What Kind of Swimsuit do You Wear?

What kind of swimsuit do you wear? I’ve worn the same white J.Crew two-piece—mostly out of habit—for my entire adult life, but it just sold out. After 10 years! And when I called customer service, they said they didn’t know if they’d ever get it back in stock. So, now I’m officially on the hunt for a new suit. I’d actually like to try a one-piece for running around with the boys this year. They’re so elegant and flattering, don’t you think?

Above: Seersucker, floral, bright and black (check out the back straps!)

Where do you shop for swimsuits? Any suggestions?

  1. Nora says...

    After less than a year out from having my 2nd child, I was panicked to learn that my husband and I were headed to a Caribbean Vacation with his company. I wasn’t ready to bare my midriff infant of a bunch of his coworkers but I still wanted to look fashionable and sexy. I fell absolutely in LOVE with this suit. It is so flattering and the plunging neckline let me show off just enough skin… I decided to go with the Pesto color as well… Beautiful and compliments all skin tones. I received so many compliments on both the cut and the color.

  2. Have you tried the high waist two peice J.Crew has super classy and the top comes in bra sizes with out the padding.

  3. My wife really likes one pieces. I think those are great because it’s easier to feel comfortable than wearing a two piece. I will have to send her a link to this blog to see if she’s interested in getting one of these. We have a beach trip coming up and she’s been looking everywhere for the perfect swimsuit.

  4. gc says...

    Since having a kid (and always having a c to d cup boobs), I have loved the jcrew ruched femme tank one piece for the past 3-4 years. I have it in black and red and it feels timeless, supportive, and it has held up really well! But I would love to hear about other one pieces that are SUPPORTIVE. Hard to find actually! I really love that the scoop tank has made a comeback but sadly it’s not happening for me these days! :)

  5. After searching for years for a one-piece suit that wasn’t too long for my short frame, I’m a new convert to tankinis! Love, love, love them. They offer both great coverage and great convenience… more having to pull down a whole suit to use a restroom. Plus all the mix & match possibilities of a 2-piece. My favorite source is Athleta.

  6. I got mine in H&M. It’s white with black dots and I love the way that it’s strapless :)

  7. I usually buy Victoria’s Secret bikinis but it’s probably time to move on now that I’ve turned 30. haha. I will check J Crew. It’s time for some swimsuit shopping for my honeymoon this year!

  8. I just had a baby 3 months ago so I went for a one piece this year, I bought the goddess swimsuit in black by seafolly. I love its vintage style, ruching with boy cut bottom and the overall cut makes me feel glamorous when my post partum body tells me otherwise.
    Before baby I had been wearing a navy blue basic bikini from j.crew for oh at least the past 10-12 years, their suits really hold up!!

  9. I won this one from a SayYes giveaway last year from Albion Fit. The photos aren’t very good, but it is extremely comfortable and flattering. I have a long torso and one pieces often rise very 80s like on me. Not so this one. And my baby can pull and pull and pull (the way she’s destroyed all of my tees) and it stays in place and doesn’t stretch out.

  10. @angharad: Try going to a public swimming pool in your city and you will soon find that no one cares. There’s a variety of different body types and everyone ignores each other and does their own business. You should really try it… swimming is so relaxing and a great way to exercise.. it’s a shame you’d miss out on that. My body is nowhere close to perfect and I still go swimming. Once you’re in the water you forget about any insecurities.

  11. Tankini– with a mini swim skirt on the bottom. :)

  12. I feel like such a freak reading these comments – because I would NEVER wear a swimsuit! Too body conscious! I’m not fat by any means but one piece, two piece, never in a million years. Wish I had your confidence ladies!

  13. I made the switch to one pieces a couple of years ago and have been quite pleased with the amount of cool, flattering, non-mommish choices out there. I’ve had great luck with the ones from Madewell. Super cute designs and great fit. I’ve also been eyeing a couple Mara Hoffman ones (also sold at Madewell) but they’re quite pricey!

  14. I had really good luck at Athleta this year – so many different styles of tops that lent themselves well to my new mama body that needs a little more variety in coverage and support than it has in the past. Fun colors and patterns too.

  15. I just ordered another Esther Williams suit from Modcloth. I got too fat for my previous one! It is my favorite suit ever. So, so flattering. It’s the only swimsuit I’ve ever felt was actually enhanced by my chubby thighs!

  16. I had really good luck at Athleta this year – so many different styles of tops that lent themselves well to my new mama body that needs a little more variety in coverage and support than it has in the past. Fun colors and patterns too.

