With all snowstorms, rain and chilling winds we've been experiencing lately, we can't help but daydream about escaping to a consistently warm, beachy destination (or at least start planning our next vacation). Wherever your travels take you, if you plan to relax poolside, the last thing you should be worried about is feeling self-conscious in your bathing suit. Enter the tummy-control swimsuit.
The flattering silhouette is a great choice for all shapes and sizes. The style is usually made with a compression fabric that smoothes and slims areas of concern, but at the same time, also helps you show off your curves.
Whether you're looking for a colorful tankini, a flirty swim dress or even a bikini, we consulted the pros to gather everything you need to know when shopping and rounded up a few of their choice picks (alongside some Shop TODAY editor and shopper favorites, too).
What to look for in tummy-control swimsuits
Style experts Michaela Leitz, Cassandra Sethi and Christina-Lauren Pollack all offer similar guidance when it comes to shopping for tummy-control swimsuits. Here’s what the pros say you should be looking for:
Comfort. Sethi and Pollack say above all else, your swimsuit should be comfortable. “If it's not then you'll feel uncomfortable and not enjoy wearing your swimsuit,” Sethi notes in an email.
Ruching. Leitz and Pollack emphasize the significance of ruching in swimsuits (and general apparel) for its ability to disguise your tummy area. “Ruching creates the appearance of a slimmer waist and a flatter tummy, kind of like an optical illusion,” Pollack explains.
Color-blocking. Pollack and Leitz both say color-blocking is another way to create the illusion of a slimmer waist. While instinct might have you immediately reaching for black, both stylists say darker colors in general like greens, purples and blues also do the trick.
High-quality material. The stylists agree: investing in swimsuits made out of quality materials is the way to go. Leitz recommends opting for spandex, a spandex blend or high-quality Lycra. She says the latter dries faster and is a thicker material that provides more support. Pollack adds that chlorine naturally affects the coloration and quality of materials, so opting for a high-quality pick will elongate the life of your swimsuit.
Figure-flattering silhouettes. Sethi and Pollack suggest V-necks, halter tops and high waists as figure-flattering components for a tummy-control swimsuit.
Underwire tops. For those with larger busts, Leitz says don’t skip the underwire tops. “They provide extra support, especially if you are swimming,” she notes.
High-waisted bottoms. Echoing Sethi’s recommendation for high-waisted silhouettes, Leitz says she likes high-waisted bottoms because “they hold everything in and cinch your waist for balance.”
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Award: Best Bikini Bottoms | Category: Swimsuits
With the viral shape that many flock to Aerie to get their hands on, this bikini is no exception to the slimming qualities their leggings have become known for. Shop TODAY writer Emma Stessman is a fan of these bottoms because they "streamline your figure and help get rid of some of the muffin top that you can get with high-waisted suits." Hurry and pick up your size while you can, because they're running out fast!
Award: Best One-Piece | Category: Swimsuits
Available in over 40 colors and patterns, from neutrals to florals and pops of pink, this swimsuit will match any cover-up you choose to pair on top. The flattering style of this one-piece wowed commerce leadership coordinator Alexa Arent. "I feel like a lot of bathing suits are very cheeky nowadays and having a bathing suit that covers all the spots that you want covered is great," she says.
Expert-approved tummy-control swimsuits
Sizes: S-3X | Colorways: 19 | Coverage: Full | Fit: True to size
Sethi recommends this budget-friendly bathing suit from Amazon. "This suit is so flattering. I have a new baby and really wanted something cute that would make me feel confident even with my mom bod," raved one verified five-star reviewer.
Sizes: 0-24 | Colorways: 19 | Coverage: Full | Fit: Shoppers recommend referring to site's sizing guide for most accurate fit
Sethi called out this specific style from Summersalt and shoppers can't get enough. "The hype is real — the fit of this suit on this curvy mama is really that good," one verified shopper said about Summersalt's bestselling Sidestroke style. Despite not having cups or padding, it offers ample support (even for bigger busts!) and "superior" compression that aims to cinch all over.
Sizes: 6-16 | Colorways: Six | Coverage: Full | Fit: True to size
Show off your curves with this slimming Miraclesuit style. Leitz is a fan of the brand for its range of designs and says it's worth the investment. It boasts an asymmetrical criss-cross design, a hidden underwire bra and sheer panels that create an "instant" hourglass shape. Older shoppers on the brand's site have sung its praises, as well, saying that they "have not felt this good in a bathing suit in decades."
