the ultimate swimwear guide for women with back fat

The Complete Bathing Suit Guide on Back Fat

What is back fat & why do I have it

As we age and experience different phases of life, our body will be changing as well.

How we choose to live and spend our time will play a major factor in how our body will age. For example, if you are not working out, stressed a majority of the time, and consume high amounts of sugar and/or alcohol – you may start to notice negative changes to your body and physical appearance.

Separately, lack of sleep, hormone changes, or major life events like a pregnancy or menopause, can also cause changes to the physical appearance.

One might argue that gaining weight is a challenge that we will all encounter.

Whether it is a short period in our life or an ongoing struggle, we are all going to take a look in the mirror one day and make some new assessments about ourselves.

Where we gain weight and how quickly is based on lifestyle choices, but also greatly due to genetics.

Consider how your mother, grandmother, and aunts are aging- can you draw any similarities to your body? 

Many people, especially women, will gain weight in the belly and lower back area. As the lower back starts to hold onto fat, you may start to notice rolls over your bottoms. This is often called a muffin top or love handles.

fat on lower back

Another problem area for women is around the bra line. Skin and/or fat may start to spill over your bra band or straps as you age. Bra bulge will certainly be more noticeable as your back starts to hold onto fat.

bra bulge on the back-

Overall, we should love and be kind to ourselves at every stage of our life. Read on to learn more about buying the right swimsuit if you have back fat concerns.

Related: Swimwear for Top-Heavy Women: A Full Guide >

Hiding your back flab in bikinis

Understandably so, diet and exercise will play a major factor in the body’s ability to stay toned and process fat.

However, diet and exercise are not always the fix. Women can still struggle with getting to their ideal image, no matter how hard they try.

You can have a very consistent routine and still not see the results you hoped for. When the clothes come off, that is when women will likely feel the most insecure.

And as warmer months are upon us, you may be dreading outdoor activities, like going to the pool or beach, because of your back fat.

If you are in this position, try not to let your insecurities stop you from experiencing life. Although you may feel insecure, there are ways to look and feel confident in swimwear. Remember, your body is a beautiful gift!

The basic tips for women with back fat:

Wear swimwear that fits you

Ill fitting swimwear will expose and highlight excess skin and fat.

So, how do I know what will fit me? Get the tape measurer and measure yourself! It may seem like an annoying task, or maybe you just really don’t want to know your numbers, but this will help you choose the correct size swimsuit.

Swimwear sizes can range from one brand to the next, so ultimately, knowing your measurements will give you better chances at buying the correct size – especially if you are shopping online.

This small task up front will save you time, frustration, and hopefully money down the road. 

Mimic shapewear

Buy swimwear that shapes your body in the places you need it to.

Shapewear is designed to compress, support, and ultimately “shape” your body. There are also swimwear lines developed with shapewear features.

Buy a quality swimsuit

You may need to spend a little more money, but this will pay off in confidence, poise, and overall a longer lasting swimsuit.

What bathing suits should I wear to hide my back rolls?

There are two different types of swimsuit style options that are recommended for women with back fat.

A one piece swimsuit is a great option as the suit will hug and compress your full torso. This can do beautiful things for your overall shape.

one piece bathing suit is a great option for back fat

There are many different types of backs on a one piece, so ultimately, choose the option that does the most for you and the areas of your body you’d like to accentuate versus cover up.

The second option is a two piece tankini. A tankini is a great option as the top is longer, lending that coverage you want for back fat concerns. Pair a tankini top with a high waisted bottom for the most elevated look.

Remember, the goal is to look and feel confident! 

In either swimsuit style option, look for a sturdy fabric – like neoprene or spandex – for optimal, yet comfortable, compression.

This fabric will give smoothing results so you won’t be worried about lumps or rolls in the material.

model wearing a ribbed one piece swimsuit

Ribbed or ruched material are other amazing fabric options as the texture and vertical lines will draw the eye towards your overall shape as opposed to your problem areas. Ribbed fabric tends to be sturdy and give natural compression which are similar effects of shapewear.

Choosing swimwear for specific problem areas

Upper back fat

This is when you notice skin and/or fat rolling over the top of your bra band.

