Here's How a Bikini Bottom Should Fit
Our in-house expert, the Bikini Whisperer, is here to guide readers through their trickiest swimwear questions. Got a question of your own? Drop us a line!
Hi Bikini Whisperer,
Shopping for a bikini is my nightmare! I don't have issues selecting a nice fitting top that flatters my bust, but finding the right bottom is an entirely different story. Can you share tips on how bottoms should fit to best accentuate your behind?
Baby Got Back
Hey Baby Got Back,
Although I hate to hear you're having difficulty with bikini shopping, I know you're not the only one. Luckily, we have a great return policy that allows for at-home trying and shipping of discards that don't fit properly — of course, if it is unworn and still has the hygiene lining intact. Determining your type of bootie shape is the first step — is it a heart, squared, round, or reversed-heart? No figure is the same, but discovering the curves that frame your silhouette will make choosing the right bottom easier.
Bikinis with angular cuts suit you best. Stay away from super curved hemlines, ruching or materials with added texture. Flat fabrics with seamless finishes are your top choices, but you can never go wrong with adjustable string ties that sit perfectly around your shape. A touch of color blocking can play a great role in balancing full hips. Choose a bottom that features a dominating pop of color at the center — it takes away attention from the outer hipline, drawing the eye to a narrow focal point.
Reversed heart shape
If your bottom is heavier at the lowest point or droopy, try to avoid high-waisted bottoms which elongate the derriere. Instead, opt for shorter heights that sit low on the torso like a hipster. Look closely at how the fabric lays on your skin — if it's creating a crease on the cheeks, then size up or choose a seamless hem detail. Bikinis with full coverage that cover the outer lower cheeks will only exaggerate the reversed heart shape. Go for medium or minimal coverage which balances the lower crease that meets your legs. Always select a bikini bottom that has more fabric at the top by the waistline, like a reversed triangle. Scrunching at the center back seam and round hems are best for lifting.
The cheekier, the better. In fact, tangas (if you dare) flatter you best. Be aware of excess fabric that may make your butt appear smaller and saggy. If the fabric isn't snug or expanded tightly enough, opt for a smaller size. Keep in mind that fabric stretches over multiple wears and about half an inch in the water, so when in doubt, size down. Of course, be mindful of bulges around the hips or cheeks created by a super tight bottom. You should see small ripples but no extra creases on your silhouette.
Large round bootie
Voluptuous round booties, contrary to popular belief, look best in a cheeky bottom. Not feeling like revealing your bootie? Choose medium coverage that doesn't totally hide your derriere. Consider side ties that adjust to your width — avoid extra cutting into your skin by giving more slack at the ties and lifting string above hips. A soft ruffle along the seam further diminishes the indent you may get whenever a bottom is tight in the wrong spots. To make sure your fit is right, tug fabric away from the skin — two fingers should comfortably fit between your skin and the fabric. Not sure whether a suit is too tight? Wear a lightweight bodycon dress over the bikini and look in the mirror. Do you see additional lines that are usually not there? Do you see a dent in your cheeks when standing sideways? Do you see indents at your hips? If your answer is yes, size up.
Petite narrow butt
Accentuating curves may or may not be your thing, but a tiny suit with ruching details will be your most flattering silhouette — it lifts and adds fullness. Note: the narrower the width of the bikini the better. Follow your natural curves with a bottom that features rounded hemlines. A textured or printed fabric which adds dimension is an ideal bikini for you. Keep in mind wet Lycra expands at least half an inch, so make sure the fabric is snug enough to support this kind of a stretch. If you can fit two fingers between your skin and the fabric (when tugging away), size down to a smaller size.