How to Choose Flattering Plus Size Swimwear
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How to Choose Flattering Plus Size Swimwear

Flattering Plus Size Swimwear

Every body is unique. And everybody has physical aspects they'd like to both highlight and downplay. By using a few design elements to your advantage, like high waisted bikinis, tummy control panels and underwire support, you can mask perceived imperfections and create the illusion of a more proportional, lean physique.

For those of us with voluptuous curves, diagonal lines – more than any other design detail – can work wonders to shape our silhouette. Harness this optical illusion and others to benefit your unique body type. Below are the best solutions for the most common bodily ‘pain points' when choosing a plus size bathing suit.
Best advice: try new silhouettes each season. Swim styles are always changing and you may stumble across a style that happens to perfectly flatter your body. 
Whether you consider yourself plus size or have an area of your body that you'd like to feel more comfortable with there are hunreds of plus size swimsuits and styles to choose from.
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Large Waist – ‘Apple' Shape

Well-placed ruffles can hide a larger waistline. Angled ruffles look best since they draw the eye downward and away from the midriff.

Plus Sized Ruffle Swimsuit

Kenneth Cole Reaction Plus Size Solid Ruffle Tiered Tankini Top

Shirring throughout the waist can actually have a slimming effect through your middle. Diagonal shirring (or any diagonal line) that comes together at the waist's smallest point, creates an ‘hourglass' illusion.

Miracle Suit Plus Size Swimsuit

Miraclesuit Plus Size Solid Oceanus One Piece Swimsuit

Subtle Prints
Stick to small subtle prints and avoid large bold patterns, particularly through the waist. This small dot print further highlights the diagonal lines created by the shirring which, in turn, creates that nipped-in waist.

MiracleSuit One Piece Plus Size Swimsuit

Miraclesuit Plus Size Pin Point Oceanus One Piece Swimsuit

Effect me Knot
This chic central knot forms diagonal shirring in the shape of an X – again bringing the focal point to the smallest part of the waist for that ‘hourglass' illusion.

Michael Kors Plus Size Swimsuit

Michael Kors Swimwear Plus Size Solid Deep V Twist One Piece Swimsuit

Swim Dress
This swim dress uses a similar central knot to gather the fabric – and the focal point – at the smallest part of the waist, just below the chest. The A-line skirt covers the middle with fluidity.

Plus Size Swim Dress

Miraclesuit Plus Size Solid Marais Swimdress

The X-shape of this tonal piping creates the ‘hourglass' illusion, again, drawing attention to the smallest part of the waist directly below the chest.

Plus Sized Balc and White Swimsuit

Longitude Plus Size Overlay Mesh High Neck One Piece Swimsuit

Directional Prints
This print diagonally radiates from the top of the waist and creates – you guessed it – that ‘hourglass' illusion and focuses on the smaller upper waist.

Sundial Patterned Plus Size Swimwear

Longitude Plus Size Sundial U-Back Tank One Piece Swimsuit

A deep neckline detail serves to generate a central vertical accent line that draws the eye both up and down, lengthening the body, while tactfully showing off the bust.

Mesh Plus Sized Swimwear

BLEU Rod Beattie Plus Size Cruise Control High Neck Mesh Plunge One Piece Swimsuit

A textured fabric like this stretch crinkle provides coverage of it's own over lumps and bumps, especially when shirred. Texture can also create a degree of visual interest, much like a vibrant color or dynamic print.

Rauched Plus Sized Swimwear

Penbrooke Plus Size Krinkle Mock Surplice Chlorine Resistant One Piece Swimsuit

Layered Patterns
Miraclesuit swimsuits are specifically made to smooth, slim and boost using the brand's patented fabric that provides more control than most other swim fabrics. These suits will nip and tuck that waist to look significantly smaller.