Women with upper back fat may find this the most annoying area as many swimsuit tops will accentuate this area, unintentionally of course.

Many swimsuit tops will tie or clasp along the mid back, shoulder blade line which will push up excess skin and fat.

When selecting your swimsuit top, look for tops that have a higher back along the shoulder blades and up along the underarms.

upper back fat on the back

Comparing the above picture to the one below, and you will see that the cut makes a huge difference. Visually, in image on the left we see the upper fat accentuated by the cut of the band, whereas, in image on the right below the “problem area” is compressed and covered under the material.

comparison of using the right bikini styles to hide back fat

Alternatively, a swimsuit with no tie or clasp in the back is recommended.

This ensures that strings/ties are not digging into your back, causing an indentation into the skin/fat.

Choosing a top that ties in the front typically means there is more fabric in the back and ultimately, this will draw the eye to the chest.

Mid back fat

On the other side of  “upper bra bulge”, there is “lower bra bulge”.

This is when you notice skin and/or fat rolling over the bottom of your bra band.

Similar to upper back fat, this is an annoying area as many swimsuits tie or clasp in the back.

A thin to medium band may also be too thin and dig into the skin. Just like with upper back fat, these types of tops can accentuate bottom back fat which may be something you want to cover.

what mid back fat looks like

Ideally your swim top should not stop at the bottom of the ribcage, as this is where the top will push any excess skin or fat down, overall accentuating that mid back fat.

When selecting your swimsuit top, focus on medium to full coverage or “longline” tops.

what kind of bathing suits are good for mid back fat

The goal is to cover and compress along the mid section so fabric length of the top will be the most important thing to consider.

Lower back fat

The terms “muffin top” and “love handles” are other names for lower back fat.

Women notice lower back fat when skin and/or fat are stacking up on the lower back and on top of the hips. 

What lower back fat looks like

When selecting a swimsuit, consider how the band of your bottom will hit your hips.

High waisted bikini bottoms are a great option for women with lower back fat. The high waist will cover your problem area around the hips/lower back while accentuating your waist.

For the best length on the bottoms, go for a true high rise up to the belly button.

You will also want to consider your top length and how this hugs your lower back and hips.

If the top ends at the bottom of the rib cage, then consider a high rise bottom.

If the top is full length, then a mid rise bikini top may work in tandem with the bottom.

model wearing a bathing suit with high cut legs

As a bonus and also your preference, a high cut leg on the bottoms will be flattering for your legs. A one piece bikini is always a great option as this will give full coverage on your lower back/hips. 

Things to avoid if you have back fat

If you are already not feeling confident wearing a swimsuit, then there are swimwear options you’ll want to avoid while you are shopping.

  • Generally, low rise bottoms are not flattering and should be avoided.
  • String bikinis tend to show the most skin, so there will be little to no coverage of problem areas on your back.
  • Swimwear that is too small or too tight will accentuate your back fat and should be returned for the correct size.
  • White and ivory (or light colors) are generally not as slimming as dark colors.
  • Large scale prints or overly busy prints can actually make you look larger, so these should be avoided as well. 

Remember, you want to wear bathing suits that fits you!

Overall, trust your intuition and go for the option that boosts your confidence!

Tips on smoothing or compressing back fat in bathing suits

You may be feeling like your options are limited or maybe the choices are a bit boring.

If you’re wanting a more playful look, an off the shoulder top can be a great choice for women that want to cover their back fat.

use bikini tops with ruffles to hide back fat

The bandeau top and sleeve will give ample coverage to your “problem areas” while still exposing some skin.

A ruffle detailing or cute polka dot print can be figure flattering options.

And lastly, accessories are a girl’s best friend!

Don’t shy away from a complete swimwear look. Grab a complimentary sarong or kimono for a cute cover up option.

Even if you find the perfect swimsuit, you may still have your doubts and uneasiness about showing off your body.

Having a coordinated cover up will give you an extra layer over your suit if you feel like you need it.

With time, you may get comfortable and can take the cover up off to show off your figure.

Based in sunny Arizona. Proud mom of two. Loves working on wardrobes, organization, and home design/décor. Passionate about sourcing and curating content/merchandise for different types of projects.

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