What is a P-shaped body and how to know if you have one?
A P-shaped body, or P body type, as its name suggests, is any woman with a bust large enough to disproportionately affect the silhouette and make the outline of the body look similar to the letter “P”.
When it comes to swimsuits, there’s no such thing as an “ideal” body type, insecurity equally haunts everyone, regardless of your shape. It’s just that if you happen to be one average woman with a torso that falls into the typical apple/pear/inverted triangle/hourglass/etc. category, anything bikini-related may be less painful for you.
But for other rare body types or people that are in-betweens, it’s a whole other story.
It’s a disaster actually.
If you are not sure whether you have a P-shaped body or not, here’re the 9 signs:
- Extremely top-heavy with narrower ribcage, waist, and hips.
- Underweight with overly big busts.
- Tall and thin with DD+ cup sizes.
- Shoulder, tummy, and hips appear rectangular.
- Petite with large busts.
- Weight gains usually add up to the bust area.
Having a P shape body—like it or not—means you are constantly battling with your breasts, because nothing ever fits, and since trends are mostly made for and by flat-chested people, you are always behind them.
And finding a cute, wearable bikini for a P-shape can be as difficult as hitting the jackpot.
How to properly dress a P shape body
The P shape can be just as attractive as any other body type, but only if you get it right.
One of the biggest struggles of having a P shape is that, even if you don’t mean to, you can easily get yourself a night-out look with nearly any piece of clothing.
And covering things up does not always solve the problem, it’ll either make you baggy or look like you’ve gained extra pounds.
Dressing bigger breasts is hard, but dressing them fashionably can be near impossible if you don’t know what you’re doing.OLIVIA FLEMING – Former Features Director at HarpersBAZAAR
For that, here are some solid tips to follow.
1. Get the right bra in the right size
It’s the number one thing to do, and a well-fitted bra should provide just the right amount of support you need, and should not be squishing anything, have no spillage, and no puckering.
2. Wear V necks, but keep it shallow
You can balance it out with tops, shirts, or dresses with regular v necks that show a bit of skin/cleavage, it’ll help add distraction and downplay the upper torso for you.
3. Go with repeated, small prints/patterns
Why? Because large prints will accentuate your top and can turn a lowercase “p” into an uppercase! Repeated patterns, however, will just do the opposite.
4. Use layers
When used right, layering up can do so many things. You can always use layers to understate the upper portion of your body, to be less bulky, and to transform a P shape into any looks you want.
5. Go w/ black or dark colors
You can also find the balance with colors too. Black/dark hues can hide shape for you, they can trim your silhouette and make your chest less noticeable without any extra effort. Certain bright colors may flatter your skin tone, but you need to be really careful with them.
6. Tuck it in, or tie-up
Focusing more on your midsection is yet another very useful trick you can do to add more curves and minify the bust for a P shape.
By highlighting your waist, you can create the contrast that draws attention away from the top, and if necessary, use belts and straps! If you don’t have a defined waist, try cinching it above your belly button.
More guides to help restore your wardrobe confidence:
How to find the correct swimsuit if you are a P Shape
Bikini shopping has always been a nightmare for well-endowed folks, and it’s highly likely that you will get something ill-fitting on the first few tries.
So for anyone who’s having trouble buying bathing suits online/offline, remember the following rules.
1. Pay attention to the shoulder straps
- Make sure they are adjustable.
- The wider the straps, the better.
- If you are shopping for bikinis for the first time, avoid halter necks. (neck/back pain)
- Make sure they are highly elastic.
2. Cup shape
- Rounded/Shell-shaped cups offer the best support.
- With triangles and half cups, spillage can be a problem.
- Tube/bandeau top is an absolute no-go.
3. Keep your expectations low
- That bikini may look perfect on models, but not on you.
- Right style and right fit don’t always come together.
- Try changing your attitude from “OMG it’s so cute and I’m getting it” to “it’s probably not gonna fit me but let’s give it a shot”.
- Tank/wrap/high-neck bikini tops are best for coverage.
- If you want to emphasize it a bit, get some triangle and halter tops.
- No matter how much cleavage you want to show, make sure the bikini top you get passes the sit-down/hands-up test.
5. One-piece swimsuit Vs. bikini sets
- Get bikini separates because normal sizes just don’t fit a P shape, and oftentimes the top’s too small.
- If you have a one-piece bikini, double-check the measurements and make sure the top part is not squishy and the bottom part is not saggy.
- A tankini top with a regular bikini bottom can not only offer a flexible fit but also give you a one-piece look.
Bikinis & Swimsuit Brands That Are P-Shape Friendly
- Below are some of the brands that offer flexible options for different body shapes and sell bikinis in bra sizes.
- We update the list every 2 months to remove unavailable items and add new styles/brands.
- We are not working with any of the following companies.
Zebra Print High Neck Bikini Top
All Black Zip Style Short Sleeve Bikini Top
Wrap Front Geometric Print Bikini Top
Summer Mood Gingham Triangle Bikini Top
She Blushing Wrap Front Halter Bikini Top
Waikiki Tie Front Bikini Top
Emerald Tie Front Bikini Top
Across The Universe Muse Halter Bikini Top
Phoenix Muse Halter Bikini Top
Bondi Triangle Halter Bikini Top
SUNDOWN BANDEAU BIKINI TOP
RIVIERA BIKINI TOP
SAVANNA SUNSET BIKINI TOP
MONTANA WIRE BIKINI TOP
SHELL ISLAND BRALETTE BIKINI TOP
Pool Party Non Wired Triangle Bikini Top
Twist and Shout Non Wired Triangle Bikini
First Class Tankini Black
Poolside Non Wired Triangle Bikini Top
Eclipso Balcony Bikini Top
High Apex Plunge Underwire Swim Bikini Top
Longline Underwire Swim Bikini Top
Flutter-Sleeve No-Wire Swim Bikini Top
Multi-Way Strappy Underwire Swim Bikini Top
Underwire Buckle Swim Bikini Top