How to Find the Most Flattering Swimsuit for Your Body Type

If You’re Big-Chested…
“Finding bathing suits is hard because my top half is much bigger than my bottom,” says Dawn Zimniak, 29, a residential real estate agent. Zimniak relies on mix-and-match separates, strategically placed embellishments, and occasionally even a tailor. “I shop for suits with structure so I can run around and not worry about a wardrobe malfunction,” she says. This patterned minimizer (Miraclesuit, $144) is supportive and slimming; gathered fabric at the waist creates a flattering division between chest and hips.

The Do’s and Don’ts of Swimsuit Selection

DON’T:

  • Don’t wear suits with zippers.
    • Zippers cause scratches to yourself and anyone who comes in contact with you.
    • Although zippers may make it easy to don and doff swimwear, they’re unsuitable for the pool and often cause unwanted wardrobe malfunctions.
  • Don’t wear suits with pockets. Pockets, especially slit pockets that lack closures, tend to billow out and fill with water, causing unwanted drag.
  • Don’t buy or wear over-sized suits.
    • Modesty may cause swimmers to choose loose fitting swimwear. This strategy doesn’t work. Loose suits will only increase in size and trash attempts at modesty.
    • Besides being uncomfortable and unsupportive, ill-sized suits tend to wear out sooner than properly sized apparel.
  • Don’t wear your vacation suit.
    • Exposure to sun, chlorinated pool water, and extreme ranges of athletic motion quickly damage fashion suits that are better suited for pool parties and other more leisurely activities.
    • These expensive fashion suits often features metal clasps, rhinestones, sequins, and other decorative appointments that quickly find their way to the bottom of the pool. Suits of this nature are best left behind and reserved for the beach.
  • Don’t wear triathlon gear to swim practice.
    • Pads in multisport apparel absorb water, causing chafing and unwanted drag in sensitive areas.
    • Even if you don’t mind swimming tri gear, keep in mind that this expensive apparel isn’t designed for extended pool use, and is meant for shorter swims in open water (and frequently worn under a wetsuit). Save tri gear for multisport training.

DO:

  • Do choose swimwear that offers a close, supportive fit that covers your body appropriately.
    • Suits that leaves you overexposed will not be comfortable or practical and often makes fellow swimmers uncomfortable.
    • Suits featuring ornamental holes or accents are undesirable and are a poor option for athletes. Same thing goes for rips & tears – repair or replace!
  • Wear opaque suits that will not become translucent when set.
    • Purchase swimsuits made from darker color swimwear fabric – avoid white and tan colors.
    • Suits with single or double-layer linings provide swimmers with more wear time before a suit becomes unacceptable to wear in public.
    • Can’t bear to part with your see-through suit? Add layers strategically for drag and coverage.