At long last, summer is almost close enough to touch and we have got you covered – literally. Staycations are on and even though it looks as though most of us will be holidaying closer to home than we would like, swimwear will still be on our shopping lists.
We believe that summer 2021 should be your most stylish and carefree yet, so we’ve picked out the best plus-size swimwear to fit a fuller figure.
From bikinis to tankinis and from high-waisted briefs to full swimsuits – there’s a swimwear style to suit everyone. We’ve tried gorgeous leopard prints, stripes and polka dots, with some styles even boasting anti-fade technology and frills in abundance.
Whether you’re a fan of highly patterned pieces, or you’re looking for something a little plainer, we’ve got plenty of options.
We’ve compiled a range of the best brands and online retailers, with some catering up to a UK32 – perfect for plus-size women everywhere.
You can trust our independent reviews. We may earn commission from some of the retailers, but we never allow this to influence selections, which are formed from real-world testing and expert advice. This revenue helps to fund journalism across The Independent.
With some gorgeous summer swimwear offerings, we can’t get enough of Asos’s design curve collection, which is available in UK sizes 18-30.
From it we are loving the crop bikini top in navy spot (£14, Asos.com) with matching high waist bikini bottoms (£16, Asos.com), and the shirred floral crop bikini top (£18, Asos.com) with matching shirred floral high waist bikini bottoms (£18, Asos.com).
True-to-size with some lines catering up to a UK24, Boohoo has an extensive swimwear line that we love, from ruffle bikinis to styles with draping sleeves and plunge necklines.
Our favourite pieces from its 2021 drop are the tropical ruffle plunge swimsuit (£25, Boohoo.com), the plus leopard ruffle swimsuit (£20, Boohoo.com) and the plus floral print frill high waist bikini (£22, Boohoo.com).
Cotton Traders has a large selection of swimwear, from tankinis to bikinis. We’ve tried and tested some of the collection and can confirm that they more inclusive than most, going up to a UK 26 while still remaining stylish.
The contrast panel bikini top (£24, Cottontraders.com) teamed with the tummy control high waisted belted brief (£18, Cottontraders.com) makes for a classic beach look that also refines your figure while still being incredibly comfortable. If the bra-style bikini top isn’t your thing, then the brand also has a matching tankini (£34, Cottontraders.com).
Elomi is one of our favourite brands for fuller-bust and plus-size lingerie. Supportive and stylish, the company knows what curvy women want. The bikini tops are all specially designed with bigger boobs in mind (from DD to HH), while the range caters for UK sizes 14-26.
Its swimwear collection includes its plain sailing midnight stripe crop bikini top (£48, Elomilingerie.com) and matching adjustable bikini briefs (£36, Elomilingerie.com), the indie black moulded lace swimsuit (£76, Elomilingerie.com), and the plain sailing red floral bardot bikini top (£54, Elomilingerie.com) and matching bikini brief (£32, Elomilingerie.com). We tried each of these items and can confirm that they are all true to size, supportive and incredibly flattering.
FatFace has a brilliant range of boho-themed swimwear that we love, with many of its options in quick-dry fabrics available up to a UK20.
One of our favourite styles is the teal spot bow swimsuit (£39.50, Fatface.com). This stylish spotty swimsuit is comfortable and perfect for British beaches. The fabric is incredibly forgiving and is also rather stretchy, so if you prefer a tighter fit or if you have smaller boobs, you could get away with sizing down.
Figleaves is a firm favourite among fuller-busted women. An annual highlight is its Frida collection, which is always bright, vivid and incredibly pretty.
It’s no surprise then that we are loving the Frida tankini (£50, Simplybe.co.uk) and Frida bikini bottom (£18, Simplybe.co.uk). The tankini is great if you’re looking to cover up a little more and the low-cut bikini bottoms are a perfect match. The balcony-style tankini is supportive and even includes concealed hook and eyes around the back. This set looks gorgeous beneath the summer sunshine and will look stunning in your Instagram photos.
New in at Brastop are some beautiful swimwear collections from Flirtelle. With flattering tankinis, beautiful bikini sets and shaping swimsuits, there is a style to suit everybody’s taste. Flirtelle goes up to a 40K in bikini tops and a UK22 in briefs.
We tried two of the new ranges, going up one cup size on the bra and tankini, and we are so glad we did. The Fiji sands padded balcony tankini top (£44, Brastop.com) with matching classic briefs (£21, Brastop.com), both in the stone colourway, are our favourite. The tankini top is the most wonderful bra that provides ultimate support for bigger busts and fuller figures. The balcony design lifts and shapes, while the hook-and-eye fastening at the back makes for a secure fit.
We also tested the Dubai escape padded balcony top (£35, Brastop.com) with matching high waist bikini briefs (£21, Brastop.com). They gave a classic high-waisted look, which works well for so many body types. The bra is supportive and incredibly pretty with the silver detailing, although we found the side support to be slightly lacking.
Girl Got Curves was founded by Miranda Haston – a plus-size woman who wanted to wear fashionable bikinis like her non-plus-size friends. The brand’s styles are all designed to fit and flatter and are made with high-quality Italian fabric and manufactured in the UK. They don’t roll down and the special design techniques mean small touches like the ruching on the bum are flattering. Ranging from a UK14-24, these sets are comfy, supportive and incredibly on-trend (especially if you’re keen on Y2K vibes).
