The 25 Most Flattering Swimsuits for Women with Wide Hips (Plus 1 to Avoid), According to the Experts
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The tricky thing about finding a bathing suit that makes you feel supremely confident is that there’s not a lot of fabric to help disguise or mask body parts we might feel self-conscious about. So if you have hips that are wider than your bust or shoulders (a pear silhouette, if you will), it can sometimes feel like your hips simply must be out on display. But there are ways to use color and cut to fake a slimmer bottom half (if that’s the look you’re going for), and no one knows this better than the four swimwear experts we reached out to for the best swim shopping advice. Here are five styles the pros at Andie, Kitty & Vibe, Shoshanna and Aerie recommend for women with wide hips—plus one you might want to avoid..
Meet the Experts
- Cameron Armstrong is the founder and CEO of Kitty & Vibe.
- Shoshanna Gruss is the founder of Shoshanna.
- Michelle Copelman is the vice president of design at Andie.
- Erin Collins-Rittling is the director of Aerie styling.
What are the Top Swimsuit Styles for Wide Hips?
1. High-Waist Styles
“High-waist styles that taper at the waist above the belly button are really nice for wider hips,” says Cameron Armstrong, founder and CEO of Kitty & Vibe. And Shoshanna Gruss, founder of Shoshanna, agrees, telling us, “A high-waist bottom hits at your true waist, highlighting your figure rather than cutting it off.” This style, a hot trend for summer 2023, works to draw the eye up, helping to de-emphasize your hips while simultaneously making your waist appear smaller. Talk about a win-win.
2. High-Cut Legs
“Wearing a bikini bottom higher on the hip pulls attention up to the waist,” says Michelle Copelman, vice president of design at Andie. There are plenty of options with lower-waist, high-cut legs that are just as flattering as a retro high-waist without covering quite so much skin. You can also hike up the sides of a string or adjustable style to achieve the same look with the added bonus that you can position it to hit exactly the point that looks best on your figure.
3. Cross-Front Bottoms
“The crossover style is a HUGE hit right now and highlights your natural shape,” says Erin Collins-Rittling, director of Aerie styling. “It draws your eye inward and nips you in at your most narrow point.”
4. Wrap Styles
In the same way the wrap dress creates the look of a smaller middle while skimming over your bottom half, a swimsuit of the same design achieves the same thing. This is also a super flattering cut for women who carry more weight in their tummy, while colorblock versions are great for long torsos. Copleman even suggests faking your own cinched style by wrapping longer ties around your waist.
5. Belted Bikinis and One Pieces
Gruss loves the look of a Bond girl-inspired belted suit as another option for hippy gals. You can go as simple as a string knotted into a bow or go glam with a gold-buckled design. Plus, most belted bathing suits have the added bonus of being adjustable so you can tighten and loosen at will, and even move the belt up or down to hit at your true waist.
Are there styles to avoid if you have wide hips?
“Anything that could cut into the hip or creates a straight line across the belly only serves to broaden your silhouette,” says Copelman, and Gruss seconds that advice. The only exception we’d make is for bottoms with adjustable sides, which can be hiked up or tied in a way that’s more flattering than a traditional bikini bottom.
We've curated some excellent choices below—and remember, incoming beach weather demands decisive shopping action, lest that style you love is sold out in your size. So shop the top swimsuits for wide hips now, and enjoy making a splash this summer.
Top 5 Swimsuits for Wide Hips at a Glance
There's a reason this swimsuit, part of Norma Kamali's collection of draped swimwear and dresses inspired by Grecian antiquities, has been a best-seller almost as long as the antiquities themselves. That's because the high-waist top and full rear-end coverage is modest but still sexy, and flatters figures that are skinny, curvy or anywhere in between.
One of the first rules of dressing for wide hips is to balance them out. That's what this suit does, thanks to a simple high-waist bottom that smooths, topped by an underwire balconette bra top that says "eyes up here, people." Quick-dry nylon-elastane fabric stays bright and dries fast out of the pool.
- Why We Love It: fully lined, moderate rear coverage
- Pairs With: Triangle Bikini Top ($
- Size Range: XXS to XXL
Want as little as possible between you and the elements? For wearers who don't want any extra support, fabric or frilly design elements, this well-priced, on-sale set of swim bottoms from Everlane is your ideal. In seven solids and patterns to choose from, there's one that flatters you while allowing you to relax into the soft Italian-milled 82 percent regenerated nylon and 18 percent elastane.
