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How to Choose Flattering Plus Size Swimwear

Flattering Plus Size Swimwear

Each body is unique. Everybody has physical traits they'd like to highlight or downplay. And keeping up with swimwear trends might not always be the most flattering option. But by using a few design tips to your advantage, like high waisted bikinis, tummy control paneling, and underwire support, you can create a more proportional look. 


Our best advice: try new silhouettes each season. Plus size swimwear is always changing and you may stumble across a style that perfectly flatters your body, even if it's not the hottest celebrity or runway trend that summer. Besides - no one wants to be seen in the same swimsuit as every other woman on social media anyway.


Follow these simple steps before embarking on your swimsuit search. 


Step 1: Take your measurements. Most swimwear size charts will ask for your bust, waist, and hip measurements. 


Step 2: Take a look at your old swimsuit sizes. Think about how it fit. Was it too snug? A little loose? Or if you've changed sizes, consider going up or down a size. Perhaps try on a few swimsuits next time you go to a department store to compare your current size against what you've previously owned. Buying swimwear online is dependant upon knowing your precise size. 


Step 3: Head over to to begin your search. Filter by size, style, brand, or price to narrow your findings or don't - and just decide to browse. 

Whether you prefer a one-piece, two-piece, bikinis, something high waisted, or something with underwire, there a few stylistic elements, brands, and silhouettes to look out for. There are hundreds, maybe thousands of bathing suits for plus size women with features specifically designed to flatter curvy body types. Below are some of the best solutions for the most common ‘pain points' when choosing swimsuits for plus size women.


Large Middle


Well-placed, tiered ruffles can hide a larger waistline. Angled ruffles look best since they draw the eye downward and away from the midriff. Look for styles from Penbrooke for feminine, fluttery, ruffled styles. 


Shirrings at the waist can have a slimming effect through your middle. Maxine makes swimsuit styles with side shirrings or vertical front shirrings with both creating an hourglass illusion. 

Tummy Control

Some brands are known for their tummy control. Magicsuit by Miraclesuit is well-known for its built-in mesh paneling that holds your waist in tight. It's not so tight that you feel uncomfortable, but it's tight enough that you feel slim and sculpted.

Empire Waist

When a fitted top has a waistline placed just above the natural waist or even just below the bust, it is called an empire waist or sometimes it can be referred to as a babydoll dress. The skirted part around the tummy area is generally long with a loose fit that flows over the body and elongates the figure. Profile by Gottex has a number of tankinis and swim dresses that have this look.


Like these suggestions? Here are some reccomendations:

Profile by Gottex Plus Size Tutti Frutti Off The Shoulder One Piece Swimsuit

Sunsets Curve Plus Size Rose Garden Savannah Tankini Top

Large Bottom

Swim Dress

A swim dress uses a skirted bottom, usually with an attached brief, to hide your lower waist. The skirted detail adds flowy fabric to your hips making your waist look smaller. ClubSwim has some of the highest-rated swim dresses on the market. 

High Waist Bottoms

Beach House and Topanga have best-selling plus size bottoms with high waists. Whether you prefer a swim skirt, bikini bottom, or shorts, a higher waistline draws attention away from the lower half of your body for a curvy but sculpted appearance. 

Off the Shoulder or Ruffle Top

A ruffled, off the shoulder top (either one-piece or 2 pieces) can help to better proportion a pear shape bottom by adding volume to a smaller chest and balance a larger lower half. Raisins has a number of trendy styles and prints with to help you achieve this look. 


A unitard is great for those of us with thicker thighs as it elongates the body. A unitard is a one-piece swimsuit that hits above the knee. Many Waterpro swimsuits come in a color block print that features a bold print at the top and a black bottom to give a smaller appearance to your hips and thighs.


Like these suggestions? Here are some reccomendations:

Raisins Plus Size Samba Solids Stingray One Piece Swimsuit

Sporti Plus Size Swim Dress

Large Top

Bra-sized Swimwear

Using your cup size to buy swim tops has really changed the swimwear fitting game for women, especially ladies with larger breasts. However, you don't need to be a D-cup and up to find the right fit. Coco Reef makes bra-sized swimwear for all cup sizes that provides comfortable support in flattering styles - some with an underwire, some without. 

High Neckline

Some high necklines can truly flatter the upper body. A high-neck tankini top can help balance a top-heavy frame with its angular armholes making the shoulder and chest appear smaller and accentuating the hip. Fit4U has some really flattering high-neck tankini and swim dress options.

Sweetheart Neckline

A sweetheart neckline sometimes called a twist front neckline  is one that is twisted or gathered at the front making a heart shape at the chest.  These styles work wonders to minimize and flatter a full chest. The straps (if you choose to wear them) slant inward to further deemphasize the chest and shoulder.


