How to Pick Plus Size Swimwear

How to pick plus-size swimwear

It's never easy to find the perfect swimsuit. Our bodies were not all made the same. We all have features that we would like to highlight and others we would like to downplay. The key to choosing a flattering plus-size swimsuit is finding a bathing suit that compliments your best aspects and draws eyes where you want them. Here are a few things to consider when searching for plus-size swimwear.

Body shape

The most important aspect of a swimsuit is your own body. You will need to find a bathing suit that is both compatible with and complementary to your body shape. Knowing your body shape will give you the foundation you need to narrow your search. Swimsuit sizes and shapes are determined by measuring the bust, waist, and hips.


Another important feature of a bathing suit is the style. Different styles complement different bodies. It all depends on your comfort level.

How to look good in plus-size swimwear

There are many design elements that you can take advantage of. Your silhouette can be shaped by using a variety of materials, styles, and colors.

  • Ruffles: Well-placed, angled ruffles can draw the eye away from the waist and midsection. Ideal for the apple shape.
  • Subtle Prints: Smaller prints can give the illusion of a smoother figure. You may choose to avoid larger prints.
  • Shirring: Diagonal lines and folds around the waist create the appearance of an hourglass figure.
  • Knot: A knot around the waist can create a smoothing effect.
  • Dress: Fabric is gathered around the smallest part of the waist followed by looser fabric, adding a smoothing effect.
  • Bold Prints: Choose the boldest prints for areas where you want to draw the most attention or areas that you want to appear larger. For example, you may desire a bolder print for the bust area and a more neutral fabric over your hips.
  • Layered Patterns: Patterns stacked on one another can add diagonal lines and folds creating a camouflaging effect around the waist.
  • Square Neckline: Creates a minimizing effect to flatter a fuller bust.

All about the fit

Something that’s critical when picking swimwear is making sure it has a great fit. That’s why it’s important to try everything on. Swimwear, like pants, can be tricky when it comes to sizing too. You might be one size in one brand and a slightly different size in another brand. Make sure you pay close attention to size charts if you’re ordering swimwear online. 

Another thing to keep in mind is proportions. If you need a larger top and smaller bottom, sometimes a plus size 2 piece bathing suit is better than a one-piece. That way you have the flexibility to buy tops and bottoms in different sizes. No matter how you need to wear your swimming suit, make sure it isn’t too loose and isn’t too tight. The right fit is one of the most important things when it comes to looking great in swimwear.

Swimwear for different body types

So, what swimming suits work best for different body types? The answer is pretty subjective. So, it’s hard to answer. If you feel great in a bikini, wear a bikini. If you prefer covering up, consider a plus size one piece swimsuits. If you’re looking for tips to accentuate different parts of your figure, here are a few ideas.

  • If you have a bigger chest, swimwear with tie-ups instead of straps can help. Instead of straps that might let you down, the tie option lets you have control and pull everything up a bit more. So, halter top style swimwear can be good for this.
  • Swimwear with vertical stripes usually makes you look taller and thinner (but always try these on to be sure.)
  • Use lighter-colored swimwear on areas you want to accentuate and darker colors on areas you want to slim down or smooth out.
  • As mentioned, two-piece swimwear is more customizable because you can buy different-sized bottoms and tops.
  • You can always add a plus size swimsuit cover ups or rash guard to any swimming suit if you want more coverage, as well. 
  • Don’t let other people tell you what looks good and what doesn’t (unless you want their opinion.) Wear what makes you happy. If you feel confident and love your suit, it’ll come across as confidence!

We can help!

Whatever your size or shape, we can help you find a swimsuit in your style. Here at Lands' End, we have a vast selection of designs and colors. Each bathing suit is unique. Let us help you look and feel your best this summer. Your dream swimsuit awaits!


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