Because advice from friends is always more trustworthy, we got 14 real-life women — including those with long torsos, big busts, blogger butts, and non-flat stomachs — to pick the bathing suits they feel sexiest and most comfortable in at the beach. Below, we’ve got something for everyone, whether you prefer retro or reversible.
The hand-me-down that’s lasted 12 years
“The classic Missoni style that is my favorite bathing suit of all time. I inherited my first one from my older sister when I was 13, and I still wear it to this day, 12 years later. So although it’s a little pricier, it’s worth the investment because of how long it’ll last. Plus, I love bathing suits that have adjustable strings. I think that’s the only reason it’s carried on from age 13!” —Lili Chemla, founder, Liana Clothing
The ideal bikini for posing on a Funboy
“Whether styling for a shoot or traveling, I am always on the lookout for feminine yet sexy swimsuits that make a statement. I am currently loving Lisa Marie Fernandez Swim. Her suits are effortlessly glamorous, and instantly transport you to that perfect sun-drenched day, sitting seaside with a glass of rosé.” —Raquel Barrett, co-founder, Funboy
The one-piece that doubles as a bodysuit
“My favorite bathing suit right now, and it has been for a couple of years, is the Solid & Striped Anne-Marie in black. It is always a must-have when I travel. I always feel good in it no matter what — not to mention it can be doubled as a bodysuit at night! It really is the perfect one-piece for everyone.” —Alison Chemla, founder, Alison Lou
The one-piece that’ll lift a blogger butt
“Right now, I’m obsessed with this $30 one-piece from Aerie. After a whole season of painfully targeted Solid & Striped ads, I finally decided to try out a budget version of a high-cut one-piece and man, was it worth it! I’m basically Kylie Jenner now, NBD. It’s made of really heavy material, so camel toe isn’t a problem, and it lifts and scoops your butt in all the right ways (read: up). I’m pretty flat-chested, so the thickness of the material kinda smushes my boobs down even flatter, but I honestly don’t even care, because it makes my sedentary blog butt look ‘Instagram influencer selling FTC-unregulated protein powder’ good. I posted a selfie in it as a joke (not really) and multiple crushes and ex-crushes all slid into my DMs or texted me within the hour, so you know it’s good.” —Carina Hsieh, sex and relationships editor, Cosmopolitan.com
The retro and comfy high-waist
“Similar to the game-changing popularity of the high-waisted denim, my favorite bathing suit is anything that nears or covers your belly button. You can’t go wrong with a well-designed bikini with high-waisted bottoms and some elastic stretch. Comfort at its finest! Add a little detailing, such as mesh, laser cut, or ties, and you’re golden. I’ve been loving Lolli Swim’s retro, flirty take on the high-waist trend. Some of my favorites include this polka-dotted gem with the side ties, and this dainty bottom with laser cutouts. Pair them with a triangle top and you’re effortlessly ready for summer 2017.” —Ali Grant, founder, Be Social and Be Social Talent
The fashion-y one-piece
“My current obsession is the Flagpole Ali suit. It’s incredibly flattering with just the right amount of sophisticated fashion edge. It also looks great layered with high-waisted cutoffs.” —Lauren Schwab, co-founder, Negative Underwear
The triangle bikini for women with curves
“Because of my curvy figure, and definitely not-always-flat stomach, I tended to hide my body in high-waisted bikinis and big bra bikini tops. I’m such a baby fish, and swimming in them always felt so heavy and restrictive. I went on a trip to Brazil last year and noticed that no matter how big a woman was, she wore a tiny string bikini, so I got rid of all my big bathing suits and never looked back! I now see how smaller swimsuits can also sometimes be more flattering anyway, so now I can be the true dolphin I want to be. This year, I want to be my best ’90s self at the beach, so I will be going for this little Pucci number — but as a whole, any triangle bikini in a fun color will do for me.” —Naomi Shimada, model, storyteller, filmmaker
The “long torso” one-piece
“As a tall girl, I can only gaze longingly from afar at the fresh crop of stylish one-pieces that arrive on the racks each season. It’s possible to hunt down basic extra-long styles online, but if you want anything cute or, god forbid, sexy? Forget it. Luckily, I discovered that good old dependable J.Crew has a small, but fashionable section of its website devoted to ‘long torso’ swimsuits. They actually fit me! No wedgies, no camel toe, no spillage of the tits. They go on sale frequently, so I stock up, and they’re perfect for visiting my family back in Malaysia because I can still look hot without scandalizing anyone.” —Victoria Yee Howe, designer, Tsk-Tsk
The mix-and-match brands
“I love mixing and matching different swim brands. Some brands, I love their bottoms; others, I love their tops, so being able to mix and match the two allows you to create a unique look that is all your own. A few brands that allow you to buy in separates that I am loving lately are L*Space and Kopper & Zink.” —Becca Tilley, BeccaTilley.com
The artistic bikini designed by two Colombian sisters
The one-piece for moms playing with 6-year-olds
“I like to be super active in my suit — swimming, playing with my 6-year-old son, water sports — so I feel more comfortable in a one-piece maillot, plus I think it’s super chic. Eres makes the most flattering one. They use a special high-tech fabric that doesn’t stretch out and gives you lovely support while creating a very slim silhouette, and I love their colors.” —Negar Ali Kline, celebrity stylist
The plunging top
“I’m all about supporting other women-run businesses, and Bikyni makes the perfectly simple mix-’n’-match silhouettes: The plunge top and high-waist bottom are my personal picks, and they also have some options they sell through Madewell. That said, we recently made a crystal-print bodysuit at Negative that doubles as a swimsuit — a first for us! — and I gotta say, it’s pretty damn cute.” —Marissa Vosper, co-founder, Negative Underwear
The top for big busts
“Finding a bathing suit that fits properly is such a struggle! I have a larger bust, which makes it difficult to find a top that fits and also offers good support. That’s why I really like the Dita Bikini top from Lonely Label: It offers great support, coverage, and has adjustable straps, which makes it perfect for adjusting the size to fit your body. The matching high-waisted bottoms are also just as flattering.” —Marley Arviso, marketing & PR, Crap Eyewear
The reversible bikini
“You can’t beat a reversible bathing suit. Sewn by Sophia’s two-in-one, handmade, customizable suits, named after some of the most famous beaches, are a fave of this self-proclaimed beach bum. The Dani top is flattering for almost every body type, all while being minimalist and feminine, and can be styled with the cutest of cutoffs and skirts for your weekend getaway. The Marias bottoms are medium coverage, which show off enough, but not too much. The best part about these suits is that the designer will custom-make a suit to fit any body type. There’s no more squeezing into the standard suits with these on the market.” —Jasmine Caccamo, celebrity stylist
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