Sizes: XS-3X | Colorways: Three | Coverage: Medium
While best known for the shapewear, Leitz says Spanx also offers great swimwear. This one-piece swimsuit with a plunging neckline is designed to sit comfortable against the skin without digging in to your legs uncomfortably, according to the brand. Plus, with convertible straps, you're getting two different styles for the price of one!
Sizes: 6-16 | Colorways: Five | Coverage: Full | Fit: Shoppers say it's a snug fit so size up depending on how tight you'd like it to be
Sethi is also a fan of Miraclesuit and specifically calls out this bold blue number. According to the brand, it has features like underwire molded foam cups, maximum overall coverage and all-over body control, shaping and slimming.
Tummy-control one-piece swimsuits
Sizes: S-4X | Colorways: Seven | Coverage: Medium | Fit: According to the brand, if in between sizes, size down for the best fit
According to the brand, this bathing suit will smooth your tummy, booty, and upper back, all while looking stylish in or out of the water. Even with that in mind, there's so many more features to love, including dig-free straps, an adjustable gusset and 360-degree tummy control. Plus, you can score 40% off any color during Shapermint's limited-time Valentine's Day sale.
Sizes: 0-16 | Colorways: One | Coverage: Moderate
"Although a bit pricey, any Lilly Pulitzer one-piece is worth the splurge in my opinion," says associate SEO editor Allie Wise. "Not only is this swimsuit classy and feminine, but it is also extremely great quality and will last for years to come. It is also extremely flattering and almost functions like shapewear to avoid any unwanted stomach bulge," she adds.
Sizes: S-3X | Colorways: 34 | Coverage: Full | Fit: True to size
This Amazon one-piece has over 20,400 verified five-star ratings — and it's easy to see why. Many customers love this suit for its affordable price point and flattering design. It features an adjustable halter neckline and a ruched pattern in the torso to accentuate your curves and smooth your midsection.
Sizes: XXS-24 Plus | Colorways: 40 | Coverage: Full | Fit: True to size
Throw it back to the '50s with this halter number with 5,000+ verified five-star ratings. Delivering "great coverage without looking frumpy," classic design features like a peekaboo keyhole and ruching add to this "confidence-boosting" option. Several shoppers also note it's a great swimsuit if you're recently postpartum.
Sizes: 6-18 | Colorways: 23 | Coverage: Full | Fit: True to size
Just take it from one of the 12,000+ verified reviewers who gave this retro-style swimsuit a five-star rating: "At six weeks postpartum, I had to find a swimsuit that was comfortable and somewhat flattering. If you were looking for something similar, this is definitely it. It makes me feel comfortable and it’s full coverage in the booty."
Sizes: XXS-24 Plus | Colorways: 33 | Coverage: Shoppers commented the back can run up | Fit: Runs small
This "elegant" Amazon swimsuit with over 4,000 verified five-star ratings is equally cute and comfortable. The adjustable high neckline, removable padded push-up bra and ruched front pattern are flirty and flattering, while the cut of the bottoms ensure proper coverage.
Sizes: 6-18 | Colorways: 46 | Coverage: Full | Fit: Runs small
This bestselling bathing suit has a strong average on Amazon with over 17,000 verified five-star ratings. The asymmetric neckline and ruffle trim combined with a ruched center make for a trendy and flattering fit. Taller shoppers commented that the swimsuit is also suitable for longer torsos.
Sizes: 4-24W in regular, petite, long and plus sizes | Colorways: Two | Coverage: Full | Fit: True to size
For a simple and flattering option, consider this Lands' End tummy-control one-piece swimsuit. It’s chlorine-resistant and is made with a Skin Care Foundation-approved UV protectant and special Lycra fabric designed to "last up to 10 times longer than suits made with ordinary spandex," according to the brand. Make sure to use the code GETAWAY to score 40% off.
Sizes: 4-26 | Colorways: Three | Coverage: "Cheeky" | Fit: Runs small
What better way to even out tan lines than with a strapless style? A power mesh bra frame and tummy-controlling front lining ensure a flattering and slimming fit with this particular bandeau swimsuit from Swimsuits for All.
Sizes: 8-34 | Colorways: Nine | Coverage: Full | Fit: True to size
Looking for the perfect swim dress? Consider this bestseller from Swimsuits For All. It includes a flattering sweetheart neckline and a built-in underwire bra with removable soft cups. It also has adjustable straps and a "power mesh" tummy-control lining for a slimming effect.
