5 Ways To Look Slim in a Swimsuit

blue swimsuitSummer is finally here which means it’s time to get out the swimsuits. Is your swimsuit cute and current? Do you even own one?

Many of us are so terrified of looking fat in a swimsuit that we put off buying one, indefinitely.

The whole swimsuit thing becomes a vicious circle. When the occasion arises that you actually need one, (i.e. you are invited to a friend’s pool or cottage), you end up dragging out some boring, old bathing suit you’ve had in your closet for years. How frumpy does that make you feel?

Buying a swimsuit that flatters your figure is challenging, especially over 40. Whether you’re trying to camouflage a small trouble spot, or appear trimmer all over, you just need to know a few tricks. Here are five great ways to look slim and feel fabulous in a swimsuit:

tassel bathing suit1. Get the Right Size

This is one time when it’s really important for you put your vanity aside and forget about the size tag.

Bathing suits and their stretchy nature hug your curves, so if a bathing suit fits too snug, it can squeeze your flabby bits and make you look heavier than you are.

Going up one size is always an easy fix. No one will notice, and you’ll avoid looking stuffed into your bathing suit.

Here are two great body slimming swimsuits.

The first is this pretty blue paisley pattern swimsuit – The Festival Tankini.


This stunning orange one is the Conundrum One Piece. orange bathing suit
2. Take Advantage of Draping and Ruching

Some women naturally gravitate towards bathing suits with draping or ruching and for good reason. They realize that soft folds of fabric at the midriff make the best type of tummy slimming swimsuits.

A one-piece bathing suit with this kind of detail, combined with a good tummy panel in the front to hold you in, works like magic to slim and tone.

This Coral Madness Rialto Swimsuit is a good example of this. It looks great either way if you have a bit of a pot belly or none at all.

ruched bathing suit
This  Anne Cole Cris Cross Tankini also has a lot of ruching that is very flattering to fuller figures. ruched swimsuit
3. Wear an Optical Illusion Print

If you are not feeling that great about prancing around in a swimsuit, then you will love theses magical prints.

Designers have gotten very clever about choosing fabrics that trick the eye and make it seem like there is draping where there is not. These interesting fabrics whittle the waist and trim the hips.

This Miraclesuit Deep End suit is proof of that. Miraclesuits are some of the best stomach slimming swimsuits out there.

waist slimming swimsuits
Color-blocked panels of fabric also shape your figure in dramatic ways. This Spectra Band its one-piece is one of many waist slimming swimsuits that have real sex appeal. color block bathing suit
4. Drop Pounds by Going Dark

Color counts when it comes to where you place it. Dark colors shrink the area they cover while light and bright colors enlarge.

By using color strategically, you can magically shrink the parts of your body that are a little more “obvious”.

For example, this black Miracle Suit Escape Garland one-piece with a floral motif is one of the best body slimming swimsuits because it puts the focus on the narrow strip of flowers.

Bathing suits with a darker color on the bottom and  a bright or light color up by your bust  will help even out your shape and make you look more balanced.

black floral swimsuit
Take a look at this Santa Fe Tankini. You don’t focus on the bottom half because you are so busy being attracted by the colorful top half. tankini bathing suit
5. Choose a High Cut Leg

Here’s a simple fact. If you look taller, you will look slimmer.

One way to look taller is to trick visually the eye by exposing as much of your leg as you can.

Boy cut short style bathing suits that cut straight across the top of your leg like shorts may cover well, but the reality is they make you look shorter and wider.

Go for a bathing suit like this Miraclesuit Escape One piece. It’s high at the hip to create the illusion of legs that go on for miles. (The darker bottom half trims the tummy, too)

A little-heeled sandal never hurts either!

teal bathing suit

Be sure to check out my post on 2015 Swimsuit trends to find out more about the latest styles.

Do you own fashionable beachwear? Be Brave. Send me a photo in your swimsuit and I will post it! I’m showing one-piece suits because they are very popular, but there is no reason you can’t wear a bikini over 40!


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  1. I will model for you I am 46 , and want to model swim wear because I also have more to consider then just change of age and body. I lost my large intestines 3 years ago so I have a ostomy bag.

  2. Angela Broussard says:

    I just returned from a cruise and I must say I was pleased with my pics from the cruise when I saw them. Which that is not the norm. I am 45 and I did wear age appropriate bathing suits. My goal is to look classy for my age. I splurged and bought 2 new swimsuits. One from Target and one from Walmart. I got complements on both of them. One was a babydoll style and the other look like a tank top that tied around the neck with the bottoms being a skirt with built in girdle. Of course I always had my earrings on to complement my bathing suits. I did work extra hard on my outfits for the cruise and it paid off. I love your website. I often got tips for the cruise here and pinterest.

