Live Now Not Later!
No one said you had to wear a "Itsy Bitsy Teenie Weenie Yellow Polka Dot Bikini" to go swimming or hang out by the poolside.
It is possible for plus size women to be fashionable water babies and still be comfortable (of course if you are brave enough for the bikini, go for it).
There is a wonderful selection of swimsuits and accessories available if you are ready to dip more than your toe in the deep blue. Do not wait until later to enjoy the benefits of getting wet now!
Here you will find a collection of my favorite online shops to shop for plus size swimwear.
Citation: graphic copyright M. E. Wood.
Where Does Your Suit See the Most Action?
I don't know about you but I tend to be a creature of habit. For me, I am more likely to be in a pool than frolicking at the beach. How about you?
Five of My Favorite Bathing Suit Trends
At Home or Travelling
The trends change pretty much every season but some continue on a little longer. A few that make me especially happy are:
- Polka-dots: I cannot get enough of polka dots. It does not matter if they are small, big or a combination of the two.
- Animal prints: There is such a variety to choose from but my favorites tend to be zebra and cheetah both in grey or black and white tones.
- Florals: My favorite florals for bathing suits is the hibiscus print. Just call me traditional; but whether you are hanging out at the pool or in Hawai'i this vibrant flower works. It is excellent on cover ups and wraps too.
- Ruching: Talk about a plus size woman's best friend. Ruching camouflages better than any pattern ever could and it is so feminine. I especially love it on the diagonal across the body of solid color swimsuits.
- Bikinis: That's right, one of the hottest trends for plus size women this season is the retro two piece. Personally I prefer the ones with the full brief and an under-wire top. But all sorts are becoming available in a variety of sizes.
One of My All Time Favorites
I have spent a lot of time looking at swimsuits for the last nine years and Always for Me tends to provide the most fashionable. They also have the best selection of retro classics. One of my favorites is the Isabella two-piece Bandeau style. It comes in six color but the red is my absolute favorite. The suit has a great size range (16 to 26) but is on the pricey side at $89.
This company's swimwear has been featured in Oprah and Seventeen magazine. With over 80 stunning plus size swimsuits to choose from I am sure you will find something in a style that you will love. They range in price from $39 to $142 and are available in sizes 14 to 26. Enjoy the sunshine!
Swimsuits for All
You will find a large selection of plus size swimsuits here as well as be able to shop for the rest of the family. Their women's sizes spans size 6 to size 24 (with a special section up to 34). Prices range from great deals to pricey with most in the $60. This is one of my favorite companies in terms of selection and price points. Visit Swimsuits for All for plus size swimwear.
Fatkini or Plus Size Bikini
Online indie shops have been offering plus size bikinis for years. In your hunt for the perfect plus size bikini be sure to check out the following shops:
- Big on Batik (image shown)
- Love Your Peaches
- I had Big Gals Lingerie linked here because they have an amazing polkadot bikini with an amazing range of sizes but I had to remove it because it is considered adult content by Hubpages. Do a search and you'll find it.
Indie shops tend to offer a larger range of plus size bikinis than those found in mainstream stores. It is not uncommon to find sizes up to 6x.
If you are not used to wearing a two piece make sure you apply extra sunscreen to the ultra sensitive belly!
To Rinse or to Wash
Whether we are wading in a chlorinated pool, salt water, or fresh water lakes we need to, at the very least rinse our bathing suits. Rinsing will help preserve the life of our suits and reduce bacterial build up. And for heaven sake, don't wear one that has been put away wet. If you are wearing the same suit over a few days you can rinse and hang it to dry a few days in a row then throw it in the wash. Hanging to dry instead of putting in the dryer will preserve the stretch too. Feel free to share your swimsuit care tips in the guest book before you go.
Getting the Best Out of Your Bathing Suit
- Choosing the Right Swimsuit
Whether you have a round, triangular or hourglass picking the right swimsuit to complement your body type can be a breeze.
- Bathing Suit Terminology
Ini, outies and everything in between. Learn the basic swimsuit definitions.
- Tying a Sarong
Five different ways to tie a sarong around your bathing suit.
If you are looking for swimwear that is more athletic and functional then you must stop by Junonia which has a focus on plus size performance, chlorine resistance, and coverage.
Their sizes are available in x to 6x depending on style and range in prices from $40 to $90 (not including their clearance).
Lane Bryant has a small selection of swimwear ranging in price from reasonable to very pricey.
Their style selection is seasonal. They also carry maternity swimwear and are home of the Miracle Suit.
Sizing runs from 14 to 28. Not all suits have all sizes in off seasons.
Reading Deckside, Poolside, or at the Beach
She is had tremendous success over the few years so it is not surprising that plus size high fashion designer Monif C has a swimwear collection as part of her spring line.
