Celebrity stylist reveals the best swimwear for your body shape

·Contributor, Yahoo Life UK
·7-min read
An expert reveals the most flattering swimsuit style for your body shape. (Getty Images)
An expert reveals the most flattering swimsuit style for your body shape. (Getty Images)

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Here at Yahoo Style UK, we believe every body is a beach body, as long as it's at the beach.

However, that doesn't mean that we don't see the value in understanding your shape and knowing the most flattering swimwear styles.

Not only will it help you save time, money and frustration when shopping, it will also help you feel confident when at the beach, round the pool or anywhere you choose to be in swimwear over the summer.

Now travel restrictions are slowly (but surely) starting to lift, with the Balearic islands, such as Ibiza, Mallorca, Menorca and Formentera set to be added to the green list on 30 June, we're on the hunt for the most flattering swimwear to slip into this summer.

So, we called in the big guns, and spoke to top stylist Rachel Gold to get her insider insight on what swimwear styles work for which body shapes.

Rachel has worked for fashion magazines, celebrities, successful business people, and socialites internationally and her work has appeared in over 50 different publications worldwide and at numerous red carpet events, so when it comes to what to wear, we don't know anyone more informed.

"Knowing what suits your body shape (no matter what size you are) is what will make your look a success and help you feel as wonderful as you look!" Rachel tells us.

"Labelling body shape has always been a topic of much conversation. Of course, very few of us are an exact body shape and we may be slightly between shapes," she explains. "It’s not hard to imagine the shape of an apple, pear, celery, strawberry, or hourglass.

"Plus, if you have put on some lockdown weight it doesn’t mean you can’t still wear beautiful swimwear. The same applies conversely, if you're under your desired weight. Swimwear designers are doing a fantastic job of designing for all shapes and sizes.

The aim is to help you feel comfortable and totally confident in your swimwear."

So, grab your shades and oversized sun hats, and find the perfect swimwear to nab this summer and beyond.

The most flattering swimsuit style for your body shape

Hourglass Shape

Credentials: Bust and hips are of similar width, waist is smaller

Rachel advises: "This figure suits bikinis as the waist is generally small and can carry off a brief to accentuate the flat stomach, also high waisted bikini bottoms can be very flattering and stylish in a vintage way.

"Under wired tops are very practical as hourglass normally have a fuller bust and require the support. As the hourglass figure is so well-balanced stick to matching set bikinis. Halter tops work well in both bikinis and bathing suits."

"Also, low cut tops with an inner bra support are a very good option for the hourglass. Wider straps also help support a heavier bust."

Finally, "belted one piece bathing suits are a great option as they highlight the small waist. A deep V-neck is best as it flatters the cleavage. If your legs are shorter, elongate them by wearing a high-cut bather. Cut-outs can also look great on an hourglass figure."

Rachel's top pick: Monochrome Wrap Plunge Swimsuit | £29.50 from Marks & Spencer

Monochrome Wrap Plunge Swimsuit
Monochrome Wrap Plunge Swimsuit

Pear Shape

Credentials: Bust is smaller than hips and the waist is defined

Rachel advises: "Under wired, padded bra tops and plunge-style swimwear in a one piece bather is super flattering for the Pear shape as it gives the impression of a larger bust, buy fabrics that are supportive and synch in the tummy even more with a higher cut leg which will compliment and elongate the leg, balancing out a fuller bottom and hip.

"Try a different coloured or patterned top which will draw the eye upwards any detail or frill on the shoulders will also look very good as it will balance your silhouette, keep the bottoms darker and high waisted, to show off your curves nicely. A good trick is the off-the-shoulder Bardot tops that draw attention to a horizontal line across your shoulders.

"Try a deep, wide-cut V neck as this will also draw the eye downward to another one of your assets - your narrow, slim tummy.

"Asymmetrical short-skirted swimming dress suits can also look very flattering."

Rachel's top pick: + NET SUSTAIN Cassandra belted stretch swimsuit | £270 from Net-A-Porter

Apple Shape

Credentials: Large bust, broader shoulders and rounded middle section with slimmer hips

Rachel advises: "A one-piece with a central panel detail and darker silhouette is super flattering on this body shape, giving lots of support in the bust and tummy area and showing off a cleavage. Tankini sets are a great option too, if you like a 2 piece but feel too exposed.

"A low cut bathing suit with detail on the V is a great option - also go for lots of bold pattern on the body for a flattering look.

"Again, go for thicker straps on both bikinis and bathing suits as they will support your bust and keep it positioned nicely. I particularly like the body sculpt swimsuits"

Rachel's top pick: Flamingo Bikini Shorts | £25 from Boden


Credentials: shoulders, waist and hips are all similar width

Rachel advises: "This body shape looks great in bikinis, try a frill or ruffles to draw the eye to the detail. Padded tops with push-up give more shape to the bust.

"Also try details on the sides of the bikini bottoms strings or side tassels. Cut outs can look striking, as can high neck sporty bathers with racer backs. Bandau tops with padding and a small brief are a great option too.

"A tankini with the fitted shorts bottoms is a great look, as are triangle bikinis."

Rachel's top pick: HUNZA G Jean bandeau high-leg bikini | £235 from Selfridges

HUNZA G Jean bandeau high-leg bikini
HUNZA G Jean bandeau high-leg bikini

Strawberry inverted triangle

Credentials: The bust and upper body are wider than the hips

Rachel advises: "This body shape requires support on top go for a wider strap and a nice crossover back detail looks great, also a built in cup. Sweetheart necklines look very flattering as do tankinis.

"Try a bikini ruched side bottoms, go for ties at the hips to accentuate the hip area. High cut legs will show off your fabulous legs, a beautiful asymmetric one shoulder swimsuit will make your shoulders look less broad.

"Also halter necks look very good as long as you find a good quality fabric that is supportive."

Rachel's top pick: Ganni Gingham halterneck recycled swimsuit | £165 from Selfridges

Shopping for larger sizes?

Rachel explains that just because you are a larger than average size doesn’t mean you won’t find gorgeous and flattering swimwear - most brands are now making the larger sizes.

"As with all the other body shapes make sure you are enhancing your assets," she advises.

"The most important thing to consider is the fabric strength and inner structure. Look for Magisculpt bathers which are beautifully structured and help give a flattering silhouette. Historically, black or darker colours were always advised however I would suggest gorgeous block colours in brighter hues ie reds, greens and blues.

Rachel also recommends opting for multi-strap wrapovers, tummy sculpts and wider straps to support the bust and suggests looking for the longer body length should you need it.

Rachel's top pick: Multistrap Wrapover Swimsuit | £15 (Was £30) from Simply Be

Shopping for petite sizes?

Zero sizes tend to follow the Rhubarb guidelines (outlined above, as there are so many fabulous shapes which will look stunning.

Rachel advises opting for sporty swimwear with some details-zip ups, strappy, high necks, padded bras, bathing shorts, tankinis, scalloped edging, ruffles and tie sides look fabulous.

"Bold, bright patterns and colours also look brilliant," she says.

Rachel's top pick: Izaro cutout color-block bikini top | £145 from Net-A-Porter

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