The Best Bathing Suits for Every Body Type
Bathing suit shopping doesn’t have to be stressful. Here’s how to find the right silhouette and style for every shape, size, and preference.
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Time to dive in!
It’s that time of the year again—bathing suit season! If that sentence elicited a slight panic from you, you’re not alone. While we’re all more than ready for gorgeous weather and summer fun, and even excited to stock up on summer essentials like the best summer hats, cover-ups, flip-flops, and sunscreen—bathing suit shopping itself can be stressful and, well, not so fun. We strongly believe that every body is bathing-suit-ready, but we also strongly believe that you need to find a swimsuit that makes you feel completely confident when you’re wearing it. So, how can you find the best bathing suits for you? By focusing on your best assets.
“Start by identifying the areas you want to enhance or attract attention to, and then the areas you want to minimize or distract the eye from,” advises Laurie Brucker Amerikaner, a professional stylist and author. From there, you need to choose wisely—and know a few tricks. “Wearing solid colors, slim lines, and minimal detailing works great for concealing, slimming, and covering. Wearing bold patterns, bright colors, and fresh design details work for accentuating, balancing, and attention-grabbing.”
There are also a few tried-and-true rules to flatter specific body types and honor current trends. Read on to find the perfect match for your body type and style, and then learn how to wash your bathing suit the right way so your new favorite lasts a good, long time.
Best bathing suit for tummy control: Holipick Tummy Control Two-Piece
The key to tummy control in your swimwear is color blocking. “This helps create the flattering frame lines while still being stylish,” says Amerikaner. “Look for color blocking that has a mid to dark lower portion that blocks out the waistline area, while using bolder colors at the bottom and top.” Beyond that, Amerikaner suggests using the art of distraction by choosing swimwear with a unique neckline like a one shoulder or cross-front halter. “It draws the eyes up and away,” she explains. That’s a tried-and-true personal stylist tip you’ll wish you knew sooner.
This thoughtful two-piece bathing suit from Holipick offers color blocking, tummy control panels, and a higher neckline to offer a hint of modesty and added sun protection. It also comes in 22 different colors and patterns if you fall in love with this style and want to mix your tummy control swimsuit up a bit.
Best bathing suit for pear shapes: Coco Reef Diva High-Waist Swim Bottom
For women with pear-shaped bodies, the right swimsuit is all about balance. “A bikini with a classic coverage bottom in a solid tone will help keep the hips perfectly sized in their natural state. Then balance that out with a bold printed, striped, or contrast-colored top. This will draw the eyes up,” says Amerikaner. “Bonus points for a bandeau or halter shape top as that helps elongate the shoulder to balance the hip line.”
This black, high-waisted bikini bottom from Coco Reef is flattering, sexy, and adds just the right touch of youthful mesh ruching to keep things interesting. Pair it with an eye-catching printed or patterned bikini top to nail the look and have one of the best bathing suits on the beach this summer.
Best bathing suit for petites: Onzie High Leg One-Piece Swimsuit
When it comes to shape-enhancing swimwear for petites, it’s all about the cut—specifically, a cut that makes you look leaner and longer. “Swimwear with a higher cut at the hip helps elongate the legs, while deep-V necklines support overall frame balance as well as elongate the neckline,” Amerikaner explains. “Avoid bandeau shapes, square necklines, or any detailing with horizontal lines, as it will cut off the frame, making one appear shorter and wider.”
This moderately priced Onzie suit offers a higher-than-usual cut at the hips to instantly elongate legs, a flirty neckline that draws the eyes north, and a very current muted color palette that will pair just as well with a sarong and fancy flip-flops as with denim cutoffs and a straw hat. Wish you could mimic this effect in everyday life? You can! Check out these outfit tricks to fake longer legs.
Best bathing suit for pregnant or postpartum women: Kindred Bravely Nursing & Maternity Wrap Swimsuit
Comfort is the name of the game if you’re sporting a baby bump on the beach, and once you’ve had your little one, easy access for nursing becomes another major priority. But the best bathing suits for pregnancy and those early postpartum aren’t just functional—they’re cute and flattering, too. Look for style-forward detailing (like a tie, belt, or wrap-style design) that accentuates the waist’s smallest point, and to avoid appearing matronly, choose an of-the-moment color or print, suggests style expert Sadie Cherney, who owns Clothes Mentor, an eco-friendly boutique. “Pastels are everywhere in fashion right now, but they’re especially present in swimwear,” she says. “There’s also been an emphasis on buttery-soft fabrics in swim, which is so cozy! But the combination of soft fabric and pastel tones can be very revealing, so if that’s not the look you’re going for, ribbed fabrics can provide more coverage, even in these beautiful light hues.”