Plus Size Colorful Layered Swimsuit

Miraclesuit Plus Size Night Lights Layered Escape One Piece Swimsuit

High Waisted Bottom
Try a high-waist swimsuit bottom to control and tuck your waist. Pair it with your favorite bikini top, the high waistline creates a focal point at the waist's smallest section at the ribs. And a tankini top can lay atop a flattened, contoured middle.

High Waist Swimsuit Bottom

Penbrooke Plus Size Solid Ultra High Waist Bottom

High Waist Bikini
By exposing your upper waist, you create a line at the waist's smallest point. The break in print and color at the smallest part of the waist creates an ‘hourglass' illusion since the swimsuit itself accentuates the hip and chest.

High Waist Plus Size Bikini

Raisins Plus Size Around The World Shoreline High Waist Bikini

A tankini top is a great way to conceal the waist. This A-line tankini accentuates the smallest part of the waist with its bold empire seam band. Pair it with your favorite swimsuit bottoms.

Skye Plus Size Tankini

Skye Plus Size Folia Emerson Tankini Top

Large Low Waist - Spare Tire

In addition to trying the above-mentioned designs, try these styles to specifically minimize the lower waist.

Bold Prints - High Waist
A bold print or bright color placed at the top of the swimsuit will draw attention away from the low-waist and hip.

Bleu Rod Beattie Plus Size High Neck

BLEU Rod Beattie Plus Size Cruise Control High Neck X-Back One Piece Swimsuit

Fit and Flare
This fit-and-flare swim dress accentuates the smaller upper waist, while the slanted seams draw the eye upward. The skirt gracefully covers the low-waist and hip.

Plus Size Swim Dress

Profile by Gottex Plus Size Serendipity V Neck Swimdress

Empire Seam
This overlapping ruffle subtly conceals the low-waist and hip. Furthermore, this fitted empire seam directly below the chest, emphasizes the smallest part of the waist.

Empire Seam Plus Size Swimwear

Profile by Gottex Plus Size Serendipity Bandeau Flyaway One Piece Swimsuit

Large High-Hip or Butt – Spoon Shape

Only slightly below the low-waist, a similar approach will deemphasize the high-hip and butt.

Fit and Flare
A fit-and-flare skirt breezily conceals the hip and flatters throughout the waist.

Fit and Flare Plus Size Swim Dress

La Blanca Plus Size Core Solid Sweetheart Skirted Mio One Piece Swimsuit

Bold Prints
A bold print on top will distract from the hip and augment the chest to proportion. Furthermore, this asymmetrical and angled solid underlay at the bottom helps guide the eye upward.

Colorful Plus Sized One Piece

Longitude Plus Size World Wind Mesh Ruffle Surplice One Piece Swimsuit

Colorful Overlap
This tulip overlap at the hip directs attention upward and the lively print holds that attention on the smaller upper body.

Colorful Cross Tankini Plus Sized Top

Penbrooke Plus Size Style Sense Cross Over Tankini Top

Design Details
Interesting design details such as these mesh inserts at the bust and upper-waist will draw the eye upward to the small upper-waist and accentuated the chest

Plus Size Mesh One Piece Swimsuit

La Blanca Plus Size All Meshed Up U-Back One Piece Swimsuit

Sarong Skirt
This sarong skirt extends the hemline down the leg, bypassing focus from the high-hip and butt. The curved hem then flatters the thigh.

Plus Size Sarong Swimsuit

Penbrooke Plus Size Garden Beauty Cross Over Sarong One Piece Swimsuit

Faux Skirt
This loose faux skirt gives the illusion of extra space and a smaller hip underneath. The curved, slit sides both slim and lengthen throughout the hips.

Plus Sized Swim Skirt

Tuffy Plus Size Solid Tie Side Swim Dress

Low Leg Lines
This overlapping ruffle subtly conceals the low-waist and hip. Furthermore, this fitted empire seam directly below the chest, emphasizes the smallest part of the waist.

