It’s swimsuit season again, and we are all thrilled to head to the beach and the resort. However, shopping for swimsuits are never as easy as it may appear. Regardless of our height, each of us has our unique body features and we all have our assets that we want to emphasize and certain aspect of our body that we want to camouflage (unless, of course, if you are a Sports Illustrated swimsuit model). If you are petite (under 5’4”), we generally hope to create the illusion of height through our choices of swimwear. Meanwhile, petite doesn’t necessarily mean small or skinny, because it is just talking about the height. Petite women come in all shapes and sizes. Understanding your body shape and know what works and what doesn’t will definitely help you make the right decision when shopping for swimwear. Learning about what to look for that is specifically flattering for your body type will help you choosing the right swimwear to accentuate our assets and make you more confident when walking on the beach or the pool. Do you have pear body shape? If you are not sure, take the quiz to find out what is your petite body type. (Read more about 9 Tips to Find the Best Petite Swimsuits, How to Dress Petite Pear Shape, Best Wedding Dresses for Petite Brides of Pear Body Type, Best Petite Jeans for Your Body Type).
If you are a petite pear body type, your hips are wider than your shoulders, making them the widest point of your body. You have round, sloping shoulders, and your buttocks and thighs are full and round. You gain weight on your thighs. You have a defined waistline and you may even have killer abs in some cases.
In one word, pear body shape is “bottom heavy”, so the key is to balance the narrow neck and sloping shoulders with the wider hips and thighs. Pear shaped petite women should look for a bikini that draws attention away from the lower half and up towards the chest such as an uplifting style to boost the bust paired with low cut briefs. For example, if you get a swimsuit with a very wide V cut and ties or string laces around the waist, then you are making people’s attention focus on your positive lines and curves, i.e. your assets, which are your slender waist and flat mid section). Tops with halter-neck strap will broaden the shoulders, plus having a print all over your torso will help to even out your bum area. Proportion wise, all over pattern will draw attention to your body and take it away from your bum, helping you to feel comfortable and secure. Swimsuits made from control fabrics, with drapes and ruching details, will help to achieve a slimmer look by adding support and concealing problem areas. Even when you are wearing barely anything at all with a thin, lacey two piece bikini you can still draw people’s eyes to your top instead of your bottom. The key is to make sure the cut, design and color all match well with each other.
Full Thighs: To try and flatter a fuller thigh, opt for bottoms with a little bit more coverage. Bottoms with a skirt can help to conceal part of your upper leg (and feel free to skip the bikini wax). Balance out a bottom-heavy figure with bold patterns or colors on top that draw the eye upward. You can choose a swimsuit with a pattern, shirring detail or embellishment across the tummy. This will help to define the waistline and balance out the figure. Also a swimsuit which is darker at the bottom will also draw the attention away from the hips and towards the upper body. Watch out for cuts like boy shorts that hit straight across the thigh, making them appear wider, and look for suits with higher-cut leg-lines instead.
Short Legs: The most classic designs to elongate shorter legs of us petite women (regardless if you are pear body type or not) is high waist or high cut. High waist extends your waistline above your natural waist, thus crates the illusion of longer legs. With high cut in the legs, showing more skin makes your gams appear longer. And if you’re really brave, go for a thong for optimal lengthening potential. Look for vertical stripe designs to elongate the body and swimsuits with empire lines to enhance the narrowest point of your waist.
Big butt: if you’ve got an ample backside, string bikinis can often be uncomfortable and a bit too revealing. You’ll need a suit with enough fabric in that area so you’re not constantly tugging for more coverage or picking a wedgie. So beyond avoiding Brazilian and other skimpy cut swimsuits, you should look for designs with solid bottoms and printed tops — which will help balance out your big booty. We mentioned how a high cut design will make your legs appear longer, and there’s another benefit to it which will flatter our pear shaped petite women. The high cut will let people notice your bottom without it looking too large. The key here is to balance. Make sure to avoid really high cut bottoms because otherwise the size of your hips and bottom will become noticeable. It is your personal choice if you want to flaunt (think Kim Kardashian!) or hide your bottoms- the goal of these designs are to retain a sense of balance and symmetry. They will draw more attention to your bust area while keeping your bottom section attractive and balanced with the rest of your body type.
Short torso: Since most petite women have shorter torsos, you might want to consider elongating a short torso is adding length and lifting the bustline. Low-rise bottoms make your torso appear longer and halter straps draw attention to your neck and shoulders, making people skim over your short mid-section. However, low rise bottoms also have the risk of making your legs look shorter- so let’s look for the balance here.
For the perfect finishing touch, tie a sarong around the areas that make you feel self-conscious, diverting attention to your upper half in the process. The top tip to accessorize for pear body shape petite women on the beach would be to also add a big sun hat, this will help to balance out the body heavy or pear-shaped women should go for a full printed costume.
Chi is 5’2″ founder of Petite Dressing, an online petite clothing store dedicated to women under 5’4″. Petite Dressing blog is here to help you understand yourself, such as your petite body type, and look your best ever. If you are new, start here. Comment below and share your thoughts about this post!