One thing almost all profession-level swimmers have in common is broad shoulders. Strong upper arms and back give them the power to move through the water with an unparalleled grace and speed. And while those with wider shoulders, whether they’re regular swimmers or not, might feel pretty comfortable in a classic Speedo suit, finding a cute everyday suit is an entirely different matter. So, to help you in the hunt for a flattering, fabulous bikini or one-piece to sport both in and out of the water, we turned to the experts at four of our favorite swimwear brands—Shoshanna, Aerie, Kitty and Vibe and Andie—to get their advice, Here, five swimsuits they recommend for anyone with broad shoulders, plus one that won’t do you any favors.
The 5 Best Swimsuits for Women with Broad Shoulders, According to the Experts (Plus Which Styles to Avoid)
1. asymmetrical Necklines
One-shoulder swimsuits and other funky designs definitely the most fun option for those with broad shoulders. Cameron Armstrong, founder and CEO of Kitty and Vibe, and Shoshanna Gruss, founder of Shoshanna, both recommend cut just for you. “An asymmetrical neckline is a great choice because it helps break up your neckline,” says Gruss. These atypical cuts draw the eye in and up and distort your shape so your strong shoulders hold less focus. (Just be sure to apply plenty of sunscreen so you’re not left with wonky tan lines at the end of the day.)
Shop similar styles: Cupshe one-piece ($28); Summersalt top ($50) and bottom ($45); Carbon38 top ($120) and bottom ($90); Sanctuary one-piece ($125); Skinny Dippers one-piece ($142)
2. wide Straps
Gruss also suggests swapping spaghetti-thin straps for more substantial styles, and Michelle Copelman, vice president of design at Andie, agrees. "An enviable set of shoulders should be framed properly,” says Copelman. In particular, Andie’s Havana bikini top “has really nice lines and a low, square-framed back that can help balance you out.” Look for straps that are at least one-inch wide so they look more proportional with your body shape.
Shop similar styles: Cupshe one-piece ($30); Aerie top ($35) and bottom ($35); Kitty and Vibe top ($52) and bottom ($46); Everlane one-piece ($65); J.Crew top ($68) and bottom ($45)
3. halters And Deep Vs
Erin Collins-Rittling, director of Aerie styling, says “a V-neck one piece has a beautiful plunge shape at the neckline that is flattering on everybody,” including those with broad shoulders. This is especially true if you combine the wider straps mentioned earlier with a V front, like the Aerie one-piece above. You don’t even need to go that deep if you prefer suits with more coverage—just so long as the V shape is clear and not too subtle so it can draw the eye in and up to lengthen your frame.
Shop similar styles: Cupshe one-piece ($33); Aerie one-piece ($55); River Island one-piece ($76); Andie one-piece ($95); Maaji ($154); Lisa Marie Fernandez one-piece ($495)
4. sporty Racerbacks
Some women may find this emphasizes their shoulder more than they like, but if you’ve got a swimmer’s silhouette, why not rock a classic swimsuit? You don’t necessarily need to reach for an old-school Speedo or true workout suit, as there are plenty of athletic-looking suits that are also super chic. Example: Andie’s snap-front Malibu one-piece pictured above. “The sporty shape looks great on strong shoulders and you can open up the snaps on the chest to your liking," says Copleman.
Shop similar styles: ASOS one-piece ($37); Athleta top ($54) and bottom ($50); Lands’ End one-piece ($90); Andie one-piece ($95); PrAna one-piece ($95); LoveShackFancy one-piece ($150)
5. high-neck Tops
Just like a deep V, this cut works to draw the eye in and up, but with the added bonus (for some) of providing more coverage and lengthening your torso. You can balance all that extra fabric in front with a sexy low-cut back. Of, if you’d rather not spend your beach day stressing over reapplying SPF to such a hard to reach area, opt for a suit with more of a racerback cut for some extra sun protection.
Shop similar styles: Norma Kamali top ($60) and bottom ($53); Lands’ End tankini ($65); Momma top ($78) and bottom ($75); Left On Friday top ($85) and bottom ($85); Athleta one-piece ($108)
Avoid: Strapless And Bandeau
“Avoid strapless and non-adjustable tops,” suggests Armstrong. Strapless styles will only serve to emphasize your wider frame and throw your proportions out of whack, while fixed styles run the risk of fitting oddly or uncomfortably on your shoulders.
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