Currently there are eight fabulous styles with amazing fabrics. They range in price from $98 to $165 and come in sizes 14 to 24.
Definitely not what you would expect from your average swimsuit provider!
Kiyonna is known more for their incredible clothing designs that flatter curves than their swimsuits but they have introduced a small selection of designer swimsuits that are pricey but fabulous looking.
Kiyonna suits range in size from 10 to 24 and are seasonal (not offered all year).
There are over 20 swimsuits to chose from at Old Navy as well as your swimming accessories like cover up, shirts, skirts and flip flops.
The suits range in price from $30 to $60 (the majority were under $50). Old Navy supports sizes 1x to 4x.
Get Swimming with eBay
Ebay's selections below are not always size appropriate; but if you click on one of the links and so a search for "plus size swimwear" you will get an exciting array of choices. I bought a very nice two piece on eBay for aquafit.
When you get a bit chilly or are feeling a little modest you don't need to suffer the fate of a boxy pullover cover-up.
Always for Me has a beautiful selection of cover-ups that are functional and fashionable and just down right pretty.
Do you have any swimsuit tips for other curvy women? Do you have a favorite designer? Let us know what works for you.
Or just leave a message to say hi!
P.S. Don't forget the sunscreen!
Leave Your Mark!
Holly Macquarie on March 02, 2015:
I liked the way you have shared about swimwear. It is really awesome.
Sarah Wayne from Melbourne, Victoria, Australia on February 18, 2015:
wow, really great collections! i love the bright colors and prints.
very nice post.
mltnpnw on March 25, 2013:
ConnieGreen LM on March 09, 2013:
Great resources here - thanks so much!
EmmaHenderson LM on January 13, 2013:
These omen look great in these swimsuits.. nice selection :)
gelbikini lm on August 25, 2012:
Great selection of swimsuits! :)
Nightlife-Author on August 09, 2012:
JuserTM on August 06, 2012:
Very useful lens, thanks for sharing
Stacy Birch on July 21, 2012:
Angela F from Seattle, WA on May 09, 2012:
I like the Junonia and Always for Me! They're really flattering.
Justswimmingly on January 26, 2012:
You have some great info on the best stores to find plus size swimwear. Nice lens.
dawngibson lm on June 20, 2011:
Thanks for sharing this cute suits!
anonymous on June 04, 2011:
Attractive and nice fitting swimwear is a must for everyone and now plus size ladies have the styles that allow them to look their best.
Heard_Zazzle on April 14, 2011:
Erma is great. The polka dot was cute and Old Navy's suit was fun.
ElizabethJeanAl on January 02, 2011:
It's hard to find a comfortable suit when you're a plus size. Last year I just avoided the beach which is a crime when you live so close (Charleston). I'm not going to let that happen this year.
Linda Hoxie from Idaho on September 27, 2010:
I think my favorite is the JMS swimsuit of these here, some great choices in womens suits! That red one is pretty too!
Rhonda Albom from New Zealand on September 10, 2010:
There are some really attractive plus size swim suits here. Looks like it is time to go shopping (I need a hat too :) I love the quote from Erma Bombeck
Cynthia Sylvestermouse from United States on March 27, 2010:
There are some really beautiful suits featured here! Angel Blessed and added to my Squid Angel Mouse Tracks lens
Mary Beth Granger from O'Fallon, Missouri, USA on June 29, 2009:
lots of great ideas. Thanks for some new places to look for good plus size swimwear.
Nancy Tate Hellams from Pendleton, SC on November 07, 2008:
Great lens with some great resources. I will definitely be back to this lens. Thank you.
religions7 on September 16, 2008:
great lens. I love these.
clouda9 lm on September 16, 2008:
Oh my...lovely add of that red hot suit from Always for Me!
anonymous on August 16, 2008:
These are lovely suits. You found some good ones, Moe! I love that silky golden one by Monif C. Very stylish. probably more for being seen than swimming but still awesome looking.
Yvesklein on August 09, 2008:
Plus size sexy bras?! Cute plus size bathing suits?! Where have you been all my life?! What a great lens...I also love, love (not just love) the red pin-up looking swimsuit. How glam is that? (The answer is very.) ;) ...If you get a change swing by my site Plus Style: The Plus-Size Guide to Looking Great blog. I would love to get your feedback!
clouda9 lm on June 03, 2008:
Gorgeous ways for us BBW's to hit the beach or lake in style. Thanks for sharing your knowledge and links!
Lisa-Marie-Mary on June 03, 2008:
Thanks so much for all the great resources you listed for us bigger gals to find swimwear! Very helpful!!
blondeheroine on May 09, 2008:
Love the red one that you have marked as your favorite. It looks like an update on the retro swimsuits you always saw Marilyn Monroe wear.