The Body-Positive Way to Choose a Swimsuit This Summer
Heidi Klein creative director Heidi Gosman says it shouldn't be about categorizing your figure into a certain body shape. Whew.
Summer is always a wonderful time of year. Instead of wanting to hide under the covers all day because it's downright freezing out, warmer temperatures have us dreaming of all-night BBQ parties, picnics in the park, and lazy days by the pool.
However, those glorious days by the pool mean putting your Netflix-and-chill bod into a bathing suit. And that's not always the most fun, is it? But it doesn't have to be that way. When it comes to flattering swimsuits, the important thing is not categorizing yourself into a body shape mold.
The key is understanding what you want from your suit when it comes to coverage and support, according to Heidi Gosman, co-founder and creative director of swimwear brand Heidi Klein. She has been designing swimwear for well over a decade and continually creates chic suits with an emphasis on impeccable fit, instead of specific body types. Isn't it about time you focused on enhancing the body you already have according to your own standards?
Following this body-positive logic, Gosman gave us the rundown on what to look for when it comes to choosing a fashionable, flattering bikini or one-piece this summer:
For Evenly Proportioned / Medium Coverage & Support
If you have a silhouette with even proportions, then you are lucky to have a wide range of swimwear to choose from. A bandeau bikini top with hidden support will emphasize the curves of a modest bust and low cut bottoms will emphasize a small waistline. For a larger bust, a halter-tie bikini top will provide more support and an adjustable fit. Padded cups in the bikini top provide extra shape as well as support. For this body shape, low, hipster bottoms will complement a flat stomach and a flattering detail at the hips, such as ties or bows, will draw attention to bottom area and emphasizes feminine curves.
For Petite / Low Coverage & Support
For petite silhouettes with a boyish frame, we can add the illusion of more shape with tie-side bottoms that have intricate detail at the hips to complement a petite figure without adding bulk. Skimpier triangle and bandeau tops for instance are all ideal styles for petite shapes. Tops with subtle padding in the cups will provide additional volume while feminine frill and bow detailing will draw attention to the bust area. Choose our structured bandeau, such as the Malibu balcony bikini which has inbuilt wires and cups, and the triangle top, such as the Venice Beach, Tobago or St Thomas, which has removable padding.
For Larger Top / Full Coverage & Support
For a larger bust shapes, proper support is essential so look for underwired bars to provide lift and padded cups to deliver a more balanced shape. The aim is to minimize the focus on the bust area and draw the eye towards the lower part of the body. Go for bottoms that have some tie-side detail with a classic fitting bottom to accentuate the bottom half.
Choose a control one-piece that offers extra support with a compressed close knit structure. This includes the ribbed fabrics, such as Manda Island and Zadar, and the My Body fabric with the built in power mesh, such as Sardinia. Our fuller support styles include the ruched one pieces, such as Sardinia and Bordeaux, which offers a molded cup and our D-G bikini styles which are underwired and have soft boning in the top side seam and a classic fold-over bottom.
For Larger Bottom / Full Support & Coverage
Those looking for more support and coverage on the bottom should try to draw the attention to the bust area instead of the hip area. Go for padded cups or subtle details on the top to create cleavage and draw the eye upward. Classic fitting bottoms that fit to the crease of the bottom are more flattering for this shape. There is a common misconception that a larger brief is better for a larger bottom but this is incorrect. A larger brief will accentuate the bottom area rather than disguise it, so opt for something well-fitting instead of oversized. A fold over bottom will complement the waist area by giving support to the tummy area. Also, a well-fitting one-piece with detail at the bust is ideal for curvy shapes as it will add dimension and elongate the silhouette.
Livingly: What is the biggest mistake you see women making when it comes to swimwear?
"There is a common misconception that more material is better for an area you want to hide, but actually this is incorrect. A larger brief will accentuate the bottom area rather than disguise it, so opt for something well-fitting instead of oversized. A fold over bottom will complement the waist area by giving support to the tummy area."
What would you say is the most universally flattering cut/style?
"A well-fitting chic one-piece is flattering on all body shapes, such as our Manda Island V Bar One Piece. The detail at the burst adds dimension and elongates the silhouette. The textured fabric ensures a perfect fit."
If you're only going to buy ONE swimsuit this summer, what kind should it be?
"A classic choice, such as our Bridgehampton one pieces. The chic color makes for a timeless swimsuit. Customers can choose from a racer back or a long sleeved style, perfect for yachting or water sports."