Best bathing suits by body type—find flattering swimwear for your shape

Our guide to the best bathing suits for body types is essential, confidence-boosting reading this summer.

collage of the best bathing suits for body types
(Image credit: Future/Mango/Warehouse/Oliver Bonas/Next)

If you are looking to invest in some new swimwear, our guide to the best bathing suits by body types is useful reading, whether you are planning a seaside escape from the heatwave or just turning your garden into a sunbathing oasis this summer. 

The key to finding well-fitting swimwear is to shop according to your body shape so that the end result is as flattering as the best shapewear, as supportive as your best bra, and as comfortable as your best leggings. Well-cut swimwear has magical, empowering qualities. 

Remember when it comes to sizing, that bathing suits will expand in the water. So you might want to pick one that’s a little tighter than you’d normally go for if you’re planning to get wet. However, that advice only goes so far. If the straps are cutting into your shoulders, the underwiring digging in, or elastic pinching at your skin, you need to size up. Comfort is key to confidence, so it always comes first. 

As for bathing suit trends, asymmetric necklines and cut out details remain popular, allowing you to show a little more skin without compromising too much on support and coverage. Minimalism is having a moment too, so expect to see swimwear that's low on detail for a sporty, fashion-forward look. If you want to invest in a bathing suit that won't date, we'd recommend opting for plain black, florals or nautical stripes. 

H&M, Zara and Mango are our go-to brands for on-trend swimwear at prices that won't break the bank, letting you dip your toe into the trends. For timeless styles that put the focus on fit, try specialist lingerie brands like Victoria's Secret and Bravissimo. Sustainable swimwear brands like Roxy and Boden are doing their bit for the environment by using recycled materials and discouraging waste. 

Here at w&h, we want to make shopping for a bathing suit an all-around enjoyable experience, which is why we’ve answered a few of our most commonly-asked swimwear questions below. Plus, we’ve rounded up an edit of bathing suits to suit every body type to save you precious time. Now go enjoy that sunshine!

How do I choose the right bathing suit for my 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 bathing suit accentuate the features you love?
  • Does the bathing suit detract from the areas you’re not so keen on?
  • Do you feel comfortable and secure when wearing it? 

So, if you’re proud of your legs, try a suit with slightly higher cut thighs.

If you love your arms or collarbones, draw attention to your top half with details such as color, pattern, or ruffles. 

Cleverly placed prints and paneling are a failsafe way to trick the eye, putting the focus on the bits you love and distracting from the bits you don’t. For example, a bathing suit with a darker bottom half and printed top will always draw the eye to the pattern - stealing focus from your hips and middle in the process. 

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 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 perfect, just the way it is, you’ll feel a lot better about putting on any kind of bathing suit. Promise. 

Bathing suits for body types—Our fashion expert-approved guide 

Here are the very best bathing suits for body types. So, 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

Make the most of your figure in one of our plus-size bathing suits. Fortunately many stores are expanding their sizing ranges to become more inclusive, meaning it's easier than ever to find something you love. 

Good American Always Fits One-Piece

(Image credit: Good American)

Good American Always Fits One-Piece

Specifications
RRP: $89/£69.53
Sizes: XXS-5XL
Reasons to buy
+Fabric stretches and shrinks with your shape+Super comfortable 

This size-inclusive brand is our go-to for stylish pieces that promote comfort and confidence. We love this all-in-one that stretches according to your size while keeping its shape so it promises that you’ll never need to buy another, even if your weight tends to fluctuate. Plus, the textured fabric skims over your body rather than stretches taut for extra flexibility.

Draper James x Lands’ End Twist Front One Piece Swimsuit

(Image credit: Draper James x Lands' End)

Draper James x Lands’ End Twist Front One Piece Swimsuit

Specifications
RRP: $109.95/£90
Sizes: US 4-26/UK 8-30
Reasons to buy
+Sun protection in the fabric+Sewn in cup for extra support 

This fully lined bathing suit is part of an exclusive collaboration with A-list actor Reese Witherspoon’s clothing range, Draper James. With adjustable straps, twist front detail and soft bra cups sewn in, it’s a confidence inducing printed swimsuit that is one of the most flatteringly fashionable we’ve seen. 

Victoria's Secret Marieta Push-Up One-Piece

(Image credit: Victoria's Secret)

Victoria's Secret Marieta Push-Up One-Piece

Specifications
RRP: $107/£77
Size range: XS-XL
Reasons to buy
+Easy to adjust straps+Flattering ruching at the stomach and sides

Translating everything they know about great-fitting underwear into swimwear, Victoria's Secret is our go-to for bathing suits for body types of all shapes and sizes. With ruching at the sides for a flattering finish, this leopard print bathing suit is a fierce choice for those ready to take centre stage on the beach. 

