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The art of finding the right bikini is about choosing the best styles for your body shape so that you feel confident and comfortable by the pool. Well-fitting swimwear balances out your proportions, highlighting your assets and drawing attention away from the areas that you’d rather keep hidden.

Whilst you might already have a favourite bikini, our guide will give you an overview of the many choices that are available.

The Balcony Bikini

Based on one of the most popular and versatile bra styles, the balconnet bikini is a classic and timeless design. The shape is based on the premise that women can own a bikini that is both supportive and flattering.

On a balcony bikini, the wires come up midway between your boobs and the cups follow a straighter line across your bust than with a full coverage style. The genius of this shape is that support stems from the wires at the bottom to enhance the appearance of cleavage and afford a full and rounded appearance to the breasts. The straps are also set wider on a balconnet style to expose more of the chest area.

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The Panache Annalise is an example of a balconnet bikini in all its glory. The eye-catching and feminine floral print, cleverly framed by black panels, draws your attention to the uplifted shape that the balcony style has achieved. Wide front straps have been added for additional comfort but are not standard for all balcony bikinis.

The Sweetheart Padded Bikini 

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The sweetheart padded bikini is a style that features year after year in the Freya swimwear catalogue without much information about its premise.

In fact, to look at, the sweetheart bikini is simply similar to a balconnet with wires that come up midway between your boobs and cups that offer a moderate coverage. The main difference is that the cups follow a more curved (heart-shaped) line across the bust to further define cleavage and enhance the illusion of curves. Another triumph of the style is that the lightly padded cups boost your natural, rounded shape. To top it off, the young and modern shape is often complemented by zesty colours and mesmerizing patterns!

The Bandeau Bikini

Women have been wearing variations of this swimwear favourite since the Roman era. The style flourishes because it is both fashionable and versatile, often offering a strapless option to help avoid tan lines.

For smaller busts, the bandeau shape is especially flattering because the material circles the chest to give the illusion of curves. Bandeau bikinis are also famous for their bright colours that draw attention to the chest and bold patterns that enhance the illusion of volume even further.

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Nevertheless, bandeau bikinis are not exclusively for the smaller bust. Bandeau bikinis can be beautifully structured to promise a knockout strapless fit up to a G cup and to test this promise we asked two fellow bloggers to review one of our bestsellers for us. They tested the Panache Lucille to its limits; putting it through its paces at their local waterpark followed by a beach run-around and here are the results.

The Banded Halter Bikini

The premise of the halter bikini relies on the fact that the underwire should surround your breasts and sit flat against your chest, taking the weight of your bust and alleviating the pressure from your neck. It also relies on the fact that the shape of the cups should push your breasts together to create maximum cleavage without any overspill.

If you’re wearing the correct size, you’re onto a winner: the shape achieved by a halterneck will flatter both bigger and smaller busts, the plunging neckline is sexy and flirtatious and the designs available are exquisite. Why not tell us your favourite?

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This list of bikini styles is by no means exhaustive; we have simply covered our current shapes and styles to give you an insight into their key features and look forward to adding more…

Hey, I’m Zoe and I was briefly introduced to you in our welcome post as the newest member of the Mish team. I first got into the world of bra-fitting when I went to buy my first proper bikini. As a 16 year old with an E cup bust, I was heavily aware that I could not get away with the Roxy bikinis my friends loved so much. In fact, just the thought of triangle bikini cups which barely cover your nipple completely horrified me. Yet, with a family holiday to the Canaries looming, shopping for swimwear was high on the agenda.

My first stop was M&S (my mum had told me they made bra-sized bikinis which would offer me the coverage I needed) but after plodding through the very basic designs, I was feeling pretty resentful towards my bust and its failure to fit into young, colourful delights.

A few days later I was hit with the inspiration to visit my local bra boutique. The lack of swimwear in the shop was rather unpromising but on chatting to the owner, I was handed the Freya Swimwear catalogue. On looking through, I was mesmerized! Jumping out of the pages were an array of vibrant and exciting designs including a bright floral bikini which still sticks in my mind.

Freya Disco Lemonade

On my holiday, I was beaming by the pool. The prettiness of my new bikini distracted me from feeling self-conscious about my figure whilst the underwired, bra-sized cups ensured that my shape was presented in the best way possible. After all, in my mind a good fitting bikini was way more important than a good fitting bra due to the amount of people seeing me in it!

Six years later, after a break from the industry, I have returned to do what I love and joined the team at Mish. Here, bra-sized swimwear is stocked in an abundance of beautiful shapes and styles, from bandeau bikini tops to gathered tankinis that create a flattering fit across the tummy. Nevertheless, even some of my friends do not know that such swimwear exists and I think it’s time that they did!

One of my friends was put off water activities because of her boobs and her reaction to her first experience in an underwired, bra-sized tankini is written about in her blog on Sofa Dodger. She’s trying 100 new sports in a year, now that’s impressive!