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 did my best to cover all the bases.
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, but now that age and gravity have taken their toll, it’s almost impossible to find a swimsuit that makes me feel comfortable and confident.
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 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.
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 may take some 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, Birdsong, Prima Donna, Athleta, and Miraclesuit.
When it comes to bathing suit styles, one-piece suits are definitely trending right now, and bikinis seem to always be in style. 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…
Skirted suits have a way of looking frumpy, but I totally understand wanting to cover the bum. If you do go with a skirted suit, look for one that is cut close to the body without a lot of flowy fabric.
Amy and I rounded up a bunch of swimsuits for your consideration, and we broke them down into categories to help you with your search for the perfect suit. I also polled my Facebook Group and got a bunch of good suggestions from them. If you have a recommendation, feel free to let us know in the comments!
Swimsuits for a Larger Chest
One of the best things to happen to swimsuits recently is 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. They aren’t cheap, but the quality is excellent, and they aren’t as aging as most swimsuits in this category.
Swimsuits for a Smaller Chest
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.
Swimsuits with Thigh Coverage
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.
Swimsuits with Tummy Control
If you’re self-conscious about your belly, you are in good company. Even though I have an hourglass shape, I tend to hold extra weight in my belly, and that has only gotten worse as I edge closer to menopause.
There are a few options here. You can try to downplay the belly area with a blouson or swing top, but I would pair these 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.
If you need plus sizes, Bare Necessities and Swimsuits for All both have a nice selection, and they also have a ton of filters on the sidebar so you can drill down by the feature you’re looking for. I wasn’t able to add any suits from Swimsuits for All to the shopping widget, so click through and take a look because they have a lot of good ones. Macy’s also has a lot of good choices.
Got a long torso? Swimsuits For All and Andie both have a bunch of longer length swimsuits, but I can’t include them in the shopping widget. Lands’ End has a bunch as well, and some are also available in long plus sizes. I also found some good ones at J.Crew and Boden.
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.
I hope this post is helpful as you’re swimsuit shopping this spring and summer.
And hey, when in doubt, throw on a cute coverup!
Seriously, coverups are where it’s at! I practically live in mine during the summer months. I’ve got a full roundup coming soon!
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photos: Alison Cornell