How to Choose the Right Bathing Suits for Curvy Body Types

How to Choose the Right Bathing Suits for Curvy Body Types

Curvy bodies, as in plus sized bodies, have greater variation than straight-sized bodies. All bodies are as unique as a snowflake, but the differences are more noticeable on an all-over larger person. Larger bodies still sport basic body types, but they are exaggerated. So while the same basic body types and tips for shopping for those body types apply, plus-size shoppers may need a bit of extra assistance when they want to choose the right plus size swimwear for curvy body types. Lands’ End is proud to offer a truly amazing selection of plus-size swimwear in an eye-popping variety of styles. Let’s talk about how to choose the right bathing suits for curvy body types and finding the ideal swimsuit to help you look and feel your confident best!


Hourglass figures are sometimes referred to as an “X” shape. It is generally considered the “ideal” body type; models often have an hourglass figure, whether they are slender or zaftig. Most cuts and styles of swimsuit look great on an hourglass body type, so if this is your basic body type, you will have lots of options to choose from. The first thing to consider is your personal needs and taste—what are your priorities in a swimsuit? Do you want a bathing suit for swimming laps, or hanging by the pool? Are you looking for maximum sun protection or maximum va-va-voom?

The hourglass body type will always look absolutely gorgeous in a V-neck swimsuit with wrap styling at the waist; it emphasizes curves and boosts assets! V-neck swimwear featuring a wrap design or waist ruching to accent a pretty figure is available in many, many styles, so if you prefer a plus size tankini swimsuit, swim dress, or even a rash guard tee and swim shorts, you can achieve the same basic silhouette from myriad swimwear options!


If you carry weight in your midsection, possibly with little waist definition, your figure is often referred to as an apple or a “circle.” Apple body types often sport comparatively slender arms and gorgeous gams, so those may be the features you want to enhance. While a “round” body type can look great in several swimwear styles, we would love to tell you about the absolute silver bullet bathing suit for apple body types: the blouson tankini.

An apple-type figure will always look terrific in a blouson tankini. Blouson tankini tops feature graceful fullness at the midsection and a well-fitted band at the hip to keep the top where you want it and hold the silhouette beautifully. Since the blouson tankini top is a swimwear separate, you have the option of showing off your legs in a brief bikini bottom, keeping it a bit more modest with a swim skirt, or preparing for an active day in the water with longer swim shorts. Build your ideal suit with swim separates, starting with a blouson tankini top!


Yes, plus-size shoppers may have an athletic body type! Sometimes called an “inverted triangle,” an athletic body type generally means a person has broader, more developed shoulders and comparatively slimmer hips. Many former athletes still have this basic body type, but it can simply be a product of genetics, as well. While some ladies have reported feeling self-conscious about having broader shoulders, we encourage you to lean into your strong, statuesque physique, and we can offer a swimwear style to help you look and feel your best!

Athletic or inverted triangle body types look wonderful in halter-neck swimwear! Enhance your developed shoulders and your bustline when you wear a halter-neck bathing suit with a built-in bra. If your priority is balancing your figure, consider a halter-neck plus size swim dress or swim separates with a fuller skirt to create a more hourglass silhouette. The athletic body type can also totally rock a bateau-neckline bathing suit or a one-shoulder swimsuit!


Pear-shaped or “triangle” body types are those that are noticeably larger in the hips, thighs and derriere than they are on top. This body type is close to an hourglass, and can usually be balanced—if that is something you want to do—with a molded-cup bra. Many different cuts and styles of swimsuits can look great on a pear-shaped body type; the key for this type is using patterns and color to create balance.

While any bust-enhancing swimwear will help a person with a “pear” body type look and feel their best, you can also turn to visual tricks rather than structural design to balance your figure. You might consider a V-neck or sweetheart-neckline suit that draws attention upward. A bathing suit or tankini with a splashy print on top and a neutral on the bottom creates visual balance, too. You might even consider wearing a longer plus size swim short or swim capris to visually minimize your bottom half while your top half sports a flirty, colorful bikini or tankini top!


Yes, this is really a body type category although it sounds funny, and it’s sometimes called a “rectangle” shape. This refers to figures that are what my grandmother called “straight up-and-down,” with a comparatively undefined waist and similar (if not equal) bust and hip measurements. If creating the illusion of a curvier figure is your priority, you can do that with a deep-V neck wrap-style swimsuit, a swim dress with a lot of fullness to the skirt or a bikini. However, we are seeing a trend with rectangle figures that we’re excited to share!

Rectangle body shapes look great in bandeau-style plus size one-piece bathing suits! It may seem counterintuitive, but exposing the shoulders creates a visual broadening of the shoulders while color and pattern flatter the hips and derriere, creating a pleasing line that might help you look and feel terrific. This is a new way to think of suiting up a banana body type, but you might consider trying it out!

Fun in the Sun for Everybody and Every Body!

There are more body types than we have listed here, but these are the five “basic” body types that are generally applicable to almost everyone and we hope it can help you when you’re shopping. However, when you’re choosing the right bathing suit for curvy body types, the most important thing to remember is that you want to feel good, and finding swimwear that excites you and brings you joy is paramount, whether it adheres to “rules” or not. While we want to provide tips and tricks to make choosing plus-size swimwear for all body types easier, we also encourage you to make yourself comfortable and happy; happy women always look great!


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