I was a swimsuit designer in my early 20’s, and created custom swimsuits for individual clients. As such, I became an expert on how a swimsuit should actually fit as opposed to what we see on television and in magazines. There is no reason that you should not be able to have a highly fashionable swimsuit that fits correctly.
Many women use Sports Illustrated Swimsuit Edition as a guide for how their suits should fit, and even shop for those exact suits in an attempt to look like the models. The problem with that is that the models are not wearing the swimsuits to show how well they fit. In fact, many of the swimsuits are off, or pulled out of shape to appeal to the men who subscribe to the magazine.
If you were to actually wear a swimsuit that fits the way most of those suits are portrayed, you would be extremely uncomfortable walking around, going in water, or doing any practical thing that a swimsuit is meant to do. I’m not saying there’s anything wrong with the swimsuits portrayed in the magazine, but please don’t look for a swimsuit that fits the way that those ones appear to. Remember, the models in the magazine are only having their pictures taken; they are not wearing them for normal swimsuit activities.
A swimsuit should fit flawlessly. The fabric is stretchy so that it will hug your body without bunching up when you walk, or pulling your shoulders down painfully–providing you know what to look for when shopping for a swimsuit. If you buy a suit that doesn’t fit correctly, there is a strong probability that you will never be comfortable wearing it. A few problems with finding a suit that fits are that women are sometimes embarrassed to ask opinions of others, and often when they do ask, those people are looking only in terms of aesthetics and not for fit.
I once had a client who insisted on having a large top that didn’t fit her small bust, to compensate for her long torso and wide hips. This woman refused to take my advice and after several warnings I made the swimsuit according to her request. She was thrilled when she picked up her swimsuit, but only wore it once and tried to return it because the top would not stay in place. Unfortunately for her, we could not accept the return, and she learned the hard way that fit should come before aesthetics.
When shopping for a swimsuit, be sure that it is long enough for your body, but not too long. This guideline applies to both 1-piece and 2-piece swimsuits. If a one-piece swimsuit is too short for your body, it will pull at both the crotch and shoulders, and there will be no definition around the breasts. If a one-piece is too long, the straps will tend to fall off of the shoulders, and the fabric will overlap and bunch up around the waist. With a 2-piece swimsuit generally a bikini bottom being too long is a bigger issue that too short (excluding modesty).
A bikini bottom that is too long will tend to have horizontal wrinkles or drape oddly around the waist. Bikini tops can also be too long or short, depending on the breast size. Wires should always fit completely underneath the breast; if they ride up, the top is too short or the cup is too small. In that case, opt for a larger size.