We all love to swim in the pool or lounge on a towel under the warm summer sun. However, hitting the beach also means showing more skin than usual –– and for some of us, that can be a tricky endeavor. Even the most confident among us have some areas we would rather keep covered up.
The thighs are a common area that can get a lot of exposure at the beach. But some of us prefer some extra protection in that area. Whether you’re trying to stay modest, shield from the sun, or conceal a bit of cellulite, don’t worry –– there are plenty of bathing suit options to keep you covered, literally!
What Are Some Common Reasons You May Choose To Cover-Up?
When it comes to clothing, everyone is comfortable with different levels of exposure. Some may want to flaunt their thighs –– others would rather keep them covered. Here are some common reasons people might choose the latter.
Sunburns: Sunburns happen when the sun’s UV rays cause damage to the skin. Most people have experienced a sunburn: it can range from pink and slightly irritating to red and blistering. Either way, it’s bad for your skin in the short and long term. Not only can it result in premature aging, but it can also even increase your risk of skin cancer. Whether the sky is clear or overcast, it’s best to protect your skin. Clothing is a great way that you can shield against the sun’s damage.
Especially as you grow older and your skin becomes more sensitive and slower to regenerate, it’s important to prevent skin damage. Make sure that you wear a strong waterproof SPF on any unprotected skin, even if you’re chilling in the shade.
Cellulite: Cellulite is a common reason people like to cover up. It’s those little wrinkles, lines, and dimples that usually appear around your stomach, thighs, and legs. It’s nothing to feel insecure about –– around 80 to 90% of women experience cellulite, no matter their size or shape. Some men even have cellulite.
It’s natural to experience cellulite throughout your life at some level, whether it be after going through puberty, pregnancy, or just normal growth and weight fluctuations. But that doesn’t mean you have to love the way it looks –– there’s nothing wrong with a bit of extra fabric if it keeps you confident!
Modesty: Even if you’re wearing your strongest SPF and have no qualms about your body, modesty is a common choice for people of all ages. Swim fashion over the decades has evolved to feature pieces like string bikinis, which show a lot of skin. While this is the style of choice for many, others embrace more modest retro styles. In fact, vintage two-pieces have made a not-so-surprising comeback in recent years.
Shaving: For a lot of us, trips to the pool come with one big chore: personal grooming. Whether you shave, wax, or trim, the bikini area often requires more upkeep in a swimsuit than some of us care to deal with. To avoid the trouble of a hairline, it can be extremely practical to don boyshorts or a swim skirt to avoid the whole fiasco.
Check out these tips below for some helpful guidelines on swim time styles that will keep you feeling confident and comfortable!
10 Types of Swimsuits That Cover the Thighs in Style
The tankini is a great style that is suitable for all ages and body types. Though it can come in many forms, a tankini is a two-piece suit that can offer extra coverage. Unlike a bikini, a tankini covers the stomach and provides extra structure. Many come with bottoms in the boy short style, rather than revealing briefs.
A lot of tankini tops feature multiple tiers or layers that can help create a flattering figure all around. Check out different styles and see which one suits you best!
The faux tankini is a variant of the tankini. While it looks like a two-piece to the basic observer, the faux tankini’s top and bottom are actually connected. While a regular tankini has the benefit of an easily removable top and bottom, the faux variety offers a bit more security.
Some faux tankinis might come with briefs instead of boyshorts, but you can always use swim shorts as an extra coverup. The benefit of a faux tankini is that, with certain bottoms, it can just look like you’re wearing a tank top!
The skirtini is a fun and girly twist on the regular tankini. A skirtini is basically what it sounds like: a two-piece swimsuit in which the bottoms are a short, breezy skirt. This elegantly disguises the thigh area. A skirt that lightly fans out or features pleats is ideal, as it creates a bit of an hourglass shape. This is also a great style to wear on poolside occasions since it doubles as a cute, casual outfit.
Much like the faux tankini, the faux skirtini gives the illusion of a two-piece, while actually functioning like a one-piece. Both are good options, and it’s a matter of personal preference which one you go for. While the regular skirtini focuses more on ease, the faux skirtini may stay in place better when engaging in water sports.
Swim shorts can range from super short to extra-long, from super stretchy to ultra structured. These can be worn either on their own in the water or as an extra layer. Throw them on over a pair of bikini briefs or a one-piece swimsuit for some extra protection as you get out of the pool. Swim shorts are often the most practical option, as they can feature pockets and buttons for easy access and dressing.
While some swim shorts are very short, you can also opt for board shorts. These look similar to surfer shorts but can be worn by ladies as well. They can also easily pass for a pair of regular shorts, not just swimwear!
Swim skirts are breezy and feminine and allow for great beachside lounging. They sweep over the thigh area to avoid any exposure. Some swim skirts come with built-in briefs or boy shorts. Others can be easily pulled over your swimsuit bottoms or one-piece suits for some extra coverage.
