Pear-shaped or hourglass bodies are characterized by full hips, curvy thighs and a slim torso. Swimsuit shopping for pear shapes no longer has to be a difficult process as most bikinis can be purchased as separates. Once you find a style that balances and flatters your shape, you'll be ready to hit the beach in style.
Bandeau Top and Skirted Bottoms
Pear-shaped bodies often boast a small bust and narrow shoulders, which makes the semi-sweetheart neckline on bandeau tops a flattering choice. Look for styles with a twist front or ruching to create the appearance of fuller curves on top. Bright colors and bold prints put further emphasis on your upper half -- think neon hues and floral designs. For bottoms, a half-skirted style has the chic look of a sarong and offers some coverage to the derriere and thighs. A full-skirted style with a hem that falls just below the largest part of upper legs offers additional coverage and is the most flattering for pear shapes. Keep the focus on your top half with a bottom in a solid, coordinating color.
String Bikini Top and Brief Bottoms
Create the illusion of curves on top and highlight the narrowest part of your body with a string bikini top that has detailing around and under the bust like ruffles, bows or ruching. Stripes, tropical prints and animal prints further enhance slim upper bodies. High-cut briefs pair well with a string bikini top and visually elongate and slim legs. Opt for styles with side ties that cinch and can adjust to your shape -- just be sure ties fall above hips or they will look wider. Dark, solid colors keep the widest part of your pear shape looking slim. If you want flaunt curves, stick with small prints that flatter like diagonal stripes or polka dots.
Halter Top and High-Waisted Bottoms
Balance proportions with a retro-inspired bikini that emphasizes your assets and provides coverage. A halter top with thin straps draws eyes upward and puts an emphasis on toned shoulders. Choose styles with a key hole, hardware or embellishments near the bust to amplify your slim shape. Complement your top with high-waisted bottoms that highlight a small waist and offer coverage to a full bottom and hips. This suit style provides ample coverage, so experiment with colors and prints. Pair a printed top with solid bottoms, mix and match hues, or try one color for a chic monochromatic look.
Pear shapes have unique figures that can be visually balanced with certain bikini styles as well as colors and prints. Prints, embellishments and bold colors on bikini tops create the illusion of a full bust and draw attention upward from full bottoms. Stick with dark, solid colors for bikini bottoms if you want to keep the focus on a slim upper body. For those who want to display curves, play with fun prints and bold colors on top and bottom. Basic string bikini bottoms and boy shorts should typically be avoided for those who want to downplay full hips.
Based in New York, Amanda Rumbalski embarked on a professional writing career in 2009. Her work has appeared in "Icon" magazine and on Entertainment-Central.com, and she has editorial and styling experience with "Women's Wear Daily," the "New York Daily News" and "Allure" magazine. Rumbalski holds a Bachelor of Arts in advertising and marketing communications from the Fashion Institute of Technology.
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