Best swimwear for women over 50 to boost your style and confidence this summer

A fashion editor's pick of the best swimwear for women over 50 to shop this season

Best Swimwear For Women Over 50_CottonTraders/Seaspray/Panache
(Image credit: Cotton Traders/Seaspray/Miraclesuit)

Summer is almost here and if bagging the best swimwear for women over 50 is on your list, we've asked a 50+ fashion expert to find the best styles for you. From bikinis to swim dresses, these are the most figure flattering and comfortable bathing suits for women over 50.

Pursuing the perfect swimwear can be stressful, regardless of age. The ideal design will make you feel confident and flatter your figure while being easy to wear and fit for purpose. There are lots of different options to consider that will be an asset to your over 50s capsule wardrobe and ensure you'll feel your best on the beach or in the pool this summer.

Whether you want to invest in a dark coloured one-piece or update your holiday wardrobe with a bold and bright bikini, it is possible to find the perfect design. The key is to find the correct style that suits your shape and accentuates your best features. The styles you wore in your twenties may no longer work for you. “The key to finding a swimsuit that is great for you is to find one that gives you the support and fit that you need to suit your body shape,” says Charlotte Davies, senior designer at Elomi.  “Age shouldn’t be a barrier to making a bold choice if it makes you feel confident.”

The best swimwear for women over 50

The experts are in agreement when asked what are the best bathing suits for women over 50. Heidi Gosman, co-founder and creative director of Heidi Klein says, “When speaking with our clients I always emphasise that they must choose something they feel confident wearing - it’s so important to get out of the mindset of over-thinking and following trends that may not suit you. Wear what makes you feel good and suits your personal style. When it comes to flattering swimwear, built-in support features are what every 50+ woman is hugely grateful for.”

So whether you want something timeless or to nail the latest fashion trends, here's our round-up of the most flattering styles to look out for this summer.

Best wrap swimsuits for women over 50

Universally flattering, this cross-over design is a great shape for all body types and is especially flattering on curvy figures. The wrap-over detail creates a deep V neckline that is great for bigger busts and accentuates your waistline for an hourglass silhouette, while the cleverly draped fabric disguises the midriff. Women over 50 will feel supported by the wider straps.

Best tankini tops for women over 50

A great choice if you want to feel relaxed and confident around the pool or on the beach, a tankini will offer you more coverage than a bikini, but with the flexibility to roll up the top when sunbathing. The ability to buy mix and match briefs will give you a choice of leg coverage depending on your preference.

Best navy swimsuits for women over 50

Navy is the new black! If you are looking to update your summer holiday wardrobe and need to replace your classic black swimsuit, consider making the switch to this dark blue shade. Blue is one of the biggest colour trends for summer 2024 and is just as flattering. Heidi Gosman, co-founder and creative director of Heidi Klein, says “Navy is a brilliant shade for any skin tone, as black can be harsh and hard to wear.”

Best high-waisted bikinis for women over 50

These bikini briefs offer full coverage up to your waistline, with tummy-control mesh linings and a low-leg design that will cover your bottom - ideal if you like to be active on the beach. Mix and match your bikini top to suit your personal preference, a sensible solution if you are a different size top to bottom.

Best supportive bikini tops for women over 50

If you are looking for a bikini top with all the support of your best bra, especially if you are a DD+ cup size, opt for a style from a specialist lingerie brand that offer a wide choice of back and cup sizes. These bikini tops feature lots of technical design elements that will increase the level of support, without being uncomfortable, and ensure you feel confident on the beach.

Can women over 50 wear a two piece?

The simple answer is yes! The best swimsuits for women over 50 have no rigid rules. If you feel like wearing a bikini then go ahead and wear one. Age should never be a barrier to anything we want to do. Body confidence is the key, if you feel happy and relaxed in a bikini then wear it with pride, however skimpy it is.

Confidence comes when you are feeling comfortable and relaxed. Choosing the right style of bikini that flatters your figure and gives you the support you want will help you to achieve that sense of satisfaction. “A suit with underwires will give you more support and a more lifted bust shape, especially if you are fuller busted,” says Fantasie Senior Designer Abi Body. “Features like an adjustable leg give the flexibility to style the leg line to the coverage that feels best for you. These features paired with a great-looking colour or print will have you summer-ready.”

How should bikinis be worn by women over 50?

With pride! The key to choosing a swimsuit for women over 50 is to opt for a style that will suit your needs. If you plan to spend your two-week vacation flat-out on a lounger and want to go home with a tan, then opt for a simple bandeau top paired with high leg briefs. The most important rule for this scenario is to use plenty of sun screen, regularly, and be mindful about the sun's hottest hours - as even with sun cream there is still a risk.

If you are planning to be more active, either on the beach or in the water, choose a style that will allow you to move and stretch in comfort. Look out for supportive features like wider, adjustable straps and briefs that offer fuller coverage.

The key is to be prepared and test out your choice of bathing suit before you leave for your vacation. Trying out a variety of styles at home will allow you to put them through a few simple tests, can you lift your arms above your head or touch your toes without bits of your body falling out that you would rather keep hidden? And once you've sourced your bathing suit, you'll be vacay-ready.

Julie Player

Julie has over 30 years experience in the fashion industry and is a regular contributor to Woman & Home, Woman’s Weekly and Chat magazines, creating engaging fashion and lifestyle content for women of all ages. She also works in the wardrobe department at ITV, dressing the presenters for Good Morning Britain. Aged 57, Julie loves seeking out the most figure-flattering fashion for every occasion. She’s a qualified sustainable fashion expert with a wealth of knowledge of planet-friendly fashion brands and ways to shop more ethically.