- Why We Love It: elegant fabric, sleek design
- Pairs With: Eres Show Bandeau ($320)
- Size Range: 38 to 44
IYKYK: This classic French bikini is ultra-flattering and tres chic, as well as a major status wardrobe item. The long-wearing 77 percent polyamide, 23 percent spandex fabric holds you in without constricting, and the ultra-high waist can be rolled down for sunning.
This polyamide/elastane/polyester fabric is pretty and reads "fancy," but full-figured wearers will appreciate that the top is sold in cup sizes from A to DD and the pull-on bottoms keep you covered with a high waist and medium seat coverage. Plus, the top's center ring has a '70s-era throwback charm.
- Why We Love It: wide color range, cheeky coverage
- Pairs With: French Bikini Top (
- Size Range: XXS to 3X
Named for the year this high-cut style debuted, this pick reintroduced recently after customers requested it be brought back. It's not difficult to understand why—once you slip this baby on, you'll notice how it hugs your curves without pinching or making you feel restricted, thanks to the cut as well as the 82 percent polyamide/18 percent elastane fabric. There are contemporary improvements, however—these days, there's a rainbow of color options and the lining is made from recycled fabric.
- Why We Love It: can be tied multiple ways, SPF 50+
- Pairs With: Simple String Top ($58)
- Size Range: Size Range: S1 to 3XL2 (basically, OO to 20)
"I have never worn a bikini, let alone a STRING bikini but I’m obsessed with these bottoms," writes one reviewer. "They are so flattering even though I have a tummy. You can tie it to fit how you want and you still feel secure! I feel so confident and am PUMPED to wear them this summer!" That's the story with these 82 percent recycled poly/18 percent lycra bottoms and their matching tops. Too, we appreciate the sizing, which includes break-out sizes to accommodate larger and smaller booties.
- Why We Love It: minimalist, scoop back
- Pairs With: skirt, shorts or under a loose top
- Size Range: one size
This popcorn-knit suit comes in one-size-fits-all (in reality, XS to L)—so that should give you some idea of the soft stretch you're in for when you slip this baby on. The high-cut legs and low scoop back are simple, flattering and look as good as a top paired with a skirt or a shirt open over it as it does a swimsuit.
The high-cut leg is flattering, while the criss-cross back keeps everything in place (and no worries about straps digging into your skin, since these straps are nice and wide). The suit is open at the sides, so you'll be getting lots of sun exposure, but still secure in that medium bum coverage in the back.
- Why We Love It: compressive lining, stay-in-place fit
- Pairs With: The Belize Top ($50)
- Size Range: XS to XXXL
We enjoy a smaller-sized bikini for sunning, but don't like how that same suit is likely to go AWOL if we decide on an impromptu game of beach paddleball or body surfing. Luckily, these bikini bottoms have come to the rescue: The banded waist hugs you so you're not going to get your drawers knocked down in a big wave, and the 82 percent nylon and 18 percent spandex fabric is fast-drying.
- Why We Love It: snug tie-back top, high-waist criss-cross bottoms
- Pairs With: Cupshe Tassel Cover-Up ($28)
- Size Range: XS to XL
The criss-cross top of these bikini bottoms sits high on the waist, and the high-cut legs are flattering but still give you cheeky coverage in the back. And the peekaboo front stays put thanks to a cross-back tie arrangement that lifts and separates the bosom in a secure and attractive way.
- Why We Love It: high-waist, cheeky rear coverage
- Pairs With: Aerie Scoop Bikini Top (
- Size Range: XS to XL
The 80 percent nylon and 20 percent elastane fabric is sleek and quick-dry on this suit, which looks like a designer minimalist piece crossed with a sporty water sports suit. The bottoms have a leg that's high-cut enough to move around but with enough coverage not to flash the poolside crowd while you're napping or swimming laps.
- Why We Love It: twist-front smooths the tummy, high-waist design stays put
- Pairs With: Calia Ruched Front Bikini Top (
- Size Range: XXS to 3X
These swim bottoms and matching top come in more than a dozen kicky colorways and are our choice for a bikini that makes you feel as confident as a one-piece. The bottoms are long enough that they sit over your natural waist, or for the long-torsoed among us, almost there. Plus, the top's ruching is ultra-flattering and forgiving.
