From big busts to small budgets: how to solve every swimwear dilemma you’ve ever had

Shopping for swimwear is rarely fun – unless of course your reason for buying is that you’re heading to the Maldives for two weeks in the sun. To make it that bit easier, The Telegraphfashion team are on hand with their own swimwear woes and tips for how they’ve shopped and solved them. 

Shopping for: smaller busts
As a Smaller Breasted variety of chick I could really detest swimwear time.

It’s simply about balancing the proportions. You can also add to this the visual trickery of narrow stripes and polka dots and panels of bright colour – the smaller the print or sections the better. Ruffles are pretty and on-trend and beautifully distracting in the same way; ruching is also your friend. Avoid black, plain colour and tube tops.

 

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Shopping for: post-pregnancy comfort
I’ve never been the most confident bikini-wearer but even more so now, nine months post birth, where the thought of swimwear fills me with minor panic. But I have worked out the solution: I need a one-piece with lots of structure and pulling-in at the waist, with underwired cups. It also needs to come in a flattering dark block colour – I find deep blues and reds look best against my Indian skin.

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Shopping for: darker skin
Bright swimwear – sunshine yellow, fuchsia and turquoise – are perfect for darker skin tones, but if they are a little too bold for you, burgundy, russet and teal also suit dark and olive complexions and are a great first step into colour. It’s inevitable that such vivid shades will fade, and tedious as it may be, washing by hand is the best way to keep bright colours bright – though my yellow Lazul bikini can handle a cold wash tucked inside a pale pillowcase, with a sensitive fabric conditioner to avoid obvious fading.

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Shopping for: bigger busts
Lesson #1: Bandeaus will never be your friends. There’s no telling when one will give up, ping down and turn family swim into an adults-only situation. As a rule, anything above a D-cup deserves investment; consider the money a downpayment on performance.

Malia Mills’ bra-sized swimwear isn’t cheap, but it’s beautiful, with fabric that doesn’t stretch or sag and colours that don’t fade.

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Shopping for: technical swimwear
If you want to train for a triathlon (there’s been an 88% rise in women’s participation since 2012), attempt watersports or just do lengths at the lido then you need something more supportive – without sacrificing on style, obviously.

I’m also a fan of LNDR, a small brand whose new ‘gym to swim’ collection includes modern mix and match sets with U.V, chlorine and sunscreen resistance – so they’ll perform during your workout, and look great at the beach bar after.

 

Shopping for: Fairer skin
Wearing the right colour swimwear – so that I look elegantly pale, rather than like a brit on their first day abroad – is crucial, but it’s also tricky, as most swimwear brands cater for tanned, olive-to-dark skintones with bright colours that are all wrong on fair skin. Bright white is a no-no, and the instinct to pick ‘flattering’ black is one to ignore here. Navy works, and some shades of khaki, but I’ve found that pastel shades – blush pink, icy blue, lemon sherbet yellow – are most flattering on my pale skin.

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Shopping for: a stomach scar
While I want something solid with stomach and scar coverage, though, I also don’t want to revert to a dull black one piece from the ‘shapewear solutions’ aisle. Marks and Spencer have a surprising hit in the Autograph collection by Rosie Huntington Whiteley, with a statement, non-cliche print and flattering one-shoulder cut that caters for non-supermodels too. For those with a bigger budget, the Instagrammers’ favourite label is Solid & Striped: its hero one-piece comes in no less than 68 prints and colour options. Caroline Leaper

Luxury designer swimwear

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