Swimwear style guide

cocomamastyle | speedo | swimwear style guideOh, hello sun! And school summer holidays!

Whether you’re heading to (even) sunnier climes or hoping the Great British Summer will stay for a while, great swimwear is key for poolside glamour and for actually swimming in without being pulled off by your tot.

To give you a helping hand I’ve updated my ultimate swimwear style guide and added in my latest must-have swimsuit as well as some tips I shared on the Very blog recently with my celebrity hit and misses in the swimwear style stakes.

Go forth and don your swimsuit, bikini or tankini with pride, mamas!

Celebrity swimwear

They may have the money, personal trainers and quick beauty fixes at the drop of a (sun) hat but does their swimwear style flatter?


Image: @ElleMacPhersonOfficial/Instagram

When it comes to swimwear idols, it’s the Aussie girls that nail the effortless beach babe look. The Body herself, Elle McPherson can give those young, bikini-clad selfie-oholics a run for their money.

Elle shows how the long and lean can embrace the triangle tops and tie-sides of string bikinis and for more coverage it’s the sports-inspired styles which suit this athletic bod.


Image: @KylieJenner/Instagram

It may sound obvious but make sure your swimwear looks like swimwear! While nude tones are positively chic in many areas of fashion and beauty, when it comes to your bikini, be careful with nude tones – make sure the colour contrasts your skin tone, or has detailing like ruching or texture.

Kylie Jenner has an enviable figure and budget to match but it’s always a good idea to contrast and complement your skin tone to turn heads for the right reasons and not because it looks like your luggage got lost en route!

See the full post on the Very blog here.

Swimwear to suit your body shape

No matter what your shape, there are swimwear options for you. Take a look back in the CocoMamaStyle archive (here) for my top tips on getting the right swimsuit or two-piece for your figure so you’ll know what to look for when you’re on the hunt for that holiday essential.

Here’s your quick reference guide:

You are: Hourglass shape (with a defined waist with shoulders and bust balancing hips)

Retro styles will really enhance your shape so look for wide halternecks or bandeau styles (with support and a seam under the bust) that will emphasise your assets and show off your shoulders.  Highlight your slim waist with belt detailing.

cocomamastyle | swimwear body shape style guide | fig leaves | hourglass | bikini

Floral bikini, Panache @ Figleaves

You are: Small on top

You’re the lucky one that can wear triangle bikinis without looking like you’ll fall out but if you want to enhance your bust look to add volume with details like ruffles, frills or fringing, while a light, moulded cup will add shape and lift.

cocomamastyle | swimwear body shape style guide | new look | asos | small bust

Bikini, New Look @ ASOS

You are: Big on top

Support your ample chest with underwiring or structured panels and if you have broad shoulders avoid halternecks which will highlight this, instead look for wide shoulder straps for comfort, support and to break up the area.  If you prefer bikinis to a one-piece look you could try a long line bikini top which will offer more support and hold.

cocomamastyle | swimwear body shape style guide | bigger bust | freya | fig leaves | bikini

Printed bikini up to J cup, Freya @ Figleaves

You are: Straight up and down

If you’ve an athletic figure but would like to appear curvier, add shape with structure around the bust and higher cut legs.  Halterneck styles will form a V shape to create the illusion of curves and tie sides on bikini bottoms add interest to your slender hip area.  Why not make the most of your sporty shape and go for a cut-out swimsuit or one-piece with panels to create shape.

cocomamastyle | swimwear body shape style guide | topshop |

Colour block bikini, Topshop

You have: Wide hips

Look for high-waisted or low cut (on the thigh) bikini bottoms in a block colour that will draw the eye up to the smallest point at your waist.  Draw attention further upwards with detail on the bust or try a plunge front swimsuit.  Opting for a balcony style top will boost your bust to balance out your hips.

cocomamastyle | swimwear body shape style guide | fig leaves | hourglass | bikini Palm print bikini, Figleaves

You are: Petite

Elongate your legs with high-cut bikini bottoms and tie sides to enhance curves.  Choose a smaller print so as not to overpower your frame and if you want to hide your tum but find swimsuits too long for your torso look for a tankini with adjustable straps to get the perfect length for your small frame.

cocomamastyle | swimwear body shape style guide | topshop | petite

Petite swimsuit, Topshop

You are: Tall

Balance out your height with horizontal stripes or a bold motif to catch the eye.  If you find regular swimsuits aren’t long enough for your body look for mix and match tankini tops and bottoms and if you’re conscious of flashing your tummy choose a high waisted brief with a regular tankini top to conceal the gap.

cocomamastyle | swimwear body shape style guide | tall | swimsuit | asos

Swimsuit, ASOS Tall

You are: Pregnant

You’ve no need to worry about showing a big tum, you’re meant to have one! The key for you is finding comfort and support. Try Seraphine for flattering swimsuits and ASOS for stocking up on multiple options for your bump.

cocomamastyle | swimwear body shape style guide  | maternity | tankini | pregnant | seraphine

Polka dot tankini (also in red), Seraphine

Best for swimming

If you’re looking for a swimsuit to do some serious swimming in (in style, of course) then look no further than Speedo’s Sculpture collection. I’ve tried and tested and highly recommend the range. Look no further for performance swimwear that’s figure-flattering and disguises a mum-tum.

speedo | cocomamastyle | helen | swimsuit style tips

As seen on CocoMamaStyle: Speedo Women’s Sculpture watergem adjustable swimsuit

speedo | cocomamastyle | helen | swimsuit style tips

Read my full report on Speedo Sculpture here

And if that wasn’t enough swimwear and holiday ready for you, take a look at my InstaGlam v InstaMum post from last summer here


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