Skip to Content

How to: Finding the High-Waist Swimwear Style for You

This post may contain affiliate links. See our privacy policy.

The high waistlines and modest cuts of retro-inspired bottoms are all over the internet these days—but are the headlines claiming their universally flattering qualities correct? Site after site likens the high-waist silhouette to the bootcut jean of swimwear, claiming shapes big and small, squat and tall can rock a high-waist bottom.

These style advisors aren’t wrong, but not all high-waist bottoms are made equal. It still pays to know what styles, embellishments and shades suit you and your unique shape. Take a look at the five options we’ve broken down for you below, and then you’ll be ready to get shopping.

High Cut & High Waisted

When to wear it:
The higher thigh cuts will elongate your legs and make you look taller. Choose this style if the higher waistline cuts your torso and you’re already on the shorter side.

Slim in Stripes

When to wear it:
Vertical stripes work the same in any silhouette. In other words, if you try on a solid style but still want something more slimming, call in the stripes!

Embellishments for Curves

Blue, two-piece swimsuit with triangle top and full coverage bottoms
The Becca High Waisted Swim Bottom in Stargate Blue, $57.60, Vaute

When to wear it:
If you’re slim and lacking in the curve department, you can add some the illusion of volume with a few frills, ruffles or ruching.

Dramatic in Dark

When to wear it: 
Dark color has always been a secret to slimming and flattering, and high-waist styles are no different. Go for classic black or a deep navy in clean, minimal fabrics.

Cutouts for Impact

When to wear it: 
Want your waist to look smaller? Or to show off your hips and curves? Cutouts are your best friend — they can direct the eye to all the right places.

For Your First Time

If you’re used to teeny-tiny bottoms (like cheeks or the new Brazilians, if you will), these more demure styles can take some getting used to. The same way a high-thigh one-piece seems odd when you first put it on, the retro-influenced bikini bottom takes a certain mindset.

Our advice? Don’t buy your first one online. Instead, block off your calendar and head to the mall to try on high-waisted swimwear. Once you get used to seeing tings more covered up, you can shift your focus to finding a style that fits your body and personality.

Sound off in the comments and let us know your favorite variations of this trendy swim style!

Get Budget Fashionista in your inbox!

Help! What Can I do About Early Signs of Aging?
← Read Last Post
Flashback Fashion Friday: What Ever Happened to 5-7-9?
Read Next Post →