Best for: pear body type

Pear shapes carry most of their weight on the bottom half. To balance things out, choose a bathing suit with extra detail on the top, or a darker colour around your hips and bum. 

Oliver Bonas Tropical Print Blue Bardot Swimsuit

(Image credit: Oliver Bonas)

Oliver Bonas Tropical Print Blue Bardot Swimsuit

Specifications
RRP: $66/£45
Sizes: US 2-14/UK 6-18
Reasons to buy
+Eye-catching print+Flattering Bardot neckline

If you tend to carry weight on your bottom half, it can help to balance proportions on top. An off-the-shoulder style like this broadens your shoulders making your waist appear smaller and creating more of an hourglass effect. 

Pour Moi Capri Stripe Frill Hidden Underwired Swimsuit

(Image credit: Pour Moi)

Pour Moi Capri Stripe Frill Hidden Underwired Swimsuit

Specifications
RRP: $78/£42
Size range: 32C-38G
Reasons to buy
+Hidden underwired cups+Cut out detail at back

This bathing suit combines the look of a two-piece with all the comfort and security of an all-in-one. The block color section will make your bottom half look slimmer. 

Best for: strawberry body type

Strawberry body types are broader on the top, with narrow hips and slender legs. Plunging necklines are your friend here, drawing the eye downwards, while a high-cut bathing suit will make the most of your enviable legs. 

Ted Baker Khloie One Shoulder Cut-Out Swimsuit

(Image credit: Ted Baker)

Ted Baker Khloie One Shoulder Cut-Out Swimsuit

Specifications
RRP: $175/£95
Sizes: US 2-12/UK 6-18
Reasons to buy
+On-trend asymmetric shape+High cut legs 

An asymmetric swimsuit draws the eye up and away, rather than straight across helping to break up broad shoulders. Plus, the cut-out detail with added tie around the waist helps to accentuate curves around your waist and hips.

H&M Shaping Swimsuit

(Image credit: H&M)

H&M Shaping Swimsuit

Specifications
RRP: $39.99/£29.99
Sizes: US XXS-XL/UK 4-22
Reasons to buy
+Fully lined+Firm fit 

Give a plunge style a go as the focus is drawn inwards. With a knot at the waist, this palm print bathing suit frames your bottom half beautifully so that your figure is accentuated in all the right places. 

Boden Talamanca Swimsuit

(Image credit: Boden)

Boden Talamanca Swimsuit

Specifications
RRP: $98/£65
Size range: US 2-18/UK 2-22
Reasons to buy
+Body sculpting lining+Fabric made partly from recycled materials 

We love a bold and bright swimsuit, and this one is ticking all our color-craving boxes. The plunging neck will help elongate a broader top half, while the cleverly cut legs makes your bottom look perkier. 

Best for: athletic body type

Athletic or rectangle body types are categorised by their straight-up-and-down frame. Use cut out details, ruffles and bold prints to create the illusion of curves. 

M&S Monochrome Floral Padded Cut Out Swimsuit

(Image credit: M&S)

M&S Monochrome Floral Padded Cut Out Swimsuit

Specifications
RRP: $50/£29.50
Sizes: US 2-20/UK 8-24
Reasons to buy
+Padded cups+Playful cut out detailing 

With an athletic figure, you can benefit from cheeky cut-out details. This style has padded cups to add some curves to your chest if you so desire and the cut-out sections either side will give you a little more shape.

Not On The High Street.

Made in Britain, tick. Eco-friendly, tick. We can't get enough of this playful leopard-print swimsuit from Not On The High Street.

The flattering silhouette features a flattering scoop neck and figure-hugging fit to enhance your shape.

United Colors of Benetton Swimsuit in Econyl with Side Flounce

(Image credit: United Colors of Benetton)

United Colors of Benetton Swimsuit in Econyl with Side Flounce

Specifications
RRP: $74/£49.95
Sizes: XS-L
Reasons to buy
+Adjustable and removable straps+Internal cups 

Your straighter silhouette can easily handle a little added 3D detail and this gorgeous ruffle on one side is a certified standout suit. 

Mango Gathered Print Swimsuit

(Image credit: Mango)

Mango Gathered Print Swimsuit

Specifications
RRP: $79.99/£49.99
Size range: S-L
Reasons to buy
+Eye-catching print+High cut legs 

When it comes to bathing suits for body types, athletic frames have the most choice. Have fun with prints and patterns, as well as extra details like gathering and cut-outs. 

Best for: hourglass body type

With an hourglass body shape, it's all about the waist. Opt for bathing suits that draw attention to your best asset and emphasise your tiny middle. Wrap shapes, belts and cut outs are all your friends here. 

