Bikini Bods

Shopping for a Bikini?

No matter what time of year it is, it is always swimsuit season. Even if the sun is not shining in your part of the world, you may be going on vacation soon, or hopping into the pool! Besides, you should not let your body get too far out of shape, or it will be difficult to get toned in time for the next time the sun warms the earth and people start wearing fewer clothes. The bottom line (so to speak) is to keep your weight within the same general range from year to year. If you have a healthy BMI (body mass index), then do your best not to gain or lose more than 10-15 pounds per year. With each decade you age, it can be that much harder to take weight off that you put on!

One of the most popular swimsuit styles for women is the bikini. A two piece suit, it generally resembles lingerie. It made its splash in 1946, as swimsuits continued to get smaller than the turn-of-the-century modest dresses that women once wore.

Today, there are a number of versions you can find in the stores, from extra skimpy string bikinis, to halter tops, or sporty styles. Teenagers are not the only women that can wear them, either. Celebrities like Demi Moore and Elizabeth Hurley have shown that women into their 40s can look hot in 2-piece swimsuits. Perhaps more importantly, a model's body is not required to pull off the look. Many plus-size women can confidently wear a bikini. In fact, curves are especially sexy with this style!

A star-spangled bikini
A star-spangled bikini
The World's First Bikini - 1946!  (we've come a long way...)
The World's First Bikini - 1946! (we've come a long way...)

What Bikinis are Best for My Bod?

In deciding what bikini might work for you personally, take a look at your body shape and determine if there are certain "problem" areas. For example, large-busted women will need support on top, and should stay away from strapless styles that will lead to sagging. If your carry some weight in the tummy area, you might not want bikini bottoms that are extra low-cut. Adding 1/2 inch in the rise towards your belly button may give you extra confidence and comfort. Be sure to check out the rear view, too. You may not want your checks hanging out (unless you're buying a G-string style). Spending a bit more on quality swimsuit brands is worth the extra cost. Materials will hold up longer and will not stretch out as a result of exposure to sun and chlorine.

You do not need to be a size small to wear a bikini! As long as you purchase a swimsuit that fits, you can wear it with confidence and look great. We'll get to some tips below as to how to get you in tip top shape, to boost the hotness factor. But don't despair if don't resemble America's Top Model. Most of us don't!

Simple, subdued swimsuit styles
Simple, subdued swimsuit styles
Elizabeth Hurley - always looks good!
Elizabeth Hurley - always looks good!
Black bikinis - great on many bodies!
Black bikinis - great on many bodies!

The Tankini - A Modest Alternative

Want to wear a 2-piece, but still a bit shy?

Try out a tankini, instead of a bikini! There are many great styles of this swimsuit, as well, ranging from sporty to sexy! Generally, they offer more coverage than a bikini because the top extends over the torso, like a tank top. They come with separate bottoms, allowing for mix and match styles and creative sunbathing.

If you like to water-ski or play beach volleyball, this may be the suit for you! Looking for more information on modest styles? Check out this Hub!

Also, expectant mothers may be overjoyed at the styles available now. A far cry from the skirted swimsuits marketed 10-15 years ago, maternity tankinis allow moms to feel sexy and attractive.

Of course, you'll want to try on a few swimsuits before taking one home. Make sure they fit well and compliment your body shape and size. Focus particularly on the fit of the bottoms and the support for your breasts. Again, there are plus-size tankinis available, just as there are bikinis. Remember, good quality swimsuits will hold up longer and may be worth the extra investment!

Sporty tankini
Sporty tankini
Maternity tankini options available too
Maternity tankini options available too

Getting Ready to Shed Your Clothes

What woman loves to try on swimsuits? Not many, I'd guess. Most likely it has to do with the fact that the fluorescent lighting in dressing rooms is pretty unforgiving. Not to mention the fact that you probably have not prepared your skin for public viewing.

Before you don a bikini (or any swimwear), be sure to shower and shave, using a fresh, sharp razor. Several days in advance, you might want to start gently exfoliating your skin, paying particular attention to knees, elbows and heels. If you can spring for a pedicure, do so! Painted toenails look nice and polished.

Be sure to generously apply moisturizing lotion all over. Dry skin looks wan and unhealthy. Some lotions now come with self tanning components which can give your skin extra glow when used regularly. Other formulations contain small, light-reflecting particles that can give your skin a light sheen, making it look pretty.

Gorgeous embroidered style
Gorgeous embroidered style
Wonderful 2-piece swimsuit options for all shapes and sizes!
Wonderful 2-piece swimsuit options for all shapes and sizes!

Spring into Swimsuit Shape

A cheery orange style of bikini is nice
A cheery orange style of bikini is nice

Athletic Bikini Bodies

Are You Healthy?

