cute swimsuits for all shapes

by | Apr 27, 2021 | a slice of life, Style | 57 comments

We’re going to something a little different today and dive into the incredibly uncomfortable world of swimsuit shopping!  I promise, though, I have found the absolute best swimsuits and, if you’ve never tried on a Land’s End swimsuit, you’re going to thank me for this post.  I also want to say up front that this post is not sponsored in any way, shape, or form.  It was prompted by my own need to do some swimsuit shopping for an upcoming early-summer trip to the beach with my family and Land’s End has the best selection of cute swimsuits for all shapes and, more importantly, all preferences for how much skin you want to show!

panama city beach FL | sunset | creative retreat | miss mustard seed

(This was taken in February 2020, the last time I went to the beach for a creative retreat with Shaunna.)

Swimsuit shopping has always been an anxiety-filled experience for me.  Even when I was at my smallest and fittest, I had such a tough time finding suits that I truly felt comfortable in.  I know everyone has different things they feel self-conscious about and trouble areas, but here are mine…

  1. Modesty – Aside from a few times as a teenager when I was trying to test some boundaries, I’ve always been a modest dresser.  Not conservative or boring, but modest!  I realized when I was pretty young that I’m just not comfortable showing a lot of skin.  Some people can rock a bikini at any age and size and they are super comfortable and I tip my hat to them.  That’s just not me.  So, that’s a challenge right away with swimsuits.
  2. Separates – I’ve also always worn different sizes on the top and bottom and it wasn’t until I was in my 20s that swimsuits started to be sold in separate pieces instead of a set.  That’s pretty common for swimsuits now, which is a good thing for people like me!
  3. Support – This is probably more about my own comfort level, but I have to have to wear a bra-like top, even in a swimsuit.  That means I either need to buy a suit with underwire and support or wear a supportive bikini top under my suit.
  4. Sun protection – In the past few years, I have developed an allergy to the sun.  This makes me feel like a total nerd, but it’s something that’s out of my control.  I don’t get a golden, sunkissed tan when I’m at the beach.  Instead, I break out in hives when I get too much sun.  I turn pink and blotchy and my skin burns.  This means I need to wear rash guards and lots of sunblock.

I am really looking forward to this trip (and I love going to the beach in general), so I decided I was going to find cute swimsuit pieces that I loved, that addressed my concerns, and made me feel comfortable, so I can sit in the surf and swim and walk along the beach and enjoy my time without feeling self-conscious.  And, I was successful!  I found several very cute swimsuit pieces that address all of my concerns and are flattering.  I’ve never purchased so many swimsuit pieces in my life, but we’ll be at the beach for over a week and we’re hoping to go to the pool a lot this summer.  I also picked classic pieces that can be worn for many years.

Here are some of the pieces I purchased…

cute swimsuits for all shapes | swim bottoms

This is the most brilliant swimsuit bottom ever and it looks super cute on.  I’ve had a couple of workout leggings that have a little skirt like this over the years and I’ve always felt very comfortable in them. This non-traditional, but very modest swim leggings/skirt combo provides protection from the sun and feels much more comfortable to me for walking or sitting in the surf.  My mom bought a pair, too, so it can cover her scar that is still healing from knee surgery.

cute swimsuits for all shapes | lands end | miss mustard seed

This swim skirt has a super-high waist, which is nice for me because I have a longer torso.  It’s also nice to create a smooth line around your waist.  It provides some support without being too tight and uncomfortable.

cute swimsuits for all shapes | lands end | miss mustard seed

And I like this swim skirt because it’s a little longer and hits at a nice place on my legs.  It also has little shorts underneath instead of a bikini bottom.

cute swimsuits for all shapes | lands end | miss mustard seed

cute swimsuits for all shapes | swim tops

This swimsuit top was a bit of a different shape for me, but I ended up loving how it looked on.  It is so cute and flattering.

