The Best Bikinis for Your Body Type

BettyConfidential.com
Yes, you can look beachy keen!
- Erin Donnelly, BettyConfidential.com


You can run, but you can't hide-it's bathing suit season again! Before you start wheezing into a paper bag, refer to this bikini guide to get the lowdown on which style suits your figure best. From busty babes like Audrina Patridge to pint-sized petites, we've got the solutions to your swimsuit needs, freeing you up to stress about other things-like achieving that elusive flawless spray tan.

Read Hottest Bikinis of the Season

Small Busts

Okay, so you didn't get a call back for the Baywatch auditions. The good news is that having a modest chest like Keira Knightley gives you the freedom to wear a variety of bikini tops that bustier gals can't get away with, not that it stops some of them from trying... Rather than reaching for a thick padded cup, flaunt your figure in a bandeau or triangle top, which look best on smaller chests. If you want to make your molehills a bit more, ahem, mountainous, opt for an underwire, modest padding or a top with flirty ruffles, which will add volume.

Turn heads in this unique watercolor-print bikini. Bonus: The striking one-shoulder strap adds extra insurance against any embarrassing wardrobe malfunctions ($52 top, $37 bottom, victoriasecret.com).

Pump up the volume in this sweet sky-blue ruffled top, which comes with removable padding and a halter strap ($48, urbanoutfitters.com).

Take advantage of your mosquito bites in this triangle top, which boasts a striped print that creates the illusion of curves by drawing the eye across ($140, shopbop.com)

Big Busts

If your cup runneth over like Holly Madison, look for a bikini top with plenty of support. Repeat after me: An underwire is your friend. Likewise, a sexy halter top will give your girls a boost without looking tawdry. Speaking of tawdry, try to avoid skimpy triangle tops or bandeaus, which tend to smash boobs together in one unflattering lump.

Go classic in this bold blue two-piece offering plenty of coverage and support for large breasts ($37.50 top, $22.50 bottom, macys.com)

Dive into this sweet retro-style top, which is available in a D cup and offers plenty of underwire support ($54 top, $44 bottom, jcrew.com)

Designed for top-heavy gals, this underwire top sports a fun turquoise and white print ($42.50 top, $22.50 bottom, figleaves.com)

Heavy Midsection

A little pudge shouldn't send you running for a black one-piece. A tankini is great for concealing not-so-trim tummies, and gives you more room to breathe than a constricting one-piece. You can also try a bikini short with a higher waist that hides the belly, such as a retro-inspired boy short. Darker colors are slimming, so if you want to draw the eye north, go for a bright or floral-print top with black bottoms, like the one that Victoria's Secret Model Selita Ebanks is wearing on location.

This bold print's diagonal stripes are slimming because they draw the eye up and down rather than across. ($24.50 top, $24.50 bottom, delias.com)

Make a splash in this sexy black set print that's perfect for summertime lounging or flirting ($26.50, top, $26.50 bottom, aeropostale.com)

A ruffle detail provides a feminine touch with this paisley tankini ($12, top, $12 bottom, oldnavy.com)

Pear-Shaped

Conceal an ample butt or thick thighs with dark bikini briefs while drawing the eye north with a detailed top in a bold color or print. You can also try a swim skirt like the one Ashlee Simpson's wearing that will keep things under wraps. Avoid boy shorts like the plague, as they can emphasize your south-of-the-border curves. Simple is best.

Be a bathing beauty in this lovely floral-print combo complete with a wrap-style skirt that covers your bottom line ($68 top, $80 bottom, nordstrom.com)

A graphic black and white print adds personality to this ruffle-edged swim bottom ($54 top, $64 bottom, bloomingdales.com)

These dark brown bottoms offer full coverage while a bolder turquoise top steals the attention. ($19.99 top, $19.99 bottom, jcpenney.com)

Boyish

If your figure is straight up and down with very few curves, fake 'em by slipping on a suit that boasts details (bows, ruffles) that add volume and visual interest like Annalynne McCord's. Experiment with bold prints, give your boobs a boost with an underwire top, and look for bottoms that tie at the sides. Avoid solid colors and anything with no support.

Ties, a vibrant striped print and a halter/bandeau top add up to a flattering suit for curve-less cuties ($55, us.topshop.com)

A wild print and a tie detail help give shape ($10.80 top, $9.80 bottom, forever21.com)

Go girly in this ruffled set, complete with an outrageous floral print ($115 top, $70 bottom, bergdorfgoodman.com)

Short Legs

High-cut bikini briefs are a short girl's best friend. Miley's rockin a cute polka-dotted pair. However, steer clear of boy shorts or skirted bottoms that shorten the leg even further.

These bow-accented bottoms cut high at the thigh ($123.75, my-wardrobe.com)

Soak up the sun in this red bandana print with side ties ($24.89 top, $24.89 bottom, abercrombie.com)

These string bottoms expose more leg, making short frames look longer. Hint: A plunging halter top also exposes more skin and creates the illusion of a longer torso. ($17.99 top, $17.99 bottom, kohls.com)

Erin Donnelly is a London-based fashion writer who has written for StyleList and Refinery 29.

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