The shoppers guide to women's swimwear

I'm off to Thailand for a three-week beach holiday in two months, and have been struggling to find any shops that had a good range of women's swimwear. As a British size 12, I don't usually have problems shopping for clothes but when it comes to bikinis, swimsuits or tankinis, I really struggle. Like a lot of women, I'm bigger on top than on the bottom and can never find a bikini that fits or flatters. And most ladies swimming costumes that you might find in a department store are not going to give me the look I want for a beach. So, I've decided to try Internet shopping. www.swimhut.com is a great site for women's swimwear. It has a guide to what sorts of bikinis and swimwear suits which body shape. For example, I found out that big hips suit tie side bikinis, which draw attention away from the hip area. Curvy women should go for a tankini that offers some support, or a one piece with a deep v-neck. If you are petite or boy shaped, you can get away with most things but might want to consider shorts or even a skirt style swimming costume. The site even offers some suggestions on different styles that suit different body types, so makes it really easy to shop for your shape. The best thing about the site is that most of the bikinis and tankinis come in separate sizes, so you can mix and match until you get your exact fit.

There are some great reversible bikinis and ladies' swimsuits, from trendy women's swimwear brands such as Sunseeker and Moontide, which are often featured in magazines but are difficult to find on the high street. There are some really stylish and sexy one pieces and a great range of colours and patterns. You can search by item, such as bikinis, tankinis or swimsuits, as well as price and designer. There are recommendations and also a handy sizing guide, which means that unlike on the high street, you can tell that there will be no difference in sizing between the brands. You can do all of your beach shopping at the site, as it also has a great range of beach accessories including flip-flops, towels, skirts, wraps and beach dresses, which often match the swimwear. It offers free delivery and a 28-day returns period so you can even order several styles to try at home. Lastly, I would recommend spending as much as you can afford, particularly if you intend on swimming a lot. The quality of specialist ladies swimwear brands is usually much better than high street or cheap beachwear, and as a result, holds its shape and lasts longer. Always remember to rinse your swimsuit in fresh water after using in the sea or pool, so that chlorine and salt don't discolour and weaken it.