In the last decade or so, plus size swimwear has become very fashion forward. It now includes fashion pieces, alluring designs, and slimming features that provide you with seemingly countless choices. This guide will cover the three main factors in choosing the perfect plus size swimsuit: Body type, suit style, and suit design.
Shop by Body Type
Shopping for a bathing suit is — in a way — both an art and a science. You want to find a suit that accentuates your best features while at the same time hiding your problem areas. You can determine the best style to compliment your physique based on your body type.
Pear-shaped women should focus on accentuating their bust and upper body, while concealing the lower part of their body.
- Who: Women with larger legs, thighs, or bottoms.
- What: Accentuate the top part of your body and hide the lower part.
- How: Pair solid bottoms with a brightly colors top to draw the eye upward.
- Best styles: Skirtinis, tankini sets, or one-pieces with brightly colors tops.
Apple shaped women should focus on drawing the eye downward with flowing designs and styles. Choose prints over solids, as solids will draw more attention to your body.
- Who: Women with larger chests, shoulders, or stomachs.
- What: Accentuate your legs with more coverage in the bustier area.
- How: Wear tummy-trimming suits and brightly colored prints to draw attention downward.
- Best styles: Swimdresses and all-over print one-piece suits.
Women with small waists should accentuate them! Focus on finding swimsuits that emphasize the waist by drawing attention to it with belts, colors, and prints.
- Who: Women with larger chests and hips, but with a small waist.
- What: Accentuate your thin waist and upper body.
- How: Draw attention to your waist with a fun belt, or a swimsuit that emphasizes the waist.
- Best styles: One-piece suits with brightly colored tops and designs.
Large-busted women should focus on finding a swimsuit that provides comfort and support, as well as fashion. The halter top is the most figure-flattering top for large-busted women.
- Who: Women with larger chests.
- What: Accentuate your chest while staying comfortable.
- How: Wear underwire tops with sturdy straps to draw attention to the chest while flattering it.
- Best styles: Halter tops (the A-line creates a slimming effect, and the thick straps provide bust support) as well as underwire tops with thick straps.
Shop by Style
Look for styles that provide comfort, support, and coverage where needed. Most styles will also include tummy control panels, underwire support, and slimming design features. The styles listed below are the most popular among full-figured women:
- One-piece suits: Accentuate the positives while drawing attention away from the negatives with colors and designs.
- Blouson: This loose top flatters women with tummy issues.
- Tankini sets: These allow women to mix and match, and buy differently sized tops and bottoms.
- Tankini tops: Provides coverage and freedom of movement, but are less supportive than a one-piece.
- High-waist bottoms: Slim down the tummy and flatter the thighs.
Flattering Design Elements
These design elements provide slimming and trimming effects on your body:
- Bright colors: Wear on areas you want to emphasize.
- Dark colors: Wear on areas you want to de-emphasize.
- High-cut bottoms: Give the appearance of longer, slimmer legs.
- V-neckline: Lengthens the upper body by drawing the eye up and down on the chest.
- Ruffles or prints: From bust to hip or across the body, these elements create the illusion of a longer, slimmer body.
- Ruched fabric or dark panels: These elements slim down the body when on the sides of a suit.
- Tummy control: Specially designed fabrics are used to tighten and flatten the stomach area.
Design Features to Avoid
These design features are unflattering or uncomfortable to wear for most full-figured women:
- Strapless tops: These do not provide enough support in the bust area.
- Boyshorts: The additional fabric coverage makes the thighs look larger.
- Solid suits: Draws more attention to undesirable body features.
- Split two-tone suits: Patterns that sharply divide the body in half can be worse than solid print suits.
- Horizontal stripes: It's become pretty common knowledge, but is also worth mentioning: Horizontal stripes create an optical shortening/widening effect.
Every Body Is Different
No two bodies are exactly alike, and thus no swimsuit advice is perfect. Knowing what looks good on you will give you more options when it comes to choosing a swimsuit. Once you find your perfect suit, make sure to pair it with flip flops, sunglasses, and a sunhat to complete your look.