Speedo Shapeline: we review made to measure swimsuit for all shapes and sizes

Speedo Shapeline

Speedo has introduced a new range of swimwear for women. Shapeline is the result of a three year project during which Speedo Aqualab technologists scanned the body shapes of 5,400 real women.

The swimwear manufacturer claims the measurements many manufacturers use as the basis of women’s sizes are completely inaccurate. Since the 1950s when the measurements were first taken, women have become taller, larger round the waist, and have bigger hips and busts. Is it any wonder then that most of us can’t find a swimsuit to fit?

The swimwear manufacturer claims its new Shapeline suits are as close to a made to measure swimsuit as you can get. But does Speedo’s Shapeline live up to the hype? Goggleblog went along to Speedo’s London Covent Garden Store to find out.

The first difference with the Speedo Shapeline suit is you need to be professionally measured. Waist, hip, bust and body length measurements are essential to getting the right fit. The suit comes in sizes 10 to 20 and cup sizes 30B to 34G and the theory is once your individual measurements are taken into account you should get a costume which fits so well that it looks as though it has been made just for you.

Speedo’s research reveals that women’s bodyshapes fall into three distinct categories: Bottom Hourglass, women who have bottoms and hips that are bigger than their chests; Hourglass, women who have equally wide hips and chests; and Top Hourglass, women who have chests and shoulders bigger than their bottom and hips.

Speedo has developed three styles of swimsuits to enhance each of these body shapes: The Bustshaper, the Waistshaper and the Tummy and Hip Sculptor. I came out as a top hourglass with a long body so the Bustshaper was the suit for me.

Trying it on for the first time was an experience in itself. For a start it is not easy to get into. The Bustshaper has an integral bra inside which needs to be folded down at the front while you pull on the lower half of the suit. The costume itself feels a little bit like a corset and it is also quite difficult to fasten the bra up at the back. But it is worth persevering. Once the suit is on it looks fantastic.

Speedo's Shapeline showroom at its London Covent Garden store

Speedo's Shapeline showroom at its London Covent Garden store

Used to seeing my reflection in a swimsuit which cuts into my shoulders and squashes my bust into a mis-shapen doughnut just above my bulgy midriff, I was not prepared for what I saw. My bust was defined and up where it should be, my waist and tummy looked neater and flatter and the longer straps sat comfortably on my shoulders.

No digging, no rubbing, no red marks. For once I didn’t feel depressed looking at myself in a swimsuit in the changing room mirror! I would be happy to stroll down the beach or lounge on the side of the pool in this suit all day.

Available from Speedo stores, Bravissimo, Fenwick and Rigby and Peller, The Shapeline is probably more for the recreational then the serious swimmer and at £100 it’s not cheap. But it does flatter your best bits, disguise the bits you don’t like and makes you feel amazingly confident . Surely that has to be worth splashing out on.

By Wendy Knowles