Best swimsuits: Flattering swimwear for all body shapes

Investing in the best swimsuit will help boost your confidence this summer. Here are our favorite picks.

three women wearing some of the best swimsuits
(Image credit: Future: Bravissimo / Desigual / Good American)

If you're looking to invest in the best swimsuits this summer, then this guide will help you select the best bathing suit for your body type. From poolside styles and beach-ready looks, the right swimsuit will boost your confidence immeasurably. 

The first swimwear outing of the season can be nerve-wracking, but if you're looking for a sure-fire way to boost your body confidence at the beach, then investing in well-fitting swimwear is a great start. The best swimsuits can be as flattering as the best shapewear and as supportive as your best bra. And with a host of exciting and new swimwear trends, 2022 has a style for everyone. When it comes to sizing, it's key to remember that bathing suits will expand in the water, so if you're going to swim, rather than just soak up some rays, you might want to opt for a style that's more fitted, or with extra secure fastenings to stop any wardrobe malfunctions. When trying on swimwear however, there should be no straps digging in or pinching underwire, as comfort will also help you feel confident in your chosen style.  

The best swimsuits come in all different guises and whether you embrace the fashion color trends 2022 for a directional look, or opt for a classic black iteration that will never date, ultimately, selecting swimwear is a very personal purchase. Silhouette is key to creating a flattering fit and as with the best underwear, fabric that lifts, tucks and skims will give you a streamlined shape.

Best swimsuits for each body type: Our fashion expert-approved guide 

Here are the very best bathing suits for each body type. We recommend you set aside an evening to go on a swimwear cyber search and be excited—you’ll feel positively fabulous once you’ve found the right one piece for you. Even better, all of these styles can be tried on in the comfort of your home.

Best for: plus size

The best plus size swimwear is now very much mainstream and while a decade ago you may have struggled with fashionable options, finding the best swimsuits for fuller figures has gone mainstream, meaning it's easier than ever to find something you love. Cut and fabric are really important, as you will want something that feels secure. Not all plus size women have larger busts, but if you do, look for the best swimsuits with built-in bust support.

Good American Always Fits One Piece

(Image credit: Good American)

Good American Always Fits One-Piece

Our favorite plus size bathing suit

Specifications

RRP: $89 / £84
Sizes: XXS-5XL

Reasons to buy

+
Fabric stretches and shrinks with your shape
+
Super comfortable 
+
Timeless silhouette

Reasons to avoid

-
No in-built bust support

Owned by Khloe Kardashian, we love Good American for its size-inclusive products. From the best jeans for curvy women to great swimwear, this American clothing brand promotes comfort and confidence. This all-in-one stretches according to your size while keeping its shape, promising that you won't have to purchase another one if you find your weight fluctuates. With rave reviews from shoppers, it comes in several color-popping shades, offering a dose of dopamine dressing for the season. The textured fabric skims over your body rather than stretches taut for extra flexibility, although it does lack in-built bust support, so if you usually need one of the best bras for larger busts, you might need a swimsuit with more structure. The simple '90s-inspired design, however, will never go out of style.

Best of the rest…

Best for: pear body type

Pear-shaped bodies carry most of their weight on the bottom half. To balance out your hips, opt for a swimsuit with extra detailing on the top half. Ruffles, particularly at the shoulders, will widen your top half to help balance out a curvy bottom. Block-colored bottoms and printed tops will again help to create a more balanced silhouette and draw eyes to a narrowed waistline. 

Pour Moi Color Block Control Swimsuit

(Image credit: Pour Moi)

Pour Moi Color Block Control Swimsuit

Our favorite bathing suit for pear body types

Specifications

RRP: $74 / £40
Sizes: S-3XL

Reasons to buy

+
Color block design
+
Secret support
+
Good size range

Reasons to avoid

-
Quite sporty in style

This two-in-one swimsuit flatters in all the right places and is a go-to for pear shapes. The stripy design adds interest to the top half whilst the block color bottoms have a clever slimming effect. There are lightly molded cups for a smooth silhouette and a secret support shelf to ensure you’re fully supported. The mono-color palette keeps it a timeless classic you’ll reach for every summer. Team with your best beach bag in a bright color to give a nod to the handbag trends 2022

Best of the rest…

Best for: strawberry body type

Strawberry body types are broader on the top, with narrow hips and slender legs. To balance your silhouette, opt for plunging necklines, as they draw the eye downwards, creating a longer and leaner body shape. High-cut swimsuits meanwhile help to show off pins but are also a speedy way to lengthen legs as it reveals a larger proportion of thigh, giving the appearance of a longer silhouette.

