guide on wearing swimsuit with cellulite thighs

Swimwear for Cellulite Thighs: A Practical Guide

We want to help you do one of these two things:

Change the way you think of cellulite thighs, or change the way you deal with them in bikinis/swimsuits.

Orange peels? Dimples? What exactly is cellulite?

Cellulite is a very common skin condition caused by fat deposits under the skin.

Colloquially known as orange peels, cottage cheese thighs, and hail damage, cellulite is a literal pain in the ass for some, as it creates a dimpled or textured appearance and is mainly found on thighs, hips and buttocks.

what cellulite looks like under skin-
What the inside of cellulite looks like

It’s a completely harmless and natural condition, and people of all body shapes and fitness levels have cellulite.

So then why do we care about it?

We don’t!

We are in the age of body positivity and transparency, but unfortunately, old habits die hard, and cellulite can still be a point of insecurity due to the misconception that it is the presence of toxins or just because of weight gain.  

What causes cellulite on the thighs? Is it normal?

Between 80-90% of women experience cellulite at some stage, so rest assured that is completely normal and common.

cellulite thighs illustration

Cellulite occurs when the fat cells push up into the layer of skin, and although it is not exactly known what causes this fat to protrude across the layers, there are several factors that could contribute to the development of cellulite.


There is a theory that suggests the decrease in estrogen that occurs in the lead-up to menopause causes the connective tissue to weaken and the fat cells to enlarge, therefore making the fat deposits more visible and causing more cellulite.


Metabolic speed, distribution of fat and circulatory levels can all impact the development of cellulite, and they are all genetic factors, which reinforces that cellulite is a natural occurrence. 

Lifestyle factors:

Cellulite is not a build-up of toxins (so no need to throw out all the good stuff), although leading a healthy lifestyle can work towards avoiding and reducing the appearance of cellulite.

Cellulite can be more prevalent in people who do not exercise, smoke, eat too much fat, carbohydrates, and salt, and do not eat enough fibre. While cellulite is more common in people with excess fat, people who are slim and active can still have cellulite.

Can I get rid of my cellulite?

Since cellulite occurs naturally and is impacted by various factors, it is unlikely that you will be able to get rid of it altogether, but there are lifestyle changes you can make to reduce the appearance of cellulite.

Regular exercise can help reduce the appearance of cellulite as it works to tone the underlying muscle and reduce fat stores, which means there is less fat available to protrude into the skin. Walking can be great for this as well, as it improves circulation while reducing excess body fat. However, cellulite can still be present on those with very low body fat percentages.

While there is no specific diet that can completely eliminate cellulite, drinking plenty of water, and eating a healthy and balanced diet that is rich in fruits, vegetables, whole grains, protein, and healthy fats can reduce inflammation and keep your skin and body healthy. 

How do I deal with cellulite thighs in bikinis & swimsuits?

The number one priority when choosing swimwear is to make you feel empowered, confident, and secure. Cellulite is definitely not a reason to avoid wearing bikinis, as it is super normal and common! However, we all know that just because someone tells you not to be insecure or uncomfortable, doesn’t change things overnight. 

So, if you want to wear a swimsuit that covers your thighs to feel comfortable and confident, then there are plenty of options to choose from.

Bikini bottoms that cover cellulite thighs

Swim pants/Leggings

Swim pants and leggings are full-length pants that are designed specifically for water use. They look like exercise leggings but are made of the same fabric as other swimwear, making them the perfect option for full-coverage swimwear with optimal comfort.

Swim skirts

A swim skirt is usually a mini skirt that can either be tight-fitting or flowy. It is designed to go over other swimwear like a full-piece or bikini and is made of the swim-friendly fabric so it can be worn in and out of the water.

Boyshort/boyleg bikini bottoms

Rather than the high cut of a bikini bottom, a boyleg bottom is more like shorts. They usually cover the full butt for better coverage and look like exercise shorts but in swimwear material.

Bikini bottoms with wraps

A swim wrap is like a skirt, but it is closer to a sarong in that it ties up around the waist and is mainly sheer.

They can range from mini skirts to going all the way down the knees (like a sarong). They are designed to be worn over bikini bottoms and are usually made from water-friendly material, so they can be worn in the water.

One-piece swimsuits that hide cellulite thighs

Swim dress

A swim dress is like a one-piece swimsuit combined with a swim skirt. They come in a range of styles, mainly with a sleeveless top one-piece that has a built-in skirt.

Rash guards with thigh coverage

These are very similar to the design of a wetsuit, as they are a one-piece swimwear with either capped or full sleeves and bike shorts. They are typically made of lighter material that is similar to other swimwear. 

Tips for choosing bathing suits for cellulite thighs

  • Choose a swimsuit that accentuates the parts of your body that you do love.
  • Ensure the fit is flattering and you’re comfortable. This will help stop you from worrying about what you can’t control.
  • Buy the size that fits without worrying about the size number on the tag.
  • Compromising on fit just to stay in that size 6 is never worth the discomfort and excess digging in that comes with it.
  • Getting the right size means it looks like it was made for you and creates more flattering shapes
  • Find a bottom that matches your style. If you always wear skirts, choose a swim skirt, but if you prefer pants, go for swim pants.
  • Choose something that aligns with your usual clothing choices for optimum comfort.

Jessica is a freelance writer and editor, with a passion for all things style and fashion. She enjoys sharing tips on how to find clothes that make you feel your best.

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