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How to choose: The Perfect One Piece

Posted on May 13 2022

Choosing a one piece swimsuit can be a daunting task and when shopping for one online it can feel like mission impossible. Don’t stress! We've been in the biz for a long long time. We’ve seen a lot of suits on a lot of body shapes and sizes and while our philosophy is that ‘fit’ should always come first, we also believe that you should wear what makes you feel good. With that being said, there are a few specific one piece styling requests we hear so often such as: suits for long bodies, heavy busts, or slimming the silhouette. So if you’re in the market for a new one piece swimsuit read on!

A note about “fit”: Your new one piece should feel snug as most swimwear will stretch a bit with movement and especially when it gets wet.  However it shouldn’t feel so tight that it’s constricting, you don’t want the seams to rip!  If you need some extra help choosing a style we are always glad to assist you, just drop us an email or come visit us at one of our 2 locations.

Support for Larger Busts

In the past if you were a DD cup or larger and wanted bra-like support it was underwire or bust (pun intended!).  Modern swimwear design has come a long way with wireless support, shaping, and fabrics, however, if you're like me and want your swimwear to support you as well as your favorite bra then underwire is still the way to go.  Side boning is also a heavy chests' best friend to help with shaping and keeping everything (ahem) contained.


Enhance and Support Smaller Busts

If you have a smaller cup size and are looking for a bit of lift and support, a built-in underwire or a shelf bra is always helpful. If you’re looking to enhance and shape the bust-line, look for styles that have removable padding, moulded cups, or booster pads (for that push-up bra effect!). Swimsuits with fabric detailing on the bust are also great for enhancing. Look for shirring, ruching, gathers or twisted fabric. Details like ruffles, pleating, and quilting can also provide the illusion of a fuller cup size.


Long Torsos

This one is a bit tricky. When fitting those with a longer body we rely mostly on the particular brands that tend to be cut a little bit longer. Some, like Seafolly, make certain styles in a “long fit” and most times with other brands, adjusting straps can help elongate the swimsuit. We find that one of our favourite brands, La Blanca fits a long torso well and flatters those with a little extra height.


Short Torsos

Adjustable straps!!! Adjustable straps are the best friend of a shorter body! It’s also good to keep in mind that the first part of the one piece that will loosen up and stretch with wear are usually the straps so make sure that there is room to make them shorter. If you try on a suit and it fits well but the straps are adjusted as short as possible you may want to consider a different style to leave room for the stretching that will come with time or have them altered by a tailor when they do stretch. We find that the brands, Sunflair and Charmline tend to fit a bit shorter in the body and we often recommend them for those with short torsos.


Lengthen the Legs

This will probably sound obvious but, the higher the leg line on a one piece swimsuit, the longer your legs will appear to be. Look for styles with words like high-cut, high-leg, California-cut, or French-cut. The recent popularity of retro 80’s and 90’s styles have also made this silhouette more widely available and those of us with shorter legs are loving it!


Trim the Tummy

Shirring and ruched fabric can provide the illusion of a trim tummy and these styles are a great choice for those looking to disguise this area. If you aren’t a fan of ruching but still want to tame the tummy, look for suits with built-in tummy control. Some of our favourites are from La Blanca, Sea Level, and Miraclesuit.


Slim the Silhouette

Suits with crossover fabric detailing are great for presenting the illusion of an hourglass figure, the same goes for strategically placed patterns. If you want your swimwear to fit like shapewear we highly recommend Miraclesuit and can vouch for the brands’ promise to “look 10 lbs lighter in 10 seconds” in their surprisingly comfortable control fabric one piece swimsuits which shape, contour, and support the body in all the right places!