Plus Sized Boy Leg Swimsuit

Maxine Plus Size Summer Bounty Shirred Front Girl Leg One Piece Swimsuit

Large Low-Hip and Thigh – Pear Shape

Long Dress
A longer swim dress discreetly covers the upper thigh

Long Plus Size Swim Dress

Penbrooke Plus Size Shell A Go-Go Swimdress

Plus Sized Ruffles
A ruffled bikini top can help to better proportion a pear shape by adding volume to a smaller chest and balance a larger lower half.

Ruffled Bikini Top

Raisins Plus Size Flamingo Solids Tortuga Flounce Bikini Top

Drop Skirt Ruffle
This swim dress has a dropped skirt ruffle, which adds length through the waist and high hip while concealing the low-hip. The princess seams down the body also help lengthen through the waist.

Plus Size Ruffled Swim Dress

Sporti Plus Size One Piece Swim Dress

Elongate in a Unitard
A unitard instantly elongates the torso and gives control and coverage to the thigh. The longer leg also serves as an inner-thigh rash guard

Pluse Size Unitard Swimwear
Colorblock in a Unitard
These contrasting side panels and curved princess seams down the full length of this unitard create a slimming effect.
Colorblock Plus Size Swimwear
Swim Shorts
Swim shorts are a comfortable way to cover the upper thigh. Pair it with your favorite bikini or tankini top.
Plus Size Swim Short
Swim Skirts
Swim skirts are another elegant way to cover the hip and thigh. Pair it with your favorite bikini or tankini top.
Plus Sized Swim Skirt

Large Bust – Inverted Triangle Shape

Necklines and Lines
Finding a neckline that is not too high or too low is best for a voluptuous chest. These contrasting vertical princess lines elongate the body and proportionately integrate the chest into the curves throughout the rest of the body.

One Piece Plus Size Swimsuit

Aqua Sphere Women's Plus Size Nala One Piece Swimsuit

Sweetheart Neckline
A sweetheart or V-neckline can work wonders to minimize and flatter a full chest. These straps slant inward to further deemphasize the chest and shoulder.

Sweetheart Plus Size Bikini

Paramour Plus Size Mykonos High Neck Halter Bikini Top

Square Neckline
A square neckline can also effectively subdue a voluminous bust.

Square Neckline Plus Sized Swimwear

Ceeb Plus Size Pretty In Pink One Piece Swimsuit

Scooped Neckline
This modestly scooped neckline and inwardly angled armholes help flatter the upper arms and minimize the chest. The princess seams down the body also lengthen through the torso.

Plus Size Scooped Neck

Anne Cole Signature Plus Size In Full Bloom High Neck Tankini Top

Bold Prints
A bright print and modest neckline can also camouflage a large chest. This print is particularly slimming since it has a diagonal cast.

Printed Plus Size Swimwear

Dolfin Aquashape Women's Plus Size Kaleido Zip Front One Piece Swimsuit

High Neckline
High necklines can be tricky for those with a large bust, but are worth a try as some can truly flatter the upper body. This tankini top can help balance a top-heavy frame with its angular armholes making the shoulder and chest appear smaller and accentuating the hip.

High Neck Plus Size

Raisins Plus Size Summer Solstice Boa Tankini Top

Bra Sized
Fit and support are of course most important for those with large breasts. At SwimOutlet you can search by bra cup size for further assurance of a correct and comfortable fit.

Bra Size Plus Size swimwear

Shop Plus Sized D-Cup and Up Swimwear

Large Upper Arm – Inverted Triangle Shape

Off the Shoulder Detail
Off-the-shoulder ruffles hide the upper-arm with charm and create the illusion of a more square shoulder; a square shoulder makes the arm appear slimmer than a round shoulder. 

Off the shoulder plus sized swimsuit

Jessica Simpson Swimwear Plus Size Patched Up Convertible Ruffle One Piece Swimsuit

High Neck Halters
Armholes that angle toward the neck make the shoulder appear square – a square shoulder creates the illusion of smaller upper arms.

