Will those who love swimsuit shopping please stand up?
Anyone over 18 years old, I mean:) Aha…thought so! Not many of you!
Summer is arriving (in the Northern Hemisphere at least), and that means days of lazy sunshine, blue skies and summer holidays! It also means that swimsuit season is upon us, and finding the best swimsuits for women over 50, or indeed for a woman of any age, is a daunting prospect.
The mere thought of searching through racks of swimsuits in the stores, looking at minuscule pieces of fabric without shape or form, having no idea of what it will look like on a normal human body (and not a fairy!), and struggling to find a style and size you like, can be a less than pleasant experience…
Shopping for Swimsuits for Older Women is like the House of Fun (Not!)
Add to that the discomfort of squeezing into a cubicle with harsh, unbecoming lighting, and surveying yourself in a mirror which seems to have taken on the properties of the “fat” mirror at the funfair (remember the “House of Fun”?) which you enjoyed as a child, and you have a recipe for disaster!
This discomforting experience causes many women to abandon all hope of swimsuit shopping, and determine not to set foot on the beach or at the pool in this lifetime…or anytime soon. Those who do, may remain covered up, and not enjoy the experience at all, leaving precious memories with their families unfulfilled. (I speak from experience: a family holiday at the coast, and I sat miserably on the beach, huddled under layers, ignoring the pleas of my (then) young children to swim in the sea with them:( That spurred me on to lose about 35 pounds and become a personal trainer in my 40’s!).
The sad truth is that we women are very hard on ourselves, and on each other. Society is geared towards the young and the beautiful, and the older woman is particularly vulnerable facing the natural effects of aging, which includes (some) weight gain.
Your body has pulled heavy duty over the years, perhaps birthed a few children, worked hard for many years taking care of others and contributing to the household. You have typically neglected yourself during this time. You are going through menopause (or passed through already), and the effects of gravity have taken effect. Some body parts have “gone south” or expanded more than you care to admit, and you may have some achy parts.
Relatively few women are self-confident with their body image. Even younger women. We pay far too much attention to the opinions of society. Why? They have not walked in our shoes. They have not birthed and raised our children, nor have they gone through what we’ve been through! The most common negativity women carry about their body image includes the following:
- You feel that you’re “bottom heavy” with a larger-than-life butt and thighs.
- You feel that your chest has gone south, (droopy) or there is just too little of it (age and breastfeeding take their toll!)
- You feel that your tummy is huge and just overshadows the rest of your body.
- You just feel large all over, bulky and blah!
So what if your body is not perfect (whatever that means), and you hate shopping for swimsuits? You deserve to enjoy the sunshine, fresh air and blue skies with your family as much as anyone else! While you believe that you must get into shape (and that’s always a smart move), you need to ENJOY THE NOW, the upcoming vacation and summertime. You need to find a swimsuit that suits YOU and highlights your best points. Yes, we ALL have best points!
To remove the pain from your swimsuit shopping, I am pleased to present some fabulous options to help you look and feel your best this summer. You will see that swimsuits for older women are not frumpy, limited or hideous! You will see that there are many styles and colors to choose from.
Types of swimsuits
As other women like shoes and handbags, I like swimsuits! I love to look at the designs, colors and styles, and picture how each would look when wearing it. Of course, some are discounted immediately – too skimpy, too young, too old-fashioned, or merely won’t suit me and I don’t like it! Clearly, there are some designs that would suit a certain body type more than others!
With the wonderful array I’ve discovered, you will truly be spoiled for choice…grab a cuppa, get comfortable, and feast your eyes…I’m going to point out a few that caught my eye, and the body types they would suit, but there are far more to choose from on the sites.
(Please be advised that affiliate links are used in this blog. This means that should you purchase any of these gorgeous swimsuits, I will be blessed with a small commission. Conversely, I hope to be blessing you with great content and options which are interesting or useful to you, now and in the future).
Let’s start with the swimsuit dreams (and songs), are made of, the bikini. Conjures up memories of the Beach Boys in the 1960’s and 70’s – still LOVE the Beach Boys, and who could forget the “Itsy Bitsy, Teeny Weeny, Yellow Polka Dot Bikini?” Incidentally, it seems like polka dots are enjoying popularity once again…
First of all, a question which is asked by many people, and can be quite controversial…
Can older women wear bikinis?
