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The most flattering swimsuits for different body types, according to a pro

When temps creep into the high 80s and 90s, people tend to fall into two teams: Team A/C or Team Water. While some retreat indoors where the air conditioner is pumping at full power, others soak up the sun by the pool or at the beach.

If you’re in the latter camp, you need a good supply of flattering swimsuits. (And sunscreen and water shoes too, of course.) One just won’t cut it if you’re splashing around multiple times per week. And I’ll be the first to admit that trying on bathing suits isn’t my idea of a good time. But it doesn’t have to be all doom and gloom. The key to making swimsuit shopping less awful is knowing what to look for.

I spoke with Dani Read, head of design for the Italian lingerie and swimwear brand Cosabella. She spends most of her days thinking about how to make women look and feel their best in barely-there fashion, so who better to ask for swimsuit shopping advice?

Before you even try on a swimsuit, Read says it’s important to take a look at the label. “Sun, salt and chlorine are very hard on materials, so I always choose fabrics with durability in mind,” Read explains. Her recommendation? Look for swimsuits that “provide shaping compression, offer 50+ UPF sun protection, have vibrant fade-resistant color and quick-dry features and are designed to be anti-pilling.”

Next comes choosing the right silhouette. “Prioritize fit and comfort over trends,” Read says. “Everybody is unique, and finding a swimsuit that fits well and makes you feel confident and comfortable is key. Having a few great-fitting styles can be far better than having tons of ill-fitting trendy swimsuits or bikinis. By experimenting with different options, you can find the perfect style that works for your body shape and personal preferences.”

Not sure where to start? Check out Read’s top fit tips for women with different body types below.

Try a swimsuit with wider shoulder straps. “Look for swimsuits with special features that will enhance, support and lift your bust,” Read explains. “Adjustable straps will allow you to customize the fit, and wide straps will help distribute the weight more evenly for ultimate comfort.”

Amazon

Walmart

Who says supportive swimsuits can’t be a little sexy? This under-$25 find from Walmart has see-through mesh panels that make it feel anything but matronly. It’s available in three colors, but sizes are selling quickly, so don’t wait to grab one for yourself.

$24 at Walmart

Target

This cutout style from Target features wide straps that won’t dig into your shoulders when you’re at the pool or beach. There’s also a crisscross tie detail at the back, so you can customize the fit.

$32 at Target

“Look for swimsuits with built-in tummy-control features that will help streamline the tummy area,” Read says. High-waisted bikini bottoms are another option that can be super flattering for the waistline, she adds.

Cosabella

You don’t need a six-pack to strut your stuff in a bikini. This versatile Cosabella style has a shaper toning panel that offers lots of support. Even better, the foldover design means you can position the bikini bottom as low or high on your waist as you want.

$120 at Cosabella

Walmart

Not only does this stylish suit have tummy-disguising ruching across the front, but inside, there’s a Powermesh lining that supports your stomach and back.

$24 at Walmart

Amazon

Resist the urge to cover them up in a swim dress (though we’ve got some cute options there, too)! It may seem counter-intuitive, but bathing suits that show a little more can actually be more flattering. “Swimsuits with high-cut legs can visually elongate the legs and compliment a curvy figure,” Read explains.

Amazon

If you’re hesitant to try a high-cut style, this Amazon pick is the way to go. It’s not too expensive, and the sides are adjustable so you can cinch it as low or high as you’d like. One shopper commented, “Totally love it. Looks sexy but not too revealing. Soft and comfortable.”

$32 at Amazon

Target

The cutouts on this Target cutie are strategically placed so they’re not too revealing, and the high-cut legs are still forgiving. “Love the cut and color!” one satisfied shopper wrote. “For an almost-40 mom of three, this is a great suit!”

$32 at Target

Skims

Say it with me: All bodies are bikini bodies. This high-cut Skims style is available in sizes XXS-4X. (Pro shopping tip: Join the waitlist if your size is out of stock right now.) According to shoppers, this design is worth the wait. One customer raved, “[this swimsuit is] comfortable and flattering and doesn’t cut in where you don’t want it to.” Another added, “I’ve always been a fan of the high-leg cut for bathing suits, and this one does not disappoint!”

$38 at Skims

Don’t limit yourself to solid-color swimsuits. “Playing with bold prints and patterns can draw attention away from certain areas and create a more balanced look,” Read says.

Amazon

How fun is this eye-catching geometric print two-piece? The bottoms offer plenty of rear-end coverage, and they have subtle ruching around the waist to flatter your midsection. More than 6,000 shoppers have given this bikini a five-star rating.

$36 at Amazon

Walmart

Don’t wait to add this Sofia Vergara style to your Walmart cart ASAP. It’s already sold out in the pretty blue print, so it’s only a matter of time before the black and white combo is gone too. One shopper wrote, “I am at the age where I prefer more coverage in a swimsuit, but don’t want to look dowdy. This is perfect!”

$36 at Walmart

Nordstrom

Want to invest in a swimsuit you’ll have for years to come? This La Blanca style is pricey, but it’s worth it — the brand is known for its top-notch quality. (To keep your bathing suits in the best condition, always hand wash and air dry them.)

$125 at Nordstrom

The reviews quoted above reflect the most recent versions at the time of publication.

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