Calzedonia Atene One-Piece Swimsuit

(Image credit: Calzedonia)

Calzedonia Atene One-Piece Swimsuit

Our favorite bathing suit for strawberry body types

Specifications

RRP: $60 / £59
Sizes: S-L

Reasons to buy

+
Flattering plunge neckline
+
Matching items available
+
Party-ready style

Reasons to avoid

-
Small size range

Take the plunge in this showstopping swimsuit. With a deep V-neckline that draws the eye downwards, lengthening your figure, the tie waist helps to highlight your middle too. The soft floral print adds a feminine touch, while the cross straps at the back give this swimsuit a sexy open back. Only available to a size L, this swimsuit doesn't offer huge amounts of support, due to the design, so is ideally suited to those who usually wear the best bras for smaller busts

Best of the rest…

Best for: athletic body type

Athletic or rectangle body types are categorized by their straight-up-and-down frame. Suited to almost any type of swimwear, if you're looking to add curves to your frame, then ruching, ruffles, bold prints and cut-out details help to give the illusion of fuller curves.

Zimmermann Lola Waterfall Frill

(Image credit: Zimmermann)

Zimmermann Lola Waterfall Frill

Our favorite bathing suit for athletic body types

Specifications

RRP: $425 / £370
Sizes: US: 4-10 / UK: 8-14

Reasons to buy

+
Statement ruffles
+
Designer style
+
Summer colors

Reasons to avoid

-
Small size range

An athletic figure can benefit from statement ruffles and this design from Australian swimwear brand, Zimmerman really pulls out the stops. With flouncy frills and a punchy retro print, it’s flirty, feminine and guaranteed to get you noticed. Carefully crafted from Italian lycra, it fits like a dream, with adjustable straps and a self-tie closure. Just add a floppy hat for an enviable beach-ready look.

Best of the rest…

Best for: hourglass body type

Hourglass body shapes tend to have a small waist and well-balanced bust, shoulders and hips. To that end, when looking for the best bathing suits for an hourglass, it's all about opting for designs that highlight your curves. Wrap shapes, belts and cut-out details at the midriff all help to highlight your silhouette. 

Evarae Cassandra belted two-tone stretch-ECONYL swimsuit

(Image credit: Net-a-Porter)

Evarae Cassandra belted two-tone stretch-ECONYL swimsuit

Our favorite bathing suit for hourglass body types

Specifications

RRP: $385 / £285
Sizes: XS-L

Reasons to buy

+
Belted waist
+
Sustainable fabric

Reasons to avoid

-
Small size range

One of the best sustainable swimwear brands, this Evarae belted one-piece not only looks incredibly chic but it helps to highlight your waist and show off your hourglass figure. The belt cinches in a middle, drawing the eye down and centrally to the narrowest part of your silhouette. With a cool color block design and retro finish, this bathing suit is made from stretchy sustainable ECONYL. A worthy investment, the simple yet sleek design will stand the test of time.

Best of the rest…

Best for: apple body type

If you usually shop for the most stylish dresses to hide a tummy, then it's likely you're an apple body shape, carrying most of your weight around your middle. If you're after the best swimsuits to skim and sculpt your midriff, then you'll benefit from the increasing number of tummy control swimsuits available on the market, that work in a similar way to shapewear. Ruche detailing across the midriff also helps to subtly disguise a midriff if that's the part you're most conscious of. 

M&S Tummy Control Padded Ruched Plunge Swimsuit

(Image credit: M&S)

M&S Tummy Control Padded Ruched Plunge Swimsuit

Our favorite bathing suit for apple body types

Specifications

RRP: $50 / £29.50
Sizes: US: 2-20 / UK: 6-24

Reasons to buy

+
Affordable
+
Tummy control technology 
+
Great colors

Reasons to avoid

-
Colors won't suit everyone

With clever Magic 360° Tummy Control technology, this bathing suit works wonders to smooth and shape your stomach to ensure you're sculpted from every angle. It has a plunging neckline and padded cups for a molded and shapely silhouette that shows off all your best assets. As an added bonus, it’s made from chlorine-resistant fabric so it stays in tip-top shape for longer.

