We’ve talked to several women about their bikinis of choice, and several more women about their favorite plus-size swimsuits. But our survey of the best bathing suits wouldn’t be complete without getting opinions on that other swimwear staple: The eternally stylish one-piece. Here, we asked 15 stylish women about their favorite one-piece swimsuits for everything from sunbathing with a book to dabbling in water sports (because you might be looking for something more resilient if you’re an avid swimmer, surfer, or diver). Below, their recommendations, which span a range of prices and include high-cut suits, low-back options, and the one-piece a writer surfs the Rockaways in. Generally, the suits on this list range in size from 0 to 24; all are still in stock in many sizes, but given the time of year, some are selling out, so if you see one in your size, we suggest scooping it up (there’s a lot of summer — and warm weather — still to come).
Best under-$50 one-piece swimsuits
Writers Nora Whelan and Amanda Richards both told us to check out Swimsuits for All for its one-pieces (most of which run up to size 24). “They have anything from sporty swimwear, to boring one-pieces (which I love), to Ashley Graham’s super-sexy, super-revealing collection in a wide range of sizes,” says Richards. “Swimsuits for All is the ultimate destination for plus-size swimwear, whether you’re looking for a chlorine-resistant style that won’t fade when swimming laps or the latest drop from GabiFresh or Ashley Graham’s annual collections,” agrees Ashby Vose, the head of brand at Ori, who recommended this “timeless” polka-dot suit in our roundup of the best plus-size swimwear. Vose says the suit’s “fit is flexible enough that Ashley Graham even wore it when she was pregnant.”
Strategist contributor Siraad Dirshe told us that she wears “this high-performance Speedo one-piece nearly every time” she hits Rockaway Beach to surf. “It stays in place, so there’s minimal tugging or rearranging in the water or when peeling off a thick wetsuit,” she writes, adding that she’s “personally a fan of the crisscross back and fuller coverage this one offers.”
Style blogger Bethany Everett-Ratcliffe is a huge fan of this suit for its “super-fun cutout detail and chic monochrome print.” Another thing to like is its price, according to Everett-Ratcliffe, who points out that, at “only $42, it costs less than a lot of bikini tops I’ve seen.” The stretchy fabric is made using polyester recycled from plastic bottles and textile waste, so not only is it good for splashing around in the waves, but it also helps to keep the ocean those waves form in a little cleaner too.
One of the writers of this story (Dominique Pariso) recently bought this strappy one-piece from Aerie. It sports a full-coverage bottom with an open back, making it great for both tanning and playing beach games. And it comes in three colors: red, black, and olive.
If you like your one-piece swimsuits with some extra coverage around the waist, Strategist contributor Alyse Whitney loves this citrusy skirted number she bought from Amazon. “It looks like a scuba dress when it’s dry, with a tasteful, not-too-large cutout in the middle,” she writes. While “the photo on Amazon makes it look like a huge exposure of skin,” Whitney says that, depending on how you tie the drawstrings, you can hide (or show) as much of your midriff as you’d like. Plus, “the lemon isn’t aggressively cutesy,” she promises.
Strategist writer Nikita Richardson told us that, last April, she landed in Honolulu only to realize she’d left her swimsuit some 5,000 miles away in New York City. In a pinch, she dipped into an Urban Outfitters and dropped $40 on this Adidas one-piece. “Now it’s my one and only swimsuit,” says Richardson, who adds that it’s “skintight but flattering and secure enough to keep my large boobs in place.” Plus, it’s versatile: “I’ve worn this to the beach, to the Bed-Stuy YMCA, and, on particularly hot days, I’ll even wear it bodysuit style.”
Best under-$75 one-piece swimsuits
Those looking for a one-piece that will stay put while you swim laps will need something with support and a tighter fit. When Strategist senior writer Karen Iorio Adelson asked a panel of swimmers and coaches about the best athletic swimsuits, Jolyn suits — particularly fixed-back styles like this one — came recommended as a “top choice” amongst collegiate athletes and lifeguards.