 

cute swimsuits for all shapes | lands end | miss mustard seed

This is more of a traditional swimsuit style and it looks cute and also flattering.  It is a little tighter across the stomach, but it has some gathering that provides a little forgiveness!  This one has great support built-in, though, so I wouldn’t need to wear a bikini top underneath.

cute swimsuits for all shapes | lands end | miss mustard seed

This swim top was another one I tested out and it also looks very flattering.  This is a great top if you don’t want a suit that’s fitted around your middle.  The draping is just enough to make me comfortable while still having a nice shape.

cute swimsuits for all shapes | lands end | miss mustard seed

And I ordered THIS bikini top to wear under any of the tops that don’t have an underwire bra built-in or to wear under a rash guard.  This is a super cute bikini top all on its own, too, if you’re so inclined to wear it that way.  I love how the polka dots give it a classic 1950s-60s look.

cute swimsuits for all shapes | lands end | miss mustard seed

cute swimsuits for all shapes | rash guards

Because of my allergy to the sun, I bought a few rash guards to wear on walks and when sitting out on the beach.  They are all so cute and will provide the protection needed…

 

cute swimsuits for all shapes | lands end | miss mustard seed

long-sleeve polka dot rash guard

cute swimsuits for all shapes | lands end | miss mustard seed

short sleeve striped rash guard 

cute swimsuits for all shapes | lands end | miss mustard seed

long-sleeve rash guard tunic 

I stuck with a palette of blue and white and bought solids, stripes, and polka dots, so that everything can be mixed and matched and the pieces will be timeless, so I can wear them for many years.

In addition to the pieces I shared, they have very cute swim dresses, shorts, and more.  They also have all of these styles and more in plus-size options.  I hope sharing these will help you find a suit that you feel good wearing this summer at the beach, lake, or pool!  I absolutely cannot wait to have my feet in the sand in a few weeks…

panama city beach FL | creative retreat | miss mustard seed

Are there any swimsuit brands you love?  Any other fans of Land’s End swimsuits out there?

 

57 Comments

  1. Amanda Smothers

    Finally, suggestions for suits for those of us who don’t want to bare all. I have had Lands End suits for years and love them! Thank you so much!

    Reply
    • Sue in Northern Iowa

      I have worn Lands’ End swim separates for years and I love them! They wear like iron and they are so well made. I hope you like them as much as I do!

      Reply
      • Rita

        I have an allergy to the sun as well and have never been comfortable in a swim suit. These are great choices. Hope you have a wonderful time.

        Reply
  2. Mary

    Greetings from Salem, VA! I am writing for advice that is not related to bathing suits.

    Just bought two ancient wicker baskets with loads of character, washed them and went over them with a small brush and rinsed well. Now they are drying in the sun.

    Some type of oil would bring out their color — what do you recommend? You’re always making things look great with a rub! Thank you!!!! 🤗

    P. S. Will not be using baskets around food.

    Reply
    • Marian Parsons

      I would suggest using Hemp Oil because it’s not stinky and it’s easy to apply.

      Reply
  3. Joy Musser

    I LOVE Lands End swim suits too! They last for years and fit really well. I also used to buy the kids ones too. They lasted and could pass down to another child. I always watch for their sales bc they aren’t cheap.
    I was looking at the swim leggings to buy. Maybe you could post a pic of you wearing them at the beach? Haha enjoy your trip.

    Reply
    • Ellen

      I too have suffered from hives after time in the sun, but I discovered that it is really an allergy to sunscreen ingredients. Try avoiding products containing Paraben / paba. You might have better luck with a natural sunscreen. Good luck!

      Reply
      • Marian Parsons

        I wish that were the case, but it’s definitely from sun exposure and not sunscreen. I mostly get it when I forget to wear sunscreen. I get hives on the area exposed to the sun and then it burns when it’s in heat or direct sun (even inside through a window) for a few days. I went to a dermatologist about it a few years ago and they confirmed it’s a photosensitive allergic reaction, so I always wear sunscreen on my face and put it on my exposed skin anytime I go outside.

        Reply
        • Tasha

          What kind of sunscreen do you use?

          Reply
          • Marian Parsons

            I use Neutrogena or some other light-weight sunscreen for daily use. I also use a Murad lotion with SPF for my face every day.

    • Marian Parsons

      Yep, I probably will!

      Reply
      • Rhonda

        I acquired the lovely condition of sun poisoning (which is what my dermatologist called it) many years ago when I was just out of college. It was like poison ivy and totally miserable. I’m assuming it’s what you have, too. Each time I would get the least bit burned, I would go into itching mode. However, I have had no problem for many years, although I do take precautions to cover up when in the sun (no sunscreen for me), and I live in Florida. Maybe I just “outgrew” it. Maybe someday you will, too!

