Check out 36 fabulous and flattering designs including our favorites from Ashley Graham’s collab with Swimsuits For All and get ready to #TakeBackTheBeach.
In 2016, model and body positivity advocate Ashley Graham spoke at the Empowering Women Summit at the United Nations in New York. Radiant and confident, Ashley had just become the first curvy woman to grace the cover of the Sports Illustrated Swimsuit Edition, and it seemed as if she had reached the pinnacle of her career. But the SI cover was just the beginning. Mattel designed a Barbie in her likeness, Glamour named her Woman of the Year, Rag & Bone hired her for a major national campaign, and earlier this year, she became the new face of Revlon.
Ashley’s advocacy work on behalf of women of all shapes and sizes has moved mountains when it comes to public opinion and individual self-esteem. Just look at all the women who feel empowered to wear bikinis for the first time in years hashtagging on Instagram #doitforthegraham.
But the fact that Ashley’s accomplishments are all firsts for curvy models only serves as a reminder of how repressive body standards for women have been in the past. And as much as Ashley has used Instagram as her platform to preach the gospel of body positivity, it has also served as as a source for our growing insecurities, as we see filtered, retouched and enhanced human forms and wonder why our own natural shape is nonconforming.
Now is not the time to miss out on fun at the pool or beach because you’re unsure of what to wear. So make it your mission to find a swimsuit that makes the most of what you’ve got. Select several suits online that have the style and structure that’s right for your body, and try them on in the comfort of your home in front of a full-length mirror.
Remember: just because it fits doesn’t mean it will flatter. But search for the cut and silhouette that works best for you. And then live fully in your body as it is today.
Take Back the Beach: Sexy From Size 4-24
Ashley Graham’s swimsuit line is made for all body shapes and sizes – and she encourages every woman to feel beautiful in their own skin. Find the perfect bathing suit for your body on her website, Swimsuits for All.
Femme Fatale Bikini, $58.50
Tangier Chocolate One-Piece, $76.50
Flapper Style One-Piece, $84.00
Macrame One-Piece, $54.60
Some ladies prefer a more covered approach to beachwear. Swimdresses from Swimsuits for All are sexy in a modest way.
Bedrock Ruffle Swimdress, $50.70
Amulet Rhombus Swimdress, $62.40
Studded High Neck Swimdress, $58.50
Norma Kamali’s Magical Shirring
Does any designer on earth know how to flatter the feminine form like the brilliant Norma Kamali? She’s been designing bathing suits since the 1970s, including the red maillot worn by Farrah Fawcett in the iconic poster which is now housed at the Smithsonian National Museum of American History. “It was a simple, basic suit,” Kamali later recalled. “It didn’t need to be anything, she was so beautiful. She just looked really amazing.” For those of us who like to have a little help camouflaging our bumps and lumps, Kamali uses shirring to great affect.
Cross Halter Mio
Bill Mio Metallic
Shirred Halter Bikini
Top $175, Bottom $185, neimanmarcus.com
Jose Off-the-Shoulder Striped
The Right To Bare Arms (or Not)
As much as we love Ashley’s siren call for bare arms (and thighs), we also believe that body inclusivity means respecting the fact that some ladies like to keep their arms under wrap.
Chromat Tidal II Short Sleeve
Mott 50 Long-Sleeve Striped
Foliage Blouse & Bottoms
Lisa Marie Fernandez
OYE Swimwear Lucette Colorblock
Take The Plunge
Sometimes a swimsuit doesn’t feel like a swimsuit if there’s no décolleté.
Haught Marina Swimsuit
Emilio Pucci Printed Plunge-Neck
Eres Studio Spray Belted Swimsuit
Not every swimsuit designer understands that there are millions of female bodies that cannot be accommodated by an A or B cup. That’s why we appreciate those who include push-ups, underwires, and soft-cups in their designs.
Kenneth Cole Cutout Push-Up
Proenza Shouler Underwire Bikini Set
The Statement Suit
For some brave beachgoers, it’s not about camouflaging your flaws or blending in with the scenery. It’s all about standing out. Agua de Coco, a Brazilian swimwear line designed by Liana Thomaz is the darling of Sao Paulo Fashion Week, and we totally understand why. They are the most inventive swimsuits we’ve ever seen!