Body Mass Index (BMI) is generally determined to be in the following range:

Skinny - less than 18.5%

Healthy - less than 24.9%

Overweight - less than 29.9%

Obese - over 30%

  • If you have any questions, be sure to consult your doctor

A great looking, athletic bikini body
A great looking, athletic bikini body

What About Weight Loss?

Slow, steady weight loss is the way to go. You can't look at the calendar and expect to shed 20 pounds in a month (at least not by doing so in a healthy manner).

Be realistic. If you are carrying extra weight, focus on toning up and getting stronger. Of course, by making dietary changes and exercising regularly (at least 30-45 minutes of cardio, 5 days a week), you will feel stronger and healthier and look great in a bikini - no matter your size! Don't expect to spot-reduce, unless you lose weight overall. In other words, if you have belly fat, you need to work on overall weight loss, instead of worrying about doing sit-ups alone. Adding weight-bearing exercises to your cardiovascular workouts will help add fuel to the fire with respect to your metabolism.

To lose one pound, you will have to burn or cut out 3500 calories from your diet. Considering the fact that a healthy diet of a woman is approximately 1500-2000 calories a day, you should not expect to lose more than 1.5 -2.0 pounds a week, at the most.

Chose healthy, high grain and high fiber alternatives and drink a lot of water and you will help move the weight loss along. Over time, loss of a few pounds, or even just tightening of your muscles will give you more confidence, allowing you to wear that swimsuit with pride!

How to Buy a Swimsuit for a Full Rear End

How to Buy a Swimsuit for an Athletic Body

The Bottom Line on Bikinis

There are many styles of two piece swimsuits available, for all sizes and shapes. So many can be flattering, even if you don't fall within the range of what you might ordinarily see on magazine pages!

Before donning a bikini, your first goal should be to be to get your skin looking nice, which you can do by exfoliation, shaving and moisturizing. Next, tone up, with some regular exercise and weightlifting. You will always look healthier if you are getting good sleep (7-8 hours a night), drinking plenty of fresh, clear fluids each day, and avoiding alcohol.

Wear what makes you feel good and proud. But above all, get out and enjoy the summer weather or vacation days!

© 2008 Stephanie Hicks

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Comments 67 comments

Eileen Hughes profile image

Eileen Hughes 8 years ago from Northam Western Australia

You found some real good figures on them. I laugh when I look back to wearing them soooo many years ago. Thanks for sharing

2patricias profile image

2patricias 8 years ago from Sussex by the Sea

Very comprehensive. Thanks.

cflynn profile image

cflynn 8 years ago from Ireland

a good reminder to get crunching...abs not crisps!

pgrundy 8 years ago

Great hub! I haven't worn ANY kind of swimsuit in at least 6 years. I own one though! I have been walking 30-45 minutes daily with our dog for the past 5 months. Maybe I should dust off that tank and try it on. (Ac k!)

stephhicks68 profile image

stephhicks68 8 years ago from Bend, Oregon Author

Thanks everyone - this is kind of my own inspiration to get my rear in gear too. If it wasn't for my kids, I would try to avoid swimsuits too (LOL). pgrundy, I'll bet you're doing great!

amy jane profile image

amy jane 8 years ago from Connecticut

Great hub, Steph - very balances :) Good motivation to tone up! I agree - if I didn't have kids insisting on going to the beach / pool, I would avoid bathing suits altogether!

compu-smart profile image

compu-smart 8 years ago from London UK

Mmm ,,,,i Just poped in for some eye candy;),,,,Bikinis always look good and is also one of my favorite words!! Hubber hubber hubber;)

Nice hub!

Misha profile image

Misha 8 years ago from DC Area

LOL Steph, I especially love the bottom line :D

Shirley Anderson profile image

Shirley Anderson 8 years ago from Ontario, Canada

Nice hub, Steph. I'd buy one of those suits if I thought I'd look that good in it. A reminder to us all that summer is right around the fast do you think a person can firm up their belly and thighs? Yikes!

Josedwwweb profile image

Josedwwweb 8 years ago from Bogota, Colombia

Bikinis are great as they let us admire the beauty of that marvelous creature we call woman.

In fact good toned bodies and well shapped figures are shown with grace by using bikinis by the beach and by the pool.

Bikinis are beautiful because they let us admire the women who wear them.

