Swimwear buyer’s guide
It may be the bright lighting. It may be the unforgiving changing room mirror. But there’s something about high street swimwear shopping that can throw even the most body confident among us into the depths of despair.
If the annual pre-holiday trudge round the shops fills you with as much joy as a trip to the dentist, you’re not alone. But, like that dental check-up, swimwear shopping has to be done - unless you’re planning on sunbathing au natural this year. Face it. When we go on holiday we practically live in our swimwear, so we’re going to need more than one option plus some kind of beach cover-up stashed away in our suitcase to get us through our week in the sun.
Finding the perfect bikini or swimsuit can feel a bit like the search for the holy grail, but there is a way to make shopping for swimwear fun, honest! Two words, ladies - online shopping. Not only is buying your swimming costumes and bikinis online quick and convenient, you’ll be able to try them on in the flattering lighting of your very own bedroom.
Of course, buying swimwear online also comes with its own challenges, but that’s where shopping at Pour Moi comes in. Not only are we obsessed with style and fit, it’s our passion to make everybody feel beach-body ready as soon as they slip on one of our well-made, innovative pieces of swimwear. We’ve poured our expertise into every Pour Moi bikini set, swimming costume and beach cover-up - and we’ve also written this guide to help you choose the best option for you.
Need a bikini you can adjust depending on how much pasta was consumed the night before? Want a top that’s as supportive and flattering as your favourite bra? And what are the best beach cover-ups to take you from beach to bar? We’ll answer all this and more in our handy guide to swimwear.
1. When should I start swimwear shopping?
There are some great bargains to be had if you’re shopping for swimwear when summer’s already here. But you may struggle to find the right size and end up panic buying something you don’t love quite so much.
The bigger the selection you have to choose from, the better. So if you’re looking to purchase some new swimwear in time for your summer holiday, our biggest piece of advice would be to start early, and by that we mean March or April. Yes, we know it’s cruel to have to shop for tiny bits of lycra when you should be eating your body weight in chocolate eggs, but that’s fashion.
2. What do I need to know about buying swimwear online?
It helps to know what will suit your body shape, and we’ve got that covered below. But otherwise, there are some simple things you can do to get the best possible results when you’re buying a bikini online.
Get out that tape measure and actually compare your measurements to the size guide on the website.
Go for styles that have adjustable straps
If you hate having to return items, this one’s a no brainer. If an item has adjustable straps it allows you to find the perfect fit. And it’s not just bikinis and swimsuits that have this handy feature. You can even find adjustable straps on some items of beach cover-up, such as maxi dresses - great if you’re a little vertically challenged.
If in doubt, ask
All reputable online brands have a customer service department, so if you’re not sure about how something will fit, wash or look, contact them and ask.
Check the returns policy
If you want to buy the same swimming costume in a couple of sizes to see what fits best, you’ll need to make sure you can return the others. And be careful when it comes to trying on bikini briefs that the hygiene strips remain intact or you may not get that refund.
3. What’s the right swimwear for my body type?
At Pour Moi we know that the hottest beach babes come in all shapes and sizes, but there is one rule that truly fits all. if you want to look good in swimwear, you have to feel good in swimwear.
Yes, those swimsuits featuring lots of straps and cut outs are all over social media. But if you don’t feel comfortable or secure in that high-fashion piece, you’ll be too scared to drop your towel no matter how good it looked on Instagram.
Feeling great in your swimwear can make a good holiday even better, so use the following tips for total pool-side confidence.
If you’re busty...
If you’re larger on top, shopping on the high street for plus size swimwear may not work for you. You’ll need something that comes in a cup size, not a dress size, and you can forget about off-the-shelf bikini sets if you’re an DD on top and a 10 on the bottom!
When it comes to swimwear for big busts you’ll want something secure that won’t dig in, create strange bulges or slip off. Full cups and wider straps do offer great support, but don’t think you’re destined to wear items that fashion forgot every holiday. Luckily, things have moved on in the swimwear world. Here at Pour Moi there’s a vast range of choice in larger sizes, in styles that are all over both the high street and runway, so there’s no need to compromise.
Bikini tops with sweetheart necklines give full coverage and a great cleavage, while deep V-necks are also flattering. You can even unleash your inner Kardashian in an itsy bitsy triangle bikini, as long as it has built in supportive features such as double straps or hidden underwire. Pretty much all styles are now suitable for those with a heavier bust if they have underband support - which may also be called ‘secret shelf support’.
Even if you thought your chances of wearing a halter neck bikini were up there with blue moons and hell freezing over, these days you can get the halter neckline you love in styles that won’t leave you with red marks around your neck. Look for clever designs, such as two adjustable straps, light padding for shaping and supportive underwire.
If you’ve got small boobs...
Although you can get away with much skimpier styles like strapless bikinis, sometimes a bit of underwire can go a long way to creating a lovely bit of shape. Take bandeau styles, for instance. While these look great on a smaller bust, they do have a tendency to flatten what’s already there. Choosing a bandeau bikini with hidden underwire can solve this problem in an instant.
