the neoprene variety. Perfect for showing off newly acquired shapes though nothing says ‘I have been working out’ quite like a triangle bikini set. We all remember how Demi Moore relaunched her temporary new career in Charlie’s Angels, right?

The High Neck

THP x Beth Richards

High necks are all the rage this season with a plethora of designers opting for the highly functional but ever so cool neckline. Blogger Vanessa Hong of The Haute Pursuit recently teamed with swimwear designer Beth Richards to showcase a new range of urban swimwear, with crossover bust bikinis, high neck cropped tank tops, and even a swimsuit with its own collar. The modesty factor is definitely in, but with crop tops showing no sign of slowing down, it is little wonder they were adapted for swimwear.

Body Shape:

Perfect for anyone who wants a little more modesty and cover-up. Also great for larger busts due to increased support, it has the same effect as a halterneck dress, lifting and pulling up where needed. Also great for sports enthusiasts who like to use the beach and water as their place of recreation but not so good for sun worshipers — the tan lines would be a nightmare.

The Bandeau

Swimwear shows were brimming with bandeau styles, from minimal straight lines to twisted varieties, drawing on their original 1970s roots but with noughties twists and cuts.

Body Shape:

The bandeau is suited to most except fuller busts due to lack of support.
* Warning: use caution when playing volleyball or diving! 

The One Piece

From peplum, bandeau, high neck, and cutaways, the allure of the one-piece stands firm.

Body Shape:

If you have been working really hard on perfecting or re-perfecting your body, then nothing says ‘Rihanna has nothing on me’ like a cutaway swimsuit. But if you are going to don one, don it with confidence and get your beach swag on! For those of you (us) who might tend to shy away from the cutaway, the one-piece has never looked so stylish this season and will hide a multitude of lumps and bumps and keep everything where it is meant to be, nicely secured away under one pretty package. Peplum styles are great for larger busts as the frill detail will balance the lower torso making your body look more streamlined. Suits with inbuilt belts will create a waist if it doesn’t exist and ruched detailing not only distracts the eye with its drape but will also serve to flatten everything down, producing a very lean silhouette. The bandeau and pop of blue add a mighty sexy punch.

The High Waisted

Granny knickers no more! These retro high-waisted bikini sets have been given the Lazarus effect and we cannot be any happier. Stylish, on-trend and practical, the women of the 1950s had it right the first time.

Body Shape:

These styles are tailor-made for curvy shapes, although you might think they are also good for apple shapes, they are not. They will, in fact, push up any excess flesh in the torso above the waistband creating a ripple effect. However, if you have a large bust, big hips and a narrow waist, this style will illustrate that to the most flattering effect, giving structure and emphasising your curves and tiny waist at the same time.

Now tell us, which style you will be going for this summer?