What’s more terrifying than trying on swimsuits surrounded by mirrors in fluorescent lights? Paying a small fortune for a piece of body-baring Spandex. But don’t worry, we got your back (seriously, we do) and have put together this list of the cheap bathing suit brands that help you look good and save a few bucks.
Rules of Swimsuit Shopping
First, it’s usually a good idea to go up a size. At least start there and then go back down if it’s too big. For most of us, that’s better than feeling discouraged when our regular size doesn’t fit — which happens most of the time.
When trying on suits, give “the girls” a manual boost in the suit to make sure they’re securely in the right place.
If you can’t find the perfect fit, suits can be easily tailored. Straps can be shortened and inserts can be sewn into the lining of the cups.
Once you found a suit you love, make sure you take care of it by hand-washing it after every use, and never put it in the dryer (the heat melts the Spandex).
Now, on to the nitty gritty of swimsuit brands — here are our picks for the best swimsuit brands on the market today.
Best Swimsuit Brands to Wear Now
Best Trendy Swimwear: ASOS
Looking for a swimsuit with a bit of edge? Just click over to ASOS for suits that are as cutting-edge as the latest runway looks. You’ll find 3-D floral embellishments, ruffles, gold hardware and cutouts in every style for $50-60 for a one-piece. You can also take a peek at ASOS Outlet for items up to 70 percent off the regular price.
Best Swimsuits for Quality: Land’s End
If you don’t want to get a new suit every season, then Land’s End is your brand. The suits feature enhancements like sun protection and bust support. We like that the plus-size options feature cross-back straps for extra support.
For the most part, tops and bottoms are sold separately, so you can find the best fit for every part of your body. But this can add to the expense of the suit.
Best Casual Swimsuits: Target
One of the reasons Target’s clothing is so popular is that it actually fits really well, and that includes swimsuits. Most of Target’s swimsuits are priced $20-40, and the retailer has a nice selection of plus-size options — so you will find a suit that works.
A piece of advice: the selection online is significantly better than the in-store options, so order online. You can return the item in-store if it doesn’t fit.
Best Swimsuits for Teens: dELiA*s
Aerie is a great place to find swimsuits if you’re a teen or petite. The swimsuit collection features tops and bottoms in the $30-35 range for each, in fashion-forward patterns like polka dots and bright stripes.
The quality is OK — the swimsuit isn’t going to last more than two or three seasons. But for the price, that’s not a bad trade-off.
Best Splurge Swimwear: Talbots
Talbots pays the same careful attention to detail in its swim line as its tailored suits. These suits are made for classy ladies — they’re not too revealing or bold in style, but they do fit and flatter most body types.
Go-to features for Talbots suits include ruching, halter tops and use of pattern to draw the eye. They’re also fully lined, so you won’t have any see-through surprises after you emerge from the water.
Best Plus-Size Swimsuits: Forever21
Plus-size swimwear has undergone a major revolution — with ugly floral prints and suits that cover every part of your body taking a back seat to plus-size bikinis and shape-enhancing suits with strategically placed cut outs.
Forever21 is leading this revolution on the budget front, with figure-flattering, plus-size swimsuits in a variety of awesome colors and styles.
As a Southern California transplant now living in the Midwest, Catherine has turned layering into an art form and accepted that UGGs actually do have a place in the stylish lady's wardrobe. She's been featured in Woman's World Magazine, DrLaura.com, Refinery29, Wellness.com and has made appearances on ABC7 Chicago, FOX2News St. Louis, KCAL9 Los Angeles, Fox19 Cincinnati, WGN TV Chicago and WCPO TV Cincinnati.
Thanks for stopping by! I'm Catherine, your Budget Fashionista style editor. I'm a bargain shopper at heart, as I love nice things but hate paying for them! I'm also a personal finance writer who's been featured on USA Today and MSN Money.
The Budget Fashionista® has been empowering fashion-minded women of all ages to look their best for less since 2003.
Catherine Brock and The Budget Fashionista have been featured on Fox2 St. Louis, ABC7 Chicago, CBS2 Los Angeles, WGN Chicago, WCPO Cincinnati and more.