        Reply
    • Lisa

      I have been wearing Lands End swimsuits for many years. They fit wonderfully and have great style selections every year. I am a tennis player and I find their rash guards to be the best tops for playing tennis. They are light weight and provide UV protection. Have a great time at the beach!

      Reply
  4. Phoebe

    I LOVE the swim leggings! I ordered a pair a few months ago to wear for swimming laps at the pool. Being older and having inherited cellulite legs from my mom and grandmother (thanks, lol) I’m ready to start swimming again as soon as it’s safe to do so. Thanks for this article, I love how Lands End’s swimwear co-ordinates are mix and match and they have plus sizes.

    Reply
  5. Paula

    I have worn Land’s End suits for years and love the way they fit, I especially love the swim skirts for hiding my problem areas-lol. They last me for years and the ability to mix and match is great too! So looking forward to my trip to the beach in July. Enjoy your trip:-)

    Reply
  6. Beverlee Lyons

    Yes! They are adorable, and quality is good. Their shorts are wonderful. Everything is true to size, which is important when you are buying on line. Their jeans are the best. good fit, and they have sizes for short people, too.

    Reply
    • Marian Parsons

      Yes, that’s a good point! I have found them to be true to size, too. I did size up on one of the skirts that have a straighter profile, because it was really hugging my hips. The skirts that are “flouncier” were true to size.

      Reply
    • Lisa P

      I’m a fan of Land’s End bathing suits too! Great quality and great mix and match options. and there is a combination for every body!
      Enjoy your trip to the beach!

      Reply
  7. Ronda

    Darling! I 💯% agree with you. I have been wearing Lands End swimsuits for many years, as well as their cover ups and clothing. All of which lasts and lasts. Those basics really are the clothes I reach for all the time.

    Reply
  8. Sharon W

    When I was a kid, I suffered from that sun allergy, but fortunately haven’t had that problem in years. I really love Lands End suits too, especially the bottoms with a little bit longer skirts. We just bought a house in FL and last summer I discovered the Lands end swimming shorts. I think I buy the 11″ inseam. I LOVE them! They are perfect for the beach, and then I can wear them to lunch too without feeling naked. I just put a t shirt over my swim tank.

    Reply
  9. Sue

    I am a Land’s End fan for more than just their swimsuits and I wear their rash guard long sleeve shirts while I mow my yard.
    A nice post, thank you.

    Reply
  10. Carol

    Lands End is the only place I buy my swimsuits. They are such high quality and usually have cover ups to match and they last forever. They also have so many 50% off sales that you just can’t beat the prices either.

    Reply
  11. Teddee Grace

    I’d never heard about swimsuit leggings, but I’ve been begging for something like this forever. I wish they just came in flesh color. But thanks for the heads up!

    Reply
    • Marian Parsons

      Oh, interesting idea! I’m sure the trouble with that is there are so many different “flesh” colors that it would be hard to make something that would disappear on everyone.

      Reply
  12. Sandy R

    I too have been a fan of Lands End swimwear (and other clothing) for years. As a person who is more well endowed on top I really appreciate that they offer many choices in D, DD, and even DDD options.

    Reply
    • Marian Parsons

      Yes, amen to that! When I would try on suits that just had a “shelf”, it was just ridiculous. I know you get it!

      Reply
  13. Janice

    I’m a plus size, and Land’s End is the ONLY place where I buy bathing suits! They are stylish and made to last!

    Reply
    • Marian Parsons

      Yes, they have a wonderful plus-size selection and really cute, flattering suits.

      Reply
  14. Wendy

    Thank you for being so candid. Love all the pieces that you purchased. Have a wonderful time at the beach!

    Reply
    • Marian Parsons

      Well, most of the people who visit my blog are women, so I figured we could have this little girl chat!

      Reply
  15. Loretta

    Lands End suits are nice. I do water exercise. Outside in summer and the rash guards don’t hold up long but the chlorine resistant suits do.
    Swimsuits for all also carries modest suits and their rash guards hold up better in chlorine pools.

    Reply
    • Marian Parsons

      Thanks for sharing that brand!

