Summer brings on some of the most fun things in your wardrobe to shop for — sandals, sundresses, sunglasses — and one of the most dreaded: swimwear. Not that we don’t enjoy looking at, buying, and wearing bathing suits. But let’s be real, finding one that fits, looks great, and works for your budget is easier said than done. Since fluorescent dressing room lighting is never as flattering as golden, poolside sunlight, your safest bet is to shop online, try on at home, and send back what doesn't work.
To help streamline the process, we've broken down our favorite swim retailers into four categories: the best places to shop for affordable suits (under $100 for a set); the retailers with the biggest selections; cool brands to know that make splurge-worthy pieces; and the labels and retailers that carry stylish suits in extended sizing.
With over 30 retailers to choose from and our expert tips to guide you, the only thing standing between you and your new favorite swimsuit are a few browser tabs and your credit card's CVV code.
Whether you're looking for a noncommittal way to try a trend or just don't want to spend an arm and a leg on two tiny pieces of fabric, you can trust these shops to do affordable swimwear right.
Boohoo: Trendy, colorful bikini sets will run you around $30 at this British fast fashion retailer. One-piece options range from cutout mesh numbers to graphic high-leg one-pieces to the classic maillot and come in around the same price.
Bikyni: New to the scene as of 2015, Bikyni was founded by the former COO of Reformation to fill all your modern, minimalist swimwear needs — for $95 a set. The mix-and-match policy, handy fit guide, and free shipping and returns all make it a completely risk-free situation.
Forever 21: Staying true to the brand’s rep, you can find super-current swim styles here for really, really cheap. It won't be the best-made swimsuit you've ever purchased, but we can't argue with separates starting under 5 bucks.
Missguided: With hundreds of options to choose from starting out at $12 for mix-and-match pieces, this British brand is one of the best places to look for trendy swimwear. Note: You get a whopping 50 percent off when you subscribe to Missguided’s newsletter, so you might wanna do that.
Old Navy: We haven't hidden our love for Old Navy's low-key good selection, and the swimwear is as surprisingly on point as everything else. You can find high-waisted bottoms, ruffled or wrap tops, lace-up one-pieces, and on and on. Single pieces start around $24.
Seafolly: Australian label Seafolly has a bunch to browse — the brand makes more than 250 swimwear styles that start around $40 for separates.
Triangl: Ringing in at $89 for a set, the colorful, sporty bikinis made by this Australian label feature fun details like embroidered patches, crocheted edges, and color blocking. The triangle shape is especially kind to small-chested girls, though the sizing accommodates up to a DD.
With the shops below, it's more than possible to find great suits in sizes above 12 and cup sizes beyond D without stepping into the frump zone.
Adore Me: This popular lingerie maker’s swim selection starts at size 0 but has options that run up to 4x and 46DDD that are not the least bit frumpy, making the shop great for curvy shoppers and those with big busts.
ASOS Curve: The e-tailer's Curve section offers swimsuits every bit as trendy as the main collection in sizing from US 12 to 24, as well as bikini-top sizing from 38D to 40F. A "fuller bust" section starts at 30DD/E and fits through 36I.
Malia Mills: Eliminate the guesswork with bra-sized tops that accommodate up to an E cup paired with bottoms in a range of styles, from retro high-waisted to shorts to something called “very cheeky.”
Modcloth: Modcloth's extended-size swimwear features a range of styles, from the retro-leaning (like a sailor-inspired one-piece) to the ultra modern (high-neck one-pieces with mesh cutouts). All feel very of-the-moment, and lots of options are under $100.
Nakilumi: Focusing mainly on African prints, Nakimuli’s bright swimsuits come in sizes up to 3x. It’s all handmade in Brooklyn (save for a few vintage pieces), so the selection isn’t huge, but there are a few different one-pieces styles (including zip-front) and bikinis (including high-waisted briefs and off-shoulder tops).
Phylyda: Launched last year, this stylish Berlin-based brand has sleek options to accommodate all different types of busts and both petite and curvy frames. Technically, the suits fit a US 0–18, or up to 49-inch hips.
Swimsuits for All: This retailer lives up to the promise of its name, with on-trend pieces for women of all sizes and body types. A new collaboration with model Ashley Graham has particularly covetable items, like lace-up one-pieces and braided-strap bikinis that start at $79 for a set.
