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How to Choose the Best Swimwear for your Shape in your 50s


Fantasie costume from John Lewis

Article by Fabafterfifty


As the hot weather arrives and the holiday season approaches, so does the need to buy the dreaded swimwear!  So what tips will help us to choose swimwear to fit and flatter our bodyshape?  How can we look our best and face the beach or the pool with confidence whether in a costume or bikini in our 50s and beyond? Should you wear a bikini if you’re over 50? If you have the body confidence to do so then absolutely!

Here are a few tips and hints to take the stress out of buying swimwear

Swimwear for women with larger busts.

For those of us with larger busts , support is crucial!   The best swimwear for larger busts are ones with halter-tops or moulded under wire cups to  help keep everything in place.  Some costumes come with an additional strap across the back along the bust line, for added support .  Look for ranges which sell swimwear by cup size (Fantasie have an excellent range). Women with an inverted shape (their top half is wider than their hips), should choose a two-piece with a skort or shorts.  This helps you look more in proportion and balances out the top and bottom, making them look more proportional.

Swimwear for women with large hips and thighs.

Boy cut bottoms are flattering on those of us with larger bottoms. The skirted bikini bottoms are also flattering .  Avoid skimpy bikini briefs at all costs! To take attention away from your bottom half, choose a one-piece or bikini with a brightly coloured top. This will draw attention upwards away from your rear end.  Avoid horizontal stripes, as they will make your rear appear wider than it actually is, although diagonal stripes can create a more flattering illusion.

Swimwear for Curvy Women

Tankinis are a great option for curvy women. The tankini is a two-piece swimsuit with a top that resembles a tank top.  With it, you can pair the hipster bottoms.  Tankini  bottoms provide far more support for your curves than the traditional bikini bottoms.  Curvy women have possibly the best choice this year with the revival of 50’s look swimwear – supporting and covering in all the right places!

Swimwear for women with a larger tummy

If you have a larger tummy, it’s best to stick to a one-piece costume.  However, if you really want a two-piece, a ‘tankinis’ may well be your best option.  Check out tummy control swimwear – John Lewis do an excellent range.  A patterned print on a costume will also take the focus away from your stomach and make you look slimmer.

 Choosing Swimwear in larger sizes

Stick to dark colours like navy blue and black to help make you look slimmer, a band of colour at the top will help to draw the eye upwards.  Avoid swimwear with horizontal stripes, as that creates the optical illusion that you are wider than you actually are.  Do not try to squeeze into a swimming costume  that is two sizes too small for vanity reasons!  Selecting the right size will always achieve a look which will be most flattering. Remember that swimwear sizes often run smaller than regular clothes, so you may have to buy a size or two larger than you normally wear.

When buying swimwear don’t be tempted to buy the first costume or bikini you try on unless you  really love it . Take your time, take several styles and sizes in the dressing room with you and see which one looks best.  Think about whether it will stay in pace if you plan to swim as well as sunbathe!  Take a friend along who you can trust to give you an honest opinion as to whether or not it really does look good on you!


Fabafterfifty.com. Redefining 50. Celebrating the best half of our lives!

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  1. Pat

    January 8, 2013

    Last summer I invested in a really great swimsuit and I couldn’t believe the difference it made to my ‘more mature’ size 12 figure. I felt really great on the beach and will definitely be treating myself to another of the same make this year. I bought it from Figleaves.com and yes mine was navy blue background with splashes of other colours. Great article

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