I think bathing suits can be unflattering since some of them show less material than other pieces of clothing. Some bathing suits are going to look better on some people than others. I just want to say if you can wear any bathing suits that you love. When buying a bathing suit, I consider every detail of the suits.
Small bust: I would recommend bathing suits that make the most of your natural bust. Padding in bathing suits will give you some shape and some will add a cup size. A molded cup style will help define your bust line which will help make your bust look bigger. Also, removable pushup padding is a good option since some do not like a lot of padding. Other styles to look at are ruffles, frills, etc.
Large bust: I would recommend a bathing suit that gives you lift and support. It will help create a flattering silhouette. A bathing suit that has underwire is a good option since it will help support your breast. Also, bathing suits that have built-in cups will help add shape and support. People with larger chest do not necessarily need extra padding. Halter-neck styles are a good way to show some cleavage. However, string bikinis are not going to be flattering. It does not give your breast enough support and lift. The bathing suit styles can make your breast spill out of the cups. It can make you look bigger. However, bathing suits that have molded cups, wide bands or elastic under bust, shelf bras, boning at sides and contoured seams are going to be very flattering.
Add more curves: Some people want to help create an hourglass figure. The right bathing suits will create curves in all the right places. Adding details to both top and bottoms will add more curves. It keeps the body balance. Cut outs in one piece are another way to add more curves. Bathing suits that have the same print or color on top and bottom, princess seaming are other ways of adding more curves.
Minimizing curves: I think a bathing suit should complement the curves but there are great options to help minimizing. People that are plus-size, apple shape may not feel comfortable about showing there belly. They do not want to potentially look bigger. A bathing suit bottom that has full coverage , v-neck, paneling on one pieces, ruching, swim skirts, tankinis that flow away from the body and same color or print on top and bottom. They are all great ways of minimizing curves.
Minimizing Hips: People with fuller hips may want a swim suit that helps make their hips look slimmer. They can go for bathing suits that have full coverage bottoms, swim skirts, print or bright color tops, solid or dark colored bottoms and details on the tops.
Enhancing Hips: One way to emphasize your hips are by getting low rise bottoms and ones that have embellishment on the bottoms. Also, you want to look for bathing suits that have print or bright color bottoms with a solid or dark color top, rings, tie sides, belts, and pattern bands at the waist.
Lengthen your Legs: Bathing suits that sit higher on your hips will make your legs look very long. It will also add more support on the tummy. Bathing suits that have thinner sides, and have a higher waistline are great ways to make your legs look longer.
Short Torso: To make your stomach look longer bathing suits that add interest will help length your torso. Look for bathing suits that have thinner sides, monokinis and low rise bottoms.
Long Torso: To help keep your body in balance you will want to make your torso look shorter. Look for bathing suits that have a higher waist line and bottoms that sit higher on the hips.
Define your Waist: Bathing suits that have cut one one pieces, same color/print on top and bottom, detail on top and bottom will help define your waist. Also, high cut bathing suit bottoms will also help define your waist line.
Minimizing your waist: Bathing suits that are one-pieces are going to be the best at minimizing your waist line creating a slimmer silhouette. Also, bathing suit that have ruching, v-neck lines, paneling on one pieces and tankinis that flow away from your body. They will all help minimize your waist.
There are several styles of bathing suits that will flatter multiple body shapes. I think the best tip to shop for a bathing suit is to emphasize the best features. When you emphasize your best features, people will not focus on areas that you do not like.