Find The Perfect Swimsuit for Your Body Shape

a pear in a bikini

It’s that time again chickidees! Time to bare our booties under the cruel fluorescent lights in search of the perfect swimwear this season.

I am NOT looking forward to shopping for a new bikini this year and I have to. Body shapes change with time so even though last year my body was more athletic, today it’s more of a pear shape.

This makes a difference in which swimsuits look best on your body. Following is a great guide to finding the best suit for you.

(Regardless, I think next year I’ll fill my pool in. 😉 )

Body Types

Women have different body types and I’ve used recognizable monikers like pear, apple, and athletic as types to talk about but have also added variations on each.

So let’s begin!

Pear Shaped Body

pear shaped body outline

Pear-Shaped Body

A pear-shaped body is when your upper body is a little narrower than your lower body in a way that you seems off-balance. On a pear-shaped body your upper body is disproportionate to your lower body.

Some distinctive features of a pear-shaped body are narrow shoulders, small rib cage, and a wide hip expanse that is caused either by your bone structure or the way your body places fat.

Narrow Shoulders

If you find yourself missing the 80’s solely for the shoulder pads then you probably have narrow shoulders like me.

The best swimsuit style to make shoulders seem wider is a Racerback:

I personally stick to racerback workout wear and tank tops in my general wardrobe for that very reason.

Small Breasts

Small breasts, especially coupled with narrow shoulders, can accentuate a pear shape. I got breast implants to compensate for my narrow shoulders and wider hips but there are also swimsuits that can add dimension to a flat chest.

Embellished Ruffle Top

Embellished ruffle tops do a great job of adding dimension to smaller breasts but also diverts attention from wider hips.

Padded Top

A little padding at the bottom of your bikini top can boost your breasts enough to balance out wide hips and give the illusion of wider shoulders.

Here are a couple I like:

OR, you can go the opposite route and be skimpy up top…

Triangle Top

The skimpier a triangle top, the bigger your breast area looks, evening out the look of a pear-shaped body.

Plunging Neckline

By wearing a plunging neckline the attention is drawn to the skin on your chest and away from the hips. Try it!

Heavy Hips and/or Thighs

A bottom heavy body isn’t fun to shop for but it’s way easier if you remember what we talked about:

  1. Racerback tops make shoulders seem wider, hence your body more proportional, making your hips and thighs less noticeable.
  2. Draw attention to your upper half by using padding or embellishments up top.

And never choose boyshorts. NO BOYSHORTS. Just. Don’t. Do. It. Not if you have heavy thighs. The same goes for thick-banded bottoms. It’s like saying ‘yoohooooo! check out my thighs!’

Skirtini or Swimdress

A cool skirtini or swimdress can really help to camouflage a heavy lower body plus is super stylish now. Here are a couple I like:

I LOVE that hipster bottom. I’m getting that ASAP!


You may be interested in articles about  fat removal.


If you’re not into the skirtini or swimdress check then a tankini can also drive give the illusion of slimmer hips.

Big Booty

I know, I know, big booties are ‘in’ and maybe you want to accentuate yours but if you have a pear-shaped body I’m guessing you will not.

To give the illusion of a smaller butt stay away from string bikinis or any suits with high-cut waists.

  • NO String Bikinis
  • NO High-Cut waists
Solid Bottoms with Printed Tops

That being said, a good way to camouflage a big butt is by choosing solid bottom.  Also, boyshorts make a large booty seem slimmer.

I love these boyshorts below that are great for big booties but not so good for larger thighs or hips.

teeny heartTIP: The smaller the bottom, the bigger the booty. So, unless you want a badonkadonk, you may want to stick to something modest.

Apple Shaped Body

apple shaped silhouette

Apple-shaped is when you carry your weight in the middle so you probably have a belly that you’d prefer not to put on display.

Since I know that a lot of women think they have an issue, but it’s really not that bad, I’m going to start with the less dramatic options and move on from there.

Color-Blocking Suits

Color-blocking, or the use of contrasting blocks of color, can make your tummy and waist seem smaller.

If you don’t find color-blocking effective for your then there are a couple super mid-section-covering options.

Peplum Tankini

A Peplum Tankini totally camouflages the area, if you’re super self-conscious. And it’s cool and new, not old fashioned and obvious.

Blouson Top Tankini 

It’s obvious how that works. I actually own the top above and wear it with jeans! Nothing like multi-tasking swimwear right? And there’s no seeing any sign of belly under that fabric.

Surplice Wrap

However, if the blouson style seems like too much fabric for hanging on the beach, the surplice wrap is an elegant alternative to hide a bigger middle area.

Sarong Front

But my personal fave is the sarong front style.

These used to be for old ladies but designers have ramped them up this season and now they’re pretty elegant, don’t ya think?

High-Waist Tankini

Finally, you may want to check out a swimsuit with a high waist and a bit of gathering like this cool ass high waist tankini:


Shirring and Ruched


Leaving the best for last, check out the Crisscross Underwire One-Piece Swimsuit by MiracleSuit. It’s shapewear in a swimsuit.

