The Absolute Most Flattering Swimsuits for Women Who Carry Their Weight in Their Tummy, According to the Experts

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Swimwear is definitely up there with bras and jeans as one of the most frustrating clothing items to shop for. By their very nature bathing suits expose so much of our bodies, making it harder to disguise areas we’d rather not highlight or to fake an hourglass silhouette. But that’s not to say it’s impossible. So in order to make it easier to find swimwear that flatters a fuller middle (or an “apple” body shape, if you like), we went straight to the experts at four of our favorite swim brands—Shoshanna, Andie, Kitty & Vibe and Aerie—to get their advice on the best tips and tricks for finding bathing suits that will be comfortable and give us confidence. Here are the six styles they recommend.

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1. empire Waist One-pieces

Shoshanna Lonstein Gruss, founder and creative director of Shoshanna, says, “Find a suit where the waistline begins just below the bust. This will give you more of an hourglass figure and distract from your midsection.” Andie’s Havana one-piece (above) is a perfect example, with the added bonus of subtle seaming down the front that also works to draw the eye inward to fake more of a waist. Empire styles work particularly well if you opt for a large-scale print or a solid hue that features ruching or a textured fabric.

boden empire best swimsuit for apple body type

2. Boden Corsica V-neck Swimsuit

There are plenty of solid color combos to choose from, but we’re partial to this cheery boho print. It might even make your community pool feel a bit more like Palm Springs.

Size range: 2 to 18, also Long Torso

shoshanna empire best swimsuit for apple body type

3. Shoshanna Gingham Eyelet One-piece

Combine two of summer’s most iconic fabrics—eyelet lace and blue-and-white gingham—into one super-chic suit that will stay in style for years to come.

Size range: 0 to 12

swimsuits for all tankini empire best swimsuit for apple body type
Swimsuits for All

4. Swimsuits For All Tie-back Tankini Set

If you’re more of a two-piece kind of gal, try an Empire-waist tankini. The extra material of the top will flow beautifully over your figure, and on a practical note it’ll make hitting the restroom infinitely easier.

Size range: 8 to 26

la blanca empire waist best swimsuit for apple body type

5. La Blanca Tides Keyhole One-piece

This deep-blue patterned swimsuit has a gorgeous open back with crisscrossed straps you can adjust to provide more or less support as needed. It also has a tummy-shaping panel in the bodice to smooth you out without feeling constrictive.

Size range: 4 to 16

lively vertical stripes best swimsuit for apple body type

6. Vertical Stripes

“Opt for slimming vertical stripes,” suggests Erin Collins-Rittling, director of Aerie styling. “Even better if they’re in a novel texture, like terry cloth.” While horizontal stripes typically aren’t that flattering, vertical lines will draw the eye in and up, even with a two-piece like this Lively bikini top and bottom. Another pro tip: Designs that feature stripes of multiple widths and those with thinner lines are less likely to look wonky or draw attention to bumps.

oneill vertical stripes best swimsuit for apple body type

7. O'neill Baja Stripe Swimsuit

You don’t have to stick with just the usual nautical color options. This sunset-inspired combination is equally as fun. It also has an adjustable lace-up back that you can knot in lots of different ways, including by looping and knotting it in front like a belt, as seen above.

Size range: XS to XXL

jcrew vertical stripes best swimsuit for apple body type

8. J.crew Plunge One-piece

Your stripes don’t have to be overt to give you all the same torso-lengthening benefits. The subtle seersucker material of this classic J.Crew swimsuit are every bit as flattering, but have a more timeless feel than, say, mismatched rainbow stripes.

Size range: 0 to 24, also Long Torso

solid striped vertical stripes best swimsuit for apple body type
solid & Striped

9. Solid & Striped The Spencer One-piece

This suit has a lot going for it, starting with those flattering, colorful stripes. The colorblocking and removable belt will also help create an hourglass shape, making this one-piece (and you, in turn) a true triple-threat.

Size range: XS to XL

aerie belted best swimsuit for apple body type

10. swimsuits With Waist Detailing

Using artfully placed seams, colorblocking or even Bond girl-style belts can help fake the illusion of a more hourglass silhouette. “High-waist bikini bottoms that can hold in the tummy and add support are a great and comfortable option,” says Cameron Armstrong, founder and CEO of Kitty & Vibe. But you don’t need to sport a two piece or even a multi-colored or ruched swimsuit to take advantage of this styling trick. Case in point, the Aerie wrap one-piece above, which has all the same waist-cinching power as a belted suit. So long as your suit features some kind of definition at your waistline, you should be good to go.

evarae belted best swimsuit for apple body type

11. Evarae Cassandra Underwire Swimsuit

No need to futz with complicated buckles here, because the belt is sewn right onto the suit. Better than that, however, is the fact that the bust has a built-in underwire to give your gals maximum support.

