We can hear the groans and sighs from here! Funny, we couldn’t get any models for this feature!
Well you may be pleased to learn that swimwear has come a long way and there are some wonderful designs & style innovations that can help hold in and disguise the lumps and bumps.
There’s no getting away from the fact that when you wear swimwear you are revealing way more of your body than you normally would. I think it’s such a shame that some people choose not to go for a swim or soak up some rays because they don’t want to expose their body.
Swimwear for 2013, as expected, follows the overall fashion trends:
- monochrome (black and white)
- all white
- cut-outs - either exposing flesh or covered with a mesh-like fabric
- flora and fauna
- animal prints
- bows, ruffles, fringes or tassles - to add a lovely feminine touch
- colour blocking in geometric shapes - blocks of colour, either incorporated in the design or pattern or achieved by mixing and matching different coloured tops and bottoms
- Retro - a return to the glamorous 50s & 60s
- Digital prints on swimwear
- Ombre - graduated toning from light to dark of the same colour
Bikinis, tankinis (a singlet style top with bikini bottoms) and one-piece swimsuits are still all very popular.
A fabulous new introduction is the swim-dress - it covers up a bit more, with flexibility in the length you wear it.
Nancy Ganz - St Lucia Swim-dress - AUD $179.95
This styling advice is no different to clothing, it just happens to be swimwear. Attract the eye to the place you want people to look, not the place you don’t, in other words, accentuate your fabulous parts, minimise your least desirable.
Swimwear design has come a long way. The likes of Nancy Ganz and Moontide have focused their design innovation around support - clever design, construction and fabrics to offer you as much support and comfort as possible. Of course many of you will know Nancy Ganz for their fabulous shapewear. They bring this same styling innovation to their swimwear.
Small bust - look for swimsuits with a padded cup, some take you a whole two cup sizes bigger. Very much like a bra, ensure the cup fits you well.
Big bust - cross-over/wrap tops give a lovely v-line which helps to reduce the appearance of a large bust. In larger sizes, most swimwear has supportive cups to hold you in place.
- I just adore ruching and cross-over/wrap designs - they minimise the appearance of bloated and/or flabby midriffs
- Fabric patterns can also help to ‘camouflage’ problem areas
- Tankinis are also good - providing you with the flexibility of the bikini, but the cover of a one-piece
- You can also get high-waisted bottoms that help to nip and tuck.
- Remember our advice about never finishing a hemline at your widest point - well this applies to swimwear also. You are better to have a higher leg-line than one that cuts straight across
- You can now also get swim-dresses - refer above
- Supportive briefs are ideal to help pull you in and control this area.
On the Nancy Ganz website, you can actually shop for a swimsuit according to target areas, e.g. thighs and bust.
Depending on your size and comfort levels, you can wear all forms of swimwear - bikini, tankini, one-piece and swim-dress.
Top Heavy (apple, inverted triangle)
Bottom Heavy (pear, triangle)
- Like top heavy shapes, separates are good because you can buy a different sized top to bottom.
- With pants, it's best to balance your shape - a fuller bottom and small bust will need a plain shaped pant, no frills, gathers, etc.
- Refer to the points above - bottom/hips/thighs
- If you’re super conscious, sarongs are wonderful worn as a skirt.
- Look for swimwear that is going to help define a waist for you - wrap-style and ruching designs help with this. Tankinis are good, two separate pieces to help break up the look, or swim-dresses that flare slightly at the bottom.
- If you are a slim-straight, you may like to consider tops with padding, and something to provide you with waist definition. Being a slim-straight, you’re likely to look fabulous in bikinis.
Other styling tips
- The 50's Pants which is currently on-trend, is no good for short-waisted women as the pant will cut you in half and make your body look smaller.
- 'Boy legs' are no good for women with short legs as appearance wise, they cut the leg off at the fullest part giving an unflattering look and also making you seem shorter. Boys legs only really suitable for slimmer more athletic frames (leave them to the teens).
- The fuller your bottom the neater the pant should be, most people think big bottom you should cover it with a big pant – all this does is highlight your problem area rather than disguise it.
This style swimsuit is great for many reasons:
- the print helps to disguise lumps and bumps
- the pleated and cross-over bust (including built-in support) is great for big and small-busted women
- the ruching at the midriff helps to give the appearance of flatter stomach
- it has a great leg-line
EziBuy - Sara Cross-Over One-Piece, animal print, black & white polker dot & black - $89.99
Side Panel styling
A swimsuit or tankini with side panels, like this one from Moontide, is great because the eye focuses on the pattern and gives the illusion of a slimmer body.
Flatter a fuller & smaller bust with the straps creating a line for the eye up to the face.
The perfect solution for long or short bodies. Great to avoid the situation of baggy bum (too long) or riding up (too short), also good for pregnant ladies as they will allow the tummy to expand without loosing length or bust coverage. Tankinis can be worn with a matching or colour co-ordinated pant, giving you two looks with just the one top.
A new innovation from Moontide - the cup has a silicone injected wire rather than the usual metal. This is super comfortable, offering all the support of traditional wire, but metal free.
Look out for adjustable straps - these cater for different length torsos.
- Moontide - up to a size 20, cup size A-G
- Nancy Ganz - up to a size XXL (approximately size 18) - cup size 18DD
- EziBuy - it depends on the style but up to sizes 24-26
- TS14+ - up to a size 24
- The Warehouse - up to size 20
If you’re buying some of the more supportive swimwear (just like shapewear), sometimes it’s better to go up a size, but certainly never down. Wearing supportive swimwear too tight means the excess has to go somewhere - it sits above or beyond the swimsuit and is not a good look.
GETTING THE LOOK
Check out our buying swimwear blog - complete with images and pricing.
Completing your look
- Tan - a little tan will make your skin glow and make you look healthy. Check out our recommendations on self-tanning. Some lotions take as little as a few days to build up a lovely colour. And don’t worry, like swimwear, tanning lotions have come a long way too. Many are a tinted moisturiser so very easy to apply.
- Oh and don’t forget to maintain the bikini line. Enough said!
- Painted toe nails and finger nails help to complete the look. Being summer, go for something more colourful than you might normally. Check out our blog on an express manicure.
- Don’t forget the sunhat - vitally important to protect your face from ageing.
- And sun protection lotion is key - for the whole of your body, even the underside of your feet for those that choose to lie on their fronts. Apply this liberally and regularly. We can’t stress this enough. And also make sure you coat your lips, or wear lipstick - lips too can get sunburnt.
- If you’re buying a white swimsuit, make sure it’s well lined - white and light colours reveal what’s underneath when wet!
We’ve come a long way…
Measuring bathing suits – if they were too short, women would be fined, 1920′s.
Annette Kellerman promotes women’s rights to wear a fitted one-piece bathing suit, 1907. She was arrested for indecency!
Just think what women like Annette have done for women of today!
We would like to thank Moontide and Nancy Ganz for their assistance with this blog :)