This Kindred Bravely wrap-style one-piece comes in both a soft pink hue and blue-and-white stripe pattern that will help you join in this season’s biggest color trends, as well as keep the same suit from bump to baby-on-the-outside. It also offers UPF 50 protection, is made of recycled polyester, and is fully lined.
Best bathing suit for small chests: White House Black Market Crossover Underwire Bikini Swim Top
Using bold, busy patterns to make a small bust appear bigger or more balanced is one of the oldest ideas in stylists’ play book. While you can go with whatever pattern you’re drawn to, animal prints are still very much in style. “There are so many beautiful new takes on animal print this summer,” Cherney says. “We’ve loved leopard for a few years now, and it’s refreshing to see it in larger repeats or more abstract colorways, and also to see some new animal prints gaining traction—especially zebra and tiger stripes.” These prints can also be used anywhere you might want to confuse or trick the eye.
The crossover underwire style of this White House Black Market bikini top also adds volume and lift to small to medium size chests, and the full-coverage bottom makes it one of the best bathing suits for women looking to add balance to bottom-heavy frames.
Best bathing suit for fuller figures: Miraclesuit Plus Size Carnivale Escape Sweetheart Neckline One-Piece
The most important bit of bathing-suit advice for plus-size women? Always opt for supportive shapes and fabrics, says professional wardrobe stylist Megan Averbuch, who blogs at Belles & Rebelles. “Of course, confidence is everything, no matter what you wear, but you can feel your best by investing in pieces that offer support, such as underwire,” she explains.
Beyond that, there are some tricks that will help flaunt your curves in the smartest ways possible. For example, Averbuch suggests looking for swimwear with ruching and high-waisted bikini bottoms. “No matter your figure,” she adds, “I always like to add shapes, such as flowing sarongs or caftan-style beach jackets, to make it more of a full look.”
This Miraclesuit one-piece offers a captivating neckline with bright, eye-catching colors in a color-blocked formation, a crisscross pattern that defines curves, and a body-hugging black material on the bottom. Add underwire cups and sturdy Miratex fabric, and women of all shapes and sizes will get just the right amount of support.
Best on-trend slimming bathing suit: Dippin Daisys Sahara One-Piece
“Another trend that is hot right now is the illusion-style suit,” Averbuch says. “With nude panels that snake around the body and look like cutouts, you still have coverage making for a comfortable, effortlessly chic look.”
This whimsically printed Sahara one-piece swimsuit offers the appeal of a bikini design with the sensibility and slightly more modest single-piece approach. It leaves only the narrowest parts of the waist exposed and offers a youthful take on current prints.
Best bathing suit for large busts: Rue21 Plus Floral Print Flounce Bikini
The experts we spoke with agree that large busts are best served with extra support and subtle design details that offer balance and shape. This Rue21 floral-print flounce bikini top offers a silhouette that works for women of most shapes and sizes, but especially those who are top-heavier, thanks to adjustable straps, flounce detailing, and a dazzlingly bright print that keeps eyes busy. It can be worn with the matching, sold-separately bottoms, or paired with a darker, solid-hued bottom to create a modern blocked look.
Best bathing suit for tall women: CUPSHE Women’s V-Neck Cross Back One-Piece
This affordable bathing suit is a winner all around, thanks to a wide array of fun colors and patterns, a universally appealing silhouette, and a body-friendly design. But it’s also a tall gal’s best friend because of the generous ruching on the sides that allows for subtle expansion. That means a woman who is 5’9″ woman can wear this suit just as happily as a 5’4″ woman, and they’ll both look great. And you can wear it everywhere from your backyard to the most extravagant hotel pools in the world without skipping a beat.
Reviewers adore it, too. As one fan writes, “This is the suit! It’s flattering and thick, and fits perfectly everywhere on my hourglass mom body. I don’t feel frumpy in it at all! All my moving parts are secure, and I can run and play with my kids in it and still catch hubby’s eye.”
