As a former athlete and exercise enthusiast, I’ve always had what’s considered an athletic build. According to Physical Feature Thesaurus, “the athletic build falls somewhere between slender and muscular. The body is lean with a low percentage of body fat, but there are also obvious muscles. The muscles aren't huge and bulging but are well-defined and in proportion to the rest of the body.” This body shape is also typically known as a “rectangle” when it comes to the five main body shape types—there is also: circle, triangle, inverted triangle, and hourglass. In today’s blog post, we’re sharing all of our recommendations and tips for dressing this body type in flattering swimsuits and loungewear. Check it out!

Tips for dressing an athletic build

Like all body types, the athletic build has tips and tricks you can use to get the most flattering and complementary fit. Below are some general rules to follow when dressing an athletic body shape:

  • Highlight shoulders, arms, and neckline. People with an athletic build tend to have really toned and impressive arms, shoulders and backs. Especially in swimwear, it’s time to show off the hard work, baby! Find athletic swimsuits with an open back and neckline—a Bandeau, Twist, halter, or heart-shape neckline like in the Slimming Tankini—all work great as athletic swimwear.

  • Accentuate waist. Next up, accentuate the waist! This body shape tends to have less curves and can be more straight through the hips and waist. Highlight the waistline in your clothing and swimwear choices to bring out natural curves. A few ways to do this in swimwear, include: high-waisted bottoms, midkini lengths, and swim dresses with adjustable side lengths. 

  • Highlight legs and hips. Next up, highlight legs and hips to balance out strong upper body shapes in athletic builds. This can be done through using certain bikini bottoms like swim skirts or shorts, long-sleeve one-pieces, or gorgeous cover-ups like the Vitti Wrap. The goal is to add fabric and interest to the bottom portion of the body to help balance out the top.

  • Go for patterns and prints. The athletic body shape looks great in all styles, but opt for prints and patterns to break up lines and create contrast for the most complementary and flattering fits. We love florals, gingham, and animal prints on this body shape—be sure to check out the latest HAPARI prints and patterns in all new releases. The key here is to use prints to highlight feminine lines and angles.

  • Show off your midsection. Last but not least, show off your muscular midsection! Most athletic body shapes have toned abs, so find swimwear that shows off your abs. We love bikini and two piece styles like the Moxie bikini top, Bralette top, and Triangle bikini top for this body shape. Mix and match with different swim bottoms to find the right coverage for you.
Athletic model wearing HAPARI two-piece bikini swimsuit

Best swimsuits for muscular body shapes

Now that you know five tips and best practices for dressing muscular body shapes, let’s look at the our team's top recommendations for swimsuits for this body shape. We’re sharing the best picks for all different styles of coverage too—from one-piece to tankini styles to two-piece bikinis. No matter your coverage preferences, you can find complementary swimsuits for your body shape. Check it out:

  1. Cheetah Classic Bandeau Tankini Top
  2. Mellow Twist Bikini Top 
  3. Blue Cuyo Long-Sleeve One-Piece Swimsuit
  4. Ambiance Moxie Bikini Top
  5. Reef High-Neck Tankini Top
Model in HAPARI Bandeau Tankini top in Ambiance print with Navy bikini swim bottoms

Best loungewear styles for athletic body shapes

Along with swimwear, we often get asked to recommend loungewear and resort wear styles for each body type. Athletic builds look great in lengthening pieces to elongate and accentuate their legs. They also look great in tanks that show off their arms and shoulders. Check out these top recommendations for loungewear items for athletic body shapes:

  1. Aubrey Linen Short in Black
  2. Naomi Linen Jumpsuit in Oat
  3. Emily Tank in White
  4. Amara Two-Piece Lounge Set in Black
  5. Bella Bodysuit in White
Woman in matching two-piece loungewear set standing in front of large windows

Shop the 20th Anniversary Warehouse Sale!

Now that you know all about styling and dressing athletic and muscular body shapes, it’s time to shop! And, boy are you going to want to shop, trust us, as our 20th Anniversary Warehouse Sale is going on. This first-ever event is designed to give back to you: our loyal customers for over 20 years, to thank you for your patronage and support. During this warehouse sale, you can score swimsuit pieces for just $10! From top-selling tankinis to newer styles in limited runs, you can score swimsuit tops for nearly 90% OFF—that’s an incredible deal that won’t last long. Check it out and start shopping now!

Graphic image of HAPARI swimsuit models and text that reads: 20th Anniversary Warehouse Sale, all sale swim $10

Ready for more lifestyle articles, product features, and healthy living tips? Check out the other articles in our HAPARI blog. We feature special product spotlights, healthy eating and fitness advice, and exclusive insider deals on our swimwear. 

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