  17. I envy those who can wear a one piece. I have a short torso… is not the problem, it’s how unflattering they are, making a short torso’d girl look much heavier than they should. Even though I am not super fit (semi-fit?), I still look better in a two piece….but string bikini only. Wonder what people will think of me when I’m 60 and still trying to rock the same look, lol. As for J. Crew. Quality is amazing….but I always return them because their bikini bottoms always have the most hideous cut in the back. Too high and too much elastic make even the super fit look unappealing.

  18. I have to second seafolly from Australia. Bought a very cute onepiece 2 years ago and love it!

  19. Last year I jumped on the Wal-Mart Suddenly Slim Catalina swim suit train. I can’t even remember the last time I shopped at Wal-Mart other than that swim suit but it’s flatting and I love it.

  20. Princess Tam-Tam! Love every suit I’ve ever gotten from them.

  21. I’m forever in love with J Crew swimsuits. I have a few that I mix and match.

  22. Lands’ End – hands down! So many two pieces to mix and match and they take a long time to wear out. Shoes are also durable and fantastic. I stopped shopping at Target because of them.

  23. Cole of California is a favorite from the 1960s. I like their Binded Sweet Dot, and Nautical Bandeaus. Catalina is also a brand that lasts, and its at Walmart now.

  24. I usually just wear a Nike or Speedo one since I like to actually swim in most pools that I visit. I have a cute Betsey Johnson bikini, but I haven’t worn it in a while… I am not in bikini shape right now… not even close :( Sears is ok for swimsuits as well… they have cute ones at decent prices. You have a nice body, Joanna, you could probably get away with anything!

  25. I’ve been wearing a one piece for 7 years now. I love them! And there’s so many fun ones now. I think they can be very flattering and sexy!

  26. So jealous of the ladies who can wear one pieces. I have a freakishly long torso and they never fit.

  27. I got a sexy and modest (can it be both?) 1-piece swimsuit from ASOS that I felt confident in and that I would be comfortable wearing in front of my family at a reunion. It covers well but has mesh cut-outs that make it seem more scandalous. And it’s black, so it forgives :)

  28. I get all my swimsuits from Maaji or from Victoria’s Secret – I’ve never found more flattering fitting bottoms, which is what I care about most.

    The Maaji bathing suits are buttery soft…I mean literally the most amazing fabric I’ve ever felt! Super flattering and reversible! two for the (expensive) price of one.

    I do like my swimwear skimpy though! I love a good one piece but generally I like a small bandeau top and cheeky bottoms unless it’s night time and I’m not concerned with tan lines.

  29. LOVE the floral one, thanks for finding it! I’m buying it!

  30. I used to rock a one-piece because I was ashamed of my little tummy roll, but then I moved to Germany, where pretty much everyone wears a two-piece regardless of what their body looks like. So even though the one-piece seems to be making a comeback and looks pretty elegant, I’ve just splurged on a fancy modcloth bikini and I hope to wear the heck out of it this summer….tummy roll and all.

  31. You know, I ordered a really pretty strapless one piece from Nordstroms this year. I WANT to look good in one pieces because I think they are so darling, but, my build is pretty long and lean (think olive oil) and I really do end up looking much better in a 2 piece.

  32. You guys are so conservative! In South Africa, one pieces (we call them full costumes) are only for ladies well over 40 and schoolgirls at swimming galas. Go to any beach in Cape Town or Durban and you will see mostly the teensiest little bikini’s, mostly from the surf brands – Billabong, Roxy, Lizzy. They are usually good quality, but because we have such lovely long summers I buy at least one new bikini a year. Having the same one for 5 years is unthinkable :) I saw a woman about 7 months pregnant in a tiny bikini a few weeks ago, rocking it on the beach! She looked gorgeous. Come to SA and let it all hang out ;)

  33. Do you know about the french brand Bronzette? they have the cutest Swimsuit i know. and the fit is perfect, even for me who is fairly flatchested and whose hips have worringly gotten bigger after 2 babies : / I think you can order from their website:

  34. I just got this one in grey dot from Garnet Hill and I love it! Super flattering to my postpartum tummy:

  35. Gotta second the Patagonia comment – my fav swimskirt comes from them – I get so many compliments I bought two. I feel covered but it’s so tiny it’s still sexy ~

  36. I’ve immeasurably increased my swimsuit wearing happiness by abandoning bikini’s forever in favor of cute micro mini swimskirts and mini shorts, along with either a tankini or a longsleeved rash rash guard with sunscreen fabric. Tory Burch has some really great ones this year, but since I live in Hawaii, I usually shop the surf brands like Dakine and Roxy – really cute designs.

