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How to Choose the Right Swimwear

Choosing a swimsuit can be a tough decision. There seem to be an endless selection of styles and shapes. It can be stressful but it doesn’t have to be hopeless.

Mix and Match

Creating the perfect swimsuit starts with mixing and matching your favorite pieces. Many people are not sized the same on the top and the bottom. Start by making sure you are finding the right size for your body type. Then choose the amount of coverage and support you’d like based on personal preference and how you will be using your new swimsuit. If you are an avid beach bum and are wanting the perfect tan, less coverage will give you more sun exposure. If dream days on the beach mean playing volleyball, going for a jog in the surf, or long afternoons playing in the waves then more coverage will give you support and protection from the sun. Choose a swim skirt if you want a fun and feminine look or board shorts if you love the casual surfer vibe. Mixing and matching enables you to have an entire wardrobe of swimsuits, with just a few key pieces.

Find the Right Style

The key to finding the perfect swimsuit is choosing the right cut for you. At Lands’ End we believe that every body is a beach body and finding the right style for your shape will help you feel comfortable and confident in your new suit.

  • One Piece Swimsuit: Full coverage, instant sophistication. This style has your waistline covered. If you’re looking to more fully camouflage your mid-section, consider a one-piece with shirred fabric or dark colors.
  • Tankini: Coverage of a one-piece, convenience of a two-piece. Highlights the waist by drawing the eye to a flattering line just above your hips.
  • Bikini: Minimal coverage to maximize your tan. Highlights and accentuates the bust. Details like the tie-front and exotic prints add flare and charm.

Know Your Body Shape

Everyone’s body is different. We come in all shapes and sizes. To find the perfect bathing suit, it is important to know your body type. Swimsuit styles and sizes vary depending on your hips, waist and bust. Measure each to determine your shape.

  • Rectangle: Balanced shoulders and hips, little or no waist definition.
  • Hourglass Shape: Balanced shoulders and hips, well-defined waist.
  • Triangle Shape: Narrower shoulders or smaller bust, fuller hips.
  • Inverted Triangle: Broader shoulders or larger bust, narrower hips.
  • Diamond Shape: Balanced shoulders and hips, wider at the waist.

Measure Your Size

Finding the right size is crucial to choosing a bathing suit that is both stylish and comfortable. A swimsuit that is too tight or too loose may look unflattering and keep you from showing off your favorite features. Here is a simple guide on how to measure your size.


Run a tape measure diagonally across your body from your shoulders, over the fullest part of the bust, between your legs and back to the starting point.


While wearing a bra with your arms relaxed at your sides, measure the fullest part of your bust, keeping the tape measure parallel to the floor.


Follow the dotted line for where to measure. Measure around your waist, while in your underwear, at the narrowest point. Add a half inch for comfort.


Stand in bare feet with your feet slightly apart and your back to a wall. Measure from the floor to the top of your head. Your height will determine whether you are PETITE, REGULAR, or TALL.

Regular, Petite, Tall or 16W-26W

Regular - 5'4" - 5'7" tall, with hips slightly larger than bust

Petite - 4'11" - 5'3" tall, proportioned smaller, scaled down in shoulder width and sleeve length.

Tall - 5'8" - 6'0" tall, accommodates long body torso and sleeve lengths.

16W-26W - 5'4" - 5'7" tall, proportioned to flatter full-figured women. Compared to our size 16, size 16W is 2 1/2" larger in the waist and 1 1/2" larger in the hip.

You're Always in Control

What do we mean by control? In swimwear, we're talking about built-in shaping—ranging from a little help (tummy control) to serious smoothing (all-over control). Prefer something in between or a swimsuit without control? We have you covered there, too.

  • Control swimsuits: Smooths, shapes and supports. Tummy trimming, all-over slimming or something in between? You decide.
  • No Control: No additional shaping. Just great designs that highlight your natural shape.

Choose the Right Color and Fabric

Different color and fabric choices can help you look and feel your best.

  • Highlight features you like with bright colors and patterns, camouflage other features with solid colors.
  • Pale skin tones are complemented with dark colors.
  • Darker skin tones can benefit from bright colors.
  • Ruffles add volume, shirred fabric will hide volume.

Let Us Help

Whatever your size, shape or style, you can find your perfect swimsuit at Lands’ End. Our selection of stylish and functional women's swimwear is unmatched. Each suit comes in a variety of unique designs and colors. Find your dream bathing suit to show off this summer!

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