Ask the Expert

Swimwear That Suits Your Shape

Stylist Julia Browning weighs in with her figure-flattering advice.

By Julia Browning June 18, 2014

It's summertime. Swimwear is everywhere. I am glad this summer essential is loud and proud, but if I don't pick the perfect cut/color/pattern/detail, I feel exposed and insecure. Bathing suit shopping is never easy, even for a personal stylist! But I do have some body-type-specific tips for finding the perfect suit for your shape.


HOURGLASS: If you like to show off your curves, pick a top with a “deep V” cut and choose a bright color. On the flip side, you can downplay your womanly curves by grabbing a darker hue or small print. 

PEAR: Accentuate your bust by picking tops that feature volumizing details, like ruffles, fringe, or studding. The extra material or hardware will help you achieve an overall balanced appearance.

APPLE: Camouflage your midsection with a trendy one piece that gathers at the side. This will take everyone’s eyes away from the “problem” area and keep you feeling held together. Whatever you do, avoid the tankini!

RECTANGLE: Tap into your feminine side with a floral print or draw attention to your hips with a string bikini bottom. Also, tie-front tops can add an extra bit of “umph” to the bust.

INVERTED TRIANGLE: Avoid triangle tops. They will not provide the support “the girls” need. Underwire or a thick band can give you that support and the peace of mind you are looking for. Also, try boy shorts to balance out the hips for more of an hourglass shape.

PETITE: Gravitate toward simple bathing suits. A print that's too big or a lot of excess fabric will overwhelm your small frame.

TALL: Congrats! You can pull off the oh-so-sexy one piece with laser cutouts! You can find this trend in all different price points this season, so why not give it a try?

PLUS SIZE: Guess what? You don't always have to buy the color black! Change it up with a jewel tone and some ruching.

If the idea of trying on bathing suits still causes your heart rate to raise, hire a professional. That's what we're here for—to guide you to the perfect fit and to get ahold of what makes you look and feel great!

Whatever you do, enjoy your time in the sun this summer!

*Julia Browning is a Houston-based stylist. Did you see her on Great Day Houston this morning?

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