Sizzling swim styles
Searching for that elusive, perfect swimsuit is guaranteed to induce trepidation in the hearts of all but the most seasoned of shoppers.
Fluorescent lighting, unflattering mirrors and unhelpful sales assistants combine for an experience that leaves many women depressed and anxious, according to studies on the psychological effects of shopping for new-season swimwear.
However, all is not lost according to our fashion experts, with an increasing number of designers and swimwear manufacturers listening to the demands of their customers and producing swimwear for real women with shapes that don’t necessarily conform to society’s idea of the perfect body.
Leading Perth stylist Elizabeth Clark says there are plenty of styles out there for those with problem areas that they feel are best kept hidden.
“Retro styles offer women full coverage and are ideal for those pear-shaped women with a fuller bust, ” she says.
“High-waisted, fifties-style briefs are definitely worth trying as they are surprisingly flattering and look really chic when paired with a matching bustier bikini top, ” she says.
Ms Clark says teamed with a large hat and oversized sunglasses in cute gingham prints or pretty florals, they are a stylish look regardless of size and age, and for those who aren’t necessarily comfortable putting their stomachs on show.
Fellow stylist and fashion commentator Jo Shields says those with a bigger bust need to look for styles with decent straps and support.
“The aim is to define the bust, rather than to cover it up and, teamed with a retro bikini bottom, it can balance the look if you happen to be top heavy with smaller hips, ” Ms Shields says.
She says small-busted girls are in luck this summer, with sporty halter-cropped tank-top styles trending and plenty of bandeau styles available for those looking to enhance what they have.
“An added frill or some ruching is even better to help create more volume up top where you need it, ” she says.
“And if you find a style that you can’t quite fill, a number of designers sell waterproof inserts which can be slipped into the existing lining for a bit of a size boost when you need it.”
Ms Clarke says, as always, swimwear takes its cue from the strongest fashion looks of the season, so be on the lookout for floral prints, cut-out detail, retro shapes and sporty silhouettes.
“The one-piece has replaced the bikini as the beach babe’s sexy go-to look, ” she says.
“Look for versions with a strong sportswear influence complete with high-cut legs, plunging necklines, contrast stitching and zip details.”
She says colour blocking and mixed prints are popular this year. However, women should be aware that bright colour and large prints and patterns will add volume to your frame.
“Keep your silhouette more streamlined by opting for micro- prints and a darker colour palette.”
Ms Shields says soft ruching and more structured designs work wonders on fuller figures and will slim the waist and take the focus away from trouble spots.
“It’s also good to remember that bigger hips don’t necessarily look best in fuller-bottom swimwear, ” says Ms Shields. “As long as there is adequate coverage over the butt, thinner straps, especially those that tie, can create the illusion of a smaller bottom and longer legs.”
For the more adventurous, Ms Clark says an all-white swimsuit accessorised with gold jewellery and a spray tan is a high-fashion look for summer and can easily go from beach to bar for those with the confidence to pull it off.
PHOTO: Jets Elaborate bikini jets.com.au
© The West Australian
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