how to make yourself appear slimmer in swimwear - style guide

How To Look Skinny in Bikinis/Swimsuits [A Complete Guide]

Bikinis and swimsuits are no longer meant for skinny bodies that have, over the years, been on magazine covers and billboards. Today, even with a bigger tummy, thick thighs, and wider hips, it’s bound not to stop you from enjoying the beach season. 

But shopping for a bikini or swimsuit can be daunting, especially if you’re looking for the perfect and most flattering style that makes you look skinny. 

No matter your body shape, it’s possible to wear your bikini or swimsuit and still feel slim and confident. The key is choosing a bathing suit style ideal for your shape, like a halter top for a larger chest. 

Here’s a list of valuable tips to keep in mind when looking for a bikini or swimsuit that’s stylish and slimming.

Knowing where you carry your weight is important

According to the American Council on Exercise, active women carry 21% to 24% of body fat. While fat distribution in most cases depends on genetic factors, you’re likely to store fat in the arm, thighs, lower abdomen, and butt. 

Concealing these problem areas without losing weight can be tricky and easy at the same time, depending on the approach you take.

understanding where you carry your weight and then choose swimsuit styles accordingly_

Upper arms

Women develop ‘bingo wings’ as they age because the skin tends to lose its elasticity, and the saggy appearance occurs due to fat accumulation. Failure to exercise also exacerbates the problem.

While toning your arms is challenging, you can choose a one-piece that covers the arms if you’re not up for showing them off.

Thighs and bottom

Age and hormones lead to fat settling around the thighs, bottom, and pelvis, and you already know that lower body fat is trickier to get rid of.

But you’re proud of your eye-catching derriere and want it to have all the support it needs. You can show it off in lace-up sides and bright print one-piece or bikini bottom. 

The trick in concealing wider hips and thick thighs is making the shoulders wider by wearing an off-shoulder design directing attention to your upper body. 

Stomach and hips

Hormones and sugar are the most common reasons for fat accumulation on the hips and tummy. The thick midsection often indicates that your body isn’t handling insulin effectively, hence the fatty deposits around your waist. 

You can opt for a super-shaping one-piece swimsuit for a firmer abdominal area. Alternatively, you can choose a high-waist bikini bottom that’ll do the trick and hide that flabby midsection.

At the end of the day, understanding your body makes it easier to know which bikini or swimsuit works best to make you look skinnier. In a nutshell:

  • Choose the traditional one-piece swimsuit if you wish to have full coverage.
  • A bikini is ideal if you’re comfortable baring the midsection, while a tankini offers full coverage on the midsection.
  • If you’re full-chested, get a supportive top. Check for well-constructed cups and straps.
  • Wear dark colors to minimize attention to a body part.
  • Opt for a full-coverage bottom to act as a distraction from the hips.

Bikini styles & tips that help make you look thinner

There are standard rules for swimsuit styles to have slimming effects:

Bikinis in deep colors

Darker colors are the most figure flattering. Also, color-blocking suits featuring cut-outs and darker panels create a slimmer figure. They have a slimming effect and will make you appear 10 pounds lighter. Black is a great choice, but you can also opt for purple, dark green, and navy blue. 

Bikinis with vertical stripes

If you want to appear slimmer, vertical lines are more figure flattering because they make you look more athletic. Pairing a striped top and a solid bottom enhances the look of your bust.

Bikinis with proper coverage

A no-brainer to covering your midsection is by wearing a two-piece. So, go for a tank-style swimsuit top and matching bikini bottoms. 

Settle for smaller prints

Big floral patterns and large geometric prints don’t flatter your figure. Instead, choose small patterns or prints for a more streamlined figure. 

Choose a swimsuit with shapewear

These one-piece swimsuits have an extra lining that streamlines your silhouette, making you appear slimmer. 

Look for texture

Fabric gathers on your bikini, or one-piece swimsuit create an appearance of a slimmer waist, especially if the texture appears on the suit’s midsection. Also, a swimsuit with textured layers moves attention away from your torso.

Settle for a high-waisted bikini bottom

For a flattering figure, settle for a high-waisted bikini bottom. It elongates your torso, making you look thinner and taller. In addition, high-waisted bottoms offer coverage for the tummy area and help minimize problem areas. 

Wear a beach cover-up

Beach cover-ups are a great way of hiding problem areas and, at the same time, looking stylish. Pareos, sarongs, and kaftans are all great options. 

Select an appropriate bikini top

Opt for a bikini top that fits your body type to showcase your best self and minimize the weak areas. If you have a smaller bust, consider opting for a padded bikini top or a push-up style to enhance your curves.

If you have a larger bust, it would be best to choose a tankini top or bandeau that provides proper support.

Bikinis with plunging or low-cut necklines

Get suits with plunging necklines if you have a small bust. It gives the illusion of a larger chest while helping balance the proportions. Asymmetrical necklines are also flattering because they help elongate your neck to give you a more slender appearance. 

Printed or solid color bikinis?

Color placement can make you appear slim. Using color strategically, you can magically shrink the slightly obvious parts of your body. 

  • Solid colors minimize the areas they’re covering. For instance, a solid color on the bottom portion makes you look slimmer.
  • Despite what many people think, wearing bold patterns and prints can actually make you appear slimmer. Their busy nature keeps eyes away from a specific area, meaning problem areas aren’t noticed easily.
  • Small prints also draw the eyes in to create an illusion of a slim figure 

The following prints offer a slimming look:

  • Swimsuits with patterns down on the front make the body appear longer and slimmer.
  • Printed swimsuit tops with solid-colored bottoms draw attention to the upper body section, making the legs appear slimmer.
  • To create the appearance of a long torso, identify a swimsuit with a print pattern stretching from the bust to the hip or across your body.
  • Don’t wear a white swimsuit if you wish to camouflage your weight.
  • If you wish to appear taller and slender, wear monochromatic colors from top to bottom. It creates visual vertical lines that hide flaws and lengthen your body. 
  • Pinstripe bikinis or swimsuits create a flattering look and are excellent in navy blue, dark brown, and black.

One-piece swimsuits or two-piece sets?

One-piece and two-piece swimsuits have advantages and disadvantages in making you look slimmer.

One-piece swimsuits make you look skinny, especially in dark colors.

The best options for one-piece swimsuits for a slimmer look should have high-quality material and color-blocking for a slimmer waist appearance. 

One-piece swimsuits disguise problem areas and make you appear skinny, but at the same time, they’re more challenging to put on and take off.

Conversely, two-piece swimsuits allow you to mix and match for the right fit but may not be appropriate if you desire more coverage. 

One-piece swimsuits make you look slimmer in darker colors and have textured material to keep attention away from your flaws.

High-waisted two-piece swimsuits hide the midsection flaws and enhance your appearance with color-blocked bottoms.

Lastly, tankinis and bikinis can have the same slimming effects as one-piece swimsuits. All you have to do is opt for bikinis with much more coverage than the traditional string bikinis.

Sophia is a Los Angeles-based writer who covers pop culture, gender, media, history, and plus-size fashion. With her keen eye for detail and a unique perspective, Sophia's writing captures the essence of the world around us, bringing it to life through her words.

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