Download Article Download Article

Choosing a swimsuit can feel like an overwhelming task! There are so many options and new style trends every year. Don’t worry, though—we’re here to help. Keep reading for plenty of tips on how to choose a swimsuit that’s flattering, high-quality, and true to your sense of style.

1
1 of 14:
Choose a one-piece if you want full coverage.
Download Article

  1. A traditional one-piece swimsuit is the most modest option. One-piece swimsuits are also often better for exercise, so you might go with this option if you plan to swim laps or do water aerobics.
    • You can find more daring one-piece styles if desired, such as a swimsuit with a deep v-neck, low-back, 1 strap, no straps, or side cutouts.[1]
    • Go with a high back one-piece to hide back fat and a low-back one-piece to show off your back.
    • Try a swim-dress if you also want coverage for your hips and thighs.[2]
    • Consider a "modest swimsuit." These cover a wide range of swimsuit types, but the common factor is covering up more skin than a typical tank-style swimsuit. Some women require swimsuits for religious reasons. Some just enjoy the coverage. Others love not having to wear as much sunscreen.
    EXPERT TIP

    "Look for a vintage reproduction one-piece. Those silhouettes never go out of style."

    Erin Micklow

    Professional Stylist
    Erin Micklow is an independent wardrobe stylist and image consultant based in Los Angeles, California. She has worked in the acting, beauty, and style industries for over 10 years. She has worked for clients such as Hot Topic, Steady Clothing, and Unique Vintage, and her work has been featured in The Hollywood Reporter, Variety, and Millionaire Matchmaker.
    Erin Micklow
    Professional Stylist
  2. Advertisement

2
2 of 14:
Select a bikini if you are comfortable baring your midsection.
Download Article

  1. Bikinis are the most daring type of swimsuit. After all, they only cover your breasts and private area! This means that your entire midriff and back will be visible. If you are comfortable showing off your body, then this is a great option for you.
    • You can purchase a bikini as a set, or get a coordinating top and bottom to wear together, such as a string bikini top with a bikini skirt bottom, a high-waisted bottom with a strapless top, or a full coverage top with a low-rider boyshort.[3]
    • Keep in mind that you may need a different sized bottom and top, which is another reason why it may be better to buy them separately.[4]

3
3 of 14:
Opt for a tankini if you want a more modest two-piece.
Download Article

  1. Tankinis can provide full coverage of your waist or show part of your midsection. Select a tankini that shows an amount of skin you are comfortable showing. This is also a great option if you are pregnant since you can get a loose-fitting top to drape over your belly.[5]
    • For example, if you want full coverage, then get a tankini top that overlaps the bottom.
    • If you want to show part of your hips and waist, then get a tankini that falls just above your belly button.
  2. Advertisement

4
4 of 14:
Look for details on top to enhance a small chest.
Download Article

  1. Ruffles, bold colors and prints, and padding can all help to accentuate your chest. If your chest is on the small side and you want to make it seem bigger, then opt for a swimsuit with extra elements to enhance and draw attention to your chest.[6] You can even choose an off shoulder top.[7]

    Tip: If you don't want to enhance your bust, go in the opposite direction. Opt for a simple top with no padding or accents, such as a simple triangle top in a muted color.

6
6 of 14:
Wear dark colors to minimize and light colors to accent a body part.
Download Article

  1. Light colors draw attention while dark colors are less noticeable. Choose light colors for the part of your body you want to stand out or highlight, and dark colors for the part you want to minimize.[9]
    • For example, you could pair a black bottom with a bright red top to minimize your backside and accent your bust.
    • Or, pair a white bottom with a navy blue top to minimize your bust and accent your bottom.

7
7 of 14:
Choose full-coverage bottom to distract from your hips.
Download Article

  1. These types of bottoms can help make your hips seem smaller and hide imperfections. Go with one of these types of bottoms if your hips are a concern for you.[10]
    • For example, you could opt for a bikini, tankini, or one-piece with a sash-bottom, swim-skirt, or boy cut bottom.
    • You can choose a high-waisted bottom. It accentuates the tiniest part of your waist and slims your stomach down.[11]
    • If you are a bit heavier on the bottom and want to cover that, you can wear a cute sarong.[12]
  2. Advertisement

8
8 of 14:
Opt for a suit that fits you well above all else.
Download Article

  1. Never get a swimsuit that does not fit you well. The swimsuit should be snug, but not uncomfortably tight on your body.[13] You can also go with something that provides more or less coverage depending on what feels best to you.[14]
    • For example, if you feel more comfortable in a string bikini than a one-piece, then that is what you should look for. However, if you don't like showing this much skin, choose something that provides more coverage, such as a one-piece or tankini.
    • If the swimsuit is baggy or you find it difficult to breathe, then you might want to go with another option.

11
11 of 14:
Look at yourself from behind to make sure your bottom does not sag.
Download Article

  1. The way your backside looks in the swimsuit can also give you a hint about its quality. Check to see if the back of the swimsuit is taut and flattering. If the bottom of the suit looks baggy or saggy, it may not be a high-quality suit.[17]

    Tip: Even if the swimsuit has a skirt built into it, lift up the skirt to ensure that the bottom is form-fitting and flattering. You will notice if it fits poorly even if no one else can see it.