Best of the rest…

Best for: bigger busts

When it comes to swimsuits for bigger busts, support is everything. For a spot-on fit, choose swimwear that's available in bra, not dress sizing, as this automatically suggests that the cut has taken bust size and support level into the design. Not all bathing suits are supportive enough for bigger busts, so to stay comfortable, try one with wired cups. They'll provide plenty of lift and create a flattering shape too.

Bravissimo Dubai One Piece Swimsuit

(Image credit: Bravissimo)

Bravissimo Dubai One Piece Swimsuit

Our favorite bathing suit for big busts

Specifications

RRP: $116 / £58
Sizes: 30-40, DD-J

Reasons to buy

+
Supportive cups with underwiring
+
Timeless wrap design
+
Great size range

Reasons to avoid

-
Only one colorway option

Bravissimo is your one-stop-shop for swimsuits that are supportive and stylish. Like the best wrap dresses, wrap bathing suits are universally flatting. The sleek side tie highlights and narrows your waist, while the V-neck elongates your figure. The cups are underwired with gentle padding for a super smooth shape and molded to help you avoid a wardrobe malfunction on the beach. The chic spotty print will never go out of style and we love the thoughtful detailing with the cut out at the back. 

Best of the rest…

Best for: smaller busts

Even the best bathing suits have a frustrating habit of flattening your bust, making an already small chest look even smaller. Boost yours with swimwear with padded inserts, a low scoop neckline or additional detailing at the top such as oversized ruffles, which will add fullness and curves in an instant.

Eberjey Loreta Textured One-Piece

(Image credit: Eberjey)

Eberjey Loreta Textured One-Piece

Our favorite bathing suit for small busts

Specifications

RRP: $194 / £215
Sizes: XS-L

Reasons to buy

+
Super comfortable 
+
Statement ruffle at the bust 
+
On-trend color

Reasons to avoid

-
Small size range

Not only are Eberjey swimsuits super stylish but they deliver on the technicals too offering UPF+ sun protection. Ruffle necklines add a feminine touch and help give smaller busts a boost. The textured fabric contours your curves effortlessly and feels super soft against the skin for round-the-clock comfort. Team with one of the brand's dreamy beach cover-ups.

Best of the rest…

Best for: taller frames

If you're tall, you may find that bathing suits can be uncomfortable to wear, as not every style takes into account a longer torso. In that instance, you may want to opt for a two-piece instead. If you want to stick to a swimsuit, then checking out specific tall ranges should help to negate the issue. Be bold and play around with different styles—you can pull it off!

J Crew Long Torso Ruffle V-Neck One-Piece in Gingham

(Image credit: J Crew)

J. Crew Long Torso Ruffle V-Neck One-Piece in Gingham

Our favorite tall bathing suit

Specifications

RRP: $118 / £132
Sizes: US: 0-16 / UK: 4-20

Reasons to buy

+
Playful design
+
Longer length
+
Timeless check

Reasons to avoid

-
Would benefit from larger size range

We applaud J.Crew for having a section dedicated to longer torsos meaning you can say bye to any awkward tugging and adjusting as this should offer tall shoppers a great fit. In a summer-loving gingham, this is a great option for a Memorial Day outfit if you're heading to a pool party. The playful ruffle detail is ideal for adding shape to a bustline and the removable padding will also provide curve-creating qualities. For a nod to guilt-free shopping, this swimsuit is made from recycled materials too. 

Best of the rest…

Best for: petites

Much like those with taller frames, shopping for swimwear can be frustrating if you're close to 5", as swimsuits can end up with too much fabric, making your bathing suit bag. If this sounds like your issue, then try shopping in dedicated petite ranges. Vertical stripes, high-cut legs and deep necklines will all serve to make your figure look longer. You can also check out our guide on the best petite dresses to complete your look.