- Why We Love It: Deep-V design of bottoms, top has underwire construction
- Pairs With: Sexy Tee Bikini Top ($50)
- Size Range: XS to XXL
Ribbed 85 percent polyamide/15 percent elastane fabric stays bright and the cut stays flattering, both in and out of the water. The V-cut bottoms look sleek on wide hips, and the push-up bra style has a medium lift that magically makes the girls look a size larger than they are.
"I have been looking for this type of bottoms for literally YEARS. And alas I have found the most wonderful fit for my body. I’m 5’7, 130 pounds and have long legs plus a long torso so higher waisted is a must," writes one reviewer. This fit provides the high waist but doesn’t give unwanted mid-tummy level tan lines."
The wrap details in this suit, which comes in three animal-inspired prints, draw attention up to your waist and away from any hips you don't want to highlight. And the V-neck is a great face-flattering trick (just wear plenty of sunscreen on your chest).
- Why We Love It: unique floral two-tone, generous coverage
- Pairs With: Andie Palma Romper ($115)
- Size Range: XS to XXXL
This swimwear line got its start when a female swim designer got fed up with what she saw as the oversexualization of the swimsuit industry—and we celebrate designs like this one, a modest suit that keeps us covered and comfortable while enjoying the sun and surf. Full bottom coverage and low-cut legs, we salute you!
- Why We Love It: lined cups with removable padding, medium high-cut legs
- Pairs With: Tanya Taylor Elora Sarong ($125)
- Size Range: XS to XL
Supersoft 78 percent polyamide/22 percent elastane colorblock fabric and similarly stretchy lining make you feel comfortable in this cross-front one-piece that is all about fashionable color-blocking. Design plus: The side tie diverts the eye from any hip action you may want to minimize.
Wrap styles are known for their figure-smoothing properties, thanks to that extra layer that keeps you pulled in. This Summersalt suit goes one further step, since its 78 percent recycled polyamide and 22 percent elastane fabric is made to hold you in, but not so much you're gasping. And since it's long-torso, there won't be any wedgies as you walk around.
- Why We Love It: tummy control design, adjustable straps, 22 colors and prints
- Pair with: Breezy Lane Kimono Cover-Up (
- Size Range: S to XXL
The medium-cut leg, V-neck with ruffles and light tummy control on this suit add up to a flattering fit, according to 689 five-star reviews on Amazon. "The neckline accentuates my neck and chest. The swimsuit is very busy from the frilly collar to all the colors and belt so it helps hide my tummy," writes one reviewer, who delighted in wearing it on vacation. "It even looks great with a pair of shorts for when you have to enter areas on a cruise that don't allow swimsuits."
Belted Bikinis and One-Pieces
Los Angeles-based brand Swim Riot is known for its fashionable suits that take the pulse of the beach culture there. This belted suit in poly-spandex is a great example of retro-cool, with the belted midsection guaranteed to accentuate your waist and draw attention away from your hips.
We appreciate the stealth details that make this one-piece so flattering. The top-tie straps let you customize your amount of snugness and coverage up top, the bold print attracts attention away from any areas you want to minimize and the belt lets you accent your waist, not your hips. (Plus, we love a removable bra cup.)
- Why We Love It: high-waist bottoms, adjustable straps
- Pairs With: Cupshe Kimono Cover-Up ($30)
- Size Range: XS to XL
Behold: A bit of Bond Girl styling with wearable construction, including a sturdy back hook and high-waist bottoms that aren't going to fall down when you lose your footing spiking that beach volleyball. The belt is an accent piece, not functional, which is a plus since it won't detach—but it will look great as it leads the eye to your waist and away from any hip or rear action you want to downplay.
A two-in-one style suit is always high on our wish list, and this belted number fits the bill. Wear it with the contrast belt to nip in your waist, or remove the belt and enjoy a sleek bodysuit look. Fully lined, the 78 percent recycled polyamide and 22 percent elastane outer fabric lend just enough support to smooth you (and moderate coverage in the back).
- Why We Love It: logo belt, can be worn as a top under a linen button-up
- Pairs With: Tory Burch Voile Tunic ($298)
- Size Range: XS to XL
The simplest swim outfit can be the most difficult to look good in, but Tory Burch nails it with this minimalist maillot that has a plunge V neckline in front and back, and a thin logo belt wrapping the middle. Lined and lightweight, the nylon/Extralife Lycra®/elastane fabric has four-way stretch and dries fast. And the high-cut leg is very ooh-la-la south of France cool.