To really add some oomph up-top, choose a style with padding or go for a push up bikini style. Bold prints, horizontal stripes and halter necks (that scoop up what you have and push it all out front) work wonders too. Whatever you go for, just make sure the bikini top fits you really well - if the cup is too large it can gape which will highlight what’s lacking.
If you want to hide your tummy...
Swimming costumes are so hot right now, and they’re perfect if you want a bit of coverage over your mid section (or if you plan to get stuck into the hotel breakfast buffet). Look for tummy control swimwear which has supportive secret panels. These are available in such fashion-forward styles these days, and there are some seriously sexy options to choose from. Going for a cut out swimsuit shows off your style credentials while drawing the eye away from your tummy, too.
In recent seasons we’ve seen a huge trend in swimsuits with a belt, which not only looks fabulously retro, it’s a great way to get a waspish waist, zero sit-ups required. Combine a belt with tummy control panels and people will think you’ve been on an extreme pre-holiday diet when you sashay down to the pool!
Not a fan of swimsuits? Go for the movie pin-up look in a high waisted bikini brief, or choose a fold-over style which lets you decide exactly where your bottoms sit on your waist. Tankinis can also be a good option, allowing you to ruche them up when you’re lying on your lounger, but pull them down again when you’re getting in and out of the pool.
If you’re worried about your bum or legs...
If you want to hide your bum, it’s tempting to go for hipster bikini shorts, but they just end up making you look bigger, not smaller. Instead, chose simple bikini-style briefs or tangas. These offer great rear coverage, but their thinner waistbands will lengthen your legs faster than you can put on on a pair of wedge heels.
4. What are hottest styles in swimwear?
From classics that never go out of fashion to new must-have trends, here’s a quick rundown of what’s hot in swimwear - and just what it can do for your body.
OK, so sailor-style swimwear may not be breaking any new ground in terms of fashion, but stripes are a swimwear classic for a reason - they look so effortlessly chic. Supremely flattering whether you’ve got a tan or you’re still a little pale, navy and white always look stunning, or mix things up with bright colours, or even stripes mixed with polka dots!
Monochrome is a swimwear staple, but there’s no need to go for big blocks of black and white to get in on the trend. Get the monochrome look in cute gingham checks or even sassy animal print. Then add a straw hat or beach bag and pretend you’re Brigitte Bardot.
A massive swimwear trend that’s been gathering pace on the catwalk for a few seasons now, there’s nothing we don’t love about a ruffle. Fabulously feminine, a gentle frill is super flattering (particularly if you’re pear-shaped) because it doesn’t cling - it just skims over your body. A great way to jazz up a boring black swimsuit or bikini, there’s a ruffle option for everyone, whether they’re attached to bikini bottoms or you go for a peplum instead of a skirted swimsuit.
5. What are the best swimsuit cover-ups?
For truly envy-inspiring Instagram photos, you’ll need to accessorise and that means finding the perfect beach cover-ups to layer over your bikini or swimming costume. Sarongs still look sassy, but they’ve been joined by maxi dresses, kimonos and even beach trousers. Whatever you choose, make sure it’s lightweight and made of an airy fabric to keep you feeling as cool as you look.
Wide-leg beach trousers
Forget those denim cut-offs. The best dressed legs at the beach are all wearing wide-leg beach trousers and it’s easy to see why. These glamorous lovelies look so elegant and can take you right from the beach to the bar, particularly if you throw them over something like a black bandeau swimsuit. Plus the elasticated waists mean that you shall tuck into that elegant dinner with gusto!
Bikini too cute to be left in the shade? A loosely tied (or even undone) kimono means you can still show it off in style! Go boho with white floaty fabric embellished with embroidery, then layer over one-pieces or even tuck them into your jeans if the weather suddenly turns British.
A classic kaftan that hits mid thigh looks sensational layered over a colourful bikini or swimsuit. Cool and breezy, there’s nothing more satisfying to throw on when the weather’s hot. Choose something so floaty that you can barely tell you’re wearing it, then match with some sandals and a hot pair of shades.
Swimsuit cover-up or cocktail outfit? There’s no need to decide when you’ve got a floor-sweeping maxi dress stashed in your beach bag. Want our advice? Go for something double lined and it’ll do double-duty as evening-wear.
Show off those perfect pins with a super cute playsuit. This versatile piece is more comfortable when it’s a little on the roomy side though, so size up rather than down if you’re unsure.
Is there are a harder working piece of beach cover-up on the planet? We don’t think so. Want to conceal your trouble spots? Tie it around you as a maxi skirt. Shoulders looking a little lobster-like? Wear it as a wrap. You can even turn it into a halter neck beach dressor use it as a pillow. Matching your sarong to your swimwear gives a pulled-together beach look.
6. Buy your perfect beachwear at Pour Moi
Why trawl the high street trying to track down your perfect bikini or swimsuit? Buy it online at Pour Moi instead and you can try it on in the comfort of your own home. With innovative designs, discreet support and body control features in on-trend colours and prints, we love making sure that all our swimwear styles are available to all sizes.
Shop the Pour Moi swimwear collection