    Men don’t have to be nearly naked, why should I subject myself to something that totally stresses me out, if I’m honest about it? And I’m really quite fit by anyone’s standards. And now that I wear more coverage, I’m also quite relaxed!

  37. I know you’re looking for a one peice but if you want an awesome two piece check out Jolyn swimsuits. They have a cross back which makes them supportive for active chicks like surfers & swimmers. Very sporty but also so cute. Plus they have so many colors! Perfect for swimming in the pool and the ocean. Love them!

  38. J.crew factory website has good ones. I have the anchor bikini, and it was such a good deal for j.crew quality!

  39. Modcloth has some really cute retro- style ones. I haven’t tried them yet, but I second every one’s vote for Lands End.

  40. I love Land’s End Canvas for my bikinis. Cute, sturdy, and inexpensive. Just found a gingham set for <$40!


  41. I’ve been debating the one vs. two piece this year. I’ve had two babies since the last time I was in a bikini, and even though my weight is the same now as pre-kids, things just aren’t quite the same belly-wise. But how perfect does it have to be?

    So while I don’t think I would spend $250 on a swimsuit, I followed the link to the Malia Mills website and am IN LOVE with how they present women’s bodies in those gorgeous suits! They’re real women with total attitude looking sexy and gorgeous and comfortable. WOW. Completely broadened my thinking about HOW to wear a suit…because that’s way more important than which suit you’re wearing, no?

  42. I’ve been debating the one vs. two piece this year. I’ve had two babies since the last time I was in a bikini, and even though my weight is the same now as pre-kids, things just aren’t quite the same belly-wise. But how perfect does it have to be?

    So while I don’t think I would spend $250 on a swimsuit, I followed the link to the Malia Mills website and am IN LOVE with how they present women’s bodies in those gorgeous suits! They’re real women with total attitude looking sexy and gorgeous and comfortable. WOW. Completely broadened my thinking about HOW to wear a suit…because that’s way more important than which suit you’re wearing, no?

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  44. I just bought the Liberty print version of the J Crew blue floral suit and adore it! It is super comfortable and stays put in the all the right places! Highly recommend it!

  45. Spanx makes one-pieces that are awesome and make you feel thin in a swimsuit. They have cute one shoulder cuts and ones with sheer panels… seriously though… they work!

  46. I’m telling you, i feel the sexiest in a one piece. probably because i feel less body conscious. i don’t worry about my tummy looking puffy or losing my top in the ocean. You just focus on enjoying the day! so go for it!

  47. Ditto to Boden. They have great stuff.

    I have a weird pet peeve about bathing suits – both one and two piece suits – where the strap up top meets behind your neck (in a bow or clasp or whatever). So uncomfortable! I finally found a cute two piece from Boden that has normal straps that just go vertically over your shoulders and meet back down on the suit. Cute and doesn’t dig into your neck!

  48. I had a one-piece that lasted for a few years and I loved it. Actually, it was the Esther Williams line mentioned above! I had it in purple. You can get at modcloth or from this shop: I had the purple classic sheath one piece (check the size chart!).

  49. I have a black molded cup one piecer from J. Crew and it’s lasted at least 4 years. I have two by Janzen in a retro polka dot style and another in an ikat print. Both holding up well. Great quality! Also have looked at Esther Williams’ line sold here: I like doing the retro/classic thing if I’m one-piecing it. Still not totally comfortable in bikinis but I’ve got them!

  50. I wear one-pieces. My favorite is from Target – the line is Assets by Sara Blakely, who is the lady who invented Spanx! The suits are so flattering.

  51. I love Popina Swimwear (a local shop for me, here in Portland, OR, but they have an online shop too). They specialize in retro suits, I have this one and love it:

    I also just picked up this black suit at Target on a whim. Luckily, it fits great and is actually quite flattering on a “not quite back to pre-pregnancy” belly.

  52. This year I ordered a bunch from Zappos. They offer free 2 day shipping and free returns so you can just try them on at home. I don’t really know how that works as a business model, but it was a fairly relaxing way to shop for swimsuits. The only problem was that I wanted to keep a lot of them, maybe that is their secret to making back the shipping money!

  53. J.Crew suits and the best quality I’ve ever seen. Love them. I can’t believe you have been wearing white all these years! I’m so afraid things might be *ahem* visible, if you know what I mean, ha. It’s super chic though! I bought an emerald green french bikini top and bikini bottoms last year and love the color.

