Don’t exactly squeal with excitement for swimsuit season? You’re not alone. If you plan on swimming and splashing in the water at some point during the summer (or resort season), buying a bathing suit is a must. In particular, you might be looking for bikini alternatives.
The thing is, despite so many swimwear choices, why does it seem that most options you see online or at the store are slinky bikinis you would never even consider wearing in public? Aren’t there any flirty and fun bikini alternatives?
We’re all about body positivity and carrying yourself with confidence, but that doesn’t mean every woman wants to flaunt it all. The great thing is we have the choice.
We searched high and low to find some great bikini alternatives including one-pieces (also called monokinis), tankinis and skirtinis that will flatter your figure no matter what your size or shape.
When you have small boobs, halter tops are a good option because it creates a little bit of a cleavage illusion (if that’s what you want) and keeps your perky pair in place Fringe, ruffles and other little frills are also good for small chests because they give more volume, not to mention they’re just really cute.
But if you’re like me and absolutely hate tan lines, a molded strapless tankini is your swimsuit BFF. It gives just enough oomph and absolutely no tan lines. Plus, it’s a cute alternative to a tank top and could even work as part of your other beachy outfit ideas.
You can usually find good options at TJ Maxx and Marshalls (like the MK version I’m wearing in the above photo). But you can also try the Anne Cole twist-front shirred tankini top on Amazon. It’s fabulous, comes in different colors and is affordably priced from $28 to $78.
If you’ve been blessed with bountiful breasts, it can be tough finding a bathing suit that keeps your pair in place. A ruched monokini swimsuit is simple, modern, stylish and holds you in nicely.
Another great choice is the Aixy one-piece swimsuit on Amazon for only $24. It has excellent reviews and not only do the flounce ruffles on the chest offer good coverage with removable and adjustable straps, but the vintage leaf print is totally on point for the season. (You can also wear it with a maxi skirt for some seriously fun tropical flair.)
Keep in mind this is not a body slimmer, so the suit won’t suck in your body. But that’s OK—who wants to feel tightly wrapped like a mummy anyway?
For those who have boyish body types, it might feel like a blessing and a curse. On one hand, you don’t have to worry about any unwanted spillage. On the other hand, you might feel self-conscious that you don’t have more curves. Either way, we want you to feel comfortable during swimsuit season and celebrate your body exactly as it is.
Since wearing a bikini isn’t your thing, try the same kind of suits we recommend for small boobs—tankinis or one-pieces (monokinis) with lightly padded built-in bras and other details such as ruching (aka gathering or pleating), ruffles and even V-neck cuts for a little extra sexiness.
This $24 V-neck ruffled swimsuit has great Amazon reviews thanks to the adjustable straps and soft padding bra without underwire.
If you think about it, “plus size” is actually standard size—the average American woman today wears between a size 16-18. We applaud women who rock a bikini no matter their size, but since this list is for those of us who don’t want to sport a tiny two-piece, we suggest bikini alternatives with ruching, color blocking or fun patterns.
For some great options, try supermodel Ashley Graham’s Swimsuits For All collection featuring one-pieces and cover-ups priced between $102 and $108 for sizes 4-24.
If you have a little belly pooch, tankinis and one-piece blouson swimsuits are a really good option to mask your midsection and still feel comfy. If you want to keep it modest yet fun, this highly-rated one-piece from MAXMODA offers removable cups and lots of fun ruffles to camouflage any bulges you might want to minimize. So go ahead, girl—have a snack and enjoy your time poolside.
When your body’s bootylicious, we say go for it and wear a suit that showcases your assets. Although it’s technically a two-piece bathing suit, this #1 new plus-size tankini on Amazon is a far cry from a teeny-tiny bikini because of the tummy-flattering peplum ruffle and full-cover bottoms. We love this tropical yellow floral print, but you can choose from watercolor pastels, leopard print and others.
If you want to add a little more booty coverage, try this adorable COCOSHIP retro-style skirtini. The halter top has a molded underwire bra with removable pads and the flouncy skirtini silhouette can double as a mini sundress.
More Bikini Alternatives to Flatter Your Figure
No matter your body type, here are a few more bathing suit options for you to wear on your next resort season vacay, weekend getaway at the beach or poolside BBQ.
This fun and flirty tankini two-piece features a flowing bikini top and a ruched high-waisted bikini bottom that will flatter any figure. The shelf bra has soft molded cups and adjustable straps while the bottoms seamlessly drape across the belly to hide any bulges you might be self-conscious about. (It also comes in tons of different patterns and colors!) At just $16 to $24 in sizes S to 3XL, it’s a fabulous look that works every time.
For some fun and fashionable retro flair, you can’t go wrong with this boy-short style one-piece swimsuit featuring a sweetheart neckline. The wire-free bra pads are sewn in, which means you won’t have to worry about them moving around, and the halter straps keep everything in place. Available in sizes S to 4XL, this monokini feels good on the skin and offers plenty of “give” in a variety of must-have patterns.
Proving that sexy doesn’t mean skimpy, this sleek and chic mesh swimsuit looks like a designer piece but works for tight budgets. Priced under $25 in sizes S to XXL, this monokini features mesh and fishnet detailing, removable pads, a keyhole back and off-the-shoulder flouncy sleeves for feminine flair without the tan lines.
Even better, this versatile fashion-forward bikini alternative can also work as a bodysuit that you can pair with other beachwear, including shorts, jeans, skirts or loose linen pants.
Make a Splash With Stylish Bikini Alternatives
No matter what your body type is, the bottom line is that you don’t have to stress out about trying on skimpy bikini sets if that’s not your thing. Rather than focusing on trends, think about what makes you feel comfortable. If that means a tank top or a T-shirt and swim shorts, then there’s nothing wrong with that either.
After all, summertime is about enjoying the warm weather, reveling in longer days and spending as much time as you can outdoors. Just remember to wear a hat, apply your chemical-free sunscreen, and have fun.
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