Tips and Tricks for Styling Plus-Size Swimwear

When it comes to plus-size swimwear, there are many different styling options.

While plus-size swimsuits used to be limited to certain styles, there are now many options for plus-size ladies looking to go for a swim. In an article by Ellen Hoffman for Refinery 29, Aimee Cheshire, a plus-size model and founder of, states “in the past, plus-size and curvy women were told to avoid bikinis, embrace the 'miracle suit,' wear black, and hide their bodies under cover-ups ... today, the plus industry is changing from a position of 'concealing' to 'revealing' — more and more brands are creating swimsuits for curvy bodies, so you can step away from basic black and find styles that fit your personality and flatter your body."

You can choose a plus-size swimdress, a plus-size tankini, a plus-size swimsuit with skirt, a plus-size one-piece swimsuit and so much more. Some swimsuits focus on tummy control, styles that prioritize support for women with large busts, and modest styles that provide lots of coverage.

There are many ways to style plus-size swimwear, and we’re here to help ensure you look and feel your best the next time you slip into your swimsuit. Here are some tips and tricks for styling plus-size swimwear.

First Off, Find a Style You Like

As with any item in your wardrobe, you should make sure your plus-size swimsuit flatters your unique body. In a WikiHow article, author Sarah McDonald notes that finding a swimsuit style that fits you well is the most important first step to take when shopping for a plus-size bathing suit. “Nothing will flatter you if you feel uncomfortable or the swimsuit sags on you and fails to make the most of your figure. Remind yourself while shopping for a swimsuit that you deserve something of quality that you feel good in; don't settle for less,” McDonald states.

So, when you’re shopping for a plus-size swimsuit, keep in mind the styles and colors that you know you love. Are you someone who has lots of yellow plus-size dresses in your closet? Go for a yellow bathing suit! Do you find yourself gravitating toward navy blue plus-size tee shirts? Get yourself a navy plus-size bikini.

In other words, get yourself what you know you like and what you know you’ll be excited to wear. If you pick a swimsuit that matches the other items in your closet, it will be easier to pair with your favorite plus-size tank tops or tunics.

Select a Suit That Fits Your Body

In McDonald’s WikiHow article, McDonald stresses that “not all plus-size bodies are alike—your figure may be an apple, pear, hourglass, etc.” And when shopping for a swimsuit, you should decide what swimsuit looks best on you so you can style it with fun accessories that will make you feel even more confident.

Overall, PureWow notes that those with an apple body shape may want to look for swimsuits with vertical stripes, swim bottoms with tie-front details, or one-piece swimsuits with empire waists.

Answearable suggests swimsuits with ruffles for hourglass figures to show off your hips. For a pear-shaped body, US Magazine notes that “higher-cut and high-waisted bottoms are best, whether you’re looking for a one-piece or a bikini set.”

Once you have your swimsuit style set, try it on with a sarong (which looks particularly nice with high-waisted one-piece swimsuits) or wear any swimsuit style underneath a breezy shirtdress with an oversized sunhat.

Try Out Bright Colors

An old, outdated adage notes that black is slimming, and while it’s certainly OK to prefer a black swimsuit, in Hoffman’s Refinery 29 article, plus-size blogger Margie Ashcroft suggests that plus-size ladies try out bright-colored swimsuits, particularly swimsuits that have color blocking and a supportive middle section, or swimsuits that show off a retro floral print. A color-blocked or otherwise colorfully designed swimsuit can help draw eyes to certain parts of the swimsuit—making you feel even more confident.

You can wear your bright-colored swimsuit with a cute black jersey dress or a black beach coverup. You can even just slip on a black midi skirt for a cute, ready-for-the-pool look.

Look for Ruching and Ruffles

When it comes to bathing suits, there are specific details that are immediately flattering, according to McDonald’s WikiHow article. In the article, McDonald notes that “ruched side panels can enhance your silhouette, and ruched fabric and wraps, in general, can be flattering and more adjustable in size.” So, looking for plus-size swimsuits with these kinds of details can be a good idea for any plus-size shopper. These details can be found on swimsuit types of all sorts, including plus-size high-waisted bathing suit bottoms and retro-leaning one-piece suits.

You can even pick out some ruffled or ruched plus-size coverups to match your stylish new swimsuit.

Styling your swimsuit starts with finding the right bathing suit. Once that is checked off your list, you’ll be all set to pair it with a cute dress or a flowy coverup.


Related Articles