How to dress for the beach; A selection of my favorite swim wear!

by Sylvia

Swim suits for women over 40 |

I updated this article with some of the best bathing suits around now!

Are you looking forward to wearing your bathing suit or bikini again, or are you dreading it?

Finding a great bathing suit is never easy so I’m here to help and have selected some of the best bathing suits for this summer. Many of these are comfortable and flattering for women over 40 so you can be sure you step out on the beach or swimming pool in style.

What bathing suits will you wear this summer?

Are you still wearing bikinis or do you prefer bathing suits?

My preference is still for a bikini as I find them more comfortable and on my body still more flattering. However, when I go snorkelling or do some some serious swimming I wear a rash guard, which is why I have included some in this list too. I’m not interested in getting a tan and always protect my skin with high SPF sunscreen. Here is why I feel you too should embrace your beautiful pale skin!

Whatever your preference, you may find something you like in my selection of bathing suits, bikinis and rash guards.

Bathing suits

I really like the draped bathing suits from Miraclesuit, which I believe are perfect for women over 40. Their bathing suits strengthen the tummy area and the drapes hide the bulges so you will look streamlined and beautiful.

I also like bathing suits and bikinis with a retro vibe. This style covers up more of the body but is sexy and stylish.

Another brand that makes fun swimwear with especially great rash guards is Tommy Bahama.

Land’s End also has a good selection of swimwear in many sizes.

Rash vests

I am a big fan of rash guards. I love how they protect my skin and many are very sexy too. I always wear them when I do some serious swimming or go on a snorkelling tip or white water rafting.


I still love bikinis and when I’m not snorkelling or spend a lot of time in the water, that is what I will wear. I usually opt for ones that have good coverage of the breasts and have a higher brief. I also like briefs that have small pipes, so I don’t have to constantly keep up my bikini line!

Bathing suits currently in stores

Here is a selection of bathing suits currently available online. Some of these come in different color combinations so be sure to click through and check all available options. Use as inspiration or enjoy your shopping!


Almost just as important as your swim wear, a nice cover-up is essential for any trip to the beach. You can read more in my article on the best tunics and cover-ups for the beach or have a look at the selection below.

Do you have a favourite swim wear brand? What are you going to wear to the beach this Summer?

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I haven’t had a chance to wear my bikinis yet this season, and it’s too cold for swimming here so there won’t be any until I go to Greece in the end of August:) Even with my extra pounds I prefer wearing bikinis to swimsuits, altough I am considering buying a swimsuit to wear when I go snorkling. It would have to be a halterneck style with a low cut back though, because I tan easily no matter how much sunscreen I put on and I don’t want ugly tan lines:) I don’t have a particular brand that I prefer, but a couple of particular styles: Tops should be bandeau or halterneck, and bottoms should be semi high with a medium cut thigh, because that’s what looks best as I have big thighs. Boy shorts and low cut legs only makes them look bigger.


I would just wear a spf 50 shirt when you go snorkelling. You burn really quickly doing that and it’s much better to completely cover you up. Yes, you are right about boy shorts. I often see bigger women wearing those and it is not flattering at all…

Aleya Bamdad

Love the green one. Very 50s.


Yes, that’s my favorite bathing suit too.


I don’t go to the beach much these days. I used to, but now I am too lazy for it.
Unlike you Sylvia, I like a tan. That is a hang up from my teens and early twenties.
My colleagues used to say to me at least three times a day: “I know you don’t tan easily but o dear how white your legs are…. it is unbelievable.” Which was understandable as I had never been in the sun until I was 22.
So I took to sun couches. I know…. very bad for you,. Skin cancer and old skin. The last I am experiences already, the first I hope to escape.
And I still do it. So much easier than going to the beach and sunbath.
I have two bikinis (quite recent ones) and I will keep it at that. Oh yes and I have one ancient black swimsuit which is still fine.


Have you tried the self tanning sprays? Perhaps better for your skin?


