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Your Favorite Internet Shopping Guide to Stylish Plus-Size Clothing: Sizes 12 +

Elegant Plus
Plus-size Swimwear Figure and Fit Guide



Along with the rest of full-figured clothing styles, the choices in plus-size swimwear have come a long way in the last few years. Gone are the days of the old-lady swim dress with industrial molded interior bras that even our grandmothers weren't too happy about wearing. Now pretty patterns and prints, bold colors, flirty skirts, retro Hollywood halters, plunging neck-lines and trendy tankinis are all within the curvaceous, full-figured woman's grasp.

Complementing pareos and sarongs, filmy cover-ups and sassy plus-size swim cover ups are also becoming easier to find, so if you've got it - flaunt it! Don't hide in shapeless, billowing shapes safely under your beach umbrella.

Get out and live! Swim, play beach volleyball, scuba dive, and sail! Relax on the beach or by the pool. Enjoy a cruise to exotic locales. 'Cause you've got the style, the look and the attitude that no waif can match! In fact, have you ever noticed that those sporting the waif look have trouble filling out their swimsuits? So make the most of those gorgeous curves! But always remember the sunscreen.

What's Your Body Type?
Plus-size women come in all different shapes.
Maximize your assets through color, cut and pattern.

A Shaped (also frequently known as Triangle or Pear Shaped) - Your figure is visually narrower above your waist and wider below,  so your hips and thighs are probably full. The majority of women have  this shape. Since your shoulders are narrower than your hips, look  for silhouettes and styls that broaden your shoulders and add height visually. This can be done with a V or low square cut  top which both broadens your bust-line and draws the eye upward to your best assets.  In two piece tankini suits, keep the bottom dark and solid with a brightly colored or patterned top to draw the eye upwards.

Flatter an A-Shape

Plus-Size V-Neck Ruffled One-Piece Swimsuit flatters an A-Shape

 Halter styling looks great on this figure type. Color blocking can be used to create the same trick. Choose a suit with bold, bright horizontal stripes across the bust area, or an ombre pattern that gradually gets darker toward the bottom of the suit.  Embellishments like ruffles and beading around the neckline can also draw the eye upward and add volume to the bust-line. Other bust enhancing features like a shirred or twisted bust, embroidered detailing or bright patterned color splash draws the eye upward to your best features.

Take care with skirted suits. If a skirt is too full it can look too bulky. If the hem finishes at the widest part of the hip, it can make you look wider. Often an empire waisted skirt suit works the best on this figure, gradually flaring outward and de-emphasizing the difference between hip and waist ratios while playing up the bust line.  Higher cut leg openings will lengthen and elongate your leg.

V Shaped (Also frequently referred to as O, Circle or Apple Shaped) - Your figure is visually larger or wider above the waist  and narrower around your hips and thighs. This is a common figure type for plus-size women. Since your shoulders  are broader than your hips, look for silhouettes that help bring  your body into balance by subtly increasing the fullness of your  lower body.

Defining and visually whittling the waist through color blocking and structural details like ruching is also a good strategy, while showing off your best asset, the bust line.  Darker tones minimize volume in the waist area creating the illusion of hourglass curves.

Flatter a V-Shape

Plus-Size Tone-on-Tone Color Blocked Swimsuit whittles the waist for hourglass curves, flattering a V-shaped woman

Skirted and boy-cut swimwear are particularly well suited for this figure type since they broaden the lower body and balance a fuller upper body. Vertical striping elongates the torso, while making the lower non-covered part of your body appear fuller. Suits that create the illusion of a defined  waist through strategic, angled or curved  patterning and color use will also give you a balanced pin-up figure, emphasizing your curvaceous bust-line while suggesting a curvy waist-hip ratio. Many suits that work to create curves for an I shaped figure also work well for this figure type.
X Shaped (Also frequently referred to as Hour Glass) - Your waist is noticeably smaller than either your bust and hips, while visually dividing your figure. If you're tall, waist-defining looks can help balance your height; if you're short, you may wish  to de-emphasize the small waist that creates a horizontal line  between your upper and lower dimensions.

Almost any bathing suit looks great on this figure type, but particularly attractive are sleek monochromatic suits in bold or classic colors.

Flatter a X-Shape

Monochromatic plus-size swimsuits balance X-shaped or Hourglass curves

 Large, splashy patterns look best on taller figures while smaller pattern look best on shorter figures. Sometimes an hour glass plus figure may feel a little too lush and curvaceous in a swimsuit.  Strategically use horizontal bands of color and pattern or the tankini cut to create a less defined waist-hip ration and even out your curves. A higher cut leg opening will add the illusion of height to shorted figure by visually elongating the leg, a strategy that will help shorter X shapes revel in the glory of all their curves.

I Shaped (Also frequently referred to as Ruler, Rectangular or Boyish Figure) - Your waist is somewhat undefined and similar to your upper and lower  dimensions. Emphasizing features other than your waistline will  create more of an hourglass shape and thus more balance between  top and bottom.

A good approach is to look for styles that divide and define your figure. Use angled and curved patterns or the tankini cut to define your waist and create curves.
Plunging necklines, bold or splashy patterns and full skirts are also good strategies - examples can be found in many of the other style categories.

Flatter an I-Shape

Plus-size swimwear with a plunging neckline and bold patterns create curves in I-shaped women

 Stay away from vertical striping, or horizontal striping through the mid-torso area, since this will emphasize the boyishness of your figure type. Shirred or wrap styling creates the illusion of a more dramatic, curvy waist-hip ratio.

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Plus-size clothes featured are selected by the Elegant Plus Fashion Editor from our
extensive network of plus-fashion business partnerships.

Plus-size swimwear for full-figured women of all body types and shapes.  Tips and tricks the make the most of your figure type.