Jose Damaso Ramon

blangrehr profile image

blangrehr 8 years ago from Spartanburg SC

I turn green with envy every time I read one of your articles. So much talent, compassion and dang it, good looking too, it’s just not fair. Great hub, only thing that could make it better…a swim suite picture of the author! J

flread45 profile image

flread45 8 years ago from Montana

I just want to get in line..LOL

SweetiePie profile image

SweetiePie 8 years ago from Southern California, USA

Another thing you could add is about the history of the bikini, which was named after Bikini Atoll when the US evacuated the inhabitants of the island so they could test nuclear bombs there between 1946-1954.  The bikini was supposed to call attention to the new and sophisticated of the post World War II era.  However, nuclear testing destroyed the Bikini Atoll and the descendants of the original inhabitants remain in exile to this day because they will never be able to return to their radioactive island.  This is a really interesting hub, but I just thought I would add that tidbit about why the bikini was invented in 1946.

stephhicks68 profile image

stephhicks68 8 years ago from Bend, Oregon Author

Sweetie Pie - great comment! I thought about adding that information, and it would be great for a follow up HUB! I am loving all the other comments (I was out of town for 2 days....) :-)

How fast can someone tone up belly and thighs, Shirley? Hmmm.... not being an expert, but I'll bet you could see some good results in 4 weeks if you work on good eating habits too. Good luck!

SweetiePie profile image

SweetiePie 8 years ago from Southern California, USA

That would make a good follow-up hub. I will look forward to it :).

cgull8m profile image

cgull8m 8 years ago from North Carolina

Nice hub Steph. You are right, We all have to get ready for summer :)

saudada 8 years ago


Mary K Weinhagen profile image

Mary K Weinhagen 8 years ago from Minnesota, usa, Planet Earth

WOW! I never expected to get so much GREAT infoabout bikini's and bodies!!!

Brilliant job. Thanks!!!

Mary (who is sticking with a one piece) K


stephhicks68 profile image

stephhicks68 8 years ago from Bend, Oregon Author

Thank you cgull and Mary! :-)

seamus profile image

seamus 8 years ago

To answer a previous comment, you can firm up your tummy with pilates. =)

esocial profile image

esocial 8 years ago from California

oh my god - what an incredible hub, you put a ton of work into this! Great pictures, I especially love the black bikini that Liz Hurley is wearing above.

stephhicks68 profile image

stephhicks68 8 years ago from Bend, Oregon Author

Thank you for the tip, Seamus! Pilates is a great core workout. esocial, I completely agree. That is one great looking bikini!

solarshingles profile image

solarshingles 8 years ago from london

That is something for me! I am very happy to live now, and not in times, when bikini were not appropriate and allowed.

beachbum_gabby profile image

beachbum_gabby 8 years ago

wow! perfect for summer. :)

stephhicks68 profile image

stephhicks68 8 years ago from Bend, Oregon Author

Solarshingles - me too! Who wants to swim in a dress? beachbum_gabby - thanks for the comments!

rolandfrasier profile image

rolandfrasier 8 years ago from San Diego, California, USA

Steph! You always do such a great job, and I enjoy all of your hubs. Again, thanks and well done! Cheers, Roland

1upon 8 years ago

Hi, very tastefull pictures a nice change. Keep up the great work.

stephhicks68 profile image

stephhicks68 8 years ago from Bend, Oregon Author

Thanks Roland! 1upon, of course... I chose tasteful photos as that was not the purpose otherwise. :-) Steph

employeralliance profile image

employeralliance 8 years ago from Florida

Great Hub! Very appropriate for the coming summer season. I enjoy articles that aren't focused primarily on A-type bodies, and can help people of all shapes and sizes.

stephhicks68 profile image

stephhicks68 8 years ago from Bend, Oregon Author

Glad to hear it, employeralliance! Thanks for reading and giving me the input! Steph

Woody Marx profile image

Woody Marx 8 years ago from Ontario, Canada

Your page was so an intellectual way of course.

I would appreciate another page of such stimulating...ah...intellectuallity. ;)

thanks for the thrills steph!

hughmac profile image

hughmac 8 years ago from Nottingham

lol, even i had to look, it works every time, pictures of young ladies in bikinis, rock on!

Sibaire profile image

Sibaire 8 years ago

Great hub, I like the topic a lot ;)

RUTHIE17 8 years ago

Stephanie--Another great Hub!

One question though--Do you have any idea where the modesty of most of today's "suits" have gone? The suits you showed were for the most part OK, but some of the girls I see at the beachs leave NOTHING to the imagination. I don't think a "piece of string" between the cheeks should even be considered as the bottom part of a swimsuit!

Sigh---maybe I'm getting to old for some of the things going on in the world today but I was always told "A lady is as a lady does!"

stephhicks68 profile image

stephhicks68 8 years ago from Bend, Oregon Author

Fun comments, all! Hey Ruthie, I really don't know about the modesty issue.... you are right that there are some pretty risque suits out there. I am working on a follow-up hub with the history of the bikini and I found some real eye-openers about the microkini. Need I define that term?

Grand Cayman Travel 8 years ago

Great website!

vietnamese profile image

vietnamese 8 years ago from USA

wow! Haven't look at these kinds of pix in awhile! Thanks!

Raky 8 years ago

Great HUB.....Wow Its ranking good at google...I did search and it was there.

