A Guide to Swimwear That Actually Flatters

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Hey, bathing-suit anxiety affects us all. But swimwear designer and fit-guru, Shoshanna Gruss wants to curb that feeling.

“Swimsuit shopping tends to have a negative connotation with it when it really should be the same as shopping for a new pair of shoes or dress,” she says. “Just start with one that fits, and don’t cut corners. If the bottom fits, but the top is not right, move onto the next. You wouldn’t buy a bra that just sort of fits, so don’t settle for a swimsuit that only sort of fits.”

Fortunately, we’ve created a handy guide to finding a suit that flatters, no matter your issues (real or imagined). Here, 14 solutions to the most common swimsuit afflictions.


Minimize Your Waist

One of our favorite tricks is to go for a suit that defines your waist, like this belted maillot. The classic neckline and spaghetti straps keep you secure, while the ribbed fabric is extra forgiving.

Solid & Striped ($178)


Flaunt Your Waist

Blessed with an hourglass shape? Show off your little middle (while downplaying your rear) with a two-piece that features a lower-cut leg and a higher waist. You can do it, we promise.

Forever21 top ($45), bottoms ($35)


Stop the Jiggling

A bathing suit with tight stretch is what you’re after. Miraclesuits are made with the crème de la crème of slimming fabrics (Lycra Xtra Life spandex) and in visually pleasing cuts.

Miraclesuit ($158)


Look Good From Behind

Nobody wants a saggy rear. We love Athleta’s full scrunch bikini, which features an adjustable bottom. Roll it up for a higher cut or down for a classic full-coverage brief.

Athleta ($49)


Play Up a Muscular Build

Athletic gals, listen up. This style might interest you and your beach-volleyball skills. It’s like a halter, but instead of tying up with two straps, it offers a full-coverage front.

J.Crew top ($58), bottoms ($44)


Get Foolproof Coverage

Want a little extra coverage? Old Navy makes a slew of adorable board shorts that look just as cute off the beach as they do on it.

Old Navy ($23)


Create Curves

Even if you’re pretty straight up and down, you don’t need to rely on a push-up bra to fake a few curves. Instead, try a one-piece in a graphic print or look for a suit with ruching in the midsection.

Mary Katrantzou ($445)


Fit a Small Frame

It’s tough to find the perfect suit when you’re petite. Our tip: adjustable ties. You can maneuver a string bikini however you’d like to achieve a snug fit for your pint-sized body.

Shoshanna ($280)


Elongate Your Legs

If you have a long torso and short legs, the most flattering swim style is also the most on-trend this season: high-waisted bottoms.

Mara Hoffman top ($145), bottoms ($145)


Elongate Your Torso

On the other hand, if you have a short torso, you’ll want to avoid high-waisted anything (it will come up to your chest). Craft the appearance of a longer midsection with low-rise bottoms instead.

Morgan Lane top ($128), bottoms ($128)


Quit Tugging

Bandeaus can get tricky: Without enough support, they’re basically floaties when the next wave hits. Instead, opt for a style that has boning on the sides. It will keep everything in place.

Target ($40)


Secure Your Straps

Have a large bust and a short torso? In other words, are your straps always falling off your shoulders? Look for a suit with a halter top or adjustable straps, like this one from Robyn Lawley.

ASOS ($102)


Support the Girls

The number one rule for the generously endowed: Go for underwire. Luckily, there are plenty of styles that don’t scream lingerie section (or come with unnecessary padding).

GabiFresh x Swimsuits for All ($94)


Accentuate a Small Chest

Again, you don’t need to resort to lift and push here. Look for a top that has some kind of embellishment—whether it’s ruffles, crochet or a busy pattern. This gives the effect of a larger bust.

Lisa Marie Fernandez ($490)