Thursday, 4 June 2009

Swimsuit Edition

My dear reader Πράσινη Νεράιδα (pronounced Prasini Neraida, which means Green Fairy for you non-Greeks) asked my help to find bikinis that will suit her Mediterranean body. For those of you wondering, a Mediterranean body type looks like a standard hourglass shape, but with more emphasis on the hips, if you know what I mean. Think Jennifer Lopez or Monica Bellucci. As I consider myself a standard example, let me pass on to you the swimwear-buying wisdom I have accumulated all those years of fighting with lycra inside badly-lit fitting rooms. As I will be speaking mostly about bikinis, let's start with the top part and get down to the bottom:
  1. A triangle shaped top is the best for big boobs. You're less likely to "fall off" your top (you know what this is) as the triangle holds your boobs from every angle. Much unlike a bra-type top, which depends on the force of gravity to keep them inside the cups. And guess what happens when you loose gravity. It's not me who says, it's Physics!
  2. Be sure to get wide straps. Get a triangle shaped top, but not one with dainty little strings. They are more likely to hurt and leave marks after lots of hours of wear and offer minimal support. Look for straps that are at least 2cm wide and have strong elastic. And that is for both around your back and neck.
  3. Sometimes it's not the shape that is to blame, but the material. Look for fabrics that are not too elastic, as they will offer minimal support and shaping. I can't exactly describe what you should look for, but keep this advice in mind. Oh, and try to avoid padding. It takes forever to dry!
  4. As for the bottom part of your bikini, the rule of thumb is: The bigger your bikini bottom is, the smaller your ass will look. Trust me. And that goes both about bikini shape (no Brazilians for the Mediterraneans) but also about the size. I used to be pissed, having to buy size L bikinis just because the top had to accommodate me, but then I realised that the bottoms actually looked better in that size! Go up one or even two sizes than you'd normally get. Usually, bikinis are so elastic that they won't slip off that easily, when a vicious wave leaves you tumbling on the shore.
  5. Boy shorts usually only flatter boyish shapes. Personally, they make my hips look huge. Avoid at all costs.
  6. Bikinis are much more forgiving to the Mediterranean figure than swimsuits. Swimsuits bring all the attention to legs, hips and thighs. And those are not exactly our strongest feature. But our waists are, so we'd better keep the attention there. Leave swimsuits to Scandinavian chicks!
  7. Buy at least one bikini in a style different than your usual. Even if you swear by your halterneck, try to find a bandeau/strapless that will suit you. I stick by this advice beacause I simply hate tan marks and I try to avoid them at all costs. By alternating my bikinis, at least I manage to avoid specific lines.
  8. Try mixing them! I do wear my bikinis as sets, but I also mix and match them whenever I feel bored or want to try something different. I am also buy seperates in ridiculous prices during sales, like cute bottoms from Oysho or a triangle bikini top from Benetton, to act as pairs of something entirely different from my collection.
  9. Shops that carry bikinis that will fit 75C or bigger are Marks & Spencer (my best recommendation), Calzedonia (if you buy size 3 or 4), Accessorize and sometimes Benetton, always in size large. Stay away from Oysho for tops, its cup sizes are a joke. Oh, and if you have the strength to avoid annoying salesgirls, try Hondos as well. Although you won't find me in there often, they stock brands that carry all cup sizes.
  10. Keep in mind that these are just guidelines. Everyone's body is different, not to mention taste in clothes, and there will always be exceptions to the rules. Like this Undercolors of Benetton star-printed bikini, for example. It's cut is very similar to a boy short and it probably isn't the best option for my body type, but I love it anyway!

If you are still bikini-hungry, check out my previous bikini-related posts on this blog, like last year's bikini search that ended triumphantly in Marks & Spencer, instructions on how to sew your own bikini, and also my bikini post on ermoumag. And if you're still not content, I really don't have anything else I can think of... Except maybe show you my brand new bikini for this summer!

Stripped bandeau bikini, BENETTON, €39,90

Sorry if I bored you with all that "advice" and have fun choosing your new bikinis!


Anonymous said...

Timely! I just bought my very first bikini ... although I ended up with some board shorts that fit me like tap pants that I'll wear on the bottom. Just too modest for the full-on bikini look.

Great tips, doll.

ShoppingTherapy said...

Oh! wow! great tips...
too bad I decided this summer not to spend money on a swimsuit (maybe I'll reconsider)

Antoinette said...

And if your figure is the exact opposite of classic Mediterranean, go with the teeny tiny straps and the boy shorts! LOL Great post and helpful, even though it totally does not apply to me. :)

Lopi said...

Sal: I'd love to see your new bikini sometime, even if it's a hybrid!

Stella: If you have a collection the size of mine, I don't blame you for not wanting to add more to it. But, we all know, these things just *happen*! Like K@terina B. who "couldn't resist"!

Antoinette: I totally agree with you, non Mediterranean figures looks great in boy shorts. I tried to focus on what I know from personal experience, so I left many other body types out of my post. Surely, there are people out there who can advice them much better than me.

Marietta said...

Simfono kai epafksano!great tips!

Πρασινη νεραιδα said...

wow!u rock!
thank God we have u...
well,i haven't tried m&s before, because of the mumsy clothes but now that i saw the pictures i'm ready for the big step!
i heart the polka dotted bikini at the post on ermoumag.
next thing i'll do tomorrow->a walk to m&s!
->why am i writing in english?<-

ambika said...

Totally agreed about board shorts. They look terrible on anyone with hips.

Chloe In The Sky said...

great advice, but... my own silouhette is boyish (no ass, no boobs, no anything) argh.
take care :)

ToKataifi said...

oola..oola afta stn proti pic ine dika sou?????

se zilevoooo

Wanderlusting said...

I may be Finnish/Norwegian but I hands down have a Mediterranean body!

However, I find that my ass looks bad if it's covered up. I like the ass part to show my "cheeks" - not a thong obviously, but full coverage looks bad too. I like the "Tanga" cut from Victorias Secret! I think it's because my ass is the only acceptable part of my body!