Advice

The secret to finding the right lingerie and swimwear is understanding what suits different women’s body morphology or shape, and what colours will best complement your skin tones.

Choosing the right size is also crucial. It is sadly true that many women wear the wrong size bra and wonder why they do not feel comfortable. If you find your bra is too tight, digging in or leaving marks, there is nothing wrong with you. There is something wrong with your bra.

The tendency is for women to buy too large a back size and too small a cup size. But getting the right fit also depends on the shape and style.

That is why it is best to shop at a specialist boutique like Maison SL and it is important to be properly fitted. We do not need measuring tapes. We can tell at glance what size you need and what style will work best for you because of our long experience.

Fitting is as much an art as a science. The bra is one of the most complicated pieces of clothing known to man or women. Good quality bras can have more than 50 different parts and one type of bra can come in more than 50 different sizes. There are numerous different styles and shapes – wired or not, padded, unpadded, triangles, half cups and so on.

What suits best varies enormously from customer to customer but we will know the best solution for you. And if we do not have what you need in stock, we can order it for you – usually within a few days.

Shopping for lingerie and swimwear can be a pleasure if you go to the right place. Maison SL in Notting Hill makes it easy for you, offering you the ultimate combination of fit and fashion.

Contact us to book an appointment for a FREE bra fitting and styling

How to measure your bra size correctly

 

Body Morphology and Colour

We do not always feel super confident when we are fully clothed, let alone on the beach. So when the time comes to buy a bikini or swimsuit for that holiday in the sun, stress levels tend to go through the roof. For many women, buying swimwear is an anxiety-inducing experience.

It does not have to be.

Having grown up in a hot country, where weekends and holidays were often spent on the beach, we understand exactly what will work best and we will talk you through the various options that will suit you. Above all, we will ensure that it is an enjoyable rather than stressful experience and you leave Maison SL feeling confident and comfortable about the choices you have made.

The key to buying swimwear is understanding the style that works best with your body shape and the colours that suit your skin tone.

We always start by listening to your concerns and preferences. We need to understand first what your aspirations are. Some customers already know or instinctively understand what is going to work best. Others find that our approach gives them a completely new take on buying swimwear and you will be surprised to find yourself feeling fabulous in something you never imagined you could wear.

Shape and style

There is a science to all this - similar to choosing the best dress or jeans for your shape – and it is called body morphology, a fancy Greek word for the study of shapes. The general principle when buying swimwear is that you want to wear a bikini or swimsuit which complements and balances your shape to best advantage.

So what shape are you? And what will suit you best? Here are the main categories:

Choose lingerie based on your body shape

 

Triangle

If you are bigger on the bottom half than the top half and your hips are wider than your shoulders, you are triangle-shaped. Avoid halter necks, which bring the shoulder-line in. Instead, opt for strapless or wide straps, which accentuate your upper body width. More detail such as lighter, brighter colours and pattern on your top half have a similar effect. A bikini is often a great solution and easy to get to fit when you are not the same size top and bottom. There are also excellent swimsuits that work well.

Inverted Triangle

If you have wide shoulders, a full bust and narrow hips, you are an inverted triangle shape. You usually wear a size or two bigger on the top half. Halter necks will work well for you and swimwear with good support. Add detail such as tie sides, frills, stripes on the bottom half to balance the width at the top. Keep the top plainer. Again, a two piece will be easier for fit but an underwired cup sized one piece will work too.

Round or Oval

The bust is large, and the waist is larger than the bust and hips, while the hips are narrow in comparison to the shoulders. The key here is to minimize the waist so that the hips and bust look proportional. By disguising the waistline via asymmetrical necklines, ruffles, belts, peplum details, and patterns that mimic the lines of a curvy silhouette, you can turn your oval into an hourglass. Place all of your detail focus on top and give the illusion of a cinched waist with ruching details for a perfectly balanced look.

Rectangles and Lean Column

Rectangles are the same size top and bottom with little defined waist so a bikini, tankini or swimsuit works well. Geometric patterns are good and as you have nice shoulders, you can wear a halter neck. Hip detail and boy-short styles can be flattering.

You know you are a lean column if you have few curves and are very slim.  To complement this, add as much detail as possible to bust and hip area to give the illusion of a curvier figure. A low plunge will work and will show off your slim figure.

Full Hourglass

You have great curves so either swimsuits or a bikini will look great and help you celebrate them. Make sure you choose something with a cup size and underwired if you need the support. Your curves make a statement so plain or curvy patterns work with minimal fuss or frills. A stripe around the middle will show off your fantastic waist.

Neat Hourglass

Your top half is the same size as your bottom half and your curves are neat. Most styles of swimwear will work. Just choose something you love but make sure that the colour suits you!

