Happy woman on the beach

– Does the prospect of revealing your body on the beach overshadow your pre-holiday excitement?

– Has trying on swimwear ever left you in tears?

– Would you like to feel 100% more confident in your swimwear than you did last year?

According to a survey by Fitness magazine, about one in four women don’t trust anyone to tell them honestly if a swimsuit looks good on them. Furthermore, forty-three percent of women would give up Facebook forever if they could have a body like a swimsuit model’s.

If you are one of the many  thousands of women that dread the prospect of revealing more skin and showing the world what you have been hiding under your clothes for the other 50 weeks of the year, this blog post is for you.

Whether the cause of your concern is your boobs, your tum, your thighs or your bum, I’d like to help you to  choose swimwear that flatters you and makes you feel more comfortable.

Before we get started on some simple tips, its worth remembering this. Whichever bits of your body make you feel the most conscious are the bits that you look at first when you look in the mirror. This is not how other people look at you. Furthermore, by following some simple tips and choosing swimwear that draws the eye towards your best bits and away from your wobbly bits you will feel more body confident.

 Beachwear Buying Guide

1. Buy your swimwear online

It is 100% easier to make a good judgement in the comfort of your own home when you aren’t feeling rushed or hanging around in your underwear waiting for a reluctant assistant to bring you a different size. Aside from that, the lighting in fitting rooms is often very harsh which makes the whole process even more disheartening, highlighting thread veins and cellulite.

Approach an online shop realistically – you will have to return some stuff so over-order. Get two sizes if you are unsure of which will fit you properly. For the sake of £3 or £4 delivery charge it is preferable to try on as many as you can in your own home and in kinder lighting. Take your time to select the ones you’d like to keep and return the rest.

Choose your style very carefully so that you make the most of your best bits and draw attention away from your not-so-good bits. Dressing for your body shape is vital in swimwear, since you have more flesh on show than normal. See below for how!

2. Choose a style that flatters your shape

Dressing for your body shape, whether swimwear, workwear or casual wear is all about creating an optical illusion. Follow these simple tips that address common problem areas. I will start at the top and work my way down…


Delicate or thin straps look lovely on women with narrow shoulders and small to medium sized boobs. If your shoulders are broad and/or you have a large chest, delicate straps won’t look quite right. Opt instead for a wider strap that will look more in proportion with your shoulder. It needs to appear robust enough to support your chest.

Halterneck straps broaden your shoulders. If you are pear shaped this will help to balance out your hips.

Heavy chest

Always, always choose swimwear with proper support. Under-wiring will support you and flatter your bust and even better is to choose one with a built in bra with the correct cup size.

Unfortunately swimwear with in-built support can be quite tricky to get on and off, especially in a hot, sticky environment but the resulting look and support is well worth it. (Another reason to try on at home).

Avoid frills and embellishment on a bikini top or neckline. The eye is drawn to fuss and detail so keep your bikini top as plain as possible to minimise attention (unless of course you feel confident with your larger bust).

Darker colours minimise but this doesn’t necessarily mean you have to wear black. A dark shade of any colour will be effective.

Bravissimo and Figleaves have plenty to choose from in cup sizes D upwards.

Flat chest

Frills add interest and volume to flat chests. Triangle shaped bikini tops and bandeau styles are great for smaller boobs.

Padded cups are available if you’d rather have a bit of help and will create a nice shape but they can be a pain to dry out after a swim.

You can use pattern and light colours to rebalance your figure because they draw attention to that part of your body.

If you are bottom heavy, a darker toned, plain fabric brief will minimise your lower half and a lighter coloured or a patterned bikini top will help to balance out your figure.

Thankfully is is possible to buy bikinis as separates these days so you can mix and match accordingly. Figleaves.com have a fabulous bikini bar on their website where you can combine any number of tops with bottoms. Give it a try, its a lot of fun regardless of whether you order anything or not!


The one-piece has had a huge revival over the last few years with glamorous fashionistas sporting all manner of fanciful designs. Cut-outs may look great on a slim, toned figured gal but imagine those complicated tan lines?! If you are at all body conscious I would avoid a cut-out one piece.

Ruching is fantastic at disguising flabby bits and patterns can confuse the eye. It is really  important however that you choose the right pattern for you, otherwise you can make yourself look bigger. A small, delicate print on a big belly will make your belly look bigger. Either keep the fabric plain or look for a larger print.

Swimwear technology that claims to hold you in really does make a difference. As with under-wiring, it can make a swimsuit a bit of a struggle to get in and out of but boy does it make a difference and once you are in they are quite comfortable.


If you’d rather not have any attention on your generous posterior, keep it plain and simple (again a dark shade will further minimise this area). Avoid ties, frills and small print.

If you are happy to divert attention upwards, choose a bikini top with frills, embellishment or print that will catch the eye.

Two tone swimsuits are great at diverting attention to or away from parts of your body, just make sure you get it the right way around so that you avoid emphasising the wrong part. So, if you are bottom heavy choose one with print, frills or detail up top and a darker shade from your middle downwards and if you are top heavy reverse this rule.

If your bottom is rather flat, frills or embellishment and pattern will add bulk and may make you feel as though you have a little more padding than usual which can be helpful to balance out big boobs or a rounded tummy.


The easiest way to elongate your legs (and make your thighs appear slimmer) is to choose a higher cut leg. A boy short style will not only shorten your leg but is also likely to make your thigh look wider. They look great on long slim legs but are best avoided if you’d like your thighs to appear slimmer.

If you like to pull a pair of shorts or a little skirt on over your swimwear, avoid the hemline sitting across the widest part of your thigh as this will draw attention and make your thighs appear wider.


A little bit of TLC for your body before you leave goes a long way. Treat yourself to a manicure and pedicure (gel nails last a good couple of weeks on fingers and much longer on your toes) and a light application of self-tan to make you feel more body confident.

And finally, remember that the hardest bit about beachwear is day one. You are so used to covering up that to undress in public feels uncomfortable. Once you have got the first day out of the way it gets easier.

And don’t forget beach cover-ups. Sarongs and beach dresses are super stylish, cover you up and protect your skin from the sun’s rays. Other than that, pop on a floppy hat, relax and enjoy yourself!

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