Your choice of swimsuit is less dependent on your age than on your comfort level and confidence in wearing that style. There are many mature (in age) women who can carry off wearing a bikini or a more daring style, as they are in better physical shape than their younger counterparts. There are many younger women who don’t feel comfortable in bikinis and are more conservative in nature.
Personally, (and this is MY personal opinion), I don’t believe that there is a “cut-off” date when a woman is too old to wear a bikini, provided she is comfortable wearing it. It does not matter if she has had 6 children or has a cesarean scar. (I know many people who feel that a woman should NOT wear a bikini after she has become a mother). My proviso for ANYONE wearing ANY swimsuit is that it should be kept within the realms of decency for public display and that what should be kept covered in civilized society and culture is not exposed. (None of us would want our children or grandchildren to see displays of public nudity). Personally, I’m not a fan of “leaving nothing to the imagination” as there is a lot to be said for modesty. Some styles tend to look better on certain body types, that’s just the way life is. Some bodies just look better more covered up than others…be sure YOU feel comfortable in your style!
That being said, besides being comfortable and confident enough to wear a bikini, what should you look for? (These tips apply to any style of swimsuit).
Bottom heavy (Pear shape)
- If you tend to be a little bottom-heavy, don’t wear a string bikini or a thong (do people still wear those??) It will exaggerate your rear end even more, especially if you also have generous thighs. Probably best left in the realm of the very young – unless you insist:)
- Go for bottoms which are fuller, like a boy-leg style, or boxer shorts. You could also opt for a high cut leg, which elongates your leg. Dark colors on the bottom are also good, to minimize fullness in that area.
Chest has gone south or waved goodbye (Droopy or flat)
- If you have a generous bust, make sure that the top is under-wired or has a firm “band” under the cups to hold you in place. Many swimsuits include this as a feature in their style, and it looks great! You can also wear a halter-neck successfully as it looks flattering on you.
- Women with a smaller bust line look better in strapless (bandeau) styles (if you are comfortable with your shoulders and arms), or plunging or sweetheart neckline styles. Smaller busted ladies can also wear really high necklines and look good. Padding can make a huge difference, and there are some padded and push up styles which look great.
No, I’m NOT pregnant! (Tummy too big)
- Ruching over the tummy area disguises a bulging belly. This pulls the belly in and flattens the appearance a little.
- A style which is looser under the bust line, like a tankini or a swim dress can be very flattering, and show off your best points.
Here are some amazing options, both dignified and daring which you can enjoy:
Halter High Waisted Plaid Bikini – $21.78
Retail Price: $26.14
You Save: $4.36
Why this works: Halter top to flatter a generous bust line. Note the broadband under the cups. High-waisted bottoms with ruching to pull in the tummy. (Most women have an issue with the lower ab muscles which this style works well with). Has an attractive retro style.
Plus Size Halter Neck Polka Dot Bikini Set
Why this works: Halter neck is flattering for a large bust line, and full bottoms are flattering on a fuller figure.
Moulded Padded Cross Back Bikini
Why this works: It’s cute, for one thing! The bottoms are a decent cut and the top is padded to enhance a smaller bust, with an amazing cross-over feature at the back. Ladies with awesome abs, this is for you!
Comfortable in a two piece, but don’t want a bikini? The tankini has a lot to offer you in style and comfort. The tankini works well for women who may want to cover up just a tad more, and who have a long body so struggle to find a one piece that fits you well. If you have a long body, the tankini will likely fit you better than a one piece which may pull in all the wrong places…ouch!
The same style ideas work as for a bikini, in terms of style and color. Patterned or plain is up to you! Tip: You don’t need to fear that the top is so loose so as to expose you and float around your head when swimming:( the bust area is secure and the loose part starts underneath…
Push Up Twist Tankini Set – $17.76
Retail Price: $44.40
You Save: $26.64
Why this works: It is simple, classic and elegant. The top is padded and a great style for less well-endowed ladies. The loose fit under the bust line will hide a multitude of sins in the tummy area. Other colors available are white, navy and pink.
Palm Tree Print Cut Out Blouson Tankini – $16.21
Retail Price: $30.02
You Save: $13.81
Why this works: Great option for the lady who is self-conscious about her thighs. The tie-option shorts at the bottom allow you to control the length best for you!