High Neck Halter Plus Size Bikini

Paramour Plus Size Mykonos Solid High Neck Halter Bikini Top


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8 months ago.
Do you have any pictures of your designs on actual plus size women? Certainly would not purchase without any idea of how these swimsuits would actually look!
8 months ago.
Hi Hapax,
Yes, our plus-sized swimwear feature plus size models. You can view our selection of plus size swimwear here:

Plus sizes will be marked with a W at the end of the size, for example 16W, 18W, 20W, etc. Make sure to refer to the Size Chart link on the item's page to ensure you're ordering the correct size!
Denise Smith
8 months ago.
I currently wear a 38dd bra n id like inderwire for supportsize 14 pants..i do have thick legs..what is a good swim wear for looking that will suck my stomach in n show my fatness legs
8 months ago.
Hello Denise,
You actually wouldn't be in plus size swimwear. We suggest looking for something in our D cup & up category: A nice swimdress option would be the Miraclesuit Solid Marais Soft Cup Swim Dress (DD Cup) (product code 8137957).
8 months ago.
Hi I am 5'9 big stomachs and breast but kinda small legs any Idea what can off Nikki I should get
8 months ago.
Hello Sha!
Something like the Penbrooke Plus Size Garden Beauty Cross Over Sarong One Piece Swimsuit (product code 8150471) would work great. This suit has tummy control panels in it and it will accentuate your legs.
10 months ago.
Need advise. 38b chest. 14-15 size pants. Med legs. Help
9 months ago.
Hello Michel!
This would depend on the suit you were looking to purchase, do you have a specific product you were interested in?
11 months ago.
Hi. I'm a short, stout woman (5 ft tall, 150 lb), apple-shaped, and most self-conscious about my thighs, then my belly, Left to my own devices, I would wear a pair of black, to-the-knee spandex bike shorts and a loose, sleeveless, black tank top that reaches almost to my crotch (to hide my belly). Really hate my thighs -- really want to cover them -- but also really hate skirt-type swimsuits. Any thoughts? Thanks.
10 months ago.
Hello DW!
We suggest checking out the unitards we offer. This is a one piece suit that you can compare to wearing a tank top and shorts but just as a one piece. They are very comfortable and come in a variety of colors and leg lengths. For example, Dolfin Aquashape Zip-Front One Piece Aquatard Swimsuit (Product Code 8143468). You can also check out all unitards through this link: Another great option to consider are women's jammers with a tankini top. For example these jammers, Speedo Women's Jammer (Product Code 8138546) with a top like Sporti Racerback Solid Tankini Top (40882). I hope this helps!
10 months ago.
Hi DW! Have you thought about perhaps trying a unitard? We have several such as Waterpro Tango Unitard. If looking for separates we have Magicsuit by Miraclesuit Solid Taylor Underwire Tankini Top as well as the Beach House Women's Abstract Warrior Shakti Double Time Tankini Top.
Alison Bartlett
11 months ago.
I am about a size 16 or 18 depending on the clothes, I'm 6 feet tall, and i don't think i have a figure. My legs are a little chunky, i have huge boobs and my shoulders are wide, and my arms are skinny. I have back fat as well. I'm super frustrated because I don't know what would look good on me. Everything I try I think looks bad. PLEASE HELP ME! Thank you, Ali
10 months ago.
Hi Alison!
Since you have a big chest, try a halter- top one piece. This will accentuate your bust line, drawing attention away from areas you're not comfortable with. You can view all of our halter-top one pieces here
1 year ago.
I have a big butt, big legs, big for arms, small breast, and a small waist. What suit would slim me down and hide those "BIG AREAS"
11 months ago.
Hi Joan!
A unitard would be a great option to consider for example Waterpro Women's Plus Size Marina Splice Unitard. You can view all of our unitards here
1 year ago.
Hello, I haven't worn a bathing suit since 1997. I'm 5 feet 2 in, weight 199, and I am 52 yrs old. I wear a size 40D bra, I am an apple body type. The main area I would like to cover is my tummy. Do you have any suggestions on which type of swim suit would be most flattering on me?
