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How to Shop Cheeky Swimwear This Summer & THE Cheeky Brand to Watch

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The calendar says it’s August, but I don’t quite believe it. This year has gone by in a haze of home-based activities and, if we’re being honest, wine drinking. Even so, we are in the heart of the summer and that demands a cute and sexy swimsuit. Personally, I don’t have any beach trips planned, and you probably don’t either. And I’m not bringing that up to promote more wine-drinking, either. Nope, I’m going to do that annoying thing and talk about silver linings. Here it is: The advantage of sticking close to home through summer is that it’s easier to experiment with swimwear — specifically, cheeky swimwear — that’s outside your comfort zone.

What is a cheeky swimsuit?

Cheeky swimwear shows off more of your bum than a traditional swimsuit bottom. In terms of cut, a cheeky suit covers more of your rear than a thong and less than a hipster style. You can find cheeky cuts on one-piece suits, but they’re more commonly seen on bikinis. Also, a cheeky bottom can have a high thigh cut or a low one.

Why would I wear cheeky swimwear?

Cheeky swim bottoms that fit properly are actually quite flattering. A fuller coverage bottom tends to squish your rump down flat and then create an unnatural crease below the fabric. That problem is especially apparent with heavier construction, tummy control suits. Those suits are trying to hold your curves in a tight package, which is generally less flattering than letting your curves be. If you’ve ever thought that you look better naked than in a swimsuit, that’s why.

And, since a cheeky suit doesn’t have that butt-girdle effect, it’s more comfortable, too.

Am I too old/fat/skinny to wear cheeky swimwear?

I turned 48 this year and my favorite suits in each of the last three summers have been cheeky. I wear them at home and, yes, I do wear them in public places — even to the community pool in my neighborhood. If another mom or a teenager or a grandma wants to judge me for baring half of my behind, they can. I don’t really care. Cheeky bottoms make my backside look plumper and I like that.

Anecdote aside, cheeky swimwear looks good on anyone who can wear it confidently. This swimsuit style can work for older women, young women, skinny women, and curvy women. And confidence is only a factor because it affects how you present yourself.

How to shop cheeky suits

1. Fit first

A poorly fitting cheeky suit isn’t going to do you any favors. So, the first factor to consider is always fit. The suit should sit naturally on top of your skin, without digging or creasing into your cheeks, hips, or stomach. The cut and construction of the suit are obviously big factors, but so is the size itself. If you’re trying suits on in a store, be open to getting a bigger size. While it’s natural to try and stick with “your size,” sizes are far too inconsistent across brands to mean anything at all. If the size of the suit that fits you is terribly bothersome, cut the tag out after you buy it.

2. Light fabric, seamless design

The cheeky suits I like best have a lightweight fabric and seamless design. Heavy seams are usually the reason why a suit cuts into you and creates unnatural ridges. A ruffle edge can camouflage the seam and the corresponding crease — but only go that route if the suit is actually comfortable.

3. Cut

Cheeky cuts can range from bold (meaning it’s practically a thong) to more conservative (it’s a hair smaller than a standard bikini). Go as bold as you feel comfortable. A look at your backside in the mirror can help you decide. Or, ask your Significant Other. My guess is that you’ll get lots of encouragement for showing off that bum.

If you plan on doing anything in your suit, like running, swimming, surfing, or playing volleyball, make sure the cut can handle the movement. You can easily mimic physical activity if you’re trying suits on at home, but don’t forget to do it in the dressing room, too. Walk around, do a few jumping jacks, sit down, and stand up.

Featured cheeky brand: HeatherLeigh Swimwear  

You can up your swimwear game this summer with a sexy suit from HeatherLeigh Swimwear. The design team set out to improve the cheeky bikini bottom with innovative improvements that create a more natural fit. Two features I’d like to highlight are the adjustability of the bottoms and the seamless backside.


A closer look at the Piper bottom from HeatherLeigh shows off sliding, adjustable straps at the hip. Use those sliders to adjust the bikini bottom’s tightness and position. If you want to wear it high on your hip — hello, 1985! — go for it. Or, if you prefer to wear it low, like Beyoncé in the ’90s, you can do that too.

I love this design detail as a better alternative to the side-tie bikini. I have owned a few side-tie bikinis in my day and, though I love the adjustability, I don’t love the way they look under a cute cover-up. These sliders offer the same adjustability without the bulk.

Seamless backside

HeatherLeigh Swimwear solved for seam-digging by using a fold at the bikini’s edge instead of a seam. That fold sits naturally on top of your rump and lets your curves hold their true shape. It’s as flattering as panties with a raw edge, only it looks a lot nicer.  

Price and fit guide

HeatherLeigh Swimwear suits retail for $80, or $40 for the top and $40 for the bottom. Also, the brand has done away with traditional sizing (hooray!) and uses bullet points instead. See the fit guide for more information.

Sexy swimwear giveaway

Heather Leigh Swimwear sponsored this post AND a giveaway — which means you have the chance to win a cheeky swimsuit for free. What better way to try out this sexy style with no commitment? Enter for your chance to win a Heather Leigh suit and matching accessories now!