      Reply
  16. Wendy York

    Yes!! I discovered Lands End suits a few years ago. Before that I felt like swimsuit designers really didn’t understand what parts of our bodies we might want covered up and what we were more comfortable showing! 😆. Also since I began having issues with skin cancer in my 30’s I have wanted to be more careful with how much I and my other family members were exposed to the sun. After my first skin cancer surgery at UC San Francisco I discovered catalogs there for a company called Solumbra. Their name comes from the word for the deepest shadow there is. Their clothes are very lightweight, and yet give great protection from the sun. Because of this they are often cooler to wear than going with bare arms and legs. They sell everything from hats to swimsuits to sportswear, with more variety all the time. They have clothing for men and children as well as women.

    Reply
    • Marian Parsons

      I said something similar to Jeff. It feels like Land’s End (and other similar suit companies, I’m sure) really listened to women of all sizes, shapes, and ages, and addressed concerns in ways that are flattering and cute. I remember years ago if you wanted a suit with more coverage, they all looked like “old lady suits.” I love old ladies and hope to be one, but I didn’t want to wear a suit like that when I was in my 20’s! They’ve come a long way.

      Reply
  17. Emily Cleverly

    They are very cute!! I just bought a suit from J Crew that has cap sleeves and some tummy control. It changed my beach experience. Any of my other suits had me slightly embarrassed and I convinced myself that no one really cared if I didn’t look great swimming with my kids. But I feel pretty good about myself in this suit. It made for a much better beach trip.

    Reply
    • Marian Parsons

      I love this comment because people should feel good in a swimsuit at any size or any age and it makes the trip/vacation/exercise, etc. so much more enjoyable if you’re not self-conscious or dreading what you’re wearing. We can embrace our bodies and still dress in something that flatters and makes us feel good!

      Reply
  18. Jan

    I will only buy Lands End swimsuits. Such great quality. Something for everyone.

    Reply
    • Marian Parsons

      I agree! Their quality is great. I’ve never had to buy a new suit because one wore out or looked tired…only because I needed a different size! And I agree, too, there is something for people who want a cute bikini and someone who wants to wear a suit that looks/feels more like clothes.

      Reply
  19. Teresa

    I’m a fan of their swim dress and board shorts as well! What for their great sales.

    Reply
    • Marian Parsons

      I haven’t tried any of their swim-dresses, yet, but some of them are so cute!

      Reply
  20. Deb

    I have been ordering from Lands End since the mid eighties.
    Never been disappointed and get almost everything on sale.
    They have discounts early in the season so you can definitely get what you want in your size and color choice and still at a good price.
    As everyone has said….their clothes last a very long time.
    Returns are also super easy.
    Sizing is also spot on.

    Reply
    • Marian Parsons

      Yes, I bought all of mine on the 40% off sale. And yes, I’ve been buying their suits for about 10 years. They are the best!

      Reply
  21. Carolyn Kellam

    I love Lands End bathing suits and have not bought anything other for years! You found some really cute ones. One thing that has really helped me to successfully find swimwear with them is to measure myself (yikes!!) and actually use the size chart. It helps get me into the right category and size.
    Great photos and information here, thanks!

    Reply
  22. Julie

    I have worn Land’s End swimsuits for years. Love them and the ability to mix and match is great. My young neighbor introduced me to Cool Cabanas about three years ago. They are an easy to put up cabana. I highly recommend for beach and as a portable garden tent.

    Reply
  23. Charlotte

    I didn’t know they made swimsuits! I’ll have to look for a rash guard to wear! Thank you for sharing this!

    Reply
  24. Debbie

    I’ve been buying Land’s End swimsuits for eleven years, since I started water aerobics! The Carmella is a favorite, one piece, holds you in, and comes in pretty designs and colors. Often you can find the discontinued designs/colors at great prices! I’m 70 years old, and love the fit, comfort, and style of this Land’s End swimsuit!

    Reply
  25. JC

    I totally agree with the consensus here! Lands End makes THE best swimsuits for ladies. It is the only brand I feel comfortable in, and really, who doesn’t love a polka dotted swimsuit? Cute, functional, and fit…..the perfect trifecta! 😊

    Reply
  26. Lea Vollmer

    I have always had great luck with L.L. Bean swim suits – especially the tankini’s. There is nothing worse than trying to get a wet one piece suit on and off when you need to use the restroom! They have a nice variety of styles in one and two piece suits, are well made and they offer bottoms that offer a little more coverage if you need it. They design with the outdoorsy person in mind so suits stay modest even when you’re doing a lot of bending over.