Printed Spaghetti Strap Blouson Tankini With Underwire
Why this works: I call it the waterfall, or cascade tankini for the way the top cascades down. Very pretty with the splash of color at the top! The style will help you to hide any tummy bulge you may have.
Spaghetti Strap Color Block Tankini Bathing Suit
Why this works: I absolutely LOVE this one! The colors are striking (my favorites), but there is another color option with beautiful pinks and grey. The bottom is great – the black part can be pulled down (as in the picture) and forms a little, close-fitting skirt, with purple ties. Covers the tummy without being too puffy…
The One Piece Swimsuit
The classic, timeless one piece is anything but boring, and will suit you if you don’t have a particularly long body. Wear a style with ruching in the tummy area if you’re trying to minimize there, wear a halter neck if you are well-endowed and choose a leg length to suit your bottom half.
Crisscross Back Padded Ombre One Piece Swimsuit – $19.64
Retail Price: $30.52
You Save: $10.88
Why this works: Padded top to suit the smaller busted lady. Interesting detail in the front area, and beautiful color make this a winner.
Halter Floral Print Swimsuit
Why this works: If you are concerned with the tummy area as well as the hips and thighs, this is a great option for you. It is a halterneck with underwire, so can be worn by a lady who needs support. Also by someone who appreciates color!
V Neck Printed Backless One Piece Swimsuit – $22.51
Retail Price: $41.66
You Save: $19.15
Why this works: I love the style of this one! The front covers a tummy problem and is draped and tied gently on the hip. The back is open and low cut with a generous cover of the rear end – no need to worry about anything hanging out! See other pics on the site.
Fashionable Women’s Plunging Neck Backless One-Piece Swimsuit
Why this works: Beautiful colors and style for most body types. (Plus size below also available and looks good!).
Plus Size Zigzag Backless One-Piece Swimwear
Why this works: a fFlattering style which drapes so well that the model barely looks plus size. (This model is wearing a size 3XL). Soft and comfortable fabric.
Splice of Life One-Piece Swimsuit in Navy
Why this works: Low-cut hips meet a halter neckline for a flattering design.
Spliced with purple along the bust, this bold, belted one piece is a tribute to living timelessly!
Summer in the Sizzle One Piece
$83.99 – 119.99
Why this works: Classic, timeless styling which looks good on any body type. Comes in 3 exquisite colors – Watermelon (shown), plum and emerald – you’ve just got to see them on site! Sizes range from small to plus sizes.
Beachy Come, Beachy Go One Piece Swimsuit
Why this works: Eye-catching design to get you noticed! Suitable for smaller busted women as the straps can be removed for a strapless effect and great tanning!
I remember the one piece skirted swimsuit my granny used to wear. I must admit that I did not like it much. It looked frumpy and old, especially to my young eyes. These days, swim dresses are certainly not frumpy! Women who do not like to display too much skin, or who feel that their bottom half is too heavy, may like to choose a swim dress as an option.
Spaghetti Strap Floral Underwire Swim Dress
Why it works: Underwired for the larger bust, the white waistband emphasizes your good points (small waist), while the skirt hides the tummy and upper thighs. This style is available in smaller sizes too.
Alluring Floral Print Plunging Neckline Swim Dress
Why it works: The attractive styling with plunging neckline and midline bandeau draws attention away from the lower body. It is suitable for most body types.
Trendy Halter Polka Dot Nautical Swim Dress
Why it works: Simple, clean nautical colors with a halter neck, this style will suit someone with a larger bust and not too much of a tummy.
This is a teeny-tiny sample of the various styles offered by these stores. You can see their huge array of swimwear in all styles and colors right when on their sites. I spent ages looking:) What’s awesome is that one of the stores is having a sale right now, with low prices you’d struggle to find anywhere! You can almost afford to buy yourself two of your favorite swimsuits (or gift someone special?). They are also having great deals for Mother’s Day.
The second store featured in this post offers a cool 20% off your entire order for new customers!
What do YOU think about the bikini/age debate? Do you think that a woman should stop wearing a bikini around the time she becomes a mother? Drop in with a comment, and let’s support each other as the beautiful tribe of women that we are!