 

Skin tones and colours

When it comes choosing the best colours, there are some tips for choosing swimwear and lingerie that will suit you.

There are three things that are important – your skin tone, your skin undertone and your hair/eye colour – in identifying the kind of colour palette that is going to work best. And these principles apply to clothes and make-up as well as swimwear and lingerie.

Skin tone is pretty straightforward. It is the colour of your complexion we see such as fair, olive, brown etc.

Your skin undertone is the deeper, subtle tone beneath the surface of your skin. It is always there like a shadow and does not change if for instance you get tanned by the sun. But it is important in choosing colours that will help you look good.

There are three tips for identifying your skin undertone:

  • Look at your wrist in daylight to see what colour your veins are. If they look bluish or purple, you are on the cool side and if they appear greenish or olive you are on the warm side. If you are not sure, you might be in the middle which would you make you a NEUTRAL undertone. In this case most colours will enhance and complement your skin tone.
  • Use a white sheet of paper and compare it to you neck or chest areas. If your skin looks pink/reddish compared with the white sheet it means you have a lot of blue undertone in your skin and you are on the cool side. If your skin looks yellow, you are on the warm side.
  • Take a piece of gold and a piece of silver jewellery of similar size and hold them alternately against your neck. See which makes your skin look the most healthy and radiant. If silver makes you look better, then you have cool undertone and if it is the gold you have warm undertone.

Hair and eye colour are important too. It may be you are a combination or, if you colour your hair, you may sometimes you fall into the soft tones and other times in the clear tones.

Different skin tones

Here is how it all adds up:

WARM TONES

If you have naturally golden hair or a head full of red hair in rich, coppery tones and a yellow skin undertone you fit into the warm tones range. To enhance this warmth, you should choose colours that have yellow undertones; chocolate, moss, grey-green and bronze should be your go-to colours, as they will make your eyes and hair stand out and give your skin a healthy glow. Build on these key colours with strong reds, orange-reds, oranges, coral, daffodil, cream, stone, teal and sage when buying your swimwear or lingerie. Make sure you avoid cooler colours, such as baby pinks, icy violet and colours with a blue undertone, as they will tend to make you look washed out.

SOFT TONES

If your hair colour falls along the light blonde to brown spectrum and a pinkish skin tone, you most likely have a soft tone. You will look good in stone, taupe, charcoal, light navy and pewter, and you can add colour with cool greens, soft blues, teals and blue/purples. They will also work well with light browns and soft white. It is best for you to avoid very bright colours, as they may clash with your gentle tone.

DEEP TONES

With dark brown to black hair, and brown, hazel or blue eyes and a yellow skin undertone, you fall into the deep category. Good choices for you are black, charcoal, dark navy and taupe, as they will complement your complexion. Bold colours will contrast nicely with these key colours, so choose bright blues, dark and bright greens and teals, dark purples and strong reds to add some colour to your palette. Avoid wearing two light colours together if you have deep tone, as this could make you look washed out.

CLEAR TONES

Dark brown or black hair, with contrasting light eyes in shades of pale blue, grey, topaz or greens mean you are probably in the clear tone range. Colours that work best are black, navy, charcoal, purple and royal blue. They will brighten up your eyes and provide a good contrast with your dark hair. There are lots of other colours you can wear to make you look good. Bright blues, greens, reds and pinks, turquoise, ivory, soft yellow and blush will give you a glowing complexion. Best to avoid dull shades which will not suit.

COOL TONES

With ash blond or dark grey to silver hair and pink/reddish skin undertone, it is best to avoid warm shades with yellow undertones as these will not complement your natural colouring. Choose cool tones with blue undertones to really make the most of your cool undertone. Colours like charcoal, pewter, teal and spruce, will make you look and feel great. Plenty of other colours, such as blues, purples, blue-greens, taupe and ivory will also work beautifully.

LIGHT TONES

Light tones are quite specific. If you have light blonde to blonde hair, your eyes are pale blue, grey, light green or topaz, and you have a porcelain undertone, you naturally have light colouring. With this light and delicate look, light colours and pastel shades suit you well. Add a few key colours such as stone, taupe, cocoa and pewter as these will complement your base colours, and they can be brightened up with bursts of light greens and blues, pinks, turquoise, peach and light navy. Avoid dark colours as they may be overpowering for your delicate complexion.

If this all sounds bewilderingly complicated, do not worry. It is often easier for us to work out what colours will suit you best as that is our job and we are doing it all the time. And remember that at the end of the day, these are all guidelines – not rules.

The most important thing is that you feel comfortable with what you are wearing. You should choose what you like and what makes you feel good.

If you do and you wear your swimsuit or bikini with confidence, it is amazing what you can carry off.

Confidence is definitely the best accessory!