It will be a lot better for my skin, but it takes me too much time. You have to let the spray dry you see. And the old tanning sprays used to slightly stain your clothes. Never dared to use it after that.


I heart that green number! I’ll be swimsuit shopping for my post baby bod soon…EEEEK!


I think that one would be perfect for it. Exciting times ahead for you!

Heather Fonseca

That Polka dot retro one piece might make me forget all about bikinis! Love it.
Like you I’m a bikini girl, but I like a more modest bikini with a skirt or more covered boy short. Love your surfing story. Too funny.


Oh yes, love that one too. Perhaps even better than the green one… From what I can tell from your blog, I think you would have been right up there trying it with me!


I haven’t gone swimming yet this year, but planning to do so within the next few weeks. Last year’s bathing suit, is slightly too snug. So i’ve been shopping around for a new one. I’m looking more into vintage bathing suits, something like Esther Williams.


The Esther Williams bathing suits seem to be very well designed, so that may just be perfect. Good luck with your search!


I just love the Esther Williams suits…elegant and retro. Reminds me of the pin-up girls. I mean that in a good way. I live in the southeast part of the US. Definitely time for pools and beaches. I’ve been looking for a new suit this year and was thinking of the “shortini”. I like the look of shorts and a tank….full coverage, but separates. I’m concerned about Nanne’s comment about making the thighs look larger. I’m overweight, but don’t have huge thighs. I think I’ll take the “plunge”


Hi Michelle. Thanks for your feedback! Yes wear something you are comfortable with. I think it’s true that bigger shorts and briefs will have the effect of making you look larger. But for the retro look that is what is meant to happen. Perhaps make sure your shorts are not too baggy and long and you should be ok!


Thank you so much for this! It is so refreshing to see fun styles for the women over 40! If more swimsuit designers would understand that women over 40 like more than just flowers, polka-dots or solid color swimsuits, they would make a fortune! It seems whenever a junior print comes along in a women’s swimsuit, it tends to sell out. I would love to see more swimsuits with beach print material such as flip flops. Or surf boards. Or sunglasses. Or shells. It is a neverending list of beachy prints!


hi Lee, Glad you like this item and welcome to the site!


so glad to find this website!


Where can I purchase the vintage polka dot one?


Unfortunately that bathing suit is no longer available, but I added some other (polkadot) bathing suits to the list that you may like.


I am still a bikini girl but usually take a swimsuit for trips out snorkelling or island hopping. I figure that I am never going to see the people I meet on holiday ever again so as long as I think I look ok that’s all that matters!
I always buy Freya bikinis as they fit like bras and always have nice patterns.


Yes very true Lorraine. I should look and see if I can find your Freya bikini online.


Freya are owned by the same people who make Fantasie u/wear & swimwear and their products are great quality. Forgot to say that I like the turquoise and blue shaded swimsuit.


Great! Found them and I have added some Freya pieces to the list.


Sadly, I don’t get to the ocean very often these days, though it is a great love of mine. I don’t wear swimsuits when I go, though. Somewhere along the line I decided I felt very awkward and exposed in a swimsuit (probably the same reason I don’t like figure-hugging clothes). I wear shorts and tees over a jogging bra (like I’m going running) all made of a quick-drying fabric. That way I can just step out of the water and walk on the beach without having to fuss with a cover-up. My father had melanoma before he died so I have no interest in sunning myself. I stick to going to the beach in the morning before 10am or after 4pm and use lost of sunscreen.


Yes good idea Rita!


I usually wear a rash guard (and the one you’re showing is very nice!) and board shorts. I need a lot of sun coverage.


I agree with Patti. I need a rash guard and the ones you are showing are lovely. Thank you!

Kim Martin

Thank you for showing true size women! So many of us over 40 just don’t have the body we used too. Have you ever looked at Lands End swim suits? I love their endless options of tankini tops then you can mix & match the “swim mini” bottoms. The bottom has little skirt that nicely covers cellulite on the backside or bikini line rash from waxing/shaving.


Thanks for the recommendation. I have added some pieces from their collection to the page!

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