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2021 Swimsuit Guide: Swimsuits for Women Over 40

This time of year, I get tons of requests for bathing suit recommendations, so I’m updating my Swimsuit Guide with the latest trends and tons of swimsuits for women over 40!

It’s a big task because every woman’s body is different and we all have different features we want to camouflage or flaunt, but I’ll do my best to cover all the bases.

2021 Swimsuit Guide: Swimsuits for Women Over 40

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We probably all have challenges when shopping for swimsuits. When I go bathing suit shopping, it’s all about finding something that supports and shapes the girls. I’ve always had more than my fair share in that department, which creates enough of a challenge, but now that age and gravity have taken their toll, it’s almost impossible to find a cute, trendy swimsuit that fits the bill. Most suits with proper support have a way of aging me about 20 years.

Maybe in your case, it’s a long torso, a menopausal midsection, a pear shape, a mastectomy, extra weight, or a small chest… My point is, we all have problem areas that make shopping for swimwear a bit of a challenge. Thankfully, there are swimsuits designed to target all of these issues.

I highly recommend shopping online so you can try on your swimsuits in the comfort of home. The lighting is more forgiving, and I think overall it’s an easier experience. Plus, you can get the opinion of your husband or kids, which I always find helpful. When I’m in the market for a new swimsuit, I usually order a bunch and send back the ones that don’t work.

Swimsuit Trends for 2021

I spend a lot on my suits to get good quality and support, so I typically go for more traditional styles, but I still like to know what’s trending. I did some internet research on swimsuit trends for 2021, and here’s what I found:

#1. Asymmetrical Silhouettes & One-Shoulder Swimsuits

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#2. Ruching

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#3. Keyhole Cutouts

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#4. Shades of Brown

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#5. Animal Prints

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#6. Plunging V-Necks

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#7. Minimalist Black Bikinis

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#8. Short-Sleeve Swimsuits

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#9. High-Side One-Piece Suits (the 80s are back!)

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Clearly not all of these trends are styles every woman is comfortable wearing, but that gives you an idea of what’s popular right now.

Swimsuits for Women Over 40

When you get to a certain age, swimsuits become extra challenging because it’s all too easy to fall into the frump zone if we’re not careful, but it is possible to look good and feel confident in your swimsuit. It just sometimes takes a lot of trial and error to find the right one.

As with most garments, you tend to get what you pay for with a swimsuit, and quality garments become more important as we age. A few brands that do a good job designing modern suits with the coverage and support more mature women need are Bleu by Rod Beattie, Title Nine, La Blanca, Summersalt, and of course there’s always Miraclesuit.

Bikini vs. Tankini vs. One-Piece Bathing Suits

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One-piece suits are definitely trending right now, and bikinis are always in style. Tankinis are taking a backseat to one-piece suits and bikinis right now, but much like denim styles, anything goes these days.

I believe it’s possible to look super cute or super frumpy in any of these bathing suit styles — the key is knowing what works for your body and staying within your comfort zone.

I haven’t worn a bikini top since I was 3 years old, but I think some women look fabulous and perfectly appropriate in a bikini top. It’s definitely easier to pull off if you’re smaller chested. If you prefer some belly coverage, high rise bikinis are a great option.

For those of us who like complete belly coverage, one-piece suits are on-trend, but I still prefer the tankini for the ease of potty trips — which, less face it, are more frequent these days than they used to be. Ahem…

Let’s break it down!

Swimsuits for a Larger Chest

swimsuits for women over 40 for a larger chest source

One of the best things to happen to swimsuits recently is the bra-sized swimwear. If you have a larger chest, I highly recommend swimsuits with a built-in bra. Most stores carry them now, but unfortunately they don’t always come a very wide variety of sizes.

If your cup size is larger than a DD, you may have to look at specialty shops such as Everything But Water, Swimsuits for All, and Bare Necessities. Some sites even have a section just for DD+ sized swimwear. Two brands I particularly like in this category are  Birdsong and Prima Donna.

Swimsuits for a Smaller Chest

small chested swimsuits for women over 40 source

Obviously, I’m no expert on this, but I can tell you what I cannot wear and wish I could. LOL! Ruffles, padding, and push-up styles all add volume and give the illusion of a larger chest.

Deep v-necks and halters also flatter smaller chests. Cupshe actually has a section for small-bust friendly swimsuits, and Lands’ End often offers the option of regular or D/DD sizes.

Swimsuits with Thigh Coverage

swimsuits for women over 40: thigh coveragesource

If you like hip coverage, swim shorts and swim skirts are always an option, but they can quickly cross over into frump territory. Try to choose a style with clean lines that isn’t any longer or wider than necessary to cover what you’re wanting to cover.

