You asked and I’m delivering. I’m sharing my 2021 swimsuit guide for women over 50. But I’ll be honest. It’s every bit as difficult for me to find a swimsuit as it is for many of you. So we’re in this together. In fact, while I did order several suits last year, I ended up sending them all back and wore the two suits I’ve had for several years instead.
But this year I’m determined to buy a new swimsuit…and keep it! And wear it! Let’s see if we can tackle this arduous task together. Hopefully this 2021 swimsuit guide for women over 50 will help.
I don’t go swimming as much as I did when I was raising my children, so I’ve been able to get by with the same two suits for several years. But I know many of my readers are planning beach or lake trips. And many of you probably swim for exercise. So we want to find suits that work for our bodies, our age and our unique performance needs.
Honestly, I had put this swimsuit guide off hoping to have a new one to model for you…with a cover-up, of course! But I’m still working on the suit. I’ve sent a few back, still considering some and have one ordered that I’m extremely hopeful for. We’ll see!
Swimsuit Shopping Tip #1 – Shop at home! I much prefer shopping for a swimsuit at home through online ordering. Every time I try shopping in the stores I come home so frustrated and exhausted. And so many retailers provide great return policies, making it just as affordable and so much easier to try on a plethora of styles in the privacy of your home.
All photos in this swimsuit guide are clickable and shoppable.
What to Look for in a Suit
We all have our issues when shopping for a swimsuit. I know many of you probably need to look for good support in the bra, and I’ve got some of those to share with you. But alas, that is not my issue. I have just the opposite problem. I have to look for a suit that I can at least pretend to fill up in the cups. I know we all get frustrated about different things as we try on suits, but I have literally wept tears over gaping bra cups more times than I care to count. Bleh.
Swimsuit Shopping Tip#2 – If you are not so well endowed – like me – then look for suits with ruching in the bra area. They tend to be more forgiving.
You may be looking for a suit that helps conceal a tummy, skims the thigh area or provides a little more modesty. Then again, you may be more concerned about performance, hoping for a suit that stays put while you swim laps or water ski. I’m going to try to provide some options that will suit in all of those areas, but ultimately only you can decide on the specifications you’re looking for and ensure that the suits you order have them. Hopefully today’s swimsuit guide will get your list started.
So I suggest making a quick cheat sheet with the must-haves on your list. Include the type of bra features you want, the leg opening criteria, whether or not you want tummy control and even on and off ease requirements. For instance, I’ve decided to forgo the tummy control panel. They are so restricting that they make getting the suit on and off almost unbearable to me. I’m just so over struggling to get a swimsuit on and off and would much rather be a little more comfortable rather than trying to conceal the little bit of a tummy I might have after eating a heavy meal. But you need to decide what you need in a suit and be ready to shop with that list in hand.
What I’m Trying
Just yesterday I ordered this La Blanca one piece suit because the one that I’ve been wearing for years and really enjoying is a similar La Blanca. I find that the ruching is forgiving and flattering while the suit (that I already have) is not constricting but quite comfortable. So I’m hoping for the same from this suit.
Swimsuit Shopping Tip #3 – Generally, you’ll find suits fit best when you size up one from your normal dress size. Also look for sizing in petite, plus and long torso fits.
I’ve also ordered this Slender Grecian Tummy Control one piece suit from Lands’ End and it’s already arrived. It fits well in the size 10 Long (one size up from my usual dress size) and as far as tummy control suits go, it’s not too hard to get on and off. (I don’t actually have a long torso in contrast to the rest of my body proportions, but at 5’8″, all of my portions are pretty long!) I apologize for the bad photo.
I know from your comments that not all of you have the same body type as me. In fact, from getting to know my readers, I know we’re a pretty diverse group. Hopefully at least a few of these tips I’m offering in this swimsuit guide will help you out. I’m also sharing current trends in suits.
I also ordered this similar one piece in the paisley and this skirted one piece in the blue ombre. For a skirted suit, I think it looks pretty nice, not too frumpy. But I think I’ve decided to stay away from the skirts as long as I possibly can.
Of course there are skirted suits and there are skirted suits. Know what I mean? I think the suit below, which is skirted but still fitted, is a great option because it conceals the thigh but still looks more modern and figure flattering.
What’s Trending in Suits
Really, as far as trends go, anything goes! I’m finding suits of every kind – from one shoulder to traditional tanks to the ruched crisscross to the bandeaus that became so popular when most of us were teenagers. I think the best suit for you is the one you feel most comfortable in. Honestly, none of us are trying to win beauty contests at this point. And we’ll look our best in a suit that makes us feel safe, pulled together, covered in all the right places and, yet, still feminine.
