These Are the Most Flattering Swimsuits for Short Torsos, According to the Experts (Plus 1 Style to Avoid)

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I’ve never been a fan of the concept of “dressing for your body type.” I say, you do you girl and wear whatever it is that makes you feel fabulous. But the one time I find it actually helpful to think about my natural shape is in shopping for swimwear. Sporting a bathing suit, even a full-coverage one-piece, means putting your figure on display and makes it harder to fake slimmer hips, a bigger booty or, in my case, a longer torso. That said, it’s not impossible to fake it with the help of certain swimwear styles. So we asked the experts at ShoshannaAndieKitty & Vibe what are the most flattering swimsuits for short torsos to help us feel more confident on vacation. Here’s what they advise.

Meet the Experts:

  • Shoshanna Lonstein Gruss is the founder and creative director of Shoshanna
  • Cameron Armstrong is the founder and CEO of Kitty & Vibe
  • Michelle Copelman is the vice president of design at Andie

What to Look for in a Swimsuit If You Have a Short Torso

According to our experts, there are a few key style points to keep in mind when shopping for a swimsuit that can lengthen a shorter torso, the most important being high-cut legs, adjustable straps on one-pieces and designs that draw the eye up and in rather than out. Both Gruss and Armstrong recommend lengthening your whole frame with the help of a higher-cut bottom. Armstrong explains, “Suits that elongate the leg are a great option, so we’d advise looking for something that has mid-level coverage or hits higher on the hip.” Copelman also stresses “One-pieces that take into account torso length are a must!” For short torsos, this means looking for swimsuits that have adjustable straps or ties, rather than just one uniform length, to ensure a better fit. Last, but most certainly not least, our experts suggest looking for bikinis or one-pieces that draw the eye up, either with a higher neckline or a ruffled top, paired with sleek bottoms in order to get a longer, leaner look.

The 38 Best Swimsuit Brands for Every Body Type: Long Torsos, Plus Sizes, Nursing Moms & Everything In Between

1. High-Cut Legs


The combination of showing a little extra leg and the longer continuous line of a swimsuit will make you appear taller and leaner from head to toe. Just don’t go too high-cut—anything that ventures too high above your hip bone will actually have the opposite effect and wind up compressing your torso to comedic proportions.

Size range: XS to XL

2. String Bikinis

Kitty & Vibe

Gruss is a fan of string styles for shorter torsos, as is Copelman. Both string styles and high-cut bottoms will help give the illusion of longer legs and torso,” says Gruss, with string bikinis having the added benefit of greater adjustability. Showing more skin at the hips has a similarly lengthening effect as a high-cut leg, while the classic halter design on top draws the eye up and in.

Size range: A to G

Size range: S1 to 3XL2

3. High-Neck Styles


This works for both one- and two-pieces and helps elongate your torso by drawing the eye all the way up to your neck. A high neck can also be as sexy or as modest as you like—some designs balance a full-coverage front with a low-cut back while others opt for a sportier silhouette more akin to a rash guard. And if you combine this top with a high-cut bottom, you’ll definitely give the impression of a much longer frame.

Size range: XS to XL

4. One-Shoulder Suits


Similarly, one-shoulder styles tend to draw the eye upward but are often more flattering than a high-neck for those with a larger bust. And while you can certainly rock a one-shoulder bikini, our experts found this style to be even better at lengthening your frame in the form of a one-piece. Copelman also suggests looking for styles with adjustable straps for an even better overall fit.

Size range: 0 to 24

5. Tops with Attention-Grabbing Details


Not so into the look of a high-neck or one-shoulder? Opt instead for basically any top with ample detailing around your bustline. Ruffles, lace, embroidery, cut-out straps—whatever floats your boat. A word to the wise, however: Tops that extend below the bust, like tankinis or longline styles, can wind up compressing your torso once more, so keep that attention-grabbing detailing as close to your neck as possible.

Size range: XXS to XL

most flattering swimwear for short torsos retro

Avoid: High-Waist Swimsuits

Yes, the retro style continues to be immensely popular, but it will only serve to emphasize your shorter midsection. The same is true for one-pieces with seams or detailing at the waist, so opt for something with vertical lines or a smooth bodice instead if you’re a full-coverage kind of gal.

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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...