    • Hi Angela,
      I’m so happy for you. I’ve been on cruises and I know what you mean. It is a lot of work to get your wardrobe ready for them because you need to bring such a wide variety of clothes from bathing suits to evening dinner wear, but when you dress up on a ship, be it at the pool or a formal dinner, you really feel fab!! Plus, you end up looking fantastic in all those professional photos they take on those ships.

  3. April Hebert says:

    I love this saying: “Want a bikini body? Put a bikini on your body.”
    One of the great things about being older is that we get to wear whatever the hell we want. No one cares, so why should we? And if they do, that says a whole lot more about them than it does about us. Let your varicose veins see the sunlight!

  4. I am interested on swimsuit buying guide. Do you have tips for me?

  5. I am 47.5 yrs old. I am a 34DD /34E . I am a small to medium size bottom. I have a fairly small waist . I do have a bit of a jelly belly since my last birth 3 yrs ago. It is so hard to find swimsuits to fit top and bottom because of mixed sizes. Summer clothes is also a problem . I am going on vacation to Hawaii . I need HELP!!!!

    • Hi Lu. Have you considered a tankini? It’s great for girls with top and bottom size differences. It’s a two piece, so you have the flexibility of selecting different sizes and it looks like a onepiece with tummy coverage. Then, you can just buy different coloured bottoms to go with the top and update your look without breaking the bank:) With a jelly belly, definitely go a ruched top option as it will disguise what lies beneath beautifully. Hope that helps. This isn’t a plug for my online swim and resortwear business, but if you’re not sure what I mean or would like to see what this tankini would look like, here is a link to one: http://www.sequinsandsand.com.au/tankini-swimwear/3315/capriosca-chlorine-resistant-tankini-top-red.html
      Have a fabulous time in Hawaii! I’m hoping to venture there early next year with my family. Bit of a trip from Australia:) xx

  6. lois foden says:

    what about those of us that have legs which look like a world atlas, full of thread veins, purple, red, from ankle to thigh, cant afford to have them removed, nothing covers them, nothing. believe me I have tried, sally hanson, fake tan………………..can anybody help?

    • Lois, please do not let your veins get in your way of enjoying the beach or pool. I feel like we all should enjoy the pretty weather regardless of what our legs look like. I think the most important thing is to wear modest clothing, don’t let everything hang out and if you are over 40 , wear longer shorts. I don’t mind seeing people with varicose veins but I do mind seeing people in short shorts who do not need to be wearing them! Enjoy life! I wear my bathing suit and just wear a lightweight and cool cover up until I am ready to get in the water. When I get out I put the cover up back on if I am around a lot of people.

    • Sharon Marquiss says:

      Hi Lois, I wear black board shorts over a swimsuit. I also wear the shorts with a swim top. The board shorts I have are black and so I find a top or swimsuit that has a bright pattern with a small amount of black mixed in. The shorts come to just above my knees, and are board shorts for ladies. They fit very well without being tight. I feel better with my thighs covered! I hope this idea helps!

  7. Excellent article, but the models used did NOT go with the story, which is something I find pretty offensive. If the article is about how to look slim and the site is how to look good over 40, yet you use skinny models who are 20, at best — how is that not going to offend your readers? You’re saying one thing and doing another.

    I see Deborah’s comment that there aren’t models over 40 to be found — how much effort was put into that? If there’s a need and no supply, then why not host a competition of some sorts? Don’t just shrug and say, “Oh well.”

    • Hi Karin,
      We put many hours of effort into searching for fashion shots from retailers that use 40+ models. If you can point us to some we’d be thrilled to use them. We also always invite our 40+ readers to send in photos of themselves in various outfits which we always post. So we’re trying to change things, because we feel the same way.

      • Lori Squires says:

        Great tips on the suits. A huge factor in looking good is being confident in yourself. Make up your mind to have a good time and jump into that suit with both feet. Confidence is beautiful…not always easy…but beautiful ;o)

      • Sharon Marquiss says:

        Good answer Deborah. I know you try hard to find older and sometimes larger models, and of course it’s impossible to find ones to showcase every fashion you mention in your articles. I think its a great idea to have readers send in their pics too. Keep up the great work!

  8. Kathie Leveson says:

    I have been wearing tankinis for years, covers the belly. You can always flip up the top when you are lying down to tan your stomach

  9. Love the article would love for you to consider using models with less than perfect figures and faces. Most women over 40 don’t look like these models and these models are not over 40.

    judith pepper

    I was one of your featured over 60’s several months ago!

    • Hi Judith,
      If I could find models who were over 40 I would use them, but alas, they are nowhere. If anyone finds a retail site that uses 40+ models I’d love to check it out. Thanks!