The Style Glossy: Dressing Room

Swimsuit Shopping Made Easy

By Mariel Chua for The Style Glossy
Swimsuit Shopping Made Easy

Close to fitting jeans and finding good underwear, many women broach the subject of swimwear-shopping with much trepidation. Thankfully, the selection of swimsuits out on the market these days has never been as fun, dynamic, and exciting for the summer shopper — from the most conservative beachcomber to the sassiest seaside strutter, there’s something for every body type.

Gertie Hermanos, resident designer for Sassa Activewear — a brand known for coming up with collections “with real women with real bodies in mind” — helped us decode the tricky nuances of swimsuit shopping.

Summer Outings
“My inspiration for the collection this year was lots of bright colors of paint and abstract paintings,” says Hermanos. “Summer is such a bright and cheery season, and I wanted to infuse the pieces with the same kind of vibrancy you find on a hot summer day.”

But with so many choices out there, how does one decide on a bathing suit? “To put it simply, wear whatever you’re comfortable and confident in,” says Hermanos. “Swimsuits are about fun. Enjoy the experience and try not to think about it too much — you’re bound to find one that fits your personality and lifestyle.”

According to Hermanos, having different styles in one’s closet helps, including a one-piece, a bikini set, a tankini set and some separates. “This also gives the wearer options to mix and match and come up with multiple looks for each occasion,” she says.

For example, for summer getaways with a more conservative tone and dress code, pairing a revealing swimsuit with cute board shorts and a pretty cover-up is both stylish and appropriate. When out with friends, a soft and sheer caftan worn over a string bikini is playful and can go from beachside to cocktails.

Fit for Every Body Type
Hermanos recommends these flattering swimsuit solutions for the following problem areas:

Small Chest: Bandeau or triangle-top bikinis flatter ladies with small chests and give the illusion of a fuller bust line.

Top-heavy: Halter-type tankinis are best for those with big chests. Bikini tops with thick straps or swimsuits with molded cups also give extra coverage and added support.

Belly and Paunch: Graphic tankini tops or tankini tops with side ruching hide the stomach by bringing attention away from the area and by totally covering it.

Big hips, Pear Shapes: Darker hues help visually slim down wide hips. Avoid light-colored bottoms and those with too many accents.

Apple Shapes: Dark solid shades (such as tube tops) help streamline the silhouette. Steer clear of tops with thick straps, too many details or even light colors.

Boyish Frame: String bikinis or swimsuits with cut-out details (such as maillots) give the illusion of curves.

One for All
If you’re buying just one swimsuit that will take you through the summer months and even the next few years, Hermanos recommends a black regular-cut one-piece. “It’s universally flattering and gives the illusion of singularity and longer legs.” A tube-style molded cup tankini top paired with boyleg bottoms are also popular among women.

Always note quality, material and construction. (Check for proper lining, pads and good stitching.) According to Hermanos, a well-made bathing suit is one that can hold up in both in a swimming pool and in the sea, can stretch two ways and can keep its color even with multiple uses and washes. “Ideally, the swimsuit should last for an extended period of time and not just for one season,” she says.

Swimwear Care
To get the most mileage out of your summer suit, always hand-wash with mild soap and air-dry after each use. “Make sure that your swimsuit is completely dry before storing, and fold it properly so as not to damage the pads and other accessories that may have come with it,” advises Hermanos.

Photo Credit: iStockphoto.com/jacomstephens
Mariel Chua is the managing editor of The Style Glossy and is the former beauty editor of the Philippine editions of Seventeen, Cosmopolitan and OK! Magazine. Now based in New York City, she contributes lifestyle, food, and travel pieces to both print and online publications.






  1. i would like to have those bandeau as well but most of my bra’s and swimsuits too are haltered top to make sure it still there whenever i do my laps haha

  2. Love to wear swim wear, problem is I don’t have that shape. Hahahaha…well I have to try one, just to make KAPAL may FACE na lang. Hehehehe…

    1. haha nku PAL! ikaw pa yakang yaka mo yan! nsa ngdadala at confidence yan!

  3. I’m a mommy and all my swimsuits have ruching on the sides. Really hides my tummy =)

  4. one of the reasons why im so sipag to work out is because i wanna look good in bikinis 😀 this one would really help me out 😀

    1. nice to know ROvie!! I am back to being fit again! hehe addicted nnman ako hehe

  5. I think I need to slim down first before deciding which swimsuit to wear but these are fabulous and helful tips! 🙂

  6. Your tips are a great help to us ladies who are having a hard time in choosing the right swimsuit! 🙂

  7. I was just browsing an old magazine with topics about swimsuit and yes these tips surely help.- KarenT

  8. My swimsuit is like 7 years old, one from hubby and one from my sister in law. I don’t buy coz I seldom use them. But you are right, wear something that is comfortable for you

    1. i have many swimsuits mam tess pero dalwa lng din plg ko sinusuot hehe

  9. I haven’t bought a swimsuit for years! Oh my! I should try the bandeau then 🙂 But swimsuits that feature optical illusions of a slim figure is something I would really need right now 😀

  10. I might choose the bandeau as well or the “one for all” though I seldom wear bikini, not dare much 😀

  11. For me not only is the design for the body type important but also how the swimwear fits when it’s underwater. Some swimsuits only look good but they don’t have good function.

    1. i agree. I have tried some swimsuits in billabong before and they do really look good and sexy when you wear them but my problem is it is not stretchable like the other brand I have and ended up lose after I swim.

  12. I love this line:

    To put it simply, wear whatever you’re comfortable and confident in,” says Hermanos. “Swimsuits are about fun. Enjoy the experience and try not to think about it too much — you’re bound to find one that fits your personality and lifestyle.”

    Just the same when wearing any clothes for a specific occasion. Confidence is still the keyword. No matter how expensive or branded your swimwear is, if your not confident and comfortable about it, it makes no sense.

    Great post Mary Jane! 🙂 I learned a lot!

  13. It’s always best to know what style fits you. But for me I’d always go for what makes me comfortable, it adds confidence kasi when you’re comfortable with what you’re wearing especially that it’s a swimsuit 🙂

  14. I just bought a swimwear- a tankini top! It suits me. True to what this post says!


  15. ewan kung san ako dun hahaha booo! but i know graphic tankinis is good for my body type! 🙂

    1. wow as long as your comfy to that particular swimsuit it will look good to you dear

  16. Those tips are very helpful. I’d go for a type that doesnt show too much skin <3

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