    Reply
  27. Susan

    I also was diagnosed with photosensitivity, which is not related to sunscreen ingredients for me. My allergy is to the sun. It has worsened as I’ve gotten older. The beach is my favorite place to be, but feeling nerdy and high-maintenance for years and years took some fun out of it. I found a great dermatologist. She’s a stickler about how important sunscreen, protective clothing, and a wide brim hat are. But, she also prescribes a short term course of prescription steroids that I take during my vacation. I get an injection a few days before I leave and then one pill daily while there. It has been life-changing! I don’t get the rash at all. My tanning days are way behind me, I wear sunscreen, and sit under a beach umbrella, but I can enjoy a swim or a long walk without my skin coming under attack. And I don’t need the rash guard clothing, which was very liberating.

    Reply
    • Marian Parsons

      That’s good to know! My dermatologist told me to take some allergy meds before any significant sun exposure or in the Spring when I start going outside more (and exposing more skin to the sun.) I’ll see how this trip goes with the rash guards…

      Reply
  28. Kathleen

    I’m plus size. I love Lands End swimsuits. The chlorine resistant ones last forever. I also buy other clothes. Their Starfish line of pants are fantastic.

    Reply
  29. Tina

    I also love Lands End swim suits and have been wearing them for a really long time. The other brand I like is DM Fashion. They have a great selection if modest suits and their clearance section is amazing

    Reply
  30. Kim

    Yep, I’ve been shopping from Lands End since the late ’70s as a teen. I’ve had tons of their swimsuits over the years, but it has been in the last 5 years that Lands End has really cornered the market on swimsuits for EVERYONE. So many options, so many choices, for every level of coverage, modesty, need, etc. And they are all so much more flattering because of that! Like you all have said, Lands End really listened to REAL women on these needs. And having them all in cute fabrics makes it easy. The only drawback is that they are VERY expensive, especially for women who are not in the USA, but if it makes you look fantastic, I guess that is the price we have to pay. As for their longevity, I have had tremendous success with that too, even in my avid lap swimming days.

    Reply
    • Marian Parsons

      Yes, I agree with everything! I wait until they have their 40% off sales and I only buy a few pieces every 2-3 years. I definitely bought more this year because I found a ton of new styles and fabrics I really loved.

      Reply
      • Deb

        Garnet Hill also has some swim dresses and swim skirts that are cute, similar in feel to the lands end ones. Lots of fun prints and good sales.

        Reply
  31. monique odman

    Hello, I had never heard of sun guard before, and I must guard from the sun like never before, two years ago a almost invisible spot on my nostril was a basal cell carcinoma!
    Mohs micro surgery fixed it and there is no trace of it now, thank to super surgeon in NYC. This last February at my annual skin checkup, I showed a tiny bump over the eye lid area that my friends did no see when shown to them. Short story: biopsy again a second BCC!
    Not easy this time, I am still healing, the anxiety went through the roof. The sun is not a friend to me, blond and light skin. Please everybody do not ignore your skin’s bumps or spots. I am still so upset and must hide with hats and sun glasses the scar can not yet tolerate sun block.
    So I probably won’t wear a swimsuit this summer. All the photos who posted are great, from the beach scape to the suits etc. I love the polka dot swimsuit with the draped detail, time less and so feminine! Land’s End is a wonderful company with very durable products, I have coats, shoes, but when it comes to pants and bikinis, swimsuits, their smallest size is 4, and even in petite, it always is 2 sizes to large to my chagrin.
    Enjoy your new stuff Marian and dream of the summer to come. Beware of the sun everyone, two skin cancers in two years is shocking since I never was a sun worshiper.

    Reply
  32. Diane Smith

    OK…I’m a little behind on my email. Like all the others who commented, I’m a big fan of Lands End swimsuits. I also recommend their sheets & towels!

    Reply

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Marian Parsons - Miss Mustard Seed

I’m Marian, aka Miss Mustard Seed, a wife, mother, paint enthusiast, lover of all things home and an entrepreneur, author, artist, designer, freelance writer & photographer.  READ MORE to learn more about me, my blog and my business…

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