The Definitive Guide to Plus Size Swim Shopping

The Definitive Guide to Plus Size Swim Shopping

Swimsuit shopping can be a dreaded chore standing under those unflattering fluorescent lights as you wrestle in and out of a parade of swimsuits that you just don't love. Start your search armed with these tips to help you find the right fit for you, and you'll soon have a flattering, comfortable swimsuit you love and feel confident in.


Outdated advice about the best way to dress as a plus size woman can hold you back from looking your best. If you're still carrying these rules around, free yourself!

  • "Black is slimming." Well, black and other dark colors are slimming. But that doesn't mean you are sentenced to a life of somber colors! Play around with colors and prints that make you feel happy. With the right shapes of swimwear, you can express yourself and still look great. You know what's really slimming? Confidence.
  • "Hide your body in loose shapes." Baggy styles only emphasize bumps and shout to the world that you're trying to hide. No one has a perfect body, but we all have parts we can feel good about. Show off the beautiful things about your body!
  • "Plus size swimwear is poor quality and ugly." Plus size style has come a long way in recent years. Designers have realized that all women deserve well made, beautiful looks. For example, Anne Cole has an excellent plus size swimwear line that is the same quality and style as the rest of their designs. There are more flattering, gorgeous swimsuits out there than ever before. You deserve to find yourself something you'll love.


Accent your best feature. You've probably read lots of advice on plus size tips and tricks. That's good to know but it's also equally important to pick suits that emphasize your best assets. Click here to read up on some great tips on how to minimize your stomach.

  • To highlight your waistline, try a belted swimsuit or wrap style. 
  • For a fabulous bust, be sure to get plenty of support with underwire cups, wide straps, and sturdy fabric. A halter style top is a great look to frame beautiful cleavage.
  • Celebrate an hourglass shape in a bikini. A high-waisted bottom provides coverage for your stomach and emphasizes your curves in the best way. If you're not comfortable with a bikini top, ease into this look with a tankini.
  • A lower cut leg opening can look flattering and retro, and a v-neck will help break up a blocky look. Boyshorts widen the hips. If you're trying to balance out a fuller top, a skirted bottom might be more comfortable.
  • Showing a little skin looks confident and sexy. If you're not comfortable with deep necklines and high cut legs, try a suit with cutouts or mesh panels for a beautiful flash of skin. Anne Cole Plus and Allure Plus both carry suits with alluring examples of this style.


No matter which shape swimsuit you're drawn to, here is some tried-and-true advice to keep in mind as you shop.

  • FIT, not size! Different manufacturers size their products differently. If that beautiful swimsuit has a number on its label that is bigger than you usually wear, don't let it bother you. These things aren't standard, and you deserve the very best fit no matter what size it's labeled.
  • Make sure your swimsuit is comfortable and feels good to move around in it. You're not wearing it for a photo shoot, you're wearing it to play in. Move around in it and be sure it doesn't slip or bind.
  • Buy your tops and bottoms separately. Very few women have the same sized top and bottom. If you opt for a bikini, skirtini, or tankini, buy those parts individually. Not only does this ensure you'll get the best fit, it also gives you options for different looks. Maybe you want a flirty skirt one day, and standard bottoms the next. Becca and La Blanca  are just two examples of designers who offer a wide range of tops and bottoms sold separately for the best fit and maximum style options.
  • Try different silhouettes. Don't assume you can't wear different looks than you're used to. Branch out and experiment a little. You might be surprised at what you can pull off!
  • Find something you love. If it has a little detail that delights your heart, like a sexy neckline or shirring that makes you feel like a 50's movie star, it will boost your confidence. Clothes should be fun, and swimwear is no exception.
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