Sizes: 8-34 | Colorways: Six | Coverage: Full | Fit: True to size
This scoop neck swimsuit is as classic as it comes, though it features many modern twists. Its Lycra spandex make retains its shape up to 10 times longer than other swimsuit materials, according to the brand, plus the interior construction is said to keep your body comfortable throughout the day. Several reviewers also noted how this is a great option to rock during water aerobics and other aquatic activities.
Sizes: S-XL | Colorways: One | Coverage: Full
Get the most bang for your buck with this customizable swimsuit that has interchangeable and removable straps so you can style it in several ways. It also has a lattice design on the back, so even if you choose to wear it strapless, it's still got a little flair.
Sizes: 2-16 | Colorways: Two | Coverage: Shoppers commented the back can run up | Fit: Runs small
Accentuate your curves in this faux wrap Tommy Bahama swimsuit. Along with its elongating V-neck and U-shaped back, its UPF 50 fabric has earned the Skin Cancer Foundation Seal of Recommendation.
Sizes: 6-16 | Colorways: Three | Coverage: Full | Fit: Runs small
You can't go wrong with this flattering number from Miraclesuit. A one-shoulder silhouette and mesh detailing on the torso can hug your curves in all the right places.
Sizes: XS-4X | Cup sizes: A-J/K | Length: Short, regular/long, X-long | Colorways: Six | Coverage: Full | Fit: Shoppers recommend buying according to your chest measurement
If you're looking for a swimsuit that'll provide the perfect amount of bust support and a waist-snatching silhouette, look no further. According to the brand, there are hidden targeted shaping panels to provide that smoothing effect and completely opaque, lined cups for shape and lift.
"I have shed so many tears over the years over swimwear, especially when it fits right up until the point of my breasts; this suit was the first time in my life I’ve picked up a swimsuit and knew it was going to fit me," wrote one satisfied shopper. " I know these swimsuits are a lot of money and this can cause some hesitation but it really is worth it."
Tummy-control two-piece swimsuits and bottoms
Sizes: S-4X | Colorways: Six | Coverage: Full | Fit: Runs small
Perfect to mix and match with your fave bikini or tankini tops, these Shapermint swim bottoms have won over countless shoppers thanks to their timeless ruched design and ample support made to accentuate your curves in all the right spots.
"I've been looking for a genuinely high-waisted swim bottom for years after not being satisfied with others that barely cover the belly button," one recent shopper said. "This one is perfectly high waisted and covers my mummy-tummy nicely, allowing me to confidently wear a two-piece for the first time in years."
Sizes: XXS-XL | Colorways: Two | Coverage: Medium-seat, high-rise waist
If you're planning some fun water activities, these high-waisted bottoms are designed to keep you comfortable through every dive or strong wave. It's all thanks to their "powerful" stretchy design and internal liner that "provides extra hold." Plus, they even have quick-drying features and UPF 40+ fabric for extra protection.
Sizes: S-3X | Colorways: 48 | Coverage: Full coverage, high-waisted bottoms | Fit: True to size
If you're in the market for a flattering two-piece, consider this Amazon tankini set with 22,000+ verified five-star ratings. The top has a flowy design, while the bikini bottom helps with tummy control.
"After having three kids, I would not consider myself a two piece gal because I could never find one that was flattering," one shopper said. "It covered all the right places, shows off curves in the right way, and is super cute. I am so happy to have found a two piece that makes me look less like a mom!"
Sizes: XXS-22 Plus | Colorways: 23 | Coverage: Full coverage, high-waisted bottoms | Fit: Runs small
This pin-up style, high-waisted bikini set from Amazon features a ruched high-waisted bottom and tie-front top with adjustable shoulder straps — a must for for larger chests. The bottoms are said to provide the perfect amount of coverage without the dreaded diaper effect.
Sizes: 8-18 in regular and plus sizes | Colorways: Three | Coverage: Full | Fit: True to size
Perfect for anyone who'd rather rock something with extra flow, these high-rise swim shorts should do just the trick. Made with UPF 50+ and quick-drying fabrics, the draping perfectly masks a compressive power mesh underlayer for a flattering fit.
Meet our style experts
- Cassandra is a personal stylist and image consultant based in New York City and Los Angeles. She is the founder of Next Level Wardrobe.
- Michaela Leitz is a plus-size fashion stylist and size-inclusive fashion expert based in Germany.
- Christina-Lauren Pollack is a style expert and the founder of Fashion Forward Box, a subscription-based clothing rental service.
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