It has a criss-cross in the front that extends your shoulder line, Miratex fabric in the middle for flattening the belly, and thick straps to guard against any back fat too!

It’s like shapewear, but in a bathing suit. It has a criss-cross in the front that extends your shoulder line, Miratex fabric in the middle for flattening the belly, and thick straps to guard against any back fat too! MiracleSuit’s rock.

Hourglass Body

kim ann curvy bikini

Me in my curvier days (bigger breasts)

Curvy is when you’ve got a bosom and a butt, you’re not twiggy, but you’re not overweight either. Think Kate Upton, Salma Hayek, Scarlett Johansson, Christina Hendricks, Dita Von Teese, or me when my boobs were bigger and I had a few pounds on me.

Let’s start with what you should steer clear of when finding a swimsuit for a curvy body:

  • NO Itsy Bitsy String Bikinis (unless you’re on call)
  • NO Monokinis (those strange one pieces with cutouts everywhere)

Since there are many types of curves, let’s address a couple of different issues that go along with that.

Big Breasts

A Bandeau Top can make your breasts appear smaller

A Bandeau Top always make your breasts appear smaller (me on the same vacay as above image)

Bandeau Top

A bandeau top minimizes large breasts and creates a more athletic look. It’s true. That’s the power of illusion, ladies.

Bandeau Tops come in many flavors, with a bikini, high waist bikini, or tankini:

Bra-Style Tops

But if you feel you need more support then check into Bra-Style Tops with adjustable straps and maybe some underwire or molded cups.

The thicker the strap the better the support.

Athletic Body

Me in my 'athletic' phase.

Me in my athletic phase. After I started doing Pilates and got a breast reduction I noticed that I was losing my curviness which made shopping for swimsuits a whole other story.  

There are lots of ways to give the illusion of curves. Let’s start with what NOT to wear:

  • NO Bandeaus
  • NO Boy cut briefs
  • NO Shapeless one pieces (Bo Derek did it but DO NOT try at home)
  • Granny Bottoms

But the list of what you CAN wear is a lot longer for you lucky girls!

Tie-Side Bikinis

Tie-side Bikinis are great to give the illusion of curviness.


And guess what? Out of all the body types, the athletic body shape is the ONLY shape that can sensibly wear a monokini.

Ruffles. Yup, this is also the best body type for ruffles and really whatever else you want:

And HELLO Crochet! You can wear Crochet too!

Wide Shoulders

Some girls with athletic bodies also have big shoulders. Cool sometimes but if your wide shoulders bother you the best way to camo that is with an Asymmetrical Swimsuit:


Love Handles (muffin top)

No matter how straight or fit your body becomes, you are not exempt from love handles mamacitas!

Mr. BeautyBlackBook and I on a mexican vacation from hell

Mr. Beautyblackbook and I on a Mexican vacation from hell (he’s so hot though right??)

I did my best to camo the love handles in that photo, and unless you look closely you probably won’t notice them,

Love Handles - my knee is up for a reason Ladies!

Love Handles – my knee is up for a reason Ladies!

What I would’ve done if I had a longer torso would wear a High-Waisted Bikini Bottom:

Short Torso (High Waist)

An ex-boyfriend told me I had a high-waist (key word: ‘EX’).  I personally like to think of it as having long legs but, tomatoes, tomahtos as they say.

Low-Rise Bottoms

Low-rise bottoms are a great way to lower a high waist.

I love that suit because you can use the top as a sports bra as well!

teeny heartTIP: A deep neckline will shorten your torso so stay away from those!

Long Torso (low-waist)

High-cut and high-waisted swimsuits tend to make your legs look longer, shortening the length of your torso which is perfect for those long torso gals.

Another way to make your legs look longer is to wear a thong which you’ll see in the flat butt section below.

Back Fat

If you feel like you have an issue with back fat, then consider a High-Back One Piece:

Thicker the straps, the less likely they will dig in which accentuates back fat.

You may be interested in reading  about the anti-backfat bra: Spanx Bra-lleluja Bra Review

Flat Butt

As we age, gravity takes over and can turn a pert little butt into a saggy, flat one. There are a few good ways to deal with a flat butt.

  • The smaller the bikini bottom the bigger the butt – a little dimension to a flat butt can’t be bad.
  • Bright colors and loud prints help too.

Also, you should try some thong bikinis that tie from the sides.


You may also be interested in the article: Emsculpt…A Lazy Way to Sculpt Your Abs and Ass 

Ruching and Frills are also a good way to add dimension to a flat booty (and I think a bit more classy):


The last swimwear issue I can think of is cellulite. I’ve left it for last because it’s the most difficult to deal with. Check mine out:

Me diving in all my cellulite glory

Me in all my cellulite glory

When shopping for a bikini, the only thing you can do to camo that cellulite is a spray tan. That’s all ya got. You may want to buy a sarong as a cover up if it bothers you (I have about 10 I can choose from when I know I’ll be in a public situation).

Learn all about the latest cellulite treatments here

So, I think we’ve covered all of the issues to consider when shopping for the perfect swimsuit. If I’ve missed anything, please let me know!

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