Vanessa Sposi The Plunge Swimsuit

(Image credit: Vanessa Sposi)

Vanessa Sposi The Plunge Swimsuit

Our favorite petite bathing suit

Specifications

RRP: $205 / £164
Sizes: XS-XL

Reasons to buy

+
Luxury fabric and lining
+
Flattering deep plunge
+
Hard color to wear

Reasons to avoid

-
Small size range

A minimalist design with maximum impact this deep plunge one-piece from Vanessa Sposi is quite a show stopper. The deep v-neckline and low back will help lengthen your torso whilst the high cut will elongate your pins too. It’s expertly made from top-quality Italian fabric and lycra, while the lining is infused with antioxidants—Vitamin E and Aloe Vera. A truly luxury piece that will last from one summer to the next.

Best of the rest…


How to choose the right bathing suit for your body type

Every body is different, and although we tend to categorize body types into shapes and fruits such as apple, pear, and hourglass, these shorthands are not the only way to find out which bathing suit style will suit you. The three key questions to ask yourself before investing are:  

  • Does the swimsuit fit and do you feel comfortable and secure in it?
  • Does the bathing suit accentuate the features you love?
  • Does the bathing suit detract from the areas you’re not so keen on?

In other words, if you particularly love your legs, or want to highlight them, then your best swimsuit will feature a slightly higher cut at the thigh, as this exposes more of that area, instantly making legs look endless.

Want to show off arms or collarbones? Then draw attention to your top half with details such as color, pattern, or ruffles. 

You might have previously shied away from prints and patterns, but a well-placed block color or design panel can be a clever styling tool when looking for the most flattering swimsuit. Use darker colors to distract from areas you don't want to highlight while using brighter hues to attract attention to the parts you want to show off. For example: if you want to balance out wider hips, opt for a bathing suit with a darker bottom and lighter or brighter top half. To give the illusion of an hourglass silhouette, opt for centrally block-colored swimsuits, with darker side panels, this creates a central column of color, drawing the eye in, narrowing a waistline. 

If you have a big bust, always look for brands that offer different cup sizes (rather than dress sizes). If you’re unsure of what size you need, learning how to measure bra size will help. Just bear in mind that just as weight fluctuates, bra sizing can change depending on where you are in your cycle, so your bathing suit may feel smaller or bigger at different times of the month. 


What is the best bathing suit to hide a tummy?

Good news—bathing suits for body types with a larger tummy are easy to find, as the majority of one-pieces boast built-in control and sculpting technology. They work by using double-layered fabric to hold and hone your shape, creating a smoother silhouette. Expect the fit to be firmer than your average swimsuit but not as restrictive as shapewear. 

The design of your bathing suit has a big part to play too. To detract from your tummy look for:

  • Clever paneling and prints: they create a contouring effect, giving the illusion of a narrower middle. 
  • Ruching: it can work wonders, ensuring the fabric always looks draped, instead of stretched, over the area. 
  • Tankinis: If you’re distinctly different sizes on the top and bottom half, then a tankini could be a good alternative to an all-in-one. Those with blouson or empire-line style tops will skim over your middle instead of clinging to it. 

What color of bathing suit is most slimming?

We’ve said it before, and we’ll say it again: fashion should be fun. And for that reason, color shouldn’t come into the equation when shopping for bathing suits for body types. Let yourself be drawn to shades, patterns, and prints that you love, instead of being led by what you think will make your shape look a certain way. You'll look and feel better in a color that brings you joy!

Yes, it is true that black does give the appearance of a slimmer figure by making shadows less visible, but it can also drain your complexion—especially when worn close to the face. If you’re still keen on the idea of a darker color, navy is more forgiving, while a print will feel more summery.

If you want to know what colors suit you, think about the pieces of clothing you normally receive the most compliments when wearing. It might be green that brings out your eyes, blue that contrasts beautifully with your hair, or hot pink that pops against your skin tone. 

Focusing on what you need to improve about your body before you allow yourself to feel confident is a losing game. Once you realize that your body is worthy, just the way it is, you’ll feel a lot better about putting on any kind of swimsuit. Promise. 

Charlie is the Acting Deputy Fashion Editor across multiple women’s magazines and also a freelance fashion, beauty and lifestyle editor. 


She bagged her first magazine job in 2009 and has previously written for titles including Woman & Home, Closer and Dare. Over the years Charlie has embraced anything that was thrown at her from styling celebrities to testing out the best jeans on the high street to writing about must-have beauty buys. 


With a weakness for a printed midi dress, Charlie is on a mission to shop more sustainably and loves finding new ethical brands and second-hand buys.