Appreciate your work and atrractive bodies collection.

glycodoc profile image

glycodoc 8 years ago

Great Hub about a great subject!

My wife wears a bikini and she looks great in it.

stephhicks68 profile image

stephhicks68 8 years ago from Bend, Oregon Author

Thank you glycodoc! I'm glad to hear that you appreciate your wife's beauty.

About-The-Home profile image

About-The-Home 8 years ago

Roll on bikini season!!

stephhicks68 profile image

stephhicks68 8 years ago from Bend, Oregon Author

Its about time, isn't it?

Seabastian profile image

Seabastian 8 years ago from Raleigh

I kept seeing your hub and I kept saying I am not going to look and get distracted. So much for willpower. good job.You made the content as entertaining as the pictures.

stephhicks68 profile image

stephhicks68 8 years ago from Bend, Oregon Author

Thank you Sebastian! See, it wasn't bad. :-)

PaulieWalnuts profile image

PaulieWalnuts 8 years ago from Chicago

Great "HubBini", thanks!

akeejaho profile image

akeejaho 8 years ago from Some where in this beautiful world!

Steph, Steph, Steph! Another great Hub! Love the variety of styles for all shapes! (But I think I might be a tad to fuzzy to wear one.)

I'll be looking forward to the next one. As always!

stephhicks68 profile image

stephhicks68 8 years ago from Bend, Oregon Author

Thank you akeejaho! I hate de-fuzzing too, but with bikinis, you don't dare otherwise. LOL! :-)

desert blondie profile image

desert blondie 8 years ago from Palm trees, swimming pools, lots of sand, lots of sunscreen

Wow! Just found this column!!! And while summer almost over for most of USA, folks heading to my part of USA, Palm Springs, want bathing suit ready bods all year 'round! Pilates really tones up/reduces size of abdominals, bums, thighs so quickly...but be prepared for feeling the aches that go with really exercised muscles!!!

stephhicks68 profile image

stephhicks68 8 years ago from Bend, Oregon Author

Thanks Desert Blondie!! You are right - even if summer is winding up in some parts of the world (or even the US), vacations often mean that we should be in shape and ready to hop in the pool, or lounge by the side in a cute swimsuit!

Research Analyst profile image

Research Analyst 8 years ago

Nice photos, swimwear can flatter the body or make it look worse depending on the style and color. Great hub.

stephhicks68 profile image

stephhicks68 8 years ago from Bend, Oregon Author

Right Research Analyst! No one has to be scared to put on swimwear, if they get the right style and cut for their body. Thanks for the comment!

weightlossadvice 8 years ago

i like your page greate info.

blondepoet profile image

blondepoet 7 years ago from australia

What a wonderful hub. A huge thumbs up from me. The bikini is such an icon now I adore them. Super pics too.

stephhicks68 profile image

stephhicks68 7 years ago from Bend, Oregon Author

Hi blondepoet - thank you! I enjoyed writing this, and its a perfect time to start thinking about bikini season coming up! :) Steph

blondepoet profile image

blondepoet 7 years ago from australia

Sniff my season is nearly over we are going through Autumn....these time differences are amazing

Pretty Model Girl profile image

Pretty Model Girl 7 years ago from Tempe, AZ

Really, really nice hub. Thanks for the advice.

Pretty Model Girl profile image

Pretty Model Girl 7 years ago from Tempe, AZ

As soon as I get in shape, I'm getting my body on this hub...

stephhicks68 profile image

stephhicks68 7 years ago from Bend, Oregon Author

Pretty Model Girl, its a deal! :)

worldlife profile image

worldlife 7 years ago from Lahore

good hub like mines

iwhcpanties 7 years ago

Great info/hub Ms Steph! I love the tankini halter tops with the high cut bottoms myself. I am an average build and I have found that this style suits me better!

tiptonite profile image

tiptonite 6 years ago from Leicester, England, UK

Don't know why Steph...but this hub caught my eye!!

Well written! Hope you are well!

stephhicks68 profile image

stephhicks68 6 years ago from Bend, Oregon Author

;-) Its a good one! Doing great - hope your training is going well, too.

breakingnews profile image

breakingnews 6 years ago from Pakistan

Nice Hub i like "Gorgeous embroidered style" as this style i simple but looking really very nice

As when any one looks these then he can feel somethings in their hearts.

bruzzbuzz profile image

bruzzbuzz 6 years ago from Texas , USA

Very nice eye candy and a well researched hub.

GmaGoldie profile image

GmaGoldie 6 years ago from Madison, Wisconsin


Love bikinis. Excellent photos and very well written.

I prefer a bikini for sun tanning and tankini for exercise, swim fitness.

Love, love swim fitness and anything related to the water.

poetryman6969 profile image

poetryman6969 3 years ago

The cure for winter blues

LISASKINNER 22 months ago


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