How to buy the best bathers for every body shape
Summer spells the season of bringing our bodies out of hibernation, a scary thought at the best of times but even more so for those of us who have added a few additional COVID kilos over the past six months.
Selecting swimwear that suits your body shape and what you want to do in it, whether that be beach or poolside, can be a daunting proposition.
But Weekend has done the hard yards for you, consulting the best in the biz on the optimum swimwear that will have you feeling confident and comfortable.
SCROLL DOWN TO SEE THE RIGHT SWIMWEAR FOR YOUR BODY SHAPE
Stylist and fashion author Jo Blankfield inspires everyday women and men to look and feel their best in the way they dress and she's helped to pull together looks that will see you shine, no matter your shape or size.
Her top tip is to shop to flatter, not hide the areas you may be less comfortable with baring.
"Remember to chose something you like and suits your own style personality, not something you think you should wear. There are so many great swim options available," Blankfield says.
"If you are a lady with an undefined waist, go for a high waisted or belted bikini that creates the appearance of a waist or go for a one piece that has panelling or ruching to create shape."
"Curvy women should embrace their curves and look for supportive styles in both one and two pieces. For those that feel less comfortable in fitted swimwear pieces, try styles that have bold prints, texture or ruching to work best with your shape and make you feel confident."
Blankfield says for guys it all comes down to the fit and shape.
"Chose a short length that best balances your shape. Shorter styles will make your legs appear longer, and wider styles will balance out a fuller mid section.
"Prints are great for making the swimwear a focus rather than your body and an adjustable stretch or drawstring waist will ensure you can get a comfortable and flattering fit and allow you to sit the waistband at the most balanced point of your torso."
The urge to dress for comfort throughout COVID is translating to how we approach dressing now we are emerging from the fog.
"With many of us spending much of 2020 at home, we have learnt a lot about styling for comfort and practical purposes, and this mindset is continuing into the summer months, with many of us considering how we can style our swimwear beyond the pool and beach," Blankfield says.
"This season's summer fashion lends itself extremely well to this shift, with light cardigans, overalls, wide-leg pants, and summer skirts of mid-to-longer lengths featuring strongly.
"For the boys, light shirts and boat shoes will instantly dress up some swim shorts for the bar, while a smart T-shirt, hat and slides will be the perfect pieces to complete a casual BBQ look.
"As the weather heats up, and with the drive to social (gatherings) outdoors, we will see much more beach or bar or BBQ dressing coming into play for men and women alike."
Women's swimwear buyer for Myer Gorana Duboka says this season is all about bright floral prints.
"From small-scale ditsy prints, to big and bold designs complemented with ruffle trims and feminine embellishments," Duboka says.
"Mid-to-high-waisted swim bottoms continue their trend, while overswim apparel that can see you from beach to bar is huge. Think relaxed linen beach shirts, kaftans, tiered dresses and slouchy pants."
Blankfield says the flattering and timeless monochromatic designs are also in this season.
"It's a great way to make a statement subtly, whether it be with polka dots, a statement white or trending belted style, it's a look that can work for everyone.
"Bold colours are back, especially pops of orange and yellow and fuchsia and red. For those who prefer a subtler look, soft pinks, neutral colours and wild animal prints are also dominating.
"Sunsmart is now on trend too, with stylish one pieces with long sleeves that shape the waist while protecting you from the harsh Aussie sun. Shape wise, we are seeing a nod to retro with high-waisted bikinis, belted styles and ring details."
Swimwear for the boys is all about colour and crazy prints, from flamingoes to pineapples wearing sunglasses, ice creams and doughnuts.
"For those who prefer a more subtle style, bright swim shorts and more neutral tones are also featured in the stores. There are shapes to flatter all proportions, shorter Speedos and fitted shorts, to shorter and longer boardies, you should be able to find a style that suits both your body and personal style," Blankfield says.
Duboka says the key to shopping for swimwear is confidence and taking your time to find the perfect fit.
"When you feel good in your swimwear, you'll look good in it. Take extra time in the fitting room when you buy swimwear, the perfect fit makes all the difference to a polished swimwear look."
Look photographed: V neckline and wider shoulder straps combined with the higher cut brief create definition through the waist.
Additional styles: Belted styles, panelled and wrap-style one pieces suit this shape well as they will create curves on a fairly straight body shape.
Look photographed: The tied waist and added sarong flatter the waist, while the wider narrow straps maintain the balance of an hourglass shape.
Additional styles: Go for styles that embrace and fit your curves. Curvy women can wear most styles, provided the fit is correct and supportivefor the bust line. Many brands now offer cuts in DD+ fits. Separates will be your best friend if you need a different fit for the top and bottom as many curvy girls need to go up a size on top for regular swimwear sizing. Tankinis are a great option for those that don't want a one piece but are less comfortable in a bikini. For fuller figured hourglasses, try styles with wider or thicker straps to maintain balance between your bust and hips.
Look photographed: By selecting a swimsuit with a darker colour and light belt to define the waist, this style flatters and balances her proportions.
The thicker straps and lighter detail on the shoulders creates the illusion of a wider shoulder, balancing out the bust, whichwhen combined with the belted detail, creates a well proportioned shape.
Additional styles: Embrace colour and prints but go for big and bold options that will balance out your body. Narrow straps and details and smaller prints may add size to you, so instead look for thicker (and more supportive) straps and large prints. Try not tocover up with baggy styles and instead try options that will hold and shape you with ruching and hidden panels.
STANDARD MALE FIGURE
Look photographed: Lyra swimshorts.
Less is more with simple side details. A great option that doesn't sit too low on the hips and balances the torso and legs.
Additional styles: Most options will suit this shape, the trick is to get the proportion of short length and waist/hip height correct. If you are shorter in the torso, opt for a lower waist and slightly longer short length. For those with longer torsos and shorterlegs, a higher waist and shorter length with make your legs appear longer.
TALL AND SKINNY
Look photographed: The printed shirt adds bulk and shape to a skinny body, while the plain longer shorts add shape with the wider and longercut.
Additional styles: The trick is in added bulk to a skinny body and not over-lengthening longer limbs. Longer shorts in plain colours and printswill always flatter, as will wider waist bands and short widths. Speedo styles and fitted swim shorts will emphasise a skinnyshape.
Look photographed: Balance out a softer body with looser shorts that have an adjustable waist and a shirt to create movement.
Additional styles: Dad bods can rock most styles, it's all about getting the waist right. Stretch and tie waists are your best friend as youcan adjust the fit to sit at the most flattering point of your waist or hips. A fuller short will balance out a softer torso, but keep the length shorter as unless you're very tall a longer length will emphasise a fuller waistline.
Originally published as How to buy the best bathers for every body shape