Less for swimming laps than lying out, Everett-Ratcliffe sums up this not-too-expensive striped number as “comfortable and cute.” While she personally loves the white and blue stripes, it also comes in two other prints: a floral pattern and monstera leaves. The fully lined nylon-spandex suit features a scoop neckline with a low back and a sporty high-cut leg.
We heard about this ruched option from writer Jada Yuan, who wrote that this one-piece is a universally flattering bathing suit, from petite to plus-size. (Taylor Swift has worn a version in polka dots, for what it’s worth.) Yuan says she has an “ample chest” that often spills out of most one-piece suits, but she tells us this style has “a halter top and light boning for the kind of chest support that most bathing suits never give me.” She adds: “The minute I put this on, I felt like Marilyn Monroe,” noting the suit also has a “lovely, eye-catching sheen, ruching in the front that minimized my belly, and low-cut leg holes that covered the widest part of my hips.”
For a one-piece with added sun protection (that still shows some skin), Vose told us she loves this affordable long-sleeved style from Alpine Butterfly Swim. “I cannot recommend it enough for pale folks, like me, who can get sunburnt to a crisp,” she says. “This long-sleeved style has a cutout in the front and the back and a cheekier, high-cut leg, all allowing you to still look like the sexy babe you are while maintaining coverage and sun protection for your arms.”
“I think every woman should have a classic, practical one-piece in a solid color, and this J.Crew suit fits that bill,” stylist Ansley Morgan told us. The ruched, strapless one-piece is sold in nine colors, comes with an optional shoulder strap, and is currently 25 percent off.
Best under-$100 one-piece swimsuits
Freelance journalist Sophia Li says this Summersalt swimsuit fits like a glove. “The material has compression but is not so tight where you can’t move. It’s thick yet breathable — I’ve worn it while surfing, swimming, and jumping off a sailboat, and the shape hasn’t given up through multiple washes.” Beyond a great fit, the color-blocked suit comes in 13 different color combinations, and sustainable shoppers should know it’s made from 78 percent recycled polyamide fibers. If you’re not into this style, all of Summersalt’s one-pieces happen to be priced under $100, so you can shop around without splurging.
For women with larger busts, stylist Samantha Brown suggests this ruffle-sleeved one-piece swimsuit because it has adjustable straps for “extra support.” She also loves the fact that it comes in several different solid colors — including blue, pink, and black — and has a fun belted waistline, which she says she’s seeing everywhere this summer.
Andie is known for its well-fitting, sleek suits. Strategist writer Lauren Ro particularly loves the “unassuming but still stylish” Amalfi one-piece, which she describes as “a classic silhouette with thin adjustable straps.” It has a built-in medium-support shelf bra with removable cups that Ro says “gives just the right amount of coverage without being too modest.” Plus, it has a higher back for those, like Ro, who don’t prefer a super-low-back style. And if you don’t like the version shown, Andie has a style of this suit for pretty much everyone: It’s available in 14 different colors and two different fabrics (flat and ribbed).
Strategist writer (and in-house stripes expert) Hilary Reid loves this graphic Araks suit, which is currently a steal at 67 percent off. “Beyond the stripes — which, to me, are a big draw — it’s the cut that makes this suit really fantastic,” says Reid, who explains that “the sides have a nice high cut that makes your legs look longer (but isn’t so high that it veers into 2008 American Apparel territory), and the back has a flatteringly low scoop that fits well to the body and doesn’t gap.” The material is “thick without feeling heavy,” she adds, noting that even after a couple of summers of wear, her Araks suit “still looks practically new.”
And a one-piece swimsuit worth splurging on
Everett-Ratcliffe tipped us off to a little secret: Banana Republic carries a selection of minimalist Onia swimsuits — and they cost less than the ones sold by the brand itself. On Onia’s site, its one-pieces range from $175 to $225, so this $128 Onia suit from Banana Republic, while still not exactly cheap, still seems like a pretty good deal if you’re looking to invest in a trendier style. Everett-Ratcliffe says the ribbed number, in the ever-popular shade of millennial pink, is a “simple solid one-piece with a plunging neckline that’s one part modest, one part sexy.”
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