Ralph Lauren has a large selection of tankinis in solids, prints, and many with the features mentioned above. Choosing a tankini top can be a versatile option since it allows you to mix and match with your favorite bottoms. 


Like these suggestions? Here are some reccomendations:

Coco Reef Plus Size Classic Solid Dreamweaver Tankini Top

ClubSwim Caribbean Palms Plus Size Twist Underwire Flyaway Tankini Top


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5 months ago.
Can I get a link to a neon pink Swimsuit (it's tankini I believe) on a first picture- opening picture of the article? Z
5 months ago.
Hello Amy,

The model is wearing the La Blanca Plus Size Island Goddess Tankini Top. I have included the link below!
7 months ago.
Hi, I'm 53, bust is JJ, big butt, and belly fat. I never had a swim suit that fit me because of my breast.
7 months ago.
Hello. What type of suit would you suggest for me? I'm 5'5" 245 I have "extra meat" on my upper inner thighs, and what my sister calls a bottom stomach and top stomach with a little break in between
6 months ago.
Hi Ericka!

First, what you can do it to take your actual chest, waist, hip and torso measurement. This way it will be easier for you to know your proper size to a specific suit since different brands use different sizing chart. The style that might work for you are swim dresses or a separate top and bottom.
7 months ago.
Join the discussion...
7 months ago.
Hi ! Ima size 26/28 but I only have a B TO C size bra cup size . All the suits I’ve tried are way to big in the bust area . Don’t like underwire and the padded cup is to big . What would you suggest
7 months ago.
Hi Karen!

You can try a suit with a shelf-bra.
9 months ago.
Hi I’m 21 and I’m 5’5 and 234lbs I’m definitely overweight and I’m having trouble finding a swimsuit that flatters my body but also doesn’t make me feel like I’m an old lady if you had an recommendations for me I’d love it!
9 months ago.
Hi Sara,

You should try to check the tummy control feature on swimsuits! Kindly check this link for some suits:
11 months ago.
Help! I'm 51 years old, and now 160lbs at 5'3, 38E with a protruding belly now.
What would you suggest?
Thank you.
11 months ago.
Hi Lanna!

First of all, we suggest for you to take your actual chest, waist, hip and torso measurements in inches as swim suits are almost comparable to these measurements. Once you have them, you can check out our plus sizes swimsuits. We provide sizing charts for each of them that you can compare with your actual measurement to determine your proper size.
1 year ago.
I’m 5’4” and 210lbs after having 3 babies in just over 4 years. I need something that doesn’t cling and show off my large stomach when it gets wet. I’ve been very self conscious about my stomach and can’t seem to find the right suit. I’m also very chesty. Do you have any recommendations.
1 year ago.
Hi Layla! Please try a swim dress that’s high on colorful, bold patterning. A busy print is like immediate camouflage for your stomach. Here's the link to the swim dresses that we carry
1 year ago.
so i am 5'2 128lbs. it may not seem like it by these numbers but im just a little over weight. i am very small in stature so even a few lbs over is obvious. so my normal weight would be around 100lbs. ive never been over weight before so i dont know if 28lbs is that much over but to me it feels like a ton! i have ripples and bulges on my tummy and butt. and my legs. i need a bathing suit that is not going to accentuate this. i like boy shorts and halter tops or tanks. anything to cover up. anyone have any advice??
Sonia Kane
1 year ago.
Hi. I am a size 26/28 lady with a HH BUST AND IM ALSO 6’2 !! I haven’t ever been able to buy a swimming custume. I cannot afford to have one made, and iv tried on tankini’s but the cut falls in all the wrong places. PLEASE can anyone help!
1 year ago.
Hi Sonia,

I'm afraid we don't have a selection of options for you at the moment. Please check with specialty swim stores.
1 year ago.
Hi Sonia, try in the UK. They have a variety of flattering longer length swimsuits. They don't go to a 28 back but they have a 30 and you might find one that works.
Lisa Seeley
1 year ago.
I am a board I'm a big girl with big boobs but no waist my bust hip and waist measurements are an inch apart my husband is taking me on a vacation our first ever and I would like to wear a bathing suit please help
1 year ago.
Hi! To help bring out your curves choose plus size swimsuit styles that highlight one area such as a belted style that nips in the waist. Color blocking and seaming can also help to create curves for rectangular body types.

The following are the list of designs that will enhance the hips and curves of a rectangle body.

High leg cut swimsuits
Swimsuits with extra details at the hips
Triangle bikinis
V-neck swimsuits

I have included some links to the suits that we carry that might work for you. Copy and paste the links on your internet browser:

Enjoy your vacation!
1 year ago.
Hi. I have rather large brests. I wear a size 40 k. Is there a suit that will keep the breasts in and also decrease the look of my stomach?
1 year ago.
Hi Julie!

