Women’s swimwear can stretch up to 100% in some cases. Typically 75%, but what this really means is that the material will compress the body mass it encloses as it stretches more and more. If you stretch bikini swimwear material beyond its maximum comfort zone then unsightly bulges can result. What this means for most people is that if your hips are 41″ then do not order a medium bottom. Order a large. A medium will fit but unless you have very good skin and muscle tone, then those unsightly bulges will probably result.
So it is VERY important to get proper measurements. Proper body measurement is key to a successful outcome. We’ll take you through the basic measurements that the clothing industry depends on.
How To Measure: Use a cloth tape measure if possible.
Note: Older flexible tape measures can sometimes stretch and distort over time.
The person being measured should be wearing his or her normal undergarments only. Measurements taken over bulky or constricting clothing will not be accurate. If you’re measuring for something that will be worn only with a certain pair of shoes or a certain undergarment, it’s okay to wear them during the measurement process.
Chest: To measure the chest circumference, place the tape around the fullest part of the chest or bust, under the arms. Keep the tape parallel to the floor. For chest width, measure across the widest part of the chest, beginning and ending at the point where the arm touches the body on each side.
Waist: You can find the true waist by taking a string or elastic band and tying it (parallel to the floor; snugly but not too tight) around the trunk of the person being measured. It will naturally fall to the narrowest part of the trunk. If you think the true waist area is too high, measure the circumference where you (or the person you’re measuring) normally likes to wear pants or a skirt.
Hips: Measure around the body keeping tape around the largest part of the hips.
A few other tips on measuring:
If you’re rounding off your results (which is advisable), round them up to the nearest quarter-inch or half-centimeter
Try to get someone to take the measurements for you – your posture will be more relaxed and natural. The measurements should be more accurate.
Stand up straight and breathe normally, don’t measure over the top of clothing, wear the bra you feel most comfortable in.
Another consideration is, “What kind of swimsuit looks best on me? What do I wear that will put emphasis on my positive features and distract from my not-so-flattering areas?”
First of all, we don’t put swimsuits on our bodies to make the suit look good – suits are worn to make our bodies look good – so choose one that brings out the best of YOU. Find a suit that accentuates the positives about YOUR body. How do you do that? Check out the body features and body types below and decide which best describes you. Then read which swimsuit styles flatter YOUR figure.
It’s not about body size – it’s about what makes YOU look and feel good about YOU. It’s about making the body you have look its best. It’s not about size either – don’t be alarmed if your swimsuit is a size larger than your clothing size – that’s usually the case for everyone.
FULL BOTTOM: (Hips & thighs are larger than the bust)
BEST STYLE: Skirted suits and strapless styles. Eye-catching tops draw attention upward.
FULL BUSTED: (Broad or large in bust area)
BEST STYLE: Higher neckline or built-in bra for support. Tankinis are ideal. Halters also work well; they support, hold up bust & flatter your figure.
FULL CENTER: (Round figure, not much definition to the figure)
BEST STYLE: Bottoms should have high cut legs; will make you look longer, leaner. Enhancing bust with underwire or padded top will make your waist look smaller giving the illusion of more of an hour glass. Vertical lines or shapes that angel up or down also “lengthen” the body.
HOUR GLASS: (Shapely, small waist, larger hips & bust)
BEST STYLE: You are one of the few fortunate ones. You have a
variety of choices. Most anything looks good on you.
LONG & SLENDER: (Curve less)
BEST STYLE: Florals, prints and stripes give the illusion of curves.
SMALL BUST: Petite or muscular chests
BEST STYLE: Tops with underwire & padding offer a “Cleavage” look. Sweetheart, V-neck or scoop necklines enhance the bust line also.
LARGE STOMACH: Rounded or protruding upper and/or lower abdomen
BEST STYLE: Camouflage it with floral prints or vertical stripes. If you’re small busted also, wear an underwire or padded top to enhance your bust and make your figure appear more evened out. Higher cut legs also give you the appearance of looking longer and leaner. Higher waist bottoms or full bottoms with higher cut legs are great; they give the illusion of a flatter stomach. Tankini tops are a good way to cover the stomach area.
THICK THIGHS: Extra muscular or very large upper legs
BEST STYLE: No boy-leg bottoms; they make your legs look stocky. Instead, try a bottom with a high waist and high cut legs to make the legs appear longer and leaner.
ATHLETIC BODY: Broad shoulders & small bust, muscular arms & legs
BEST STYLE: Padded top gives appearance of cleavage. Asymmetrical necklines & midriff cutaways distract attention from broad shoulders & long torso.
– Large prints can make you look bigger
– More Lycra slims
– It’s important to wear a swimsuit that FITS. If your suit is too big, it may appear to be “hanging” on you. A suit that’s too small may cause bulging. Neither is attractive.
Again, it’s about what makes YOU look and feel good about YOU and making the body you have look fabulous!
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