The Best Swimsuits for Every Body Type
When it comes to clothing, there are few things that give women more anxiety than the swimsuit: First, there’s the process of weeding through the multitudes of possibilities, and then there’s the actual wearing of it. Finding the right suit—one that’s designed for your figure—can go a long way toward quieting that anxiety. We’ve done the weeding to find suits meant to flatter women with different body types: those with large chests, those with a tummy they prefer to camouflage, those with full hips and thighs, and those with straighter shapes. So let the sun shine—we’ll see you on the beach.
Less-endowed ladies, consider yourselves lucky! You can pretty much wear any style, regardless of how supportive. To emphasize what you’ve got, make your M.O. “lift and separate.” Stick to suits that have a bit of padding or boning to add contours, or try busy patterns or ruffles for a little enhancement without any added material.
Suboo Drifter Bow Bikini
Want a little more than just a flattering suit? The removable cups in this bikini add shape that can visually up your size a whole cup, and while the tied bandeau silhouette is a sweet detail, it also adds even more feminine shape. Pared down matching bottoms continue the pattern to elongate your figure (while keeping most of the focus up top). Bonus: This suit also comes with removable straps for adding comfort and security if and when you want it.
To buy: $99; suboousa.com.
Love Stories Reggipetto Bikini
Don’t let this suit’s sweet vintage appeal fool you. Padding (removable, of course) and volume (thanks to the cute ruffle detail on the top) will give a major boost to your bust—and even add a little cleavage. A cute striped print with an on-trend patch detail on the back of the bottoms complete the retro look.
To buy: Bikini top, $95, and bottoms, $65; shopbop.com.
Peixoto Flamingo One Piece
Ready to take the plunge? It may seem counter-intuitive, but deep V necklines actually look better on smaller busts because the “V” suggests the shape of cleavage (the look can actually read as overkill on women with a little more up top).
To buy: $114; available in other colors at shopbop.com.
Aerie Pushup Bikini
If you’re of the “go big or go home” mentality, this bikini is basically the push-up bra of swimsuits. Serious padding and structure add curves where you want them (while a horizontal stripe print helps bring your shape into balance).
To buy: Available in similar styles at aerie.com.
Sperry Striped Tankini
This intricate, high neckline silhouette has so much going on that it adds instant oomph to your bust, regardless of size. Lucky A and B cups have more freedom to be playful with swimsuits, since they can wear styles like this one (with a deep cutout) without worry of spillage or lack of support.
To buy: Available in similar styles at amazon.com.
Narrower figures need not worry about balancing proportions, and can wear nearly anything they want. But if it’s curves you’re after, consider adding dimensional details like cut-outs, shirring, and bold prints to create the illusion of a more hourglass shape.
Tommy Hilfiger Sun Stripe Bikini
If you dare to bare, triangle tops are a great bikini option for more boyish figures—the diagonals of the suit break up the body’s straight lines (helped further in this case by a strategically-angled diagonal print). When searching for the right fit, choose an option like this, which has adjustable ties at the bust and neckline for completely customizable sizing.
To buy: Available in similar styles at usa.tommy.com.
Peixoto Sophia Swimsuit
Alluring but not overly revealing, the smartly-placed lines of this cutout, printed swimsuit create the impression of curves without any padding—although it is optionally included. The deep scoop back ties in two places to create a customized fit and keep everything perfectly in place, whether you’re lounging by the pool or splashing in the surf.
To buy: $123; available in similar colors at shopbop.com.
Tori Praver Swimwear Zola Strapless Bikini
Bikinis don’t always have to be itsy-bitsy (or teeny-weeny, for that matter). Two-pieces with a bit more support and substance can help create a shape that appears more curvaceous. These high-waisted bottoms help hips appear shapelier, while the molded, underwire top rounds out the bust line.
To buy: Available in similar styles at urbanoutfitters.com.
Tavik Jett Bikini
Use color theory to your advantage. Visually speaking, bright and light hues expand—so those colors on the outside of an area (like this suit) has the effect of making those areas seem bigger. An added advantage? The triangle cut is great for your shape because it adds angles that boost narrower frames.
To buy: Bikini top, $74, and bottoms, $64; bloomingdales.com.
Shoshanna Striped Ring Halter Bikini
This suit hits all the key points: A contoured cut helps add volume on top, and a textured, horizontal stripe pattern emphasizes even the subtlest of curves. The elongated shape of the top and the low-slung (but still modest) bottoms help keep your frame looking long and lean.
To buy: Bikini top, $110, and bottoms, $74; saksfifthavenue.com.
Feeling a little self-conscious about exposing your midsection? (Honestly, who isn’t?) Don’t shy away from swimwear—options from one-pieces to tankinis to, yes, even bikinis, come in cuts so flattering you’ll feel confident flaunting your figure.
Sunsets Palmetto Print Bikini
Anyone, regardless of shape or size, can wear—and look great in!—a bikini. Think of these bottoms as a high-waisted alternative: The soft, top band won’t dig into skin and when worn up (instead of folded over, which is also an option) dips into a flatteringly elongating “V” at the center.
To buy: Similar color bikini top, $76, and similar style bottoms, $52; amazon.con.