For swim shorts, I personally like a boy short style that fits snug to the body, I realize that shorts will fit every pair of thighs differently. If you have bigger thighs, a looser short might fit you snug to the body.

For more ideas, Swimsuits for All, Lands’ End, and Macy’s each have a whole section dedicated to thigh minimizing swimsuits.

Swimsuits to Disguise a Belly

tummy control swimsuits for women over 40source
The swing tankini tops don’t cling to the bumps and rolls of the midsection but rather skim over them. Swimsuits for All has a bunch, and Lands’ End has a few as well.

The blouson style swim tops work much the same way, and I find them a bit more youthful. But I definitely think the blousy tops look best with a bikini bottom or super close-fitting shorts. If you add a blouson or swing top to a skirt, it’s going to look frumpy.

Another option for disguising a bit of a tummy is to wear a swimsuit with some ruching or shirring. Patterns also help distract the eye from any bumps or bulges we don’t want to draw attention to.

Or just look for swimsuits with tummy control at Macy’s, Lands’ End, Swimsuits for All, or Bare Necessities.

Plus-Sized Swimwear

plus size swimsuits for women over 40source

If you need plus sizes, Bare Necessities and Swimsuits for All both have a nice selection. You can filter your results by your size so you’re only seeing suits that work for you, and Swimsuits for All has a ton of filters under the REFINE dropdown menu on the sidebar. I’m noticing more plus-size options at the department stores as well — Macy’s has a lot of good choices.

Long Torso

tall swimsuits for women over 40

Got a long torso? Lands’ End has a whole section with tall sizes and swimsuits for long torsos, and some are also available in tall plus sizes.

Post-Mastectomy Swimwear

Several ladies recommended Lands’ End for post-mastectomy swimwear. I also found a large selection at Swim Outlet. If this is something you have experience with and you have another recommendation, feel free to leave it in the comments.

Okay, that’s all I’ve got. I hope it’s helpful as you’re swimsuit shopping this spring and summer.

And hey, when in doubt, throw on a cute coverup!

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Seriously, coverups are where it’s at! I practically live in mine during the summer months.

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13 thoughts on “2021 Swimsuit Guide: Swimsuits for Women Over 40

  1. What a round up of some great bathing suit options! I added a few new ones last year and the year before( we have a pool so I live in them) one being a cupshe suit from Amazon! The style ,cut and quality is spot on! I had two La Blanca suits many years ago.. they weren’t cheap but you couldn’t wear them out! Hope you’re still enjoying your vacay!

  2. I definitely need a swimsuit for a larger chest, although I’m petite so it’s always a challenge. I do like the one from soma and never thought to look there. Thanks for sharing and safe travels home.

  3. Thank you for this post! I’m large busted…And petite (short, not thin – lol) so you know it’s super fun when hunting for a swimsuit that covers, supports, flatters, etc., etc., etc. I can’t wait to check out some of the options from your post. Enjoy your day!

  4. Thanks for the great bathing suit round up. I have learned that ruching is my friend 🙂
    Shopping for bathing suits is blood pressure raising. Shopping on line and trying them on at home is a great idea.
    Wanted to say thank you for the Cape Coral house tour on IG stories yesterday. What a beautiful house! That view from the pool and back deck is lovely. Also, your skin is just glowing! Not sure if it is the humidity, being on relax vacay mode or a magical skincare regime…. whatever it is, it is working! You look terrific.

  5. Thank you for doing all of the research to share so many options with us! Because a swimsuit is something I haven’t worn in 4+ years and don’t know when I will wear one, when I purchased one in 2020, I did not spend top dollar. I ended up keeping one I ordered from Lands End and I found a coverup at Belk. Have a great day!

  6. A great post, Jo-Lynn. I think everyone should be able to follow a link here and find a suit that pleases. I love the white cover up. have a wonderful day on the West Coast of Florida.

  7. What a fantastic round-up of current swimwear trends! I appreciate all the work it must have been. I think it’s time for me to buy a new suit 😉. Thanks and hope you and the family are enjoying your Florida trip!

  8. I found Venus sells bra size tops and numbered sized bottoms separately and has lots of mix and match options. Mid price range. After my mastectomy I had certain styles I look for and they have lasted several years. Also adjustable straps are a bonus.

  9. Great review! Am ordering the Anne Cole coverup now. Thanks Jo-Lynne!

    Julie Marshall
    @drjulie’s fun life.com

  10. I love Sunsets swimwear for DD and DDD bra sized tops. They are very supportive and very comfortable and come in bra sized bikinis and tankinis.

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