Lyst’s Definitive Guide To Swimwear

Lyst’s Definitive Guide To Swimwear

Life is tough when you’re incapable of ordering swimwear online because you don’t know how it’s going to fit or look - and, well, we get you. With a million-and-one options out there, it feels close to impossible to choose. Not that we ever choose just one (or two, if we’re being honest), but still, being presented with a ‘swim’ page featuring 700+ options can feel overwhelming to say the least.

But from curvier frames to athletic body types, we're helping to make sense of the endless swimwear options and narrowing them down to the style categories that were made to fit and flatter every frame.

The classic 50s pin-up bikini is almost as famous as the women who wore them - and for good reason too.

Best for those: who are fuller on toppear shapes (wide hips and narrow shoulders) and classic hourglass figures (symmetrical shoulders and hips).

What to look for: This one's a no-brainer. The trick to scoring a one-piece that flatters a larger chest is simple: choose a swimsuit with underwire. Not only does it provide more support and structure, but it'll also help to keep everything where it should be. For all you pears out there, your hips are the widest part of your body which is why you look great in higher-cut sides so they don't pinch your hips, while a halter top will give the chest more emphasis and draws the attention towards your waist. Hourglasses you should highlight your shape with retro suits - think Bardot in a high-waisted gingham two-piece.

Key styles: For top-heavy girls, bra-style tops with underwire and adjustable straps provide extra bust support. Pear shapes should look for thicker straps in order to provide more symmetrical balance (a halterneck is best for this).

The Show-Off

From Marbs to Manila, in recent years we’ve seen a surge in show-off swimwear. Strappy, cut-out and (often) fluorescent, these styles are not for the faint of heart. But when worn with your go-to wedge sandals and some unflappable confidence, the statement piece is the ultimate way to say - hell yes to being on vacation.

Best for those: with a smaller chestcarrot shapes (wide shoulders that taper down to a slim waist and hips) and short torsos.

What to look out for: For those who can sacrifice support for a more daring cut, you can go for more minimal coverage or embellished detailing like ruffles. Lucky for carrot figures, this body type gets to wear a print that many other shapes may find intimidating - so take this as your excuse to go all out. For those with short torsos, show off your middle with anything from cut-outs to sheer panels and strappy, on-trend monokinis.

Key styles: For the most daring beachgoers, a deep V-neck one-piece is especially flattering and creates a clean line that gives the illusion of showing a lot of skin. Translation: feminine and easy to wear.

The Sporty

The sporty, sleek, minimalist swimwear of the 90s is back - and we're into it. For many, this look takes us back to the glory days of swimwear, embodied by Angie Everhart’s freckled shoulders in a J.Crew scoop-back tank suit, scrawny Kate Moss in a tiny top and Christy, Claudia, Naomi and Linda in sleek black styles.

Best for those: Who are an athletic shape or have long torsos.

What to look out for: Lucky for athletic shapes, you have the most freedom when it comes to choosing swimwear, try highlighting your long and lithe frame with triangle bikini tops and simple-cut bottoms. For those with a long torso, the low-cut back is for you - try a backless one-piece.

Key styles: A scoop-back one-piece (because not all of us are ready for the tank suit to come back just yet), a stringy triangle top or strapless bandeau - Kylie Jenner style.

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