We have the tummy control swim suits that can help you look slim. However for the breast part, we feel we do not have such swimsuit. Swimsuits are based on actual chest measurements.
1 year ago.
Hey, great info, thank you. I'm 5' 4" have a large busy 38 H and a bit of a belly. I feel that I need an under weird swim suit and ideally a swim dress, can you recommend something please.
1 year ago.
Hi Katrina! I found some swimdress with underwire cups but I'm afraid that the cup size is only up to E. Below are links that you can copy and paste on your internet browser.
Donna Ledford
1 year ago.
do you have a swimsuit that would fit size 44 with A or B cup
1 year ago.
Hi Donna!

We recommend the Aqua Sphere Women's Plus Size Nacy One Piece Swimsuit.
1 year ago.
Hi I am 47 5’2” and weigh 290 I have a big flabby belly and my rear is rather big too. Any suggestions? Bra size is 44d
1 year ago.
I am over 60, 5'5", and 190 lbs. I hate looking for a bathing suit!!! Finding one that supports very large and saggy boobs (40DD) while hiding the rolls around the tummy is impossible!! Age and gravity has not been my friend. What do you recommend for a swimsuit so I can feel comfortable and enjoy our summer travels?
1 year ago.
Hi! I am happy to make some recommendations for you to fit your needs, I will go ahead and include a few links for some plus size swimsuits that may work for you. Please copy and paste the links on your internet browser:

Women's Plus Size One Piece Swimsuits

Plus Size Tankinis
Daniela Mendoza
1 year ago.
Join the discussion...
1 year ago.
Hi! You may place your comment or question below.
1 year ago.
Hi. Can you help? I am 5'7", 190 lbs, 40DDD (with implants) 44" belly (at naval), 43" hips. I have not bought a bathing suit in at least 3 years. What will conceal my belly and accentuate while supporting my big boobs?
1 year ago.
I am 5,7 204 pounds ..with large belly no hips and somewhat large derierre .What suit is good for me ..also 38 c in bra cup size
1 year ago.
Hi RG!

Swim suits are comparable to chest, waist, hip and torso measurements in inches. We suggest you take your actually measurement and compare them to the sizing chart of the item you are interested in. Here's our plus sizes swim wear:
Jessica Fisher
1 year ago.
Hi, I’m 5’8” and have a large tummy. I want a one piece but the problem I have is my cup size is a “c”. Most one piece with support in a size 22-24 or so have huge cups! What would you suggest?
1 year ago.
Hi Jessica!

In order to determine the proper fit please take the chest, waist, and hip measurements and then compare them to the appropriate sizing chart. Sizing charts can be found at the very bottom of any page you are on or to the right of the Size drop-down menu on the product page.
Dr Jim
1 year ago.
I want people to know that it's okay to be who you are. Find something you feel comfortable in that fits right and has some panache and style. It's okay not to be perfect. Then get out there and enjoy life. And double dog dare anybody to complain. If they do it reflects more on them than it does on you.
1 year ago.
I am 5'10 (195lbs) and I carry my weight in my stomach and arm. What would be a good fit for me. I love the summer and vacations but I'm very self conscious.
1 year ago.
Hi Jennifer! Try a high-waist swimsuit bottom to control your stomach and tuck your waist and pair it with a top that has a dropped skirt ruffle which will conceal your arm.
1 year ago.
I am 5ft 3 so always in between petite and regular sizes. Size 14 not much waist as have longer legs ( not slim legs! ) And not long body. E size chest. Baby bump tummy still, not sure if I should wear a bikini or if I'm too big, or if I just need help finding the right style please, particularly bottom half too. Might just be very self-conscious. Help please . . . . Many thanks
1 year ago.
Hi Kerry!

We would suggest a swim dress for you or a two piece suit. If you are not on the regular size, you might want to check as well on our plus sizes as we have variety of swim dress selection for this.
Zak Spencer
1 year ago.
This is a very helpful article to know what are the best swimwear for a plus size ladies. Thank you for sharing!
1 year ago.
Hi, I have trouble with my stomach. It hangs and large...if I could just cop it off I'll be fine lol. I'm ok from waist up and I tend to go for one piece skirted kind. I just need one that fits well...prob size 24_26....any recommendations Thank you.
1 year ago.
Hi Georgie! I understand your concern as I am a plus size too! I am happy to make some recommendations for you to fit your needs, I will go ahead and include a few links for some one piece skirted suits.

Please feel free to contact us at any time with questions you may have regarding these recommended items, if none of these are to your liking we are happy to keep looking for you.
Stacy Flores
2 years ago.
Thank you for showing the swimsuits on models that actually fit the description. It's so hard shopping for the right plus size swim suit (or any clothes for that matter) when they are modeled by a thin non-plus size person.
2 years ago.
Hi Stacy,

Glad to hear that this article has been helpful to you! We appreciate your feedback.
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