A swim dress is similar to a skirtini; the main difference is that a swim dress is a one-piece suit, rather than a two-piece. Swim dresses have been popular since the invention of lady’s swimwear. They are now coming back in style as a modest, retro option. They are practical without lacking in style.
If you want to avoid any piece slipping and want to make sure everything stays in one place, a swim dress is probably the way to go. While skirtinis generally have a line at the hip, swim dresses can also be high-waisted or even cinch below the bust for a different silhouette.
Swimming capris are similar to leggings; they are skin-tight swim bottoms that usually reach the knees. Some come in high-waisted styles that offer extra tummy control. These are especially useful if you are engaging in any kind of sporty activity, as they are often meant for surfers. For a sleek and flattering look, capris are a great thigh-covering option.
You might be more familiar with the term “sarong” referring to a cloth dress or tunic-like garment. While these types of sarongs are great to wear outside of the pool, there are sarong-type bathing suit options that are actually meant for swimming. The sarong swimsuit is similar to a regular one-piece bathing suit in the back, but the front is cut like a small apron or sheath that smoothes across the thighs. Similar to a swim dress, this allows for the top of the thighs to be covered up.
Many sarongs also feature full rear coverage and little ties on the side. This creates extra shape and interest in the overall look.
Some of us might be totally comfortable sporting some extra skin while in the pool, but when it comes to lounging poolside, you would rather be covered up. In that case, why not pack a handy coverup to throw on after you get out of the water? From sarongs to tunics to kimonos, there are plenty of stylish cover-ups that drape elegantly over your swimsuit.
More Styling Tips To Address Specific Concerns
Here are some common things you might want to address with your swimwear style. We’ve compiled different tips on how to dress your best.
If You Have Wide Hips
If you have particularly wide hips and you would like to slim them down a bit, you may want to avoid very high-waisted looks. Instead, opt for an even mid-waistline. The exception to this is a long beach skirt that ties at the waist, as this can elongate your figure.
Similarly, stray from complex patterns or designs and go for simple, sleek bottoms. Keep the playfulness and patterns on the top half of the outfit instead.
If You Have Narrow Hips
People with narrower hips might wish to add some volume to that area. This way, you can create the illusion of a more filled-out or hourglass figure. Swim skirts with ruffles or pleated detail are a great way to do this. The added texture can fluff out your hips for a more balanced frame. Focus on bright colors or patterns in that area as well.
Use Patterns and Details Wisely
As with styling any clothing, colors and patterns play a huge role in the overall look. Wherever big, bold patterns and shades are located is what the eye will be drawn to. It will also visually widen that area.
You can use patterns and plain, dark colors as contrasts to create a flattering shape. Similarly, extra details such as bows, ties, and belts can create added interest in some areas, or act as elements that slim the waist.
Look for Extra Tummy Control
There are plenty of swimsuit options you can go for if you want added tummy control. Some swimsuits have a built-in layer for smoothing the stomach. Another good option is looking for suits with shirred designs –– this means a bit of extra fabric that bunches in all the right places, concealing any bumps.
Ways To Slim the Waist
There are lots of ways to create the illusion of a slimmer waist when it comes to swimwear. Look for bathing suits that tie at the waist, or that have designs that split at the waist. This will draw the eye inward. Swim dresses that fit and flare at the waist can also create an hourglass effect. Tankinis that are two-tiered also create volume at the bust, which naturally makes the waist look smaller.
Seeking Extra Structure
Some swimsuits are free and breezy, others have shapewear-like designs that keep you secure as well as comfortable. Look for swimsuits with built-in panty-lining, swim skirts with boy shorts underneath, and tummy control layers. Pay attention to the cups as well; a lot of them have extra molding or underwire for built-in support.
While we have gone over a lot of ways of covering the thighs, you may be looking for coverage on your upper half as well. In this case, for tankinis with a high neckline. Some may even have small capped sleeves for extra sun protection.
Make Sure You’re Comfortable
The best swimsuit shapewear and styling tips for swimsuits are useless if you don’t feel comfortable in what you’re wearing. Sometimes looking good is all about feeling good, so make sure that whatever swimsuit you choose is right for you.
How much skin you want to show at the beach is completely up to you. Remember, you can flaunt your stuff at any age, shape, or size! That being said, feeling confident in yourself is easier said than done. And even the most confident among us may have a whole host of reasons for wanting to cover up. Fortunately, there are plenty of ways to do so while still looking smooth and stylish.
So don’t delay your fun in the sun any longer! Rather than letting concerns about your body keep you from living your vacation dreams, follow these tips on how to work with what you’ve got. Whether you’re swimming laps at the gym, having a beach picnic, or sipping drinks by the pool, these are some styles that you simply can’t go wrong in.