Three Swimsuit Styles that Flatter Full Figures


Every woman has areas she'd rather not flaunt. When dressing for every day, women can easily find ways to hide flaws; swimsuits make it a little trickier. There are, however, plenty of styles available that flatter women with fuller figures.

Three Swimsuit Styles for Full Figures

Ruched One-Piece

Ruching is your best friend. It hides a multitude of imperfect areas, especially in the midsection. Swimsuits that feature ruching are perfect for women looking to camouflage their tummies. Ruching helps to smooth out lines and can provide partial coverage for hips, rears, and thighs -- depending on how a particular swimsuit is cut. It's also extremely flattering for busts of all sizes.

If you're looking to primarily cover your stomach, choose a swimsuit that has ruching all over the front of the suit. This will minimize your belly and help create the illusion of an hourglass figure. If you want more coverage for hips, rear, and back, get a swimsuit that is fully ruched on the front and back. This will still create an hourglass shape and will give additional slimming to areas beyond the midsection.

  • Norma Kamali's Bill Mio swimsuit provides full coverage for the midsection and partial coverage of the hips, rear, and upper thighs with its all-over ruching. The sweetheart neckline is universally flattering and the style is timeless.
  • Anita Poesy's Garden Eireen III one piece suit features beautiful criss-cross ruching all over the midsection to elegantly hide your tummy and minimize hips. The bottoms provide full coverage for your backside but thighs will be exposed.

Boy Short and Skirt Bottoms

Skirt suit

If you're shy about showing off your upper thighs and backside, try a swimsuit that has a boy short style or skirted bottom. Boy shorts bottoms are fitted but provide full coverage for your backside. Skirted bottoms are great if you want a more modest cut; they are loose and flowy so you get coverage without revealing too much of your shape.

Go for a one piece or tankini if you want to keep your stomach covered, too; or try a two piece if you're willing to bare your stomach. If you wear a bikini, choose a top suitable to your breast size. Strapless styles and triangle tops can be troublesome for larger cup sizes because they don't offer much support. Tops with underwire are flattering on all cup sizes and they provide support and shape.

  • The Panache Sophia Skirted Brief is a great option for covering up your backside and thighs. The loose, flowy fit hides the areas you want to keep covered but is still feminine and flirty. Wear it with a tank if you want to cover your stomach or go for a triangle, halter, or underwire bikini top if you want to reveal a little more skin.
  • The Tara Mio by Norma Kamali is a great example of a one piece with boy short style bottoms. The top, midsection, and bottoms provide full coverage while the suit is ruched all over for additional camouflaging.

Vintage Style Full Bottoms

Retro suit

Vintage styles have made a comeback in a big way, which is great news for women looking for more coverage in their swimsuits. Vintage suits are cut in more conservative silhouettes that reflect the era from which they were inspired. The bottoms provide full coverage for your rear and hips. They are also generally high waisted, which helps camouflage the stomach and love handles.

Vintage-inspired bottoms should be paired with tops that are similarly classic. A basic underwire top or a retro halter would be perfect. If you have a smaller bust, a strapless top with a sweetheart neckline is a great choice. You want to avoid more modern styles like a triangle top and the bandeau; they clash with the vintage vibe and you'll end up looking mismatched. If you want to keep your midsection completely covered, choose a tank style top with an appropriately vintage cut.

  • Karla Colletto's Retro Bikini is great for women who want more coverage on their stomach and hips than a normal bikini bottom provides. The ruching makes the cut even more figure flattering and the simple underwire top is a perfect match that will provide support and look fantastic on many shapes.
  • The Assets by Spanx Ruched Skirtkini bottom has a great vintage vibe. It offers full coverage for your midesction, hips, and behind. Pair it with the Retro Halter Tankini to complete your glamorous vintage look.
  • The vintage style Voda Swim Skirt is a fantastic addition to any swimsuit collection. It's adjustable so you can get as little or as much coverage as you want. Wear it with a black bikini top for a classic look or amp up the retro vibe with a polka dot print like this halter from Freya, also available as a tankini for women wanting more coverage.

Shopping Tips for Slimming Swimwear

  • Look for swimsuits with spandex in them. Stretchy fabric is more comfortable and helps hold you in.
  • Buy a color and silhouette that is flattering for you. Don't get caught up in trends. Go for a style that works with your body so you feel and look your best.
  • When in doubt, go with black. Just like the LBD, a black bathingsuit is classic, chic, timeless, and slimming.

Selecting flattering swimwear is possible for any figure type. Choose styles that disguise flaws and emphasize your best assets, and you'll look and feel wonderful at the pool or at the beach.

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Three Swimsuit Styles that Flatter Full Figures