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Tips for Finding Inexpensive Plus Size Swimwear

Cheryl Cirelli
Woman in swimsuit

Inexpensive swimwear is available in plus sizes and can be found in the latest styles of the season. There is no need to spend hundreds of dollars on swimwear that flatters your figure. By shopping smart, you can find stylish suits in your size at a discounted price. Find out when and where to land a great deal and you will soon be on your way to wearing a fashionable swimsuit without breaking the bank.

Know When to Shop

Savvy shoppers know when to hit stores for the best deals and if you're looking for cheap plus size swimwear, timing is everything. When shopping for deals, keep these tips in mind:

Sales and Specials

For the best pricing, watch for swimwear to go on sale. Stores will often start running specials on swimwear after it has been in the store for a few weeks. Many stores will feature swimwear on sale for a limited period of time just before spring and summer holidays like Easter, Memorial Day and Independence Day. So, you can start shopping for what you want as soon as summer merchandise hits the sale floor, but be patient and wait for a sale to get the best deal. You may be able to get swimsuits for at least 25 to 30 percent off the retail price just by shopping during a sale.

Mid-Season Clearance

Some swimsuit styles may go on permanent markdown during the peak of swimming season, to make room on the floor as new merchandise filters in. Many stores will mark down suits that are in limited quantities or ones that are not selling at they should - even designer styles. Even though the clearance racks in your favorite store may be a jumble, you can find discount bathing suits at awesome markdowns. Check throughout the summer season for new markdowns and deals. Look through the clearance racks before those with full-price or temporary sale suits - you may find just what you need on clearance.

End of Season Sales

The time of year to shop for the absolute lowest prices on swimwear is when swimming season is nearly over. Stores are then trying to move in fall merchandise while moving out what remains from the summer season, so you can sometimes find summer swim attire for 75 percent off or more. Sizes and selection are more limited at the end of the season, but with diligent shopping you just may be able to find a rock bottom rate on a perfect suit. While you might not get a chance to wear your great find that year, you can always put it away for next year.

Know Where to Shop

For full-figured women, the best places to look for flattering, well-fitting swimwear are traditional and online shops that cater to the plus size market, as well as the Women's area of department stores.

In Person

When you shop in-person, you have the benefit of being able to try your swimsuit on before you buy, to make sure you get the best fit. There are a number of great options to consider.

  • Department Stores: You may be able to find an inexpensive swimsuit at your favorite department store. These stores often put their swimwear on sale and allow you to use a coupon for greater savings. For example, department stores such as Macy's and JC Penney carry a great selection of plus size swimwear and offer ways for customers to save money.
    • At Macy's you can use a savings pass during their sales which can give you an additional 20 percent off the sale price of a suit. To print a savings pass, visit Macy's homepage during a sale promotion and click the pass image. For those with a Macy's credit card, you can often get a discount just by using your Macy's credit card for purchases during their sales.
    • JC Penney's will give you an extra percentage off by signing up for their text messages. In the store, you will see a number to text to get savings sent to your phone. You can also shop Doorbusters and Super Sales to take advantage of the best prices. Don't forget to check the website for printable coupons to use as well.
  • Discount retailers: Off-price stores like Marshall's and T.J. Maxx carry designer brands at a fraction of their original costs. If you have one of these stores in your area, it's a good idea to see what they have to offer. You just may find the same suit you saw at a department store or boutique priced significantly lower.
  • Mass Merchandisers: Discount stores also carry swimwear. Check your local Walmart or Target for a suit at a fraction of the price of what you would pay elsewhere. Walmart typically carries a nice selection of plus size swimsuits in-season priced under $40 and Target's selection is priced around $40 to $60. The latest styles and colors of the season are typically available at both retailers.
  • Outlet stores: Outlets malls are another great place to look for inexpensive swimwear. You can shop your favorite brands at a discount. For example, Premium Outlets and Tanger Outlets both feature stores such as Lane Bryant, Dress Barn and Catherine's Plus Sizes, all of which carry swimwear in extended sizes. Before shopping, keep in mind that many outlet malls feature coupons so check at customer service when you arrive to find out the latest promotions and special offers or sign up online to receive specials sent directly to your email.

Online Shopping

Online shopping is not only convenient but will also provide you with great deals. There are many sites online that carry inexpensive swimwear options for women needing an extended size. Options include:

  • Swimsuits for All: This site has a great selection of suits in their sale and clearance sections. Suits can be found in sizes up to a 32 and in a range of prices. For example, you can find swimwear separates starting under $20 a piece and one piece suits for around $25. While there are pricier options, there are plenty of suits to choose from that are less than $50. You can enter your email address on the bottom of the homepage to receive a promotional code and email sale alerts.
  • Lands' End: This retailers features a sale section that includes swimwear for women wearing a plus size. Sizes range from a 0X to a 3X or up to a size 26W. Some deals include swim separates for around $25, one-piece suits for under $45 and swim dresses for under $50. Land's End offers free shipping on order over $50 and will often run specials where you can save an additional 25 percent off. Check the site's homepage for promotional codes.
  • One Stop Plus: This site features swimsuits for women in sizes up to a 5X. You can find swim dresses for under $60, one piece styles for under $50 and swim separates for around $20 to $40 a piece. You can also find cover-ups, board shorts and more on sale at this site. To save money, you can join the Shopper's Club and open a credit card account. You will then be able to get shipping for $2.99 and an additional 25 percent off your order when you use your card.
  • Kohl's: This department store's website has a great online selection of plus size swimwear that is at low prices. Sizes range from 1X to a 3XL or up to a size 26W. What makes this retailer's swimwear a great deal is that you can use coupons to save more money or use Kohl's cash for even more savings. Expect to find one piece suits for around $60, separates for less than $30 each and board shorts for under $40. Free shipping applies to orders over $75.

Mix and Match Separates

You can often find a great deal by mixing and matching swim separates as opposed to buying individual suits. There are many two piece swimwear styles that can give you several options from a few pieces. For example, you can purchase one swim bottom and two different tops to make two different looks. You will save money by only needing one bottom that can be mixed with different tops to create two suits. Be creative and you can have an entire swim wardrobe from just a few basic separates.

Quality Is Key

Even if you're trying to save a few dollars, it's still a good idea to choose a quality suit. You will want something that will last at least one season full of swimming and sunning instead of falling apart after a couple of wearings. Always check seams on your swimwear to make sure they're strong and intact. If you receive a new suit and the seams seem especially weak, then return it before you wear it. While saving money is smart, you don't want to throw money away on a swimsuit that won't make it through one beach vacation. Shop wisely and look for deals - the inexpensive swimsuits you score may be the season's favorites.

Tips for Finding Inexpensive Plus Size Swimwear