It used to be that when you were younger, you wore a bikini and then when you reached a certain age (I’m not sure who decided what that age should be!) you started to wear a one piece swimsuit.
Glamorous one piece bathing suits
One-piece swimsuits pretty much went full circle. They went from being the glamorous swimwear to wear on the beaches of St Tropez in the 1950s, to being seen as somewhat frumpy.
Now, the boundaries have definitely blurred. You are just as likely to see a 20-something wearing a one-piece on the beach and a 50-something (or older) wearing a bikini. Who remembers Helen Mirren in that stunning red bikini vacationing in Puglia, Italy?
I wear a mixture of bikinis and swimsuits and think that a one-piece can look incredibly sophisticated. What could be more elegant that a stylish one-piece with a big, floppy sunhat and over-sized sunglasses?
I’m sure you’ll agree she looks stunning and has styled her swimwear to perfection with the addition of red sliders, big sunglasses, her woven beach bag and a pop of blue and white. And, of course, a slick of red lipstick.
Benefits of a one piece bathing suits for women
Apart from exuding elegance, a one-piece swimsuit can also be incredibly flattering for your figure.
You can opt for different neck styles to suit your body shape, from v-neck to halterneck, depending on what suits you best and how much coverage you prefer.
Flattering one piece swimsuit options
Many swimsuits also offer figure flattering fabrics which suck you in in all the right places. Miraclesuit, for example, promises to give you the illusion of being 10 pounds lighter.
Plus, you can express your style personality with a one-piece, opting for a playful print, some ruffles or an asymmetrical detail.
How to choose a 1 piece swimsuit
Before I look at the best one-piece swimsuits in stores, here are a few tips for choosing a one piece.
1. Think about what you want to enhance and downplay
Just as with any other outfits in your closet, you can choose a swimwear style to flatter your body type.
For example, you could choose a suit with tummy control, or you could opt for one with padding, or without, to either emphasize or downplay your chest. If you want to look as if you have longer legs, choose a higher cut swimsuit.
If you are a pear shape, you could choose a swimsuit with a darker color on the bottom and a lighter shade on the top to draw the attention upwards.
2. What is your suit for?
If you are snorkeling or doing some serious swimming, you are likely to want a totally different suit to if you are choosing one for a vacation at the beach.
3. What color do you want?
If you want a suit with longevity, you may want to choose a classic color like black, navy, red or white that will never date. But, you could opt for a print or the latest on-trend color for something different.
10 cute one piece swimsuits
Below are 10 of the best swimsuit options for this summer, from classic black one-pieces to those which will pull you in, in all the right places, retro styles and playful prints.
One piece for women – classic Black one piece swimsuit
If a one-piece swimsuit is the most elegant piece of swimwear you can own, then a black one piece swimsuit has to be the most sophisticated, and classic, option you can choose.
Like the little black dress, the black one-piece swimsuit will never date. So, as long as you make sure you rinse it out when you have been swimming in chlorine-treated pools (otherwise, your suit will develop a saggy bottom), your black one-piece should last you year after year.
That’s why a black swimsuit can be considered an investment piece, just like any other investment piece in your closet, so you can look at spending a little more to get something you really love.
This Miraclesuit piece has 5-star reviews on Nordstrom.
“There was nothing in store that was not too revealing for my 73-year-old body so ordered this online. I love the color, the coverage and the fact I can swim in it.” – Suswa
One piece swimwear – white one piece swimsuit
A white one-piece swimsuit can be tricky to wear, but it can also look beautiful if you find the right one.
I’m always worried when I wear white swimwear that it will be see-through, so it’s vital to choose a quality piece with thick enough material so you don’t end up showing off more than you intend to at the pool or the beach.
I like this one-piece with its button detailing by Melissa Odabash because it’s classic, but versatile. It could easily be worn as a top as well as a swimsuit, so you could pair with shorts of a maxi skirt when you are ready to head from the beach for a spot of lunch.
“Love this suit. True to size, comfortable, classically flattering and beautiful. My daughters in their 20s were immediately complimentary.” – Elizzz4
red one piece swimsuit
Red can also be a very striking, classy color to wear by the pool or on the beach. You don’t have to choose an all-red piece if you don’t want a vibe which is too akin to Pamela Anderson in Baywatch.
