What Kind of Swimsuits to Wear When You Have a Larger Waistline

Modern swimwear caters to every body type under the sun, and larger waists are no exception; swimsuit styles ranging from cinch-waisted one-pieces to chic, vintage-style bikinis flatter this body shape. To feel confident at the cabana or make your style pop at the poolside, choose a swimsuit cut that complements your midsection and a color or pattern that draws attention to your best assets.

  1. Cuts for Curves

    • Look for a one-piece suit with a belted, banded or cinched midsection to provide a bit of a tummy tuck. If you'd rather sport a two-piece, high-waisted bottoms make for a classic look that flatters wider waists and ample bottoms with retro aplomb. These bottoms pair well with a lightly flowing tanktini top. For wider hips, try a one-piece job with a ruched lower half, which looks dynamite on pear-shaped figures in particular. V-necks or other plunging necklines keep the focus up top, as do demi-cup bras.

    Patterns and Details

    • Contrasting stripes -- especially in modern styles, such as splices or diagonals -- vertical bands of color and dense geometric patterns create a sleek effect ideal for curvy women. One-piece suits with criss-cross detailing, a look that almost resembles a wrap, have a similarly slimming effect. For this body type, bold prints such as floral or nature patterns are your friend. Halter straps and control panels also trim the figure swimmingly.

    Off the Deep End

    • While you have plenty of options for swimsuit success, a few faux-pas cast shade on your time in the sun. Speaking to Oprah.com, style reporter Charla Krupp warns against skirted swimsuit styles, noting that they have an enlarging effect on the waist. If you have a pear-shaped body, forgo the boy shorts, which draw the eyes to the middle and lower sections. While simple belted waists and the like can do wonders, too much detail around the midsection makes for an overly busy look.

    For the Guys

    • If you're a man with a more substantial waist, avoid the temptation to sport board shorts; while long shorts make for a compact and stocky effect, above-the-knee cuts trim and elongate the body. Likewise, flat-front trunks give a little structure to a rounded belly. Dark solid colors, especially black, flatter this body shape. In terms of cut, keep the leg openings well-fitted and athletic-looking rather than wide and baggy.

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