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Swimwear for all sizes

bikinimainimageSnap up one of these gorgeous shape-changing swimsuits for some serious poolside posing…

Apple shaped
If your tummy makes you feel self-conscious on the beach, then disguise it! Swimsuits with built-in control panels or ruching take pounds off your midriff, while high-waisted briefs help suck in your stomach. Lycra aids control, and look out for V-shaped necklines and side panels that curve in at the waist to make you look slimmer.


1. Annika jewel swimsuit, black with slight bead detailing and thin straps, £36, Boux Avenue.
2. O’Lingerie curves bikini, retro print set, top £16, bottoms £12, Simply Yours.
3. Timney bikini, black and white conical shell design, top £45, bottoms £30, House of Fraser.
4. Bright pink bow bikini, high-waisted bottoms and matching tops, £30, Evans.
5. Isabella navy swimsuit, plunging neckline with ruffle detail, £144, Miraclesuit.
6. Riviera tummy control swimsuit, purple V-neck design with ruching on the waist, £22, Bhs.

Pear shaped
If you’re hip heavy, try strapless bikinis and swimsuits which create a horizontal line and balance your figure. Brazilian high- leg bikini bottoms lengthen the leg, while single block colours are considered flattering for pear shapes. Eye-catching tops and darker bottoms are another top tip for hippy ladies.


1. Spotty bandeau bikini, blue gathered style, top £6, bottoms £4, Matalan.
2. Leopard print swimsuit, V-neck style with a buckle on the waist, £16, Bon Marche.
3. Striped bandeau bikini, floral print set with side ties, £26, Miss Selfridge.
4. Colour block tankini, red halterneck top and purple high-waisted bottoms, £17,90, Bon Prix.
5. Cream crochet bikini, simple strapless design with gold clip, £26, Topshop.
6. Floral swimsuit
, pink and purple large-print design with halterneck, £29.50, Per Una at Marks & Spencer.

Athletic shape
Those with a more boyish figure should choose cut-out swimsuits to break up the torso. Shorts, rather than briefs, flatter slim hips, while high-cut briefs lengthen legs for long-bodied ladies. Horizontal stripes and detail on the mid-section of a swimsuit draw focus away from the lack of feminine curves and help balance the figure.

1. Hawaiian bikini, bright floral print, top £7, bottoms £5, F&F at Tesco.
2. Animal print swimsuit, cut-out design with plunging neckline and tie detail, £75, House of Fraser.
3. Star tie bikini, orange floral print set with tie details, £28, Topshop.
4. Paisley bikini, multicolour halterneck with ties, top £19.50, bottoms £15, Marks & Spencer.
5. Batik swimsuit, plunging neckline with vertical tie detail and cut-out sides, £21.99, New Look.
6. Stripe bandeau bikini, naval style white and blue set with side details, top £6, bottoms £5, Matalan.

Short body
Low-rise briefs, that sit low on the hips, make the body look longer.  Similarly, find a bikini or swimsuit that is cut high on the thigh, and it will make your legs look much longer. Choose swimsuits with plunging necklines, as they elongate the body. Halterneck tops are flattering as they draw attention to the bust and shoulders.

1. Rose swimsuit, floral and cut-out design with a halterneck tie, £22, Dorothy Perkins.
2. Blue Aztec swimsuit, horizontal patterned detail with hipster ties, £29.50, Evans.
3. Purple halterneck swimsuit, ruched detail at the waist with a plunging neckline, £26, Next.
4. Polka dot ruffle swimsuit, strapless style with ruffle detail, £28, Accessorize.
5. Coral bandeau bikini, ruched detail on the top and ties on the hips, rop £18, bottoms £12, Boux Avenue.
6. Red polka dot swimsuit, V-neck detail with halterneck blue tie, £35, White Stuff.

Big bust
It’s important to have some lift and support so choose swimsuits or bikini tops with structure in the bust. Halternecks that can be tied around the back and neck give most support to busty ladies. Swimsuits with wider straps are comfy and provide more lift and support than those with thin straps, so opt out of flimsy numbers. An adjustable or bandeau-style top will minimise the appearance of your breasts, too.

1. Floral bikini, multicolour design, top £15, bottoms £7.50, Marks & Spencer.
2. Cherry clossom bikini, pink printed halterneck set, £63, Rosa Faia.
3. Riveria animal bandeau bikini, blue print top £16, bottoms, £12, Bhs.

Small bust
If you’re lacking in the bust region, choose tops that will instantly create the impression of one, such as push-up, underwire or padded ones. Horizontal stripes, pleats and ruffles on the cups will make your cleavage appear fuller, as will patterned fabrics. Triangular bikini tops and cut-out swimsuits also create curves, making you look voluptuous with minimal effort!

1.  Floral tie bikini, pink and blue layered set, £26, Miss Selfridge.
2. Gingham bikini, black and white check design with ties, top £18, bottoms £14, Therapy at House of Fraser.
3. Bird print bikini, red mould balconette with ruffles, top £8, bottoms £6, Matalan.

This article was first published in at home with Lorraine Kelly in May 2011. [Read the digital edition here]

Image: F&F at Tesco

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