Style notes: your online guide to looking hot on the beach with 2012’s chicest swimwear
We don’t need an excuse to spend hours searching online for our next new swimwear purchase; we love nothing more than daydreaming about our next vacation and snatching up the latest ladies swimwear styles. Even though you may be classy and conservative with your everyday style, with your swimwear you can indulge your inner raver with bright colors, clashing tones and OTT prints!
What’s even better about swimwear is that it gives you the opportunity to buy into a high-end designer fashion brand without having to take out a small loan. Designer swimwear can be inexpensive and adds a touch of luxe to your beach look.
So if you’re jetting off in 2012, or you’re spending a day at the pool, compare the latest styles of swimwear and find the best swimwear to keep you feeling and looking good all summer long. Are you looking for chic ladies designer swimwear that’ll last for seasons to come? Or maybe you’re indulging and shopping for cheap swimwear that’s stylish but won’t break the bank so you can find one for every day of your vacation? We’ve got that covered too. Head over to our shopping pages where our comparison tables will help narrow down your options where you're guaranteed to find the latest designer and cheap swimwear to fit your budget.
Bikini a bikini is traditionally a two-piece swimsuit and is perfect for getting a tan (just watch out for those tan lines!). Bikini tops come in a range of styles, from bandeau to halterneck. Bikini bottoms can also be found in a wide range of colors and styles. A colorful triangle, tie-side bikini can be a really cheap and cheerful addition to your swimwear collection, or maybe you’d rather opt for a classic black style by a fashion designer for an investment buy – the options are endless.
Tankini a tankini occupies the middle ground between a bikini and swimsuit. It’s a two-piece but the top is a longer length tank-top style, with matching bottoms. The tankini lets you cover up more than a swimsuit, offering more modesty, and is more practical than a one piece for example, when using the toilet.
Monokini a contemporary monokini refers to a one piece with large, or small, cut-outs at the sides, front or back. The bust and bikini area are covered and the rest can vary hugely from one monokini to another. Some feature wraps and small cuts of fabric connecting the top and bottoms while others may be more like a swimsuit with cut outs. The monokini is definitely for you if you like to make a statement on the beach. But after a full day in the sun you may be left with some interesting tan lines!
Swimsuit the traditional swimsuit is an all-in-one with straps, a halterneck or strapless design. A traditional one-piece is ideal if you’re into swimming or watersports because you will avoid the risk of any embarrassing wardrobe malfunctions when you’re out in the sea.
Sarongs a sarong is a thin, light, large length of fabric worn as a cover-up on the beach or when exploring. Sarongs are often brightly colored and can double up as a scarf, dress or headscarf.
Which style of ladies swimwear will flatter my body shape?
Pear shape you are bottom heavy with a smaller bust. Stick to solid, dark colors on the bottom and bright, statement patterns on top to draw attention upwards. Opt for a bikini with tie side bottoms so that they don’t dig into your sides. Cover up with a tankini or swimsuit if you’re self conscious of your stomach and a sarong will help cover your hips if you want an extra layer.
Hourglass you have an enviously curvy figure with a defined waist and fuller bust and hips. Make the most of your gorgeous curves with a bikini or a cut out swimsuit. Monokinis are sexy without leaving you feeling exposed and cut outs around the waist will emphasise your teeny middle.
Boyish you have an up-and-down figure that would have a supermodel weeping. To add curves try push up and padded cups or bikinis with frills around the hips and bust. Ruching and draping on swimsuits will help create the illusion of a waist whereas boy shorts will add curves to your hips and butt.
Large bust swimsuits and bikinis with inbuilt cups are a large-busted lady’s best friend. Shop for in-built underwires and thicker straps to keep you supported. Solid, muted tones will be the most flattering option for your top half. Cover up in a tankini or swimsuit if you like to feel a little more covered up.
Small bust padded and push-up bra style ladies swimwear is the best option for maximizing cleavage and enhancing a small bust. Details such as ruffles and large patterns will also work to make you look curvier up top.
Big stomach opt for a tankini if you’re self conscious of a big tummy. Many tankinis and swimsuits now also offer body shapers to keep you looking lithe and gorgeous on the beach. Even better, many designers now use fabrics which allow you to tan through them – meaning you still end up bronzed and glowing!
Plus size look for swimsuits in solid, dark colors such as navy or black. Deep reds or blues will also look good on you and minimize your curves. A high-cut leg will emphasise your legs and slim your hips. Accentuate your figure by looking for fitted waists and built-in body shapers.
Which color women’s swimwear will flatter my complexion?
Bright colors look brilliant with a tan, as do white and cream (make sure they don’t go see-through when wet!). Remember that your bikini or one-piece can let you express your personality more than even your daywear. Don’t be afraid to go for bright, bold colors and eye-catching prints or patterns. Your complexion, hair and eye color are key factors in determining which hues will best suit you and flatter your coloring so to find the best ladies swimwear for you, compare our color guide below:
Deep complexions you have blue, red or pink undertones to your skin and you are generally brunette with dark eyes. Bold, clear colors look great on you – think white, black, blue and red - whereas neutrals, beiges and biscuit tones are best avoided.
Warm complexions you have golden or yellow tones to your skin and usually have red or brunette hair and darker skin. Your perfect color match will mimic the warm tones in your skin – camel, beige, orange and gold look gorgeous on you whereas cool tones such as blue are no-nos.
Light complexions your skin has golden undertones and is often a creamy white or peach color. Strawberry blonde hair and blue or green eyes are characteristic of light complexions. Warm, orange-based colors and dirty tones suit you perfectly.
Cool complexion blue, red or pink undertones characterise a cool complexion. Your skin is often pale or pink and you have blonde or brunette hair with light-colored eyes. Pastels and lighter tones look fantastic against your skin.
Nylon The gold standard of ladies designer swimwear and cheap swimwear alike, nylon offers the best fit, feel and durability. It’s pretty rare to find 100% nylon swimwear these days since nylon/spandex/lycra blends became au fait so snatch it up if you do find one!
Polyester Polyester ladies swimwear will typically last longer than traditional lycra blends and will have more durability and water resistance. Another advantage of polyester is its excellent stretch. It’s also long-lasting and can be cheap to buy.
Blends Most sarongs are polyester or a blend of cotton and polyester/nylon and can be washed normally with your laundry. Bikinis and costumes are usually made of nylon/spandex blends and need to be looked after more than polyester blends. Here’s how:
Caring for your new swimwear
Take a shower before putting on your new womens swimwear; this will eliminate any dirt, grease or creams from your body that could deteriorate the fabric, especially with cheap ladies swimwear.
Avoid getting oils, grease and suncream on your swimwear.
Rinse your swimwear in cold water after using it.
Never wring, iron or dry clean your swimwear.
Keep nylon/spandex blend swimwear out of hot water e.g. saunas, steam rooms and avoid heavily chlorinated pools.
Hang in a well-ventilated area with lots of fresh air when wet.
Delivery and returns
It is always best to check online independent retailers’ delivery and returns policy before buying women’s swimwear for sale online. Many retailers will also not accept returns on bottoms if the hygiene strip is removed so double check their online policy before you buy your swimwear.