Swimsuit season may send women of any size into a tizzy. For plus-sized ladies in particular, swimsuit shopping might seem like an even more overwhelming task; the selection of plus-sized swimsuits that are both flattering and attractive is thin. Finding a look to flatter larger bodies might seem complicated, but with a bit of know-how and determination, picking out a swimsuit becomes a breeze, regardless of your size.

Body Shape

No matter what a woman’s size, the key to finding flattering clothing — including swimsuits — lies with finding something to flatter her body shape. Some women have an apple shape while others are shaped like an hourglass or a pear.

Naming a definitively perfect swimsuit for plus sizes is nearly impossible because women have so many varying body shapes. However, some suits flatter certain body shapes more than others, which can help larger ladies know what to look for. For instance, plus-size women with a pear shape might seek out a one-piece with a flared skirt to minimize the stomach area, while women with an hourglass shape might benefit from a two-piece.

Cuts and Styles

Plus-sized swimsuits often come in one piece in order to hide stomachs, but two-piece options exist as well. Many plus-sized women opt for a tankini, which is a two-piece bathing suit that has the coverage of a one-piece. Tankinis allow for a better fit for women who are sized differently up top and on bottom, but don’t want as much exposure as some women.

Swimsuits in a retro style, with more thigh coverage and a sweetheart neckline, prove flattering for numerous body types. Bathing suits with an attached skirt work well for women who want to cover up their thighs.

Colors and Patterns

Many plus-sized women feel like they must wear black or other dark, solid colors to look good in a swimsuit, but this line of thinking is outdated. Larger women can pull off patterns and bold, bright colors as well as smaller women.

Regardless of a woman’s size, she should choose colors and patterns that flatter her. A woman with a smaller upper body who wants to draw attention away from a large stomach or waist should consider swimsuits with patterns up top and a solid color down below, for instance. Look for colors and patterns to complement your skin tone, which will make the difference between a color that pops or falls flat.


The shape and style of a swimsuit means next to nothing if it doesn’t provide the proper support needed. Plus-sized ladies often have more than the average woman to hold in place, chest-wise. A swimsuit that doesn’t support a bust properly winds up looking sloppy and unflattering.

The best swimsuits for plus-sized women feature shelf support that feels as sturdy as a real bra, built right into the suit. Swimsuits for ladies with larger chests also should have wider straps so they don’t dig into her shoulders, and to distribute the weight of her chest more. If stomach support is more a concern than chest support, seek out swimsuits with tummy control panels built in to the front and sides of the swimsuit; this gives a smoother look to the suit.