Finding the right bikini for EVERY body

I’m a huge fan of the recent revolution in women’s swimwear. Have you noticed?

Back in the day, you could only get bikinis in smaller sizes. Women with bigger bodies were expected to wear one-pieces or stay covered up. But no longer!

Today, you can get fabulous, stylish and flattering bikinis in every size. There are marvelous plus-size models and body positivity activists posting bikini shots all over Instagram. Heck, I’ve even done it myself at the fine old age of 51!

You see, I truly believe that every woman should have a bikini she loves – and the confidence to wear it. No matter your age, shape or size, you can find a bikini that will flatter your curves and allow you to get a little sun on your tum. And really, is there any better feeling than that?

Even my pup Dani knows the joy of going out on a sunny day and rolling over to let the sun’s rays warm her bare little belly. It’s a feeling of pure delight.

When I was an impressionable tween in middle school, my best friend and I got to spend time at a family friend’s pool. The pool’s owner was a lady named Linda who didn’t have any kids of her own. She was one of the coolest grownups I’d ever met.

Linda spent all her days off lounging by her pool and she had a glorious tan to show for it. She told us we could use her pool anytime. She even showed us where she kept the extra house key hidden so we could let ourselves in if she was at work.

Linda was in a bigger body and she looked amazing. Her skin absolutely glowed and she wore a bikini anytime she darn well pleased. The three things I remember most about Linda were that she was kind and generous; she had a great job and loved her time off; and she rocked a bikini despite having more curves than anyone I’d ever seen in a bikini before.

Linda was ahead of her time. I’m so glad that today, we can all be Linda if we want to! Here are my favorite bikinis that I’ve found online. I wear all of them and love them all for different reasons.

  • Retro 50s style red polka-dot bikini by Esther Williams swimwear. This was the first bikini I bought at a curvier size. I loved the retro aspect and it looks as cute on as I hoped it would. I’ve had it for years but still reach for it. You can’t go wrong with a classic like this in your wardrobe! It runs slightly small as swimsuits tend to, but I wouldn’t go more than a size up from your usual clothes size (e.g., if you’re a size 14 in most clothes, get the size 16). This suit has a flattering panel in front that helps keep your tummy held in. It’s a very modest style with full coverage bottoms and you can’t flip them around because there’s an extra panel of fabric (like a mini skirt effect) in the front.
  • Ashley Graham x Swimsuits for All leopard print string bikini. I absolutely adore my sexy leopard print string bikini – how it fits, the way it looks and the way it makes me feel. They don’t sell the same one I have, as I got it a few years ago, but this top looks pretty close and they sell it with a high-waisted black bottom that looks really sharp. If you have never tried a string bikini, don’t be afraid! They are super adjustable so you can tie them as tight or loose as you like to get the fit the way you want it. When you get it the way you want, though, be sure to double-knot so it doesn’t come undone when you least expect it!
  • High-neck tankini and high-waisted bottoms from Hapari. This is more of a full-coverage suit and the one I wear most. In fact, I have this suit in three separate colors – that’s how much I love it. It keeps most of my tattoos safe from sun, it is great to wear when jumping off diving boards or splashing in waves, and it’s very modest. To the average observer it probably looks like a one-piece suit – but I know it’s a bikini and I can roll the top up if I want to get a little sun on my belly. I especially love my Hapari high-waisted bikini bottoms because you can flip them around and wear them back-to-front to get slightly cheekier effect if desired.
  • The Kohanaiki bikini top from Fused Hawaii. This was a Facebook or Instagram ad that caught my eye. I was blown away by the customer reviews of the “K top,” as the Kohanaiki top is known. I ended up buying one of their low-priced “surprise” print K tops to see if the hype was true – and now I know that you can believe every word! This is the most comfortable bikini top ever and I love the print they sent me. It’s more comfortable than any other swim top or bra that I own. It supports the girls well, looks great, is fully adjustable and customizable, comes in a wide variety of sizes and feels amazing thanks to the criss-cross in the back. It’s the kind of bikini top that will stay put even in waves or on aggressive water slides – and it will look great while doing it. If you’re well endowed on top, you need a K top from Fused Hawaii in your life. I’m wearing my surprise K top and Hapari high-waisted bottoms in the photo above.

Those are my four favorite bikini brands. I’ve also heard great things about Shein Curve, Cupshe and Summersalt swimsuits for curvier bods, but I haven’t tried them yet.

It’s worth noting that I don’t often wear a bikini out in public during the daytime because I prefer to keep my significant tattoo investment protected from the sun. That said, I love to wear a bikini in the sun for short stints for photo shoots or anytime we’re night swimming! I’ll typically rock a bikini under a long-sleeve rashguard for longer sessions in the sun.

If you’re still skeptical about being in a bigger body and rocking a two-piece swimsuit, be sure you’re following the incomparable Lizzo on Instagram. She is constantly posting string bikini pics and she looks amazing because her confidence is larger than life! Literally, all it takes to pull off a bikini this hot girl summer is confidence – that’s it.

What do you think – will you give a two-piece swimsuit a shot this year? I’d love to hear your best bikini stories in the comments below or over on Facebook!

About the author

Proud and loving midlife mama. Lucky and devoted wife. Dog, cat, snake and guinea pig mom. Travel nut. Writer since birth. PR and social media pro by day - tattoo doula by night.

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