I love the black stripe detailing of this Kefalonia swimsuit from Boden USA. It has a slimming lining and padded cups.
“This fabric sucks you in a little bit more (than the Santorini design) and the design is super flattering.” – beach girl
One piece swimsuit with skirt
If you prefer a little more coverage at the beach or pool than that offered by a traditional swimsuit, you could look for a swimsuit which has a built-in skirt.
It can be easier to find swimsuits with skirts for girls than for women. But you can try a lovely retro style which will look sophisticated and womanly rather than girly.
This vintage sailor pin-up style manages to be sexy and demure at the same time. It would look beautiful on an hourglass figure, or if you want more coverage for your bottom and hips.
Sexy one piece bathing suits
I don’t know about you, but I always feel sexier in a one-piece bathing suit than I do a bikini. I think it’s because I feel more sophisticated.
I guess everyone’s idea of what is sexy is different, but I don’t necessarily think you have to be showing off any more flesh to sexy. I think a scuba style with a zip can be very sexy.
“What a fabulous suit. It’s so flattering and you can give it different looks depending on if you have it zipped all the way up or unzipped some. When I tried it on for my husband, he said it was one of the best swimsuits I’ve ever had.” – YouPlus2
cut out one piece swimsuit
Of course, if you are searching for a sexy swimsuit, then a cut-out swimsuit could be a great option.
While there are lots of cutout pieces which tend to be popular among those who love to flaunt their figure, there are also plenty of more subtle cut-out swimsuits if you perhaps want to show off only a part of your body while keeping the rest covered.
For instance, you might be happy to show off your bust, but want to cover up your tummy and your derriere. Or you may like to have a little subtle cutout under your bust, or choose to show off a little side or back.
Reviewers of this one-piece say you can adjust the neck to change how much or how little you show. There are also lots of colors and patterns so you’re sure to find a style you like.
“I am 54 years old. I don’t know about you but I generally end up in tears when trying on suits but the minute I modeled this suit with the neckline shown in the picture, I felt beautiful, and excited about hitting the Lido deck on my spring break cruise!” – KH
high cut one piece swimsuit
Do you prefer the leg line or your swimsuit to be cut low around your thighs, or do you prefer a higher cut. If you have great legs, you might want to chose them off with a higher cut around the legs. This style could also give the illusion of having longer legs.
If you are choosing a piece with higher cut legs, you may want to make sure it is more modest in the bust or back area.
This is a very classic one-piece inspired by the 80s and 90s.
“Love it. I’ve had four kiddos and this suit made me feel comfortable and confident.” – SparkleBabe
One piece swimsuit with shorts
I’ve already looked at one-piece swimsuits with skirts but if you would like some extra coverage, you could also look at a one piece which has built-in shorts.
This style is Amazon’s choice. It looks sporty and would be great for a snorkeling trip. It would also be great for water-based exercise classes.
“I think these swimsuits are great for swimming classes or aqua aerobics. They allow you to be modest so that you can concentrate on working out, without adjustments.” – fcnrbrat23
black and white one piece swimsuit
Just as a solid color black, red or white swimsuit can give you a very classy look, a monochrome suit is also very elegant.
The white detailing on this Miraclesuit gives a very flattering look, giving the illusion of a slimmer waistline.
halter one piece swimsuit
Just as with any other piece of clothing, you can choose a swimsuit to suit your bodyshape. I always think a halterneck style is particularly flattering if you have an inverted triangle shape, although it can look beautiful on any shape.
The retro shaping of this style would also look lovely on hourglass and pear shapes. You could opt for a plain color or a pattern like polka dots or florals.
Here are more tips on dressing the inverted triangle if your shoulders are wider than your hips.
“This suit flatters all over. What makes it work so well is that it’s designed like a tankini.” – Emily
Madeline Jones (below, left) shows how to wear a fabulous, floral swimsuit.
best one piece swimsuits
Which of these is your favorite one piece swimsuit? Don’t forget to tell me what the best one piece bathing suit brands and styles are that you’ve worn in the comments below.
There’s more inspiration here in this article on the best bathing suits for women over 40.
Do you prefer to wear a one piece swimsuit or a bikini? what’s the best one piece you’ve ever found?
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Feature image by @carolem_beauty