Shopping should be fun — they call it “retail therapy” for a reason! But shopping for a swimsuit can feel more frustrating than therapeutic. There’s nothing like trying on swimwear to bring out any insecurities we might have about our bodies, and swimsuits for women over 50 have historically been more matronly than alluring.
These days, 50 isn’t what it used to be (ahem, Jennifer Lopez at the Super Bowl) — and neither is 60, 70, or 80, for that matter. Whatever your age, there’s a gorgeous, comfortable, and yes, functional swimsuit out there for you. (And don’t forget a cute cover-up!) Whether you are looking for swim shorts, a plus size bikini, modest swim leggings and dresses, or just a classic slimming one-piece swimsuit, we’ve got you covered. Keep scrolling for FIRST for Women’s picks for the best swimsuits for women over 50.
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Where to buy: $129.95, Nordstrom
If you like to wear skirts in your everyday life, why not wear one on the beach, too? This lovely skirted suit lends nice coverage to your lower half and features a super-flattering square neckline that manages to be both elegant and sporty.
Bonus: It’s made with a “power mesh” that not only holds you in, it will hold up against many wearings and washings, season after season.
Where to buy: $119, L.L. Bean
Made from a sturdy lycra fabric, this cute swimdress will resist damage from sun and chlorine while providing UPF 50+ protection for those long afternoons spent on the beach. Snap up the two prints that are on sale, including this black-and-white geometric pattern.
“I was delighted with this swimsuit!,” wrote one reviewer. “At 65+, I wanted a suit with a little coverage on my upper thighs, and a bit of tummy disguise … This was perfect!”
Where to buy: $95, SummerSalt
People rave about this fun and flattering asymmetrical colorblock suit, which Elle ranked No. 1 in its roundup of best one-shouldered swimsuits. A perennial bestseller, it offers full bust support and coverage for your derrière and comes in a long-torso version as well. Available in nine color combos (including solid black for a more classic look), your biggest problem will be choosing just one!
Wrote reviewer Angie: “It’s the best swimsuit I’ve ever owned. Worth every penny.” Added another: “I’ve never felt so comfortable in a swimsuit!”
Where to buy: From $37.65, Amazon
This conservative one-piece suit has a shirred front for maximum figure-flattering and low-cut legs so you won’t be tugging your suit down all day. Available in black or navy and made from material that blocks up to 98 percent of the sun’s harmful rays, it also comes in plus sizes — always a bonus in our book!
Raves one reviewer: “This suit is super cute and flattering on, is comfy, and the straps stay put. I love it! I’m also rather large chested and it can be hard to find swimsuits that don’t show a ton of cleavage; this swimsuit is great in that department. I feel supported, and at the same time modest enough to be comfortable. It’s so nice to find an attractive, high-quality athletic swimsuit for plus size women!”
Where to buy: $100.80 (Originally $168), Nordstrom
You can wear this one-piece a couple of different ways: tie it on the side for a casual, blousy look, or leave it untied for a more traditional swimdress. Either way, the va-va-voom red (the shade is actually named vamp) will make you stand out in the crowd — in a good way! Better still, there’s an elegant, high neckline with engraved bar detailing that will show off your shoulders — not your décolletage.
Where to buy: $47.96, (Originally $79.95), Nordstrom
If you think women can’t wear two-pieces after 50, think again. (Have you seen Helen Mirren in a bikini?) If you want to rock one on your next vacation, this top is a stellar choice. It has underwire for maximum support, and the gathered cross-front manages to be sexy without being skimpy. Adjustable, convertible straps also give you options for wearing it the way it’s most comfortable.
Where to buy: $47.96, Nordstrom
For a slightly more modest option, pair this tankini top with the bottom of your choice and show off your curves with a crisscrossed bustline, plenty of support from a built-in soft cup bra, and ruching to help disguise any bulges or bloating. With adjustable, convertible straps to ensure a comfortable fit and available in black or dark blue, this top might be your new go-to for the pool and beach.
“This is the perfect alternative top for two-piece swimwear,” wrote one reviewer. “I especially like the cleavage cut. It’s elegant and sexy. You can match it with several bottoms. Fits to perfection.”
Where to buy: $58, Nordstrom
Those searching for the perfect bottoms to wear with their tankini (or even a bikini — yes, you can!) need look no further: Becca’s high-waisted option features ruching that will magically smooth your tummy and hips, and is right on trend, too.
Where to buy: $27.99, Amazon
How fun is this star-spangled halter tank for the Fourth of July? We love its patriotic pattern, though it also comes in 20 other colors and patterns if you want something a little more understated. With oh-so-flattering ruching and a super-affordable price tag, you can even pick up more than one.
Where to buy: From $29.99, Amazon
This suit has all the elements a woman over 50 could want, from its a one-piece design and pretty pattern on the top half to the discreet shorts that are hiding beneath its skirt for plenty of coverage. Did we mention it also comes in plus sizes? Choose from black or navy.
Where to buy: From $27.99, Amazon
Another swimdress to fall in love with is this Perona pick, which has a compression liner for tummy control. A V-neckline, flared skirt over briefs, and built-in wireless bra will all do their part to help you look and feel your best, and you can choose from a wide variety of patterned tops and solid-colored skirts (we’re partial to the zebra). It also comes in plus sizes!
Where to buy: $32.99, Amazon
We’re in love with this sophisticated swimdress, which feels more like a sundress than actual swimwear. Perfect for social occasions, it has underwire cups for support, a crossover design in the back, and comes in 19 different colors and patterns.
Gushed one shopper: “I wanted a suit that could look like a sundress and double as a swimsuit for a Hawaii trip — this is going to be great. It fits as expected, and is very comfortable. I could easily see wearing it all day.”
Where to buy: $19.50, Walmart
If you want to wear a bikini, but don’t want to let it all hang out the way you once might have, this two-piece suit has you covered — literally — with its full-coverage skirt. Another nice thing about it? It’s sold together with a matching bandeau top, so you don’t have to worry about mixing and matching. Available in classic, slimming black, it also features ruching on the top and bottom, for that extra forgiving — and flattering — touch.
This story originally appeared on our sister site, Woman’s World.