Brands to Splurge On
From recently launched swim collections to of-the-moment styles, these are the brands to spend on this summer.
Aday: Sleek athleisure brand Aday just launched swimwear in April. Right now, there are only two styles (a bikini and a one-piece), but both are super cute.
Andie: This recently launched direct-to-consumer brand only makes one-pieces, but if that’s what you’re after, the brand’s try-on experience makes them worth checking out: Select your size, and a box with all three styles is sent for you to try on and decide at home. Prices start at $125, but if you keep multiple styles then you get a discount.
Bruna Malucelli: The personalized Baywatch-style one-pieces made by this Brazilian brand made a splash on Instagram last summer, but this year’s sweetly feminine embroidered suits are a totally different (but great) look.
Her the Label: Another Australian label, Her is the epitome of the simple, solid-colored swimwear trend, with a wide selection of cuts in of-the-moment colors like pale pink, olive, taupe, and powder blue. Prices start around $165 for a bikini.
Lively: One of our favorite brands to shop for bralettes (they even make one for bigger boobs), Lively’s just-launched swimwear is every bit as cute and comfortable as the label’s lingerie. Right now there are a few different cuts for both bikinis and one-pieces, in white, navy, black and a tropical print.
Lonely: Lonely’s swimwear is a lot like its lingerie — that is, it looks great on real bodies. The brand’s latest swim collection features a bunch of sweet one-pieces and bikinis with strappy detailing, muted prints and colors, and sex appeal that isn’t over-the-top.
Nu Swim: Founded in 2015, California brand Nu Swim is another great example of minimalist swimwear, with nicely cut one-pieces and bikinis but nary a print in sight. Prices start around $70 for separates.
Made by Dawn: Made in California and founded by a Hawaiian, Made by Dawn offers swimwear that’s simple without being boring thanks to little details like subtle ruffles, fringe, ribbed textures, and low-key prints.
Mara Hoffman: Boho-leaning Mara Hoffman has been making swimwear forever, but this year in particular the styles are on point, from candy-striped bikini sets with high-waisted bottoms to simple color-blocked one-pieces.
Reformation: Ref finally launched swimwear a few weeks ago, and it’s all really cute: Expect retro-inspired fits and details like cutouts and bows. Some of the best pieces are currently waitlisted, but you might as well get on that list.
The Ones Who: This LA-based brand makes a handful of simple, flattering one-pieces and bikinis available in a small range of trendy colors (and one geometric black-and-white print).
If you're looking for options, these sites have you covered with a huge range of choice in style, color, coverage, and price.
ASOS: Your one-stop-shop for everything on-trend, ASOS has a huge selection of swimwear ranging from trendy, affordable pieces (check out the in-house label and New Look separates starting around $10) to suits by of-the-moment high-end brands like Beach Riot, Wildfox, and Rihanna-approved Lolli.
Bikini.com: This Las Vegas-based retailer carries a comprehensive selection of cool swimwear brands — Acacia, Boys & Arrows, Kore, Seafolly — hailing from beachy locales like Honolulu and San Diego. The site is easily navigable by body type, trend, or silhouette; and despite the name, it stocks some of the most interesting one-pieces around.
Camp Cove: This Australian-based swim brand has a ton of cute printed options, included lots of top styles that work for bigger boobs. While the look is definitely retro-inspired, the cuts feel very modern, with high-neck halters and high-waisted briefs, tank-style one-pieces, and really low-key cutouts.
Everything But Water: EBW carries all manner of swimwear and related goods, from coverups to sunglasses. The 30-year-old company has an all-white capsule collection featuring exclusive styles from buzzy brands like Marysia, Vitamin A, and Solid & Striped.
Net-a-Porter: If you’ve got a bigger budget, Net-a-Porter’s swim selection hits every trendy, high-end label out there — Mikoh, Flagpole, Ward Whillas — plus well-made, tried-and-true names like Tory Burch and La Perla.
Onia: Longtime men's favorite swimwear brand Onia launched a women's line in 2015 and we can't get enough. Choose from straightforward but stylish cuts for one-pieces and separates in a range of solids, stripes, and prints.
Planet Blue: This Los Angeles-area chain leans bohemian (think crochet and lace detailing, earthy hues, tie-dye prints, and strappy backs). It's not exactly cheap, but won't break the bank, either — separates start at $62.