Lap swimming, water aerobics, and other aquatic workouts are a great way to burn fat and keep your heart healthy. But water workouts require supportive swimwear, and when you’re a curvy girl, finding a swimsuit to feel comfortable and confident in isn’t always easy.
Fortunately, swimsuit manufacturers these days are catching on to the fact that plus-size women want more out of their swimwear – more cuts, more styles, more colors, and more prints. As a result, swimsuit shopping isn’t what it used to be – your mother never had the wide range of options available to women now. You’ll need to devote some time to shopping around, but choosing a flattering, supportive plus-sized swimsuit is just a matter of knowing what parts of your body you want to accentuate, what parts you want to downplay, what level of functionality you desire, and what cuts and styles will get you there.
Consider Your Body Shape and Problem Areas
If you’re an adult woman who’s shopped for clothes before, you probably feel good about accentuating or revealing some parts of your body, but less good about accentuating or revealing others. Most women fall into one of the following body shape categories:
- Apple. You have a large bust and carry your extra weight in your torso, but have relatively thin arms and legs.
- Hourglass. You have a large bust and large hips, with a thin waist.
- Pear. You have a small bust and waist, but full hips.
- Rectangle. You have wide hips and shoulders, with not much of a waist at all.
- Inverted triangle. You have a large bust, but narrow hips and little definition at the waist.
No matter which of these categories you fall into, you most likely have some problem areas you’d like to draw attention away from. Perhaps you have a pear-shaped figure and you like your small waist, but aren’t so crazy about your wide hips and small bust. Perhaps your figure is less hourglass and more grandfather clock, and you’re looking for a suit that will accentuate your curves. Maybe you have some belly fat, back fat, or love handles to deal with. The first step in successful swimsuit shopping is to know what you’re looking for – ask yourself which features you want to show off, which you want to downplay, what you need in terms of functionality.
Once you’ve decided what you’re looking for, you can start shopping. While many plus-size women feel most comfortable in one-piece, maillot-style suits, that’s far from the only option available these days – and you don’t have to feel limited to it. Tankinis, swim dresses, and high-waisted bikinis can all be flattering on the plus-size figure, although you may want to avoid string bikini styles – not because they’re not flattering, but because they often don’t offer large-busted girls adequate support.
You may be in the market for plus-size swimsuits with shape control or other supportive features. If you have a small bust, look for a swimsuit with ruching or ruffles around the top; if you have a large bust, shop for tops sized like lingerie (i.e. cup sizes, not small, medium, or large) and suits that offer built-in underwire support or shelf bras. Suits with thick, double-stitched straps offer the most support for large-busted women; halter tops may become uncomfortable during workouts.
If you have tummy or back fat, ruching or shape control can go a long way towards smoothing out your figure. Ruching at the sides can accentuate curves while drawing attention away from tummy fat, as can a patterned suit with solid color panels at the sides. Choose a high-backed swimsuit to conceal back fat. Swim dresses are also cute and stylish and hide a multitude of sins, from tummy and back fat to thunder thighs and even un-waxed bikini lines. High-waisted bikinis can also effectively hide tummy fat, and many retro styles offer extra coverage for the rear end, too. Tankinis are a great option if you want the coverage of a one-piece, but also crave the freedom of movement and convenience of a two-piece.
The very thought of swimsuit shopping can be enough to cast a pall over your mood, but with the many colorful and stylish options available to plus-sized women today, there’s no reason you can’t look stylish and feel comfortable while working out in the pool. Buy your next plus-sized swimsuit today – and find out how refreshing water workouts can be.