Best bathing suit for mature women: Lovezesent Two-Piece Tankini Swimsuit with Skirt
Modest swimwear for mature wearers doesn’t have to cost a fully exposed arm or leg, which is why this under-$30 Lovezesent two-piece is a versatile choice for those interested in baring less. It offers a swim-friendly, tennis-outfit approach that can easily be mixed and matched with full-sleeve rash guard pieces, some of the best leggings on Amazon, and other modesty-approved essentials, or, of course, worn on its own.
One glowing Amazon reviewer writes: “I love the zipper closure. The skirt comes down to a good length, and it has the cute little pockets in front. It seems to be well-made and a good swimsuit fabric. I think it looks so cute and sporty-looking for this 64-year-old gal. I love it!”
Best bathing suit for a modest look: Modli Margaux Swim Top and Midi Swim Skort
This modesty-focused bathing suit is everything a girl might dream of for covered-up swimming. You can find it in an impressive range of sizes from XXS through 6X, and the adjustable side ruching and high-waisted bottoms with attached leggings provide full coverage that’s still flattering and form-fitting. And not only won’t you have to worry about your suit slipping after getting hit by a strong wave, but the high neck and three-quarter sleeves do wonders to protect skin from the sun. And did we mention that it comes in more than a dozen fun colors and patterns? It does, which is why Modli swimwear has quickly become a cult-favorite product shoppers can’t get enough of.
Most versatile bathing suit: Blooming Jelly Lace Halter One-Piece
Ringing in under $30, this charming one-piece is incredibly affordable, and it boasts expensive-feeling tummy-control paneling that will give you a more toned appearance. It also looks like it stepped right out of an Anthropologie catalog, thanks to high-end crocheted trim. Bonus: You can have it delivered in a jiffy, one of the many Amazon Prime benefits you can take advantage of if you’re thinking of a last-minute beach escape. It comes in a variety of colors and prints that thousands of happy Amazon reviewers can’t seem to get enough of.
“I am in love with this suit!” writes one reviewer. “I was having a hard time finding something to fit my postpartum figure and stumbled across this adorable one-piece in my search. I’m 5’2″ and 155 pounds, and it fits perfectly. Super cute, not too tight, and fits the bust and butt great. I highly recommend. Plus, you can’t beat the price. It’s the quality of a $100 swimsuit for a quarter of the price.”
Best budget-friendly bathing suit: Charmo One-Piece
A figure-enhancing swimsuit for under $20? Yes, please! This pretty suit offers inclusive sizing of XS through XXL, and it looks a lot more expensive than it really is, thanks to stylist-approved color blocking, front-cross design features, and sewn-in bra pads that don’t move, bunch, or get lost. Frankly, a suit of this of quality at such a low price is just the kind of secret we should probably keep to ourselves, but you seem trustworthy and deserving of a knockout swim look. Here are more items that are way cheaper at Walmart than on Amazon.
Best bathing suit for sun protection: Coolibar UPF 50+ Women’s Escalante High Neck Swimsuit
“Suits with ultraviolet protective factor (UPF) of 50 or higher are continuing to gain popularity as people protect themselves from the health risks of too much sun exposure,” Cherney says. “One-piece rash guards are no longer just relegated to surfers—several high-end fashion designers are offering them in beautiful prints and colors.” Rash guards are tried-and-true options for those who want to conceal their arms in addition to being reliable sun-protective clothing.
This Coolibar UPF 50+ high-neck swimsuit offers full collarbone, shoulder, and arm coverage in a summery, fun print that’s easy to wear. And not only will it protect you from the sun’s harmful rays—it’ll also stay put when you’re engaged in water sports or chasing after the kids.
Best overall bathing suit for all body types: Tempt Me High Neck Mesh Monokini
In general, the best bathing suits for women offer a blend of fashion-forward styling, body-complementing design, and colors that make you feel happy. This Tempt Me monokini is a one-piece with figure-friendly ruching, a peekaboo mesh panel just below the high neckline, and a waist-gathering knot that accentuates the narrowest part of the abdomen while smoothing the rest.
It’s easy to see why it’s Amazon’s best-selling swimsuit for women with a nearly 14,000 five-star reviews. One self-proclaimed curvy girl describes just how happy she is with her purchase: “I bought this suit on a whim after reading an article on social media about how much this item was selling on Amazon. Honestly, I truly didn’t expect much from a $25 suit. When I finally got it and put it on…WOWZA! Absolute perfection! It is soooo flattering, and it holds everything in without discomfort. DO NOT HESITATE!” Next, find more of the clothes that look best on you, based on your body type.
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