Get beach ready

Channel your inner water goddess and go crazy by investing in classy high-neck crop tops and bikini bottoms, long-sleeved elegant one pieces and high-waisted ’60s inspired retro bottoms. Fashion designers tell Ananya Ghosh how to pick swimwear that flatters your body type

So, the tickets are in, the resort is booked and you are already in that sexy beach mode. But, what about the swimsuit? Still waiting to lose those extra five kilos to invest in one? It is about time that you made peace with your body and start flaunting those curves. The trick is to pick a swimsuit that is right for your body type. From classy high-neck crop tops paired with bikini bottoms, long-sleeved elegant one pieces, high-waisted ‘60s inspired retro bottoms, sporty neoprene ones with interesting slogan and zips,  sexy one pieces with mesh detailing, sheer panels, or peplum hems, monokinis and trinkinis with creative cutouts, to modest yet bright rash guards, trendy bralettes, cute fluttery flounce bikini tops, flirty ones with ruffles and frills, the options are many.

But buying a swimsuit is very different from picking a dress, cautions designer Nidhi Munim, who owns her eponymous brand of swimwear and resortwear. “You need to get the basics right before experimenting with the trends. The most crucial part is to get the measurements right. That whole One Size Fits All might work for a cover-up or something, but not for the suit itself. The fabric and the colour also play a vital role. Anything too bright or metallic should be avoided if you are fuller figured. Darker colours are great for a slimming effect,” says Nidhi.  

Colour Blocked Trikini - Rs 16,900

Picking the right style is also of utmost importance, especially if you don't happen to belong to the rare species who is blessed with a perfect beach body. The trick is to opt for a swimwear that will not only fit like a glove but accentuate the curves that you want to flaunt. Designer duo Shivan and Narresh, who own India's first luxury beachwear brand, has a few tips:

One Shoulder Maillot with Silk Pareo - Rs 12,000 + Rs 15,200
One Shoulder Maillot with Silk Pareo - Rs 12,000 + Rs 15,200

> Pear Shape: As pear-shaped women are torso heavy, the idea is to shift the focus to long legs and beautiful shoulders, highlighting either. Anything from a diagonal cut maillot to a one shoulder or a boat neck is recommended. Give prominence to your collarbones apart from opting for higher cuts at the hip, which make your legs look long and slender.

Cabana Print Halter Bikini Rs 15,000

> Curvy/Hourglass: The average Indian body type fits in this category and it is best suited for a swimsuit. From a quintessential maillot to a two-piece swimsuit, women blessed with an hourglass figure can experiment with different styles and cuts. Pick a bikini to emphasise your waistline, or a halter to underline the bust. You can even go in for a high-waisted bottom and bralette. If you are slightly heavier on the bust, avoid bandeau tops.

Pow Print Cut-Out Bikini Rs 15,000
Pow Print Cut-Out Bikini Rs 15,000

> Athletic:
Women with an athletic frame should choose bikinis or trikinis. Usually blessed with strong and broad shoulders they have a parallel body type, hence the idea is to give an illusion of a thinner waistline. Trikinis and maillots are the best options for you. Avoid halters as they make the shoulders look broader.

Squash Print Trikini Rs 18,000

> Straight:
Women with this kind of body type should select necklines that accentuate the bust and create curves. Halter bandeaus and triangular bikinis will work best for you. A trikini would also be a great option as it gives the illusion of a lean curvy figure. Cut outs in the midriff will make your waist look slender.

Colour Blocked Trikini - Rs 16,900
Colour Blocked Trikini - Rs 16,900

Don't ditch the makeup box!
So, you have found yourself that perfect bikini and are all set to hit the beach. But wait! How about a dash of makeup? Don’t let the sun and sea and the sweltering heat deter you from adding a hint of colour to your life. Virginia Holmes, co-owner and co-founder of Fat Mu has a few tips:

Posie Tint cheek stain

Posie Tint cheek stain

If you’re a make-up girl and love to wear it even on the beach, the trick is just to alter your products slightly to go with the environment. Example: Swap a blusher for a bronzer, swap a lipstick with a stain or balm with SPF; swap your normal mascara with a waterproof mascara, foundation with a bb cream, tinted moisturizer with an SPF etc. You have to think lightweight products, products that offer protection and waterproofing.

The Collosal Volum' Express mascara,The Collosal Volum' Express mascara

But, the most important thing while heading to a beach holiday is skincare. Sunscreen is your ultimate beach accessory. Don’t leave home without it. Don’t forget your lips — get a balm that has SPF.  Do not forget to wear sunglasses as the harsh rays of sun can burn your eyes.

Sunscreens: Options include Clarins Sunscreen Care Oil SPF 30, Kiehl's Activated Sun Protector For Body SPF 50, L’Oreal Silky Sheer BB face lotion 50+ and Quick Dry Sheer Finish Spray 50+, Neutrogena Beach Defence Water and Shiseido UV Protective Comp-act Foundation For Face SPF 36.

Colorbar BB cream
Colorbar BB cream

BB cream:
For BB creams with SPF, try Colorbar. This is one BB cream where the darker and dusky beauties will find their perfect match. It comes in three shades, Vanilla Crème, Honey Glaze and Cinnamon Swirl. Price: Rs 550

Try Maybelline. Their Colossal Kohl is priced at  Rs 175 and they have also nailed the waterproof mascara, which is priced between Rs 250 and  Rs 450

Born Lippy lip balm
Born Lippy lip balm

For a hint of colour on your lips, take your pick from Body Shop’s Born Lippy pots. Priced at  Rs 275 these cuties come in yummy flavours like Passionberry, Strawberry, Watermelon, Raspberry and Satsuma shimmer

If you like a dash of colour on your cheeks then invest in Benetint or Cha Cha tint or Posie Tint by Benefit. Doubles up on lips and cheeks and best of all stays in place and looks so natural. At  Rs 2500, it is a bit pricey but so worth it.

Where to buy
Marks & Spencer, United Colors of Benetton, Zara all have a good swimwear collection. You can also order online:
For shoes, apart from the usual suspects, you can check out:

To complete the look, you can pair it up with a cool pair of large sunglasses, a beach hat and  a sarong.

GoldDigga sunglasses Rs 1,099

Now, slip into a pair of colourful flipflops and you are beachready.

Havaianas Slim Tropical Banana Yellow Rs 2,200

For those who are already in love with their swimsuits and want to keep it on the whole day, Shivan has a few tips for a smooth transition, “Start your day by pairing a swimsuit with shorts for the beach and take it to a brunch styled effortlessly with a silk pareo.

Printed sarong from The Beach company Rs 550

Colour block jelly bag from The Beach company Rs 1000

For the evening beach-to-bar look, pair the swimsuit with a pencil skirt or fling a resort sari on top for the perfect cocktail/destination wedding look,” he says.

Straw hat from The Beach Company Rs 990

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