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, like me, 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.
The 5 Most Flattering Swimsuits for Women with Wide Hips (Plus 1 to Avoid), According to the Experts
1. high-waist Bikinis
“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— “A high-waisted bottom hits at your true waist, highlighting your figure rather than cutting it off.” Like many of the other styles on this list, that higher cut works to draw the eye up helping to de-emphasize your hips while simultaneously making your waist appear smaller. Talk about a win-win.
Shop similar styles: BCA By Rebecca Virtue top ($17) and bottom ($17); Everlane top ($40) and bottom ($35); Kitty & Vibe top ($52) and bottom ($46); CUUP top ($98) and bottom ($68); Shoshanna top ($198; $139) and bottom ($143; $100)
2. high-cut Legs
Those looking to slim down their silhouette on the bottom don’t need to wear exclusively high-waist or one-piece designs. “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.
Shop similar styles: Andie top ($55) and bottom ($45); Kitty & Vibe top ($52) and bottom ($46); J.Crew top ($70) and bottom ($55); Swimsuits for All one-piece ($120; $60); Left On Friday top ($85) and bottom ($85); Hunza G One-piece ($175)
3. cross-front Bottoms
Lucky for you, one of this summer’s hottest swim trends looks absolutely fabulous on wide hips. It all started with Aerie’ viral leggings, which have since been transformed into a super sleek bikini bottom (above). “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.”
Shop similar styles: Aerie top ($30) and bottom ($35); Calia by Carrie Underwood topp ($45) and bottom ($35); Maeve top ($68) and bottom ($68); Swim Systems top ($78) and bottom ($70); L*Space top ($119) and bottom ($110)
4. wrap Styles
Another way to play down your hips is with wrap silhouettes. 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, which also just so happens to be another hot swim trend for 2021.
Shop similar styles: Kona Sol ($40); Aerie ($60); Summersalt ($95); Andie ($95); Tanya Taylor ($185)
5. bond-girl Belts
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.
Shop similar styles: Lulus top ($38) and bottom ($32); Skinny dippers top ($64) and bottom ($56); Onia one-piece ($225; $158); Madewell one-piece ($188); Shoshanna one-piece ($240); Evarae one-piece ($360)
Avoid: Low And Straight-cut Bottoms
“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.