The Best Swimsuits for Every Body Type
Cutouts create the illusion of curves—particularly if you have an athletic or boyish figure. Plus, they let you show a little peek of skin. Here, classic nautical stripes get a retro twist. sahaswimwear.com, $140
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Tame your tush
Minimize a bigger booty with a solid dark color on the bottom and a bright color or pattern on top. This sporty suit is stylish, has built-in sun protection (UPF 50+) and is sustainable—it’s made from all recycled materials. gosummersalt.com, $95
Another suit style to try: skirted bottom
Note: For extra protection, look for swimsuits with UPF—the clothing version of SPF. (It will be listed on the label.) UPF 50 means the fabric blocks 98% of rays, but that doesn’t mean you shouldn’t use sunscreen on covered areas that are prone to burning, like around and under straps.
Manage your midriff
When you want to hide tummy bulge or love handles, you don’t have to turn to a one-piece. High-waisted bottoms
keep you tucked in and covered. Solid black panels add an extra slimming effect on this suit.
Reef, swimspot.com, top, $48, and bottom, $38
Another suit style to try: plunging neckline
Take care of your swimwear
Give your swimwear some TLC to make it last for years. Jennifer Ahoni, Tide Senior Scientist, shares her suit saviors:
Soak a sandy suit in water for 30 minutes to an hour to loosen sand. Then rinse to remove any remaining particles.
After being in a pool, rinse the suit—a quick outdoor shower will do—as soon as possible to prevent color fading from chlorine.
Always wash suits by hand with detergent in cold water. Air-dry flat for a full 24 hours so the suit can regain its shape. Even if you’re in a rush, don’t toss your suit in the dryer—heat can damage its elasticity.
Ignore your instinct to squeeze the water out of a soaking-wet swimsuit—this will stretch out the suit’s fibers over time.
Support your bust
Cup-sized bathing suits—as opposed to typical small/medium/large options—give busty ladies a far better fit. (This Miraclesuit comes in sizes up to 40D.) Plus, adjustable wide straps offer extra support and comfort. A bikini doesn’t always have to be tiny; this fuller two-piece offers plenty of coverage. We love the grown-up tropical hibiscus pattern in a rich cranberry.
Miraclesuit, everythingbutwater, top and bottom, $78 each
Another suit style to try: halter top
Fit advice from swim expert Sandra Davidoff, director of corporate public relations & marketing for Swim USA.
Slim your shoulders
A swimsuit with a deep V neck visually lengthens the torso to balance out broad shoulders. This mix of stripes—diagonal on top and vertical from the chest down—is ideal because it slims your midsection too.
The Bikini Lab, houseofswim.com, $60
Another suit style to try: asymmetrical neckline
Boost your booty
Center seams and ruffled edges* fill you out, adding dimension to your bottom. Not your typical full-coverage tankini, this one is open in the back to show a little skin.
Hula Honey, macys.com, top, $32, and bottom, $28
Other suit styles to try: bright colors and printed bottoms
*Back side of swimsuit shown here
Enhance your chest
Padding and underwire aren’t the only ways to get a boost. Ruffles instantly create the illusion of a fuller chest. An off-the-shoulder top—a big trend this year—is an ultra-feminine silhouette that highlights your décolletage. eberjey.com, top, $87, and bottom, $72
Another suit style to try: tie-front top
A high-cut bottom visually elongates the legs. Ideally, you want it to hit just above the hip bones. A belted waist, rose gold hardware and on-trend blush tone make this suit a standout.
Sports Illustrated Swim, shopsiswim.com, top and bottom, $64 each
Another suit style to try: side-tie bottoms
Q: Are flip-flops really so bad?
A: It depends on the sandal! “The flip-flops of years past are terrible for your feet because they have no support, protection or shock absorption,” says Jane Andersen, DPM, a podiatrist in Chapel Hill, NC. They may be fine for the locker room but not for walking any distance, as they put you at risk for plantar fasciitis, tendinitis, sprained ankles, twisted feet and stubbed/broken toes. “However, for several years now companies have been developing flip-flops with arch support and some cushioning,” says Andersen, who recommends Vionic, Chaco, Aetrex, FitFlop, Dansko and Sole. See whether your favorite makes the grade by checking the American Podiatric Medical Association Seal Program at apma.org. If listed, that means it’s been reviewed by an independent panel of APMA podiatrists and found to promote good foot health.