Swimsuits and the Art of Figure Flattery

April 23rd, 2010

The goal of figure flattery is to create the visual illusion of a more hourglass-like shape from your figure.  Essentially, it’s making the most of what you’ve got - and it makes you look taller and thinner.  Whatever your personal architecture, you have a good deal of control over how you look in a swimsuit, especially given how little fabric you’re working with.  How do you flatter your body in a swimsuit?  It’s all in the details.

If you have a tummy…
jersey-lomalina-retro-tank_041810
Jersey Lomellina Retro Bandeau Tank | $115 at J Crew

Look for ruching at the belly - and a high cut leg and/or a low cut top to look your leanest.  Avoid shiny suits, which accentuate figure flaws.

If you have a small bust…
pindot-bikini_041810
Pindot Underwire Top | $52 at J Crew
Pindot Bikini | $44 at J Crew

Look for suits with underwire for extra definition.  Also, ruffles, ruching, and other textured fabric treatments help create visual volume.

If you have a big bust…
coco-reef-swimsuit_041810
Coco Reef Swimsuit | $114 at Macy’s

Look for suits that have enough support, and avoid necklines that are too high (you’ll only look bigger) or too low (not enough support).  (PS: While the model pictured doesn’t fit the silhouette type, the swimsuit does indeed work well for women with a larger bust.)

If you’re pear shaped…
becca-color-code-halter-bikini_041810
Becca ‘Color Code’ Halter Top & Bikini Bottoms | $78+ at Nordstrom

Look for swimsuits that draw attention upward.  Also look for higher cut swimsuit bottoms, which visually elongate your leg.

If you’re curvy…
miraclesuit-sanibel-one-piece_041810
Miraclesuit Sanibel One Piece | $148 at Nordstrom

Look for wrap styles and vertical-type patterns to make you look longer and leaner.  Avoid too-high necklines, which will create the illusion of "uniboob."

Entry Filed under: Shopping Guide, Women

6 Comments Add your own

  • 1. RobynT  |  April 23rd, 2010 at 1:39 pm

    I like this post! It is ridiculously hard to find a swimsuit with underwire though! I know J. Crew has them. I believe American Eagle has some, but I wish there were more options–and cheaper ones I guess.

  • 2. J  |  April 24th, 2010 at 7:17 am

    For the 500th time. Curvy is not the same as plus size. Some women are average size, but still have a larger bust and hips, those women are curvy. Find a swimsuit/jeans/outfit for that.

  • 3. JenX  |  April 25th, 2010 at 9:37 pm

    great post!

  • 4. Tebonin  |  April 25th, 2010 at 10:26 pm

    Love the white one most. Most nice part of this post is you are using plus size model still cute.

  • 5. Iz  |  April 26th, 2010 at 10:41 am

    I agree - it’s super difficult to find swimsuit options with underwire!

  • 6. Stephanie  |  May 14th, 2010 at 6:54 pm

    Agree with J. I have a little bit of a tummy and thick thighs, but I’m not plus size. There is a middle; people are between, and i dont always know what category i fall under.

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