  2. Advertisement

12
12 of 14:
Compare the color of the suit to your skin tone.
Download Article

  1. Swimsuits come in a wide range of solids colors and prints. With this in mind, you can express your style with the color you choose. Find a color or print that appeals to you and that will complement your skin tone.[18]
    • For example, you might opt for a red and white polka dot swimsuit for a vintage look, a swimsuit with pink roses on it for something feminine and romantic, or a dark brown swimsuit that complements your skin tone.

14
14 of 14:
Pick a chic coverup to wear over your swimsuit.
Download Article

  1. Try picking one that matches or complements your swimsuit. Wear it on your way to and from the pool or beach, which will make it easy for you to slip it off to go for a swim, and back on again to go about your day.[20]
    • For example, you could opt for a lavender-colored coverup to wear over a plum one-piece suit, or pair a zebra print coverup with a white bikini.

    Tip: Complete your swimsuit look with a comfortable pair of sandals, a wide-brimmed hat, and a pair of sunglasses. And don't forget the sunscreen!

Community Q&A

Search
Add New Question
  • Question
    My dress size is XL. Shall I select size L?
    Community Answer
    If your dress size is XL, you should probably buy an XL swimsuit. However, if you can fit into a size L comfortably, go ahead.
  • Question
    If I am 13 and I am going to play in the pool. Should I wear a bikini or not? They are all the rage for teens. I don't want to embarrass myself.
    Community Answer
    Don't do anything you feel uncomfortable with just because everyone else is. You can still look great in a one-piece suit or tankini. Just wear whatever you want to.
  • Question
    I have a big belly, what swimsuit should I wear?
    Community Answer
    I would suggest a one piece or tankini in a dark color, with some ruffles on the stomach/chest area. The ruffles and the dark color will disguise your stomach.
  • Question
    I have big thighs and I would like to hide my stretch marks on my belly. What type of swimsuit should I get?
    Community Answer
    I'd recommend an open-back one piece. Pick a color or pattern that's flattering to draw attention away from your thighs.
  • Question
    I have an unusually large chest for my age and a big butt. I am also a little chubby, but I feel like I am fat in the belly and my thighs are huge. What swimsuit do I pick?
    Community Answer
    You could wear a one piece with padding fitted into it. Also, if you feel like your thighs and belly are fat, you could wear some long, high-waisted shorts. A big butt is also considered attractive, but if you don't want the extra attention, the shorts I mentioned earlier are great at hiding that.
  • Question
    If I'm fat, should I wear a one piece swim suit?
    Community Answer
    You should wear whatever you think is cute and comfortable. If that's a one piece, awesome. If you like two pieces, go for it. It's your body.
  • Question
    How should I prevent my nipples from showing on my swimsuit?
    Community Answer
    I would consider buying a swimsuit with padding built into it. If you can't find one in your size, pull your hair forward so that it covers your chest if your hair is long enough. Most people won't be staring at your chest, but it is good to use these options.
  • Question
    Is it okay to wear board shorts if I'm a girl?
    Community Answer
    Yes! If you want a more traditionally feminine fit, you can also try women's swim shorts.
  • Question
    Do I buy a swimsuit in the size pants that I wear?
    Community Answer
    It depends on the swimsuit. Most are designed to fit according to traditional sizes, but some companies have their own system.
  • Question
    How do I buy a swimsuit when I have tiny breasts?
    Community Answer
    Look for a top in the junior's section. If that doesn't work out, you can always get an alteration.
See more answers
Ask a Question
200 characters left
Include your email address to get a message when this question is answered.
Submit
      Advertisement

      Video
      By using this service, some information may be shared with YouTube.

      About This Article

      Co-authored by:
      Professional Stylist
      This article was co-authored by Hannah Park. Hannah Park is a professional stylist and personal shopper with experience in e-comm styling, celebrity styling and personal styling. She runs an LA-based styling company, The Styling Agent, where she focuses on understanding each individual she works with, and crafting wardrobes according to their needs. This article has been viewed 686,148 times.
      2 votes - 50%
      Co-authors: 75
      Updated: March 27, 2022
      Views: 686,148
      Article SummaryX

      To choose a swimsuit, start by deciding how much coverage you want. A traditional one-piece will give you the most coverage, a bikini will bare the most skin, and a two-piece tankini falls somewhere in between. When choosing a color, keep in mind that light colors can accent body parts and dark colors will disguise areas you're less comfortable with. Whatever style and color you choose, make sure the suit fits you snugly without being too tight and stays in place when you move around. For more tips on choosing the best color for you, read on!

      Did this summary help you?
      Thanks to all authors for creating a page that has been read 686,148 times.

      Reader Success Stories

      • Gracie Beiber

        May 23, 2019

        "I'm really self conscious and normally just don't go swimming, but now a have found a swim suit I feel comfortable..." more
      Share your story

      Did this article help you?

      Advertisement