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Swimwear: Bathing Suits for All Sizes

Updated on March 21, 2013

I know every woman in this country, in this world for that matter are many different shapes and sizes. Considering this, wouldn't it make sense for bathing suits to accommodate to all sizes and shapes as well? If bathing suit designers/manufacturers/stores ONLY sell petite sizes or only sell large size bathing suits, isn't that discrimination?

Why should these companies/people dictate whether or not you choose to go to the beach? Shouldn't we all be allowed to comfortably shop in any store for any size or shape? Although, in theory 'equal opportunity shopping' would be fantastic, in reality, it hardly exists. So, here is a 'guide' of sorts to help everyone shop for what suits them!

Starting today, we need to empower ourselves and tackle swimsuit season head on. Lets make it our mission to find the perfect suit and enjoy ourselves in the sun embracing our small breasts, big thighs, tiny torso, muscular arms, large stature or whatever shape you may be!

Small Bust

For all small busted women, this is your time to shine! You have the freedom to wear almost any type of bathing suit top! You can reach for any bold patterns, sequins, ruffles or bows. Be sure to buy a top that has adjustable straps, which will help with fit in accordance to your size. You also have the freedom to wear bandeau tops which are only recommended for small busts!

If you'd like to look 'fuller', opt for bright colors and large prints. You can also buy a top with 'padding', which will look completely natural with the right fit. Another nifty trick is to wear solid bottoms with a printed top as that will draw attention to the top.

Small Busts - Bold Colors
Small Busts - Bold Colors
Small Busts - Bandeau, Ruffles
Small Busts - Bandeau, Ruffles

Big Bust

For big-busted women (any cup size above a C), a halter top or a top with thick straps is recommended. With such 'ample breastage', support is a MUST for jumping around in water. For women larger than a 'D' cup, I'd highly recommend a top with an underwire, which will provide extra support and beautify your cleavage.

If you'd like to flaunt what you have, go for any color/pattern you'd like, but try to avoid teeny tiny straps because you don't want to look like your falling out, or even worse, actually fall out!

If you'd like to minimize your bust, stick to muted colors, avoid busy patterns and stripes, and find a suit that will 'lie flat' across the chest. So make sure the actual fabric covering the area is thick and not too sheer. Also look for a suit that is not too 'long', meaning the breasts should be supported high up, to avoid collision with your mid-section area.

Big Bust - Support it
Big Bust - Support it
Big Bust - Minimize it
Big Bust - Minimize it

Wide Shoulders

For women with a wide shoulder span no need to fret! Its easy to balance out wide shoulders. Choose a suit bottom with lots of colors or patterns to focus the attention away from the broadness. Also opt for tops that have adjustable straps so that you can cater to your exact measurements.

Try to avoid any shapes, colors that will make your bottom seem smaller. If you want to flaunt your goddess-like stature (which you should), try a squared neck-line which doesn't really minimize shoulders but will create a great 'upper-body' shape!

Wide Shoulder - Balance Top
Wide Shoulder - Balance Top
Wide Shoulder - Focus on Bottom
Wide Shoulder - Focus on Bottom

No Waist

'No Waist' is semi-harsh so lets go with slim hips. For slim hips its quite simple to create an illusion of curves. Try to create curves with a bottom that sits 'high.' (Aka wear a bottom that is not low-rise and place the straps above your hip bones)

Bikini bottoms that have lots of detailing is perfect. Try to search for bottoms with side ties, bows on the sides, rings, etc. Do not wear solid colored bottoms that lie completely flat.

No Waist - Side Ties
No Waist - Side Ties
No Waist - Banded Bottom
No Waist - Banded Bottom

Tummy Trouble

Naturally, with age (and babies), it's going to be more difficult to control this area! Try any of these streamlined but still sexy bathing suits. Its not wrong to wear color or patterns if that's what you like! Obviously those, there are certain things you could avoid such as extra patterns, colors or 'whistles' along the tummy. Try not to wear a dark color on top and then a bright color on bottom.

If you love to flaunt what you have wear that bright pink bathing suit. Try to keep the sides streamlined, try to avoid patterns, and make sure the material is fairly thick and supporting. If you would really like to minimize the tummy, go for a specifically banded tummy suit. There are so many around these days! It will give you the protection while being completely discrete.

Tummy - Flaunt
Tummy - Flaunt

Thick Thighs/Short Legs

If you have thick thighs, contrary to popular belief I do not support boy shorts or skirts. It does 'cover' the area theoretically, but it adds bulk and honestly people will assume you are larger. I recommend a dark and neutral color with no patterns. Also, something that has full coverage and is made of thick material. The material must lie flat. Surprisingly, I also recommend a bottom that is cut very high, but with full coverage. This may sound dangerous but in fact, will lengthen your legs and make you appear slimmer if the sides are streamlined. After all, this is about body shape acceptance!

