The Ultimate Bikini Guide For Every Figure

Emma Read

Fashion Stylist

For those of us who were not a participant in the 97,256 hashtags #eurosummer clocked up on Instagram June through September, fear not – summer’s aiming her humid-heavy breath under the equator shortly (thank god for the RESCU beauty section, speaking of which #frizzfree). You know the drill: the sound of Aperol Spritz’s clinking on the breeze, a little Banana Boat in the air… whilst you’re clad in a wham-bam-thank-you-ma’am bikini. If last summer’s good time gal two-piece has seen better days, you’re in luck – read on for our guide to summer’s greatest swimwear hits.

If you’re ATHLETIC:

Hands up for all the sporty-figured ladies out there – we’ve got all your bases covered. As ‘Athletic’ generally refers to a silhouette with a little curve, finding a style that’ll play this up is a sure-fire winner.

If you’re small in the chest, by all means go the padding route, or au naturel with design details around the bust to add some drama (think ruffles, embellishment and the like). If athletic to you means broad in the shoulder, do not pass go and head straight to the asymmetrical halter necks, or a style with thicker straps up top – this will help soften your torso, and employs fashion’s age-old visual trickery to create balance in that area. If you’re game, try a high-cut bottom – this eighties throwback is everywhere right now thanks to its #instantcurve capabilities.


Stella McCartney animal print bikini, $295.48,


Kiini ‘Yaz’ one shoulder bikini top, $202.99, and briefs, $166.78,


Tavik ‘Isabel’ top, $111.19, and briefs, $43.96,


TwoSix Swim ‘Mila’ bikini top, $65, and ‘Lucie’ briefs, $55,

If you’re CURVY:

‘And God Created Woman’ more your vibe? Step right this way – we’re about to turn the volume way up on those curves.

Should you sit comfortably in the hourglass camp (meaning: your shoulders and hips are fairly symmetrical, with a smaller waist), use your classic shape to your advantage – halter-neck styles really ramp up an S-shape curve in the body, then stretch out that torso with a low-riding brief (not too skimpy however, as this will throw your silhouette off as too top heavy – look for coverage). If your hips are a little more beautifully curvaceous than your bust line a la J.Lo (our favourite booty pin-up), play on fabrications and prints; a block-colour bottom with a printed top will create balance visually. Separates are your best bet – a bandeau or skimpier top with a high-waisted brief accentuates your top half, so remember to always keep it lighter from the waist up.


Norma Kamali ‘Bill’ halter neck bikini top, $228.82, and bottoms, $241.86,


Fella ‘Casanova’ top, $143, and ‘Marco’ bottoms, $77,


Seafolly ‘Active’ bikini top, $89.95, and ‘Rio’ briefs, $59.95,

If you’re BUSTY:

Should the sound of ‘supportive swimwear’ send a shiver down your spine, fear not: there’s plenty of ways to support your girls without requiring a one-piece to keep them in check in the surf.

First up, string bikinis are not your friend so let’s put that silhouette on ice. Underwire is definitely helpful, but not always necessary if that’s not your thing – banded halter-neck tops offer just as much support and lift. The game changer in any other shape is an adjustable strap – if you want to get those ladies up and about they need to be high, so don’t bother with anything sans adjustability (this will also help in summers to come when they inevitably stretch out a bit). Check it fits correctly by doing the ol’ bend and snap in the change room – they shouldn’t move on the way back up. A thickly banded brief is essential for balancing out your top half, so look for a classic or boy-leg style down below.


Matteau ‘Plunge’ bikini top, $120, and boy-leg briefs, $120,


Jets ‘D/DD’ bikini top, $84.95, and full bikini bottom, $64.95,


ASOS Fuller Bust stripe bikini top, $44, and briefs, $36,

If you’re PETITE:

Petite beauties need only chant one mantra: the skimpier, the better.

Bikinis with less coverage create the illusion of curves, so look to tie-side bottoms and triangle tops with 100% adjustability for your frame. Opt for bright colours and loud prints for a fashion-induced growth spurt (bonus points if you alternate one up top and one down below). If your game, delve into a high-cut bottom for an extra few inches on the pins. The classic stripe string bikini is a textbook hero example for le petite ladies – the stripe creates curves, while the cut elongates at the same time (definitely worth cheers-ing to over a Spritz).


RYE ‘Tango’ bikini top, $147.39, and briefs, $49.13,


Matteau ‘Petite’ triangle top, $120, and briefs, $120,


Seafolly Havana tri-bikini top, $79.95, and tie side brief, $79.95,


feature image via pinterest

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