With a range of swimwear that caters for sizes UK20-28, New Look Curves has a selection of patterns and styles to suit everybody. With classic cuts and versatile prints, we are loving what the brand has to offer, and it's very affordable, too.
The curves black gingham frill bandeau top (£14.99, Newlook.com) teamed with the curves black gingham high waist bikini bottoms (£12.99, Newlook.com) creates a sexy yet classy silhouette that will see you through the summer and beyond.
For a vast range of high-quality, size-inclusive swimwear, Next has a wonderful section on its website. Comfy, stylish and perfect for if you want to cover up a little this summer, the versatile range of prints will see you through, year in, year out.
Some of our favourites include the tan polka dot plunge shape-enhancing swimsuit (£32, Next.co.uk), which looks stunning on all skin tones while shaping your figure to give you the best silhouette; and the zebra print tankini top (£20, Next.co.uk) and matching briefs (£15, Next.co.uk), which look classic and chic while supporting your boobs and keeping them where they should be. The two swimsuits are comfy, true to size, and are both available from a UK6-22, while the tankini set also goes up to a UK22.
The Only Way Is Essex’s Jess Wright recently launched a brand new edit with Pour Moi, which includes the dreamiest swim sets. Fitting up to a UK size 20 and 38G, these suits are flattering, comfortable and incredibly on-trend.
Our favourites are the belted control swimsuit in leopard with removable straps (£49, Pourmoi.co.uk) and the hotspots halter underwired top (£24, Pourmoi.co.uk) and high waisted control briefs (£20, Pourmoi.co.uk). The belted control swimsuit supports you well and doesn’t fall down. The hot spots bikini set is great if you’re looking to push up your boobs – it holds you in with no spillage and has the prettiest frill detailing –while the matching briefs are a nice high-waist style, which is perfect for those who want to cover their tummies.
A firm favourite for sexy, sultry lingerie, Playful Promises also has an extensive range of swimwear. Stocking a wide range of brands, styles, patterns, prints and colours, the retailer also has brilliant core, curve and fuller bust ranges, with most of their collections extending to a UK 18 or 20.
Our favourite pieces include the very sexy hustler black swimsuit (£30, Playfulpromises.com), the super cute Collectif pineapple skirted bikini brief (£28, Playfulpromises.com), the ruched triangle bikini top (£32, Playfulpromises.com) and the skirted halterneck swimsuit (£50, Playfulpromises.com). They are our favourites because they have a real vintage feel to them, while still remaining completely on-trend. The Collectif x Playful Promises collection ranges from a UK8-22, and we found the sizing to be accurate.
Catering for plus-size babes, PrettyLittleThing has an abundance of different swimsuits and bikini styles available up to a UK30 that are perfect for your summer poolside look.
We tried the plus sage green frill edge ring detail swimsuit (£20, Prettylittlething.com) which is a really nice basic suit that will be perfect for your suitcase this summer. With a flattering and daring cut-out accent and a muted sage green hue, it’s supportive on the top while still remaining carefree and comfy.
Some of the best swimwear we have tried and tested has been from Simply Be. Its mix-and-match bikinis cater up to a UK32, making this brand one of the best for size-inclusive swimwear that’s flattering on your figure and forgiving on your bank account.
Our two favourite sets from the brand are the pink snake print frill bikini top (£18, Simplybe.co.uk) and matching high waist bikini bottoms (£14, Simplybe.co.uk); and its leaf print bikini top (£18, Simplybe.co.uk) and matching high waist bikini bottoms (£12, Simplybe.co.uk). Our favourite is the snake print set because the frill top is incredibly flattering and comfortable, and the halter style is supportive and on-trend.
Also from Simply Be, we tried and tested the wolf and whistle curve animal print scoop bikini (£42, Simplybe.co.uk). It was super flattering, with the empire line situated beneath the bust and on the waist, with a cute cut-out accent.
With some of the most on-trend, stylish plus-size looks, We Are We Wear has a new swim collection that we just can’t get enough of. Going all the way up to a 3XL, which equates to a UK28-30, the sizing on the We Are We Wear site is extensive,
Within its new swimwear collection, the brand also has an “Eco Edit”, which means that any swimwear that features within this collection has been made from recycled materials such as yarns that were once fishing nets or marine waste. We love their eco rita gathered front crop bikini top (£30, Wearewewear.com) teamed with the eco selin high waist thong (£22, Wearewewear.com), although we do recommend sizing up.
We also rate the lelly high waist swim short (£28, Wearewewear.com) with the Stacey underwire bikini top (£32, Wearewewear.com) – this set is in a bright green ribbed material that is super stretchy and easy-to-style. We would recommend sizing up in the top, but buying your usual size in the shorts.
The White Stuff’s colourful swimwear range goes up to a UK size 20 and features a variety of different styles, from bikinis to one-pieces and even cute rash vests.
If you looking to make one swimwear purchase this summer, but you don’t want to wear the exact same thing every day, then this genius palm reversible swimsuit (£45, Whitestuff.com) could be the answer. We found it to come up large, so sizing down is most definitely an option. This swimsuit is made from Repreve fabric which is quick-drying and incredibly lightweight. With a tie-neck fastening and soft cups for shaping, this swimsuit provides support for even the bustiest of wearers. One side is a gorgeous blue and the other a vibrant red – we are loving this super cool design, which also means there’s more space for other clothes in our case.
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