For petite girls with thin but very short legs, the same rules apply except with pattern and color. If you are slim in the thighs go crazy in choosing any color, pattern, and detailing. The only rule that applies is the cut. To elongate the leg once again, go for focus on the top and a high-cut bottom preferably with side ties to help lengthen even further.


Are you voluptuous and sexy? For women who are curvy all around, it is natural for swimsuit shopping to be a bit more tricky. (so unfair!) Do not wear all black- its so sad and drab and why not reach for color when going to the beach. Definitely choose a suit that has a deep V neckline it will elongate the torso and body overall plus it'll enhance your cleavage.

Go for suits that have panels of inserts in strategic places such as the sides or the front, that is where your shape shines. You can try bursts of color, sweeping lines, detailing etc. Avoid extra or baggy fabric, it'll just make you look droopy, and won't hide a thing. Always add on something you love in an area where you are most confidant. There is nothing wrong with having a bow on your shoulder!

Curvy - Knockout
Curvy - Knockout
Curvy - Bombshell
Curvy - Bombshell


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    • Magicality LM profile image

      Magicality LM 

      24 months ago

      it's funny that most brands selling/displaying plus size bathing suits tend to model them with non-plus size shaped models ...

    • profile image


      6 years ago

      i wonder how much the pink floral bathing suit for big busts are?

    • yenajeon profile imageAUTHOR

      Yena Williams 

      6 years ago from California

      Bee: I believe it is from Roxy swimwear. :)

    • profile image


      7 years ago

      Where is the white ruffle bikini from

    • yenajeon profile imageAUTHOR

      Yena Williams 

      7 years ago from California

      Hi Hailey: That is actually a victoria's secret swimsuit. Unfortunately, it's from their 2009 collection. You may want to check back at their site, because they'll probably have a similar suit in the same silhouette. Good Luck!

    • profile image


      7 years ago

      Question for you: where is the black bust minimizing swim suit from? I really like it!

    • yenajeon profile imageAUTHOR

      Yena Williams 

      8 years ago from California

      Londonlady: Thanks! I'm glad it was useful to you.

    • Londonlady profile image

      Laura Writes 

      8 years ago

      This is definitely useful, especially now with Summer approaching! The pictures were nicely used, great hub! Voted UP!

    • yenajeon profile imageAUTHOR

      Yena Williams 

      8 years ago from California

      Being tanned in general is fabulous! Of course with SPF 50 (at least) of course. Being wrinkly and sun-damaged at 40 is not fabulous at all.

    • yenajeon profile imageAUTHOR

      Yena Williams 

      9 years ago from California

      Hi Kea! Yes, bathingsuit season is definitely creeping up on us! Thanks for the comment =)

    • kea profile image


      9 years ago

      Great hub with great pictures. I need to get one of these swimsuits for myself!

    • yenajeon profile imageAUTHOR

      Yena Williams 

      9 years ago from California

      Springboard: I'm pretty sure every woman in the world will appreciate your comment! You're right that all different kinds of women can be beautiful and there's no one defining thing. Thanks so much for reading =)

    • Springboard profile image


      9 years ago from Wisconsin

      I really enjoy the underlying premise of this hub, which whether intended or not, speaks to the many different body types that women have. And I have to tell you, I appreciate all of them. Women do not have to be in some standard in order to be beautiful. There is so much more that makes a woman stand out for me. I like diversity as much as anything. Seeing at least a portion of that diversity of beauty in bathing suits is an even more special treat. :)

    • yenajeon profile imageAUTHOR

      Yena Williams 

      9 years ago from California

      Aw Mr. Nice, I appreciate that!

    • Mr Nice profile image

      Mr Nice 

      9 years ago from North America

      Wow yenajeon,

      Nice collection of swimwear and the ladies inside the swimwear are very cute.

    • yenajeon profile imageAUTHOR

      Yena Williams 

      9 years ago from California

      thanks prasetio! I think every woman should read it as well, and then hit the beach!

    • prasetio30 profile image


      9 years ago from malang-indonesia

      wonderful information .Woman should read this hub. Nice picture.

    • yenajeon profile imageAUTHOR

      Yena Williams 

      9 years ago from California

      Habee: Thanks for the compliment. The pictures are because I'm such a visual person myself !

      Pmccray: Yes, I think more clothing designers should take all shapes into consideration. Personally, I'm pretty short so its impossible to ever find pants/jeans!

      Thank you for the comments, it means so much=)

    • pmccray profile image


      9 years ago from Utah

      Excellent and informative hub especially for us full figured women. I never realized that a higher cut in a full suit would lengthen the leg, but I see in the picture that it does. We are always covering up and you're right it only serves to make you look thicker. Thanks again, and blessings to you and yours.

    • habee profile image

      Holle Abee 

      9 years ago from Georgia

      This is a great hub - very helpful. I love that you added pics to illustrate!


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