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Best Swimwear


THE BEST SWIMSUITS TO BUY IN 2021


In the odd fog of the past year, swim dreams had to take a backseat to our strange reality. We put trips on hold, traded fashion for face masks and stayed home, waiting for life as we formerly knew it to start up again.


However different spring and summer 2021 may look from those that have gone before, as sure as the world turns, our season in the sun is coming back around, and we want to be ready to meet it. In fact, we’ve never been so grateful to try on the bathing suits that might carry us away from our own four walls, if only for an afternoon.


Having a great bathing suit at the ready helps. The best ones for our bodies and budgets possess an uncanny ability to boost our levels of comfort and body confidence. Like a sharp blazer on a job interview, the suit sets the tone for what’s to come—be it a tentative dip or taking a big breath and diving in headfirst.


So if our collection of smarter-than-average swimwear here at Bare Necessities can help you self-assuredly chaise-lounge around with a juicy beach read as the only thing on your mind, or crash through the surf worried only about your kids and not how your boobs and butts look, it’s worth it. We’re here to make it easy.


Find your best swimsuits of 2021, no matter the occasion, because this year, we came to swim.


BEST OVERALL SWIMSUITS



BEST ONE-PIECE SWIMSUITS



Bra-sized & beachy:

Every woman needs at least one all-star swimsuit she can always count on. This polka dot number is that suit. Starting with its widely encompassing size range (UK bands 30-40 and cups D-K), it's constructed around the built-in underwire bra and inner power net…which you’d never even know, because the printed layer atop it all is a natural fit for nautical life; the ruched side panels, pin-up perfection. On top, wide straps stay put securely. On the bottom, a generous cut doesn’t show too much leg. This is a suit you can pull on to go anywhere and know you’re going to look and feel equal parts amazing.



Bra-sized & sporty:

If summer is your season to get out there and go hard, you need a swimsuit that can keep up with you. Freya serves up bra-sized support (UK bands 30-40 and cups D-H) in the form of molded underwire cups that are puncture resistant, so you really don’t have to worry about snags or otherwise slowing down. Its sporty shape is all about aerodynamics, with a super-secure clasp and straps made to support your unique body. Sections of color blocking are used to gorgeous effect: The red and blue along the sides elongate the look of your torso and visually whittle your waist—that plays well on the volleyball court or in the deep end’s fast lane.



Best shaping suit:

The Miraclesuit brand is synonymous with slimming swimwear and, season after season, Jena has been an unfaltering best seller from the label. It’s a one-piece with serious swerve, including the Grecian goddess-inspired solo shoulder strap, peekaboo illusion mesh inserts and strategically swathed, triple-hold Miratex fabric. A palette of sophisticated neutrals makes this a highly complimentary, sexy swimsuit for grown-ups that fits in as easily at a swank resort as it is at the town pool. Thanks to the chlorine-resistant Xtra Life Lycra, your Jena one-piece will be around for a good, long while, which we appreciate when investing in our attire.



BEST TWO-PIECE SWIMSUITS



Trendiest:

The bikini of 2021 looks very much like this: optimistic pastels, fresh white stripes and no shortage of support. It’s a classic with contemporary updates, namely the bra structure brought to you by the experts at Freya: seamed, mesh-lined, underwire cups for lift, and power net wings that bring your girls front and center. The placement of the striped stretch microfiber makes for a subtly cool optical illusion; the bow between the cups is as sweet as can be. This same motif also comes in a bandeau, a halter and a tankini, to say nothing of all the bottoms, so if you love the versatile vibe of this collection as much as we do, you can wear it in near-endless combinations.



Boldest:

Blue water, blue sky, Blue Curacao—we take our summers with a side of color. The vibrant Ottawa Wrap Full-Cup is like bringing your bra to the beach disguised as a bikini, and we are here for it. In Pacific or Aquamarine (and Black, natch), the tone-on-tone textured, twisted microfiber conceals supportive, seamed, three-part mesh-lined underwire cups. Combine all that with adjustable yet rigid straps and a swimsuit-style clasp, and full busts have suddenly found the perfect lifted, locked-in fit they get from their bra in the form of an eye-catching swim top.



Best little black bikini:

There’s a reason stylish women everywhere swear by black: It’s got an instant airbrushing effect on the body. Fold that power into a bra-sized bikini top, and you’re talking about some major figure flattery, particularly for fuller busts. Our exclusive Onyx is as cute as it is comfortable and, like its side-boned underwire bra counterparts, will never let you down. Your call on the modesty foam inserts in the cups and the convertible straps that look like a halter from the front (without stressing out your neck). Modest yet contemporary, this suit has all ages and style preferences chicly covered for every conceivable aquatic outing.



