AS if the annual pressure to obtain a beach body isn’t enough, this summer we have the Olympic Games with all those honed and toned bodies in skimpy costumes to contend with.
According to a recent survey for Moontide swimwear, 53 per cent of women start thinking about how they’ll look in their costumes more than two weeks before their holiday, with 15 per cent worrying more than a month beforehand.
But don’t fret; finding the right swimsuit needn’t turn into a major event - let your figure lead the way to a winning bikini or one-piece.
Whatever your shape, there’s a costume out there that will disguise your hot spots and flaunt your best bits to the max.
Forget all those apples and pears references and find your ideal swimsuit with our refreshing guide to body shapes:
If your figure is ‘bottom heavy’, your swimsuit choices should balance out your shape.
Your body is all about the hips, thighs and bottom, so try mixing a print or embellished top with bottoms in a solid colour, which has the effect of slimming down your hips.
Want supermodel pins on the beach? Seek out a high cut around the thighs to emphasise your leg length.
CELEBRITY EXAMPLES: Beyonce Knowles, Jennifer Lopez, Coleen Rooney.
If you have a wide upper body, you’re an ‘inverted triangle’ shape and should avoid fussy detailing on your top half.
Your legs may be one of your best features, so try a bikini bottom with adjustable tie sides that will make them look even longer - and won’t squeeze into your body if you carry weight around the middle.
If you’re top-heavy due to a bigger bust, look for a simple, well-structured bikini top and steer clear of deep-plunging V-necklines.
CELEBRITY EXAMPLES: Catherine Zeta-Jones, Elizabeth Hurley, Jessica Simpson.
If you’re a classic hourglass shape, it’s all about emphasising your voluptuous silhouette.
The swimwear world is your oyster but avoid anything too skimpy, you’re looking to emphasise - and contain your curves.
Look to old school Hollywood glamour with retro cuts to flatter your figure. A one piece with a low V-front will highlight your womanly shape.
CELEBRITY EXAMPLES: Kelly Brook, Scarlett Johansson, Kate Winslet.
Long and lean types with a tomboyish shape should aim to create curves with their choice of swimming costume.
Fashion yourself the illusion of a bigger bust with pleats, ruffles and gathering to add volume.
Use the same principles if you want to magic yourself a bigger bottom. Look for briefs with a wide frill around the waistline - the cut should kink out and create an hourglass silhouette in an instant.
CELEBRITY EXAMPLES: Cameron Diaz, Gwyneth Paltrow, Katie Holmes.
Petite women should avoid busy prints that swamp their diminutive figure like the plague.
A V-neck swimsuit or halterneck will give the torso a few valuable inches and make your neck appear longer too.
You can also make your torso look lean and lengthened by choosing low-cut bikini bottoms. Belted styles will help carve out a silhouetted, defined figure.
CELEBRITY EXAMPLES: Reese Witherspoon, Eva Longoria, Kylie Minogue.