Bathing Suit And Cover-Up Fashion For Plus Size Women

This article discusses features and styles a plus-size woman should look for when buying a swimsuit or cover-up

Whether you call them "swimsuits" or "bathing suits," the thought of swimwear is a traumatic one for most women, none more so, perhaps, than for those of us who are plus-sized. Swimwear is a depressing subject of conversation for us, in general. Bikinis are out. Cute one-piece maillots are out. In short, almost anything that comes above the knee is out. This may be something of an exaggeration, but many plus-sized women wish the old-fashioned bathing dress of the early 1900s was still in vogue.

The only thing worse than actually contemplating swimwear in the catalog or on the rack in the store is actually trying it on. But, for a good fit, this may be a necessity. It all depends on the woman. Decent-looking swimwear is available, but a plus-size woman will need to look for it.

The plus-size woman often has several body issues, all going on at once: an ample bust line, wide hips, big thighs and a large abdomen. Thus, she needs a suit that will either address these issues or camouflage them. Women with ample buntlines should look for suits with soft cup bras inside, for extra support. They should also look for necklines that do not dip too low""tanks are good for this. A racing or "H" back is a good choice for a woman who has problems with overflowing from the back of the suit.

Tankinis and suits with traditional, one-piece bottoms or brief bottoms are common, but a woman with large thighs will want either a skirted look or shorts, to cover the thighs better. Large abdomens can be helped by a net liner in the suit, similar to a girdle.

An absolute no-no for most plus-size women is a simple, one-piece bathing suit. Even if it is big enough, it will tend to emphasize every figure flaw and camouflage none of them. A one-piece with matching shorts, however, may be fine.

Two suits that generally look all right on most plus-size women are swimdresses and jogging suits. A swimdress should be in black, possibly with contrasting piping, but black is the best for a solid color. The skirt should be long enough to cover the rear end and hide the thighs.

Jogging suits are godsends for most plus-size women. They usually have dark bottoms, which are a must, cover the hips, rear and thighs, and fit loosely enough so as not to outline the abdomen. They usually have tank tops, which offer better coverage, also.

Fit, of course, is essential, and a swimsuit should fit, being neither too snug nor too loose. One is just as unattractive as the other. Swimsuits are usually available in department stores, plus-size shops or in catalogs. If a woman finds a suit she likes in a particular style, it's probably best to stay with that style.

Cover-ups for plus-size women run the gamut, and generally are purchased based on what suits the woman's taste. They go from pareos to big shirts, to robes to dresses. The main consideration is that they are in a fabric that dries easily and quickly and will go in the washer.

A woman should remember to rinse out her suit when she comes in from the pool or beach. Saltwater and chlorine can take a toll on a bathing suit, so she needs to rinse it out in the shower and hang it to dry. If she wants to dry it, she should use only the "air" function on the dryer, since heat can shrink or melt the synthetic fibers used in a swimsuit.

It may take a great deal of trial and error, but diligent searching will usually result in a suit that a plus-size woman can live with. She might even like it.

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