BEST WIRE-FREE BIKINIS



You heard it here first: Halters are for every body! In band sizes 32 to 38 and cups D to I, our exclusive new brand Birdsong has cracked the code on how to deliver stylish support to bigger busts. Like a bralette on the beach, no underwire need apply—especially with the dual tunnel ties along the underband and the adjustable self-tie stretch straps that let you decide how snugly you want your suit to fit. The tropical hibiscus motif, gathered straps and ruffled cups impart such a sweetly delicate, feminine vibe that belies the strength of this full-coverage top. Removable foam inserts in the cups make it as quick to dry as it is cool to wear.



From the front, this edgy black top is everything a bikini should be: chic, sexy and strappy. Turn around, though, and the bra-style clip and halter ties have seriously got your back. Freya makes best-in-class bras for ample chests, so it’s little wonder this seamed-cup bikini top manages to effortlessly lift and securely hold UK band sizes 30 to 36 and cups D to FF. Its lines are clean and simple, which keeps you comfy from sunrise to sunset. What’s more, the materials it’s made out of—upcycled marine plastic turned stretch microfiber and coconut byproduct hardware—are kind to the very seas you’re surfing while wearing it. Honestly, how much better can a bikini get?



BEST BRA-SIZED TANKINIS



Sexiest:

Split the difference between a bikini and a one-piece with this sexy take on the tankini. An impressive assortment of sizes (UK bands 30-38 and cups D-GG) does the absolute most for your bust with supportive, foam-lined underwire cups and reinforced side boning that keeps you contained, lifted and centered. If you’d like, you can convert the over-the-shoulder stretch straps to crossback. The style standout here, of course, is the crochet overlay, which feels as comfortable—and covers as well as—any tank top but looks twice as hot. In bold colors, this can-do tankini is just the ticket for a pool party or vacation to your choice of sunny destinations.



Best little black tankini:

Never again second-guess your choice of swimsuit. There’s a lot to be said for outright simplicity, and this top beautifully underscores the point. Forever flattering black microfiber, check. Foam-lined bra-sized cups for a subtle lift, check. Adjustable double straps, check. Hits at the hip with room to breathe for a comfy, classic look: check, check and check. Add your favorite black bottoms, and you’re ready to go with the flow, wherever it takes you—be it jet skiing on the lake or kayaking in the tropics. More than 50 near-perfect reviews can’t be wrong. How nice to not have to overthink every last thing in life!



MOST COMFORTABLE SWIMSUITS



Everyone of every age and every size who tries this untraditional swimsuit style becomes low-key obsessed with it. This romper is mind-blowingly refreshing in a where-has-this-been-my-whole-life? kind of way. Not only does it look trendy and cute as can be, it’s so ridiculously comfortable it instantly makes you realize that every other suit you’ve ever worn still makes you question how your body looks when you wear it. Not this one. The tie-halter neck and blousy wrap top play up your decolletage while leaving your back alluringly uncovered. The shorts graze over your upper thighs like a swimdress but sportier. A gathered waist highlights the narrowest part of you. And underneath it all is a firm-control one-piece swimsuit whose built-in, foam lined wire-free cups stay in place and look seamless. No cover-up needed, either. To feel your most confident and not waste time thinking about how your look every time you stand up, you have to try this romper.



Not every tankini has to be short or tight. We’re big fans of Wildside for its fit-and-flare silhouette that’s pretty and comfy, with an actual bra sewn right in (32-38 bands, D-I underwire cups). You can wear the straps straight-up or crossed in back—whichever way makes you feel most at ease. Both the trendy animal print, universally flattering burgundy background and the just-sweet-enough styling of the keyhole cutout and bow tie rack up cool points without sacrificing a really easygoing fit and feel. Likewise, Wildside is designed to go with a wide array of matching bottoms but also plays well with basic black. Last but not least, this same cut comes in multiple prints and colors. Pick the one that feels truest to you, then dive into summer.



BEST SLIMMING SWIMSUITS



Slimming has never looked sexier. If you’ve ever imagined emerging out of the water looking and feeling like a Bond girl, then this is your suit. Scuba-inspired, it’s as sporty as it is sultry—not an easy feat. Those seamed double-layer stretch panels have slimming stitched into their very fiber, but the styling is nautical miles beyond a typical shaping swimsuit. So many zippers are as fashion-statement-making as they are functional (yes, they all really work); zip this baby all the way or as far down as you