Modcloth Set The Serene Bikini
An all around winner, these high-waisted bottoms work like Spanx to provide control from the navel down, while a fuller cut adds supportive structure to the top. We especially love that this suit is available all the way through sizes XS through 4X.
To buy: similar color bikini top, $49, and similar color bottoms, $49; modcloth.com.
Lands’ End Underwire Squareneck Tankini
A suit that uses a pattern at the top with a darker, solid panel in the middle focuses attention away from where you don’t want it, resulting in a slimmer looking torso. Add a figure enhancing hidden control lining that smoothes and matching high-waisted bottoms, and you’ve got a seriously slenderizing suit.
To buy: Tankini top, $59; and similar style bottoms, $35; landsend.com.
Long Tall Sally Active Colorblock Swimsuit
Talk about an optical illusion! This racerback’s on-trend sporty styling (which is also highly-functional—the ergonomic design was made with lap-swimmers in mind) draws the eye toward the center while the sides seem to recede, creating a slimmer-looking shape. Built for women who are vertically endowed, this suit also offers a comfortable top-to-bottom fit that won’t ride up or dig into shoulders.
To buy: $69; longtallsally.com.
Longitude Safari Night High Neck Tank One Piece Suit
Don’t fear a horizontal print! While it’s true that they can make your shape appear wider, an option like this one—which is broken up by tons of bold, graphic appeal, and has some vertical movement as well—won’t have the same effect. The black base is also super slimming for women who carry a little extra weight just over their hips.
To buy: $85; amazon.com.
Full Hips and Thighs
Balance out a bottom-heavy figure with bold patterns or colors on top that draw the eye upward. Watch out for cuts like boy shorts that hit straight across the thigh, making them appear wider, and look for suits with higher-cut leg-lines instead.
Long Tall Sally Monochrome Swimsuit
A piped neckline and bold bands of white highlight the waist, bust, and shoulders, rather than the hips and thighs. A keyhole back adds appeal, while a supportive shelf with cups and adjustable straps ensures comfortable, customizable coverage.
To buy: $78; longtallsally.com.
Marysia Mott Bikini
The soft, scalloped edging on this bikini means no tight or pinching spots to dig into your skin. The result? A flawless fit. The halter style top and bottoms tie to close so you can customize the fit to exactly how you want it.
To buy: Similar color bikini top, $149, and similar color bottoms, $149; revolve.com.
Echo Colorblock Bikini
Far from accenting the hips, a suit that’s a dark solid on the bottom with all the interest on top will draw attention upward, creating a minimizing effect down below. This full, underwire top is also great for women who need a little extra coverage and support, but still want to wear a bikini.
To buy: Bikini top, $69, and bottoms, $69; amazon.com.
Sunsets Mia High Neck Tankini
Ditch the dated, skirted styles and opt for a sleeker tankini instead. This suit’s top has a statement-making black and white tile pattern (strategically darker in the tummy area for a slimming effect), but the real wow-factor comes from the bottoms, which sit low on the hips and have a higher cut leg.
To buy: Similar color tankini top, $80, and similar color bottoms, $52; barenecessities.com.
If you’re on the better-endowed side, look for suits that offer plenty of support, just the way a bra would. Wide, adjustable straps, underwire boning, and even cup-size-specific fits will all help lift your bust, helping you look and feel your best.
L.L. Bean Mix-and-Match Swim Collection Bandeau Tankini
Available in three different prints and made with bigger busts in mind, this wide-banded, adjustable (read: comfortable) tankini top goes up to size 18, and is constructed just like a bra inside, with molded cups and a hidden elastic clasp for the fullest support.
To buy: Similar color tankini top, $65, and bottoms, $40; llbean.com.
Panache Florentine Bandeau One Piece
An underwire construction provides a flattering fit without fear of spillage—even if you’re hitting the volleyball courts or playing in the waves (just add the removable strap—which can be worn as a halter, straight, or crisscrossed for extra security). Not often found in one-pieces, this suit has a bra-like construction sized from 32DD through 38G.
To buy: $104; available in black animal print at barenecessities.com.
Dillard’s Cremieux Black and White Bikini
All of the support and none of the discomfort, this bold black and white suit from Dillard’s is underwire-free, but does have full coverage, molded cups, and the extra support and stability of a wide (and comfortable) band. Bonus: The pretty scalloped white trim also has a minimizing effect, making large busts seem smaller.
To buy: available in similar styles at dillards.com.
Seafolly Vintage Wildflower Halter Bikini Top
Though not all companies offer this solution, the best way to find the right fit is to shop by cup size. This sophisticated floral suit from Seafolly has supportive underwire cups and is part of their “F-cup” collection, but they also stock similar styles for nearly any bust size.
To buy: Bikini top, $39, and similar style bottoms, $92; amazon.com.
Kate Spade Two-Tone V-Wire Bikini
A little bit vintage, a little bit modern, this bikini has supportive, removable soft cups for shaping and support and a wide tie-halter neckline for an adjustable fit. Plus, an extended band won’t pinch or dig into ribs, but will keep everything securely in place.
To buy: Bikini top, $80, and similar style bottoms, $46; amazon.com.