Monsoon Karina Belted Swimsuit

(Image credit: Monsoon)

Monsoon Karina Belted Swimsuit

Specifications
RRP: $56/£39
Sizes: US 4-18/UK 8-22
Reasons to buy
+Belted waist+Made from 96% recycled polyester

If you're lucky enough to have an hourglass frame, choose a swimsuit that helps  draw attention to your tiny waist, like a belted bathing suit. The extra detail focuses on your narrowest part as the rest of the suit clings effortlessly to your curves. 

Fatface Breton Wrap Swimsuit

(Image credit: Fatface)

Fatface Breton Wrap Swimsuit

Specifications
RRP: $56/£39.50
Sizes: US 0-16/UK 4-20
Reasons to buy
+Fast drying fabric+Adjustable waist tie

The wrap style is great for a fuller bust as it will sit just right on your chest while the strategically placed stripes draw the eye towards your waist.

Miraclesuit Tramonto Belle Temptation Swimsuit

(Image credit: Miraclesuit)

Miraclesuit Tramonto Belle Temptation Swimsuit

Specifications
RRP: $184/£170
Sizes: US: 4-12/UK: 8-16
Reasons to buy
+Waist-emphasising print+Supportive, shapewear style fit 

Choose a swimsuit with detailing around the sides. Miraclesuit also promises you'll look 10 pounds lighter in 10 seconds when wearing one of their swimsuits - no gym time required! 

Best for: apple body type

Apple shapes that carry their weight around their middle can benefit from the multitude of tummy control swimsuits on the market. Look out for comfortable and discrete panelling and ruched detailing. 

Next Shape and Sculpt Pintuck Plunge Swimsuit

(Image credit: Next)

Next Shape and Sculpt Pintuck Plunge Swimsuit

Specifications
RRP: $44/£32
Size range : US: 2-16/UK: 6-20
Reasons to buy
+Chlorine resistant fabric+Sculpting mid-section

Built-in, comfortable mesh across the inner lining of this bathing suit works wonders to tone and sculpt your stomach. This emerald green shade looks especially gorgeous on darker skin tones. 

Nicola Jane Masai Mara Ruched Swimsuit

(Image credit: Nicola Jane)

Nicola Jane Masai Mara Ruched Swimsuit

Specifications
RRP: $60.75/£45
Sizes: US 4-14/UK 8-18
Reasons to buy
+Pockets and preformed cups on both sides+Tummy control lining 

This brand is an expert when it comes to masectomy and post-surgery designs, helping every woman feel as confident as possible with their changing body. This bathing suit ticks so many boxes that it's sure to make you feel feminine and ready to hit the beach. With flattering ruching across the middle, slimming panels down the sides to help streamline your figure and built-in support with pockets on both sides for preformed cups, this is the ultimate bathing suit for post-surgery sunbathing. 

MAGISCUPT Tiered Ruffle Swimsuit

(Image credit: MAGISCULPT)

MAGISCUPT Tiered Ruffle Swimsuit

Specifications
RRP: £38
Sizes: UK 12-32
Reasons to buy
+Powermesh support+Flattering ruffles

With power mesh technology and extra frills at the front, this one-piece sculpts your frame while the extra fabric drapes over your middle rather than stretching across for an extra boost of confidence.

Best for: bigger busts

For a spot-on fit, choose swimwear that's available in bra, not dress sizing. 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 Amalfi Swimsuit

(Image credit: Bravissimo)

Bravissimo Amalfi Swimsuit

Specifications
RRP: $108/£54
Sizes: 30E-40K
Reasons to buy
+Tummy control+Built-in cups 

Shop by bra size to guarantee a great fit on your top half. This plunge swimsuit with non-padded cups and smoothing tummy control technology helps to keep everything in the right place. 

YOUSWIM Eva One-Piece

(Image credit: YOUSWIM)

YOUSWIM Eva One-Piece

Specifications
RRP: $139 /£105
Sizes: ONE SIZE FITS US 2-14/UK 6-18
Reasons to buy
+One size fits seven different sizes+Flattering shape 

Say hello to your summer hero. This textured bathing suit is designed to fit seven sizes in one as it perfectly stretches without losing shape. If your weight or boobs tend to fluctuate, this ribbed design comfortably fits an A-G cup and comes in 15 colours. One for each day of your holiday? We think so! 

Curvy Kate Maya Swimsuit

(Image credit: Curvy Kate)

Curvy Kate Maya Swimsuit

Specifications
RRP: $87/£57
Sizes: 30E-40J
Reasons to buy
+Cute cut out detailing+Supportive cups 

Wiring and padding will provide extra support and lift, so you don't have to compromise on comfort. And this band around the middle helps to give more definition under your chest.