  54. Wow, I didn’t know swimsuits could be so expensive!!

  55. i just got two one piece DKNY swimsuits. very flattering and really good quality.

  56. Always a tankini. Always from Lands’ End. So many options, styles, and colours. I dare you not to find something you like.

  57. I’ve been actually thinking about swimwear lately. I’ve always worn a one piece swimsuit but I’ve been debating about trying out a two piece. goodluck with your decision!

  58. I have a new J Crew one piece (no longer stocked) that I can’t wait to try out in Palm Springs in a few weeks. Otherwise, mix/match bikinis (solid on top to draw attention away from my bigger boobs) and print on bottom (b/c it’s pretty average)…

  59. Joanna, you must go check out Malia Mills if you don’t already know them. (I pretty much visit NYC with the sole purpose of popping in for a new swimsuit each year!)
    Their one-pieces are my favourite – so flattering. And they’re always so lovely and helpful in the shops, making sure you get the perfect suit for your body. (They’re not cheap, but I’ve had some of mine for 10 years now and they’re still going strong!) xx

  60. Try Mara Hoffman. A bit pricey and trendy but super flattering and fun cuts & cut-outs.

  61. I only buy J.Crew swimsuits because I know what size I wear, for the most part, and don’t even want to attempt anywhere else. I’ve had the same navy blue two piece with ruffle trim (not too ruffly) since about 2006 and am not looking forward to it falling apart (which is going to happen soon.) Right now I have my eye on their black cutout tank which i keep trying on but can’t justify purchasing!

  62. The same thing happened to my mom a couple years ago. Now, every time her favorite suit is back in stock, she picks up a few pairs.

    This post is making me want to spend lazy days in the pool!! :)

  63. I like Old Navy’s swim suits. I’ve been wearing their simple bikini for years. Last year, I bought a bandeau top from Victoria’s Secret, and I match it with an Old Navy bottom. I like that the top doesn’t give many tan lines — I hate looking goofy in summer dresses and tops because of my tan lines!

  64. Those jcrew one pieces with the ruching are SO flattering. Just bought my first one piece from there and i love it.

  65. I’ve always been a fan of J Crew suits too, and was a bikini girl until I had twins. I got their rushed one piece (long torso) last year and like it. Have fun shopping!

  66. What about the newly re-released J.Crew scoopback one-piece? Mine’s in the mail!!

  67. Those back straps would give you the worst tan lines!!

  68. I have discovered that my torso is on the longer side, and if I am to wear a one piece suit, I have to order the “long torso” version of my size which is pretty limited mostly everywhere. So this year I ordered a J.Crew one piece suit in a jade green in the “femme ruched tank” style. I hope I love it because I want one that fits and covers me up!

  69. I have an awesome-fitting, pretty one-piece from Boden. I love it!

  70. pre-kids: whatever I wanted.

    post-kids: lots and lots of ruching…

  71. I try one-pieces. And I really want to wear them, but then they’re too short in the torso and/or don’t support my bosom.

    There are a couple that I haven’t broken up with.

    But I just found a gem of a bikini! It’s bra-sized for those of us who are larger (34GG) and it fits like a glove. Plus, since it’s the right amount of support, my belly looks more trim. It’s a semi-classic style with a fun print on it.

    I tend to go for a bit of extra detail on my swimsuits. Ruffles, bright color, neat hardware, etc. And then I have my lowback, black maillot that is plain plain plain, and I love it.

  72. I love one pieces too. For the past few years, my favorite suits have been from the Australian company Seafolly. I found them through Anthropologie’s website. They’re retro, but comfortable and very, very flattering.

  73. I have a one piece I got from Forever 21 and a two piece I got from Target. They’re both several years old and not in great shape.

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  75. Ooh good recs! Target actually seems have nice ones too–I remember seeing some with my mom last year.

  76. Charcoal sounds lovely. They also have a really pretty dark green that would look beautiful with a tan (or self tanner:)

  77. I always find great, quality suits at TJMaxx and Marshalls! My best suit is a black Gottex tankini-classic yet feminine-and it was only $30! Kenneth Cole makes great suits, but I do have a great bikini from the brand “huit” – way higher price range but sometimes it’s worth it!

  78. I just got a dark charcoal one piece tank from J Crew – the same shape as the seersucker one on your post.
    The charcoal feels a bit more sophisticated & unusual than black.

  79. I love the back on the black one for sure! I pretty much still shop Australian labels only for swimmers (though that’s harder in London now!) and am in love with JETS current range. There’s about 6 pairs I would love! Some of their one-pieces are just sensational!!! xx