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Plus size swimsuits

How to Pick Plus Size Swimwear

It's never easy to find the perfect swimsuit. Our bodies were not all made the same. We all have features that we would like to highlight and others we would like to downplay. The key to choosing a flattering plus size swimsuit is finding a bathing suit that complements your best aspects and draws eyes where you want them. Here are a few things to consider when searching for plus size swimwear.

Body Shape

The most important aspect of a swimsuit is your own body. You will need to find a bathing suit that is both compatible with and complementary to your body shape. Knowing your body shape will give you the foundation you need to narrow your search. Swimsuit sizes and shapes are determined by measuring the bust, waist and hips.

  • Apple (Triangle Downwards): Your bust and waist are larger than your hips.
  • Straight (Rectangular): There is little difference between your bust, waist and hips.
  • Pear, spoon or bell (Triangle Upwards): Your hips are larger than both your bust and waist
  • Hourglass: There is little difference between your bust and hips with a smaller waist.


Another important feature of a bathing suit is the style. Different styles complement different bodies. It all depends on your comfort level.

  • One Piece Swimsuits: Full coverage, instant sophistication. This style has your waistline covered. If you're looking to more fully camouflage your mid-section, consider a one-piece with shirred fabric or dark colors.
  • Tankini: Coverage of a one-piece, convenience of a two-piece. Highlights the waist by drawing the eye to a flattering line just above your hips.
  • Bikini: Minimal coverage to maximize your tan. Highlights and accentuates the bust. Details like the tie-front and exotic prints add flare and charm.

How to Look Good in a Plus Size Swimwear

There are many design elements that you can take advantage of. Your silhouette can be shaped by using a variety of materials, styles and colors.

  • Ruffles: Well-placed, angled ruffles can draw the eye away from the waist and midsection. Ideal for the apple shape.
  • Subtle Prints: Smaller prints can give the illusion of a slimmer figure. You may choose to avoid larger prints.
  • Shirring: Diagonal lines and folds around the waist create the appearance of an hourglass figure.
  • Knot: A knot around the waist can create a slimming effect.
  • Dress: Fabric is gathered around the smallest part of the waist followed by looser fabric, adding a slimming effect.
  • Bold Prints: Choose the boldest prints for areas where you want to draw the most attention or areas that you want to appear larger. For example, you may desire a bolder print for the bust area and a more neutral fabric over your hips.
  • Layered Patterns: Patterns stacked on one another can add diagonal lines and folds creating a camouflaging effect around the waist.
  • Square Neckline: Creates a minimizing effect to flatter a fuller bust.

We Can Help!

Whatever your size or shape, we can help you find a swimsuit in your style. Here at Lands' End, we have a vast selection of designs and colors. Each bathing suit is unique. Let us help you look and feel your best this summer. Your dream swimsuit awaits!

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