Best for: smaller busts

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.

Zara Swimsuit with Maxi Ruffle

(Image credit: Zara)

Zara Swimsuit with Maxi Ruffle

Specifications
RRP: $45.90/£27.99
Sizes: S-XL
Reasons to buy
+Bold shade+Statement ruffle at the bust 

For added volume around the chest, this maxi ruffle swimsuit is the perfect trick for creating the illusion of a more ample bust. The bandeau style also means no awkward strap marks. 

Mango Swimsuit with Adaptable Cups

(Image credit: Mango)

Mango Swimsuit with Adaptable Cups

Specifications
RRP: $79.99/£49.99
Sizes: S-XXXL
Reasons to buy
+Post-mastectomy adjustable cups+Flattering shape 

The Spanish brand has recently launched a range of masectomy lingerie, including this swimsuit with adaptable cups to house prosthetic breasts. It also includes reversible bathing suits that you can wear on different sides. 

Next Ruffle Shape Enhancing Bandeau Swimsuit

(Image credit: Next)

Next Ruffle Shape Enhancing Bandeau Swimsuit

Specifications
RRP: $49/£36
Size range : US: 2-16/UK: 6-20
Reasons to buy
+Tummy control mesh+Detachable straps 

Conscious about your smaller bust? Frills and ruffles will make your frame look fuller. The shading on this bathing suit will create curves on straight-up-and-down frames too. 

Best for: taller frames

If you're tall, you may find that bathing suits can be uncomfortable to wear, opting for a two-piece instead. Shopping brand's dedicated tall ranges can help negate that problem, with styles that are designed with your frame in mind. Be bold and play around with different styles—you can pull it off!

J.Crew Long-torso ruffle scoopback one-piece swimsuit

(Image credit: J Crew)

J.Crew Long-torso ruffle scoopback one-piece swimsuit

Specifications
RRP: $110/£123
Sizes: US 0-16/UK XS-XL
Reasons to buy
+Fully lined+Removable padding in the cups 

We love that J.Crew offers so many of their bathing suit styles in both classic and long torso options so that the proportions are all right if you are on the tall side. 

Miraclesuit Avanti Long Torso One Piece Bathing Suit

(Image credit: Miraclesuit)

Miraclesuit Avanti Long Torso One Piece Bathing Suit

Specifications
RRP: $176/£160
Sizes: US 6-14/UK 10-18
Reasons to buy
+Designed for long torsos+Tummy control fabric 

With hidden underwire, you can be rest assured this bandeau style will stay in place while the shirring around the tummy creates a rippled effect so there's no need to feel as conscious as with tighter styles. Plus, the longer length means you can avoid any awkward poolside wardrobe malfunctions.

Boden Corsica Swimsuit

(Image credit: Boden)

Boden Corsica Swimsuit

Specifications
RRP: $98/£70
Size range: US 2-22/UK 6-22
Reasons to buy
+Adjustable straps+Molded cups 

Being tall gives you plenty of license to play around with different shapes and patterns when shopping for swimwear. Don't shy away from vibrant, look-at-me colors. 

Best for: petites

Much like those with taller frames, shopping for swimwear can be frustrating if you're close to 5", so try petite ranges. Vertical stripes, high-cut legs and deep necklines will all serve to make your figure look longer. 

Roxy Beach Classics One-piece Swimsuit

(Image credit: Roxy)

Roxy Beach Classics One-piece Swimsuit

Specifications
RRP: $85/£70
Sizes: XS-XL
Reasons to buy
+Cross straps at the back+Removable padding 

Vertical stripes help to elongate the torso by drawing the eye up and down. This gorgeous style has a crossover back and is perfect for cup sizes A-C.

H&M High Leg Shaping Swimsuit

(Image credit: H&M)

H&M High Leg Shaping Swimsuit

Specifications
RRP: $34.99/£24.99
Size range: XXS-XL
Reasons to buy
+Fully lined+Snug fit 

Specially made bathing suits for body types on the petite side will ensure the fabric doesn't swamp your frame. If you want to shop in the main range, high leg cuts will make your legs look longer.  

Warehouse Abstract Animal Tie Shoulder Swimsuit

(Image credit: Warehouse)

Warehouse Abstract Animal Tie Shoulder Swimsuit

Specifications
RRP: £29
Sizes: UK 6-16
Reasons to buy
+Cut out back +Tie straps 

If you have a shorter torso and find that bathing suits can sometimes sag in the wrong places, try self-tying styles. That way, you can tighten to your own preferences  so that you feel a little more secure.