Woman sunbathing on beach
Image Source White/Image Source/Getty Images

Swimsuit shopping can be an intimidating task for women with post-winter arms that have been hibernating beneath chunky sweaters. Once you find a style that flatters and takes the focus away from big arms, you'll no doubt be hitting the beach without a care in the world; and no, you will not be wearing a wet suit.

What to Look For

Swimsuits with v-neck or halter necklines are a great option for women with big arms because they draw attention to the neck and chest and away from arms. Opt for wide straps and avoid thin ones, which emphasize large arms. Also stay away from suits with shiny straps, which will only put the focus on arms. Instead, opt for matte fabrics, which have a slimming effect.

Highlight Assets

A great way to downplay large arms is to find swimsuit styles and details that put the focus on your assets. If you have a small waist or want to highlight your bust, opt for styles that have fun details near that area. Think hardware on a thin belt or charms near your decolletage. You can also experiment with colors and prints to play up assets and downplay large arms. If you have a toned bottom, look for a two-piece with a light bottom and a dark colored top. The lighter color will draw attention to your bottom, while the darker color acts as a neutral to downplay the focus on your upper half. Prints strategically placed on certain areas can also do wonders to downplay arms. A small print on top can highlight your bust but still keep the focus away from arms.

Find the Right Fit

Swimsuits are more body conscious than regular clothing, so it's crucial that the fit is right. Most styles are cut smaller, so go up a size if you feel uncomfortable or if the fabric is cutting into your skin. Especially look for give under your arms and around the back. Any tightness in that area will only emphasize larger arms.


Cover-ups are a great option if you're not ready to fully reveal your arms. Styles in light fabrics with long or batwing sleeves still show a little skin without putting emphasis on your arms. A semi-sheer tunic or kaftan style with a colorful print makes a great beach glam look.