Plus Size Swimwear on a Budget

Plus size model wearing bikini by the pool

There is absolutely no reason why plus size sistas can’t be fabulous at the beach. It’s taken decades for swimwear designers to catch on to the fact that, hey, full-figured women like to swim, sunbathe, and worship the sun just like their thinner counterparts.

Whether you’re pear shaped, apple shaped, big breasted, sporting a lot of junk in the trunk, or you’ve just had a baby and you’re getting used to sagging skin (yep, skin does that), we’ve got a nice hodgepodge of sultry one-pieces, cute tankinis, and everything in between for plus-size fashionistas.

Perfect in Pink

This suit from Forever21 is unforgettably festive, thanks to a bright pink color that looks vibrant on any skin tone and a trendy, lace-up front.

One-piece swimsuits tend to be figure flattering, because the material shapes and contours your stomach and bum. Plus, you have thick straps to support the chest, and some padding for extra lift.

All you’ll need is some black flip flops and a sun hat, and you’re ready to go!

A Dress for (Swimwear) Success

Black one-piece, plus-size swim dress with hip slimming feature
Plus Size Croft & Barrow Crossover Swimdress, $44, Kohl’s

A crossover bodice and smart use of animal print give this suit the right balance of fun and function! The built-in bra and adjustable straps deliver support, while the pattern draws the eye up to your chest. A solid black waist and skirt slim the hips and balance your shape. If you don’t fancy the animal print, you can pick up the same suit with a polka-dot top half.

Charismatic in Color

Bright, two-piece swimsuit with tank top and high-waisted bottom
Women’s Plus Size Control Watercolor Stripe High Neck Tankini Swim Top-Beach Betty, $19.98, Target

High-waisted suits are trending right now, and this set from Target will flatter! The bottom comes up past your belly button, leaving you with a smooth and flat-looking stomach shape. And, the sporty tankini style top covers your bust completely. A zipper in the back supports the chest and guarantees a lifted shape.

The 80s-inspired colors are perfect for the beach, and we love the corresponding orange bottoms.

Updated Black One-piece

The color black — it’s always in fashion, and it’s got that magical slimming effect. Just like a black dress, a black swimsuit should be in every woman’s closet. Find one with good tummy control and you’ll be set to conquer the world. Or at least the beach

The LBD, Beach Style

Black, plus-size, one-piece swim dress with studding detail at the chest
Studded Band Swimdress, $44.99, Full Beauty

Why not wear your LBD to shore? This swimdress is simple, yet flattering. Black looks fabulous on everyone, and the embroidered band at the top of the bust adds enough color to keep it interesting. The net-like fabric will have you feeling like you’re not wearing much (in a good way) — you’ll be able to float through the waves in a comfortable garment with plenty of padding. If we could compare this piece to something, it would be a lingerie dress that’s sexy, simple and comfortable.

Pin Up Style

Those seemingly conservative, but really quite suggestive, one-pieces from the 50s are making a comeback. To borrow Marilyn Monroe’s flirty beach look, go with a halter top one-piece.

Carefully Placed Details

Before trying on a suit, examine its most eye-popping feature, because that is the area people will focus on when you wear the suit. Make sure you’re only highlighting one of your more positive assets.

A little pattern or color around the waistline adds definition to your figure and also makes your suit memorable, in a literal pool of other suits. As well, other elements of texture – like belts and ruffles and wraps – enhance the elegance of your suit and showcase your curves (in a good way). Solid color suits with simple, colorful details are a great place to start!

Skirtinis and Tankinis

You can totally do two pieces. In fact, two-pieces are easier to shop for than one-pieces. There aren’t as many rules for this realm of swimwear as there are with one-pieces, but try not to go for a pattern that will swallow you hole. For example, if you’ve got a busy top, get a solid color bottom (and vice versa). This is especially true if you’ve got a round body type.

Take caution with super long shorts or skirts. The higher the cut, the thinner and longer your legs will look.

All About The Prints

A bold, consistent print has a slimming effect by camouflaging any “lumps or bumps” by tricking the eye into continuing the pattern.

Plus Size Bikini

One of the hottest trends in plus size swimsuits is the number of stylish bikinis offer in plus sizes. The key to rocking the plus-size bikini is confidence. If you’re remotely uncomfortable showing an extra bit of skin, skip this option and go with safer options.

Striped bikini on plus size model
Women’s Plus-Size Mix and Match Collection, $22.99-$49.99 at Target

Which swimwear piece is your favorite? Let us know below!