To fight the frump factor I do suggest you look for a suit that
- fits your body
- lifts your bosom rather than smashing it down
- features as short of a skirt as possible (if that’s a feature you want)
- is in either a solid or a modern print (especially if you want to wear it several years)
Swimsuit Shopping Tip #5 – Select a suit in which you can comfortably walk, bend over and, of course, actually swim! If you’re not comfortable in your suit, it will show in your face and your posture. So prioritize comfort over style for sure.
Can you wear a two-piece if you’re over 50? Absolutely! If that’s your jam and you feel your best in a two piece, go for it. I know women of all ages, even those with silver hair, who look absolutely, tastefully beautiful in a two piece bikini or tankini suit. And they’re undoubtedly easier to get in and out of.
You might want to look for a two piece with a slender skirt and a tankini top. Or you could still wear a high waist bikini bottom and a bra top. Or you could opt for a bikini bra top, but wear swim shorts on the bottom.
Yeah, the options are wide open if you can find a brand such as Sea Level that offers mix and match tops and bottoms in a variety of styles. But, as with daily fashion, I’d practice the rules of proportion. If you go with something blousy up top, chose a fitted bottom below. And if you go with a more fitted bra top or streamlined tank, you can wear the skirted bottom with more confidence.
Swimsuit Shopping Tip #6 – If you’re fuller in the bust, check out suits that are specifically made for the woman with a larger chest. For instance, Everything But Water offers these selections for women with a fuller bust. And Title One has these suits for bra cup sizes C to DDD. Athleta also has a wide selection of bra-fit swimwear.
Tankinis are still available and fashionable. But to look more modern and less matronly, consider choosing bottoms that are more fitted instead of extremely blousy. Yes, you can still wear the skirt option. But wear the shortest, most fitted one you can feel comfortable and clothed in.
Swimsuit Shopping Tip #7 – For the most contemporary look, choose a one-piece or two-piece bottoms that has a more fitted silhouette. You can still wear a skirted bottom, but opt for a more slender style.
If you’re trying to hide a tummy – and most of us are! – here are a few things you could do:
- look for ruching in the mid-section
- look for criss-crossing in the mid-section
- wear a two-piece, such as a tankini, with a high-waisted bottoms
- select a suit, such as the Miraclesuit® that has a control panel in the mid-section of the suit (just be aware they are hard to get on and off)
- choose a suit with ruffles or other ornamentation at the top so that the eye is drawn up and away from the waist.
- wear a suit with full ruffles that drape loosely over the torso, like the one shown below
Here’s a shopping widget with some of my favorites from all the styles and options I’ve mentioned above. But don’t go away! Coverups are coming up! (All links used in this swimsuit guide are affiliate links. If you shop through them I potentially earn a commission on your purchase, but at no added cost to you. Thank you for shopping through Dressed for My Day.)
I wasn’t able to include a few retailers in the shopping widget below, so you can shop swimsuit selections for these brands through these links:
What would a swimsuit guide be without coverups. I’d much rather shop for a pretty cover-up than for a swimsuit. Ha! You, too? Last year I ordered this striped over-sized shirt and ended up keeping it even though I returned all the suits. It sold out quickly last year, but it’s available again this year. I also like the solid white over-sized shirt option. So classic and casual.
But if an over-sized shirt is not your style, you still have so many pretty options. So resist the urge to just settle for an old t-shirt. Instead, pick up a pretty tunic, wrap or even beach pants. Don’t forget a sweet beach bag, especially if you’ll be visiting a pool or the shore often. And you may also need a designated pair of sunglasses and some fun flip flops or slides. I’ve got everything you’ll need here in our swimsuit guide for women over 50.
Again, there were a few retailers that I couldn’t include in the shopping widget but have some great finds:
- Swimsuits for All has great coverups at lower price points
- Talbots has a nice variety of coverups including Cabana Life, which offer SPF.
I hope you enjoyed today’s swimsuit guide. I’ll let you know when my suit arrives how it worked out for me. Meanwhile, if you’re looking for a suit and/or cover-up, now is the time to go for it. Almost every suit I’ve linked to here is on some kind of mark down. But I’ve also noticed that they’re going fast. So don’t hesitate. Happy swimsuit shopping! (Wait. Is that an oxymoron? Hmm. Well, let’s do our best!)
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Blessed for My Day
Do you ever feel as though you are alone? That you must somehow bear your burdens alone, walk your path solitary or get through your hardest moments on your own strength? And do you sometimes fear that you won’t have “enough” to make it through?
The good news is that you are not alone. You can run to God. He loves you and offers to bear your burdens. He is your refuge, a hiding place, a place for refreshment and renewal. He is always available and never far off. Turn to Him first thing every morning and frequently throughout your day.
God is our refuge and strength,
A very present help in trouble.
Therefore we will not fear, though the earth should change
And though the mountains slip into the heart of the sea;
Though its waters roar and foam,
Though the mountains quake at its swelling pride.~ Psalm 46:1-3