11 months ago.
Hello Angela,
I'd recommend going with a swim dress such as the Maxine Plus Size Jungle Tropic Empire Swim dress. It will have a Empire design which visually slims figure and hides what you are wanting it to hide.
1 year ago.
I am overweight and it shows basically everywhere. I have a large chest, large belly and large thighs. I am looking for something that will look nice but will also be good for actual swimming. Every nice suit I find is not good for just swimming and I spill out in the top, or it has too many ruffles to be comfortable... So maybe a one piece? I can't seem to find those anywhere
1 year ago.
Hi Lara,
Check out the Speedo Endurance Moderate Ultraback Plus One Piece (Product Code 8913). It's a blend of polyester and PBT so it will be long lasting.
1 year ago.
Hello my name is leydi I have a really bad stubborn tummy fat I can't seem to get rid of. So it gives me a hard time to shop for a bathing suit. This is the first time I actually " shop" for one, so I usually tend to ignore or just walk away and defenatly avoid going to water places. I really DREAD going to them. So I'm not a pear shape nr apple I believe. I don't consider having big breast however I have a wide back and a large tummy and also inner thigh problem. Don't know where to start so if I can get help great I will appreciate it.
1 year ago.
Hi Leydi, The krinkle/shirred style would be a good place to start. This creates a slimming appearance. For example, the Penbrooke Krinkle Plus Size Cross Back Chlorine Resistant One Piece Swimsuit. They also come in a variety of back styles!
Evangeline Yawn
1 year ago.
I am petite in the sense that I am proportioned with small features, small arms, legs, feet, torso, etc. My breasts are well proportioned with the rest of my body (C cup). I have skinny arms and legs, no hips, and a small bottom. The problem I have is I just have a round belly while everything else is really skinny. Like the tire around the waist type of thing. Would that be considered apple shaped? And could you give me any advice on picking out a bathing suit that would flattered my body type I am describing? Thank you all in advance for any advice that you could give me.
1 year ago.
Hi Evangeline, Yes, that would be considered apple shaped. Swimdresses are a great option. For example, the Gabar Sunlit Flower Twist Bra Swimdress or Maxine Lily Pop Empire Swimdress. These are only two of the many options we offer. It's best to select one with a print versus a solid color. If you are looking for a one piece swimsuit, again it's best to select prints versus solid colors. Here are some options: Maxine Tropic Dreams Shirred Front Girl Leg One Piece Swimsuit, Maxine Florida Keys Shirred Front Girl Leg One Piece Swimsuit. Please refer to the sizing chart on each swimsuit as different brand will size differently. These offer the shirred front to show a slimming figure. I hope this was helpful!
Stephanie Childs
1 year ago.
Halter style on a large bust causes neck pain.
Peggy Campfield
1 year ago.
What if ur a fruit salad size, just big legs, buut, arms, tummy with fluid spots answer cellulite
1 year ago.
Hi Peggy, We have many different styles of swimsuits. If you'd like to check out the selection, you can copy and paste the following link in your browser: Then you can filter by the style (for example one piece swimsuit), the color, and size. Check it out, we have many different options!
Margaret Morgan
2 years ago.
I'm not seeing any chlorine resistance suits, do you no longer carry them. I bought 2 of them a few years back and really enjoyed them? They lasted a long time.
2 years ago.
Hi Margaret.
We do carry chlorine resistance suits still. Please see the link below. I hope you find one that you like. Please let us know if you have any questions. Have a great day!
5 years ago.
Hi Pat! You may find the sizing charts here:
Pat Thompson
5 years ago.
I was looking for a size chart that most sites have to see if your sizes match what I normally expect. Where are the size charts?
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