Size range: XS to XL

solid striped belted best swimsuit for apple body type
Solid & Striped

12. Solid & Striped The Nina Belt One-piece

This belted suit is all at once retro and modern, thanks to that removable, ‘50s-inspired belt and the sexy Baywatch red. (P.S. The straps are also adjustable for a better overall fit.)

Size range: XS to XL

andie belted best swimsuit for apple body type

13. Andie The Mykonos Ribbed One-piece

“The Mykonos suit in ribbed fabric option provides compression, texture and belly support, but has a super-flattering middle seam that cinches at the waist,” says Michelle Copelman, vice president of design at Andie. As a bonus, it also comes in a Long Torso length.

Size range: XS to XXXL, also Long Torso

best swim for fuller belly area kitty and vibe
Kitty & Vibe

14. Tie-front Bottoms

“A lot of Kitty & Vibe customers love the High Hip Bottoms because they offer a tie right in front of the belly, which can add some distraction detail,” says Armstrong. As you may already know, not all high-waist bikinis are flattering on apple silhouettes, but those with some additional detailing—like a tie at the waist or to the side—adds interest and helps disguise any lumps or bumps you’d rather not have on display.

cupshe tie waist best swimsuit for apple body type

15. Cupshe Floral And Striped Bikini Set

There are so many reasons to love this suit (you know, other than simply because it’s adorable‚. The vertical stripe bottom and waist tie are great for minimizing your middle, but so is the mismatched print. Plus, now you can mix and match both separates with all your other favorite two pieces.

Size range: 0X to 4X

calia tie waist best swimsuit for apple body type
Dick’s Sporting Goods

16. Calia Colorblock Twist Top And High-rise Bottom

OK, so this isn’t a true tie-waist design, however, the twisted waistband plus the colorblocking has all the same waist-cinching power as an actual knot.

Size range: XXS to XXL

Size range: XXS to 3X

revolve tie waist best swimsuit for apple body type

17. Agua Bendita Lucile Top And Isabella Bottom

This vibrant tropical print will make any pool, lake or beach feel like a fabulous getaway. And the high-cut legs on the bottom are phenomenal both for lengthening your stems and for minimizing your belly.

best swim for fuller belly area summersalt

18. colorblocking Or Mixed Patterns

Using blocks of color or pattern to distort your silhouette is a trick that can benefit literally every body type. For those who carry their weight in their middle, diagonal lines that cut across your midsection are most successful at minimizing the look of your tummy. Look for styles that feature three or more colors or patterns, like the above Marina suit from Summersalt, but be wary of striped patterns—some vertical designs will have a slimming effect but not all horizontal or diagonal patterns will be quite as flattering.

beach riot colorblock best swimsuit for apple body type

19. Beach Riot Carlie One-piece

Combine all the flattering effects of colorblocking with an adjustable belt and you’ve got yourself a total must-have suit.

Size range: XS to XL

boden colorblock best swimsuit for apple body type

20. Boden Portofino Bikini Top And High-waist Bottom

Darker colors are often more slimming than light, which is why navy panels at your hips with an off-white hue in the middle works so well for minimizing a wider middle. And a wide, contrasting belt only helps to emphasize your new hourglass figure.

Size range: 32A to 38DD

Size range: 2 to 18

mara hoffman colorblock best swimsuit for apple body type
Mara Hoffman

21. Mara Hoffman Meli Top And Lydia Bottom

This neon two-piece is a fun, unexpected twist on the colorblocking trend. Plus, the high-waist bottom and thicker straps up top both offer lots of support so you can feel free to enjoy an active pool day.

j crew ruched best swimsuit for apple body type

22. Shirring, Ruching And Textured Materials

You’ve likely heard it time and time again, but ruching is really a gal’s best friend when it comes to camouflaging bumps. “Any suit with shirring will also work well,” says Gruss, as will ribbed materials, terry cloth or other interesting textures. Doubly so if you opt for a print, like the floral J.Crew bandeau above. Plus, as an added bonus, these stretchy texture effects are often more comfortable than flat spandex.

aerie ruched best swimsuit for apple body type

23. Aerie Crinkle Cut-put Top And High-cut Bottom

This colorblocked bikini has such a fun ‘90s throwback vibe, and the pink-and-purple color combo fits right in with this summer’s Barbiecore trend.

llbean ruched best swimsuit for apple body type

24. L.l.bean Printed Tanksuit

A ruched bodice + an abstract print = our new favorite suit.

Size range: 8 to 26W, also Long Torso

venus ruched best swimsuit for apple body type

25. Venus Ruched One-piece

All the sex appeal of a Baywatch one-piece, just with a big more support and coverage. P.S. There is a power mesh panel built into the bodice to work in conjunction with the ruching for a supremely sleek overall effect.

Size range: 6 to 24



Abby Hepworth is an RRCA-certified running coach who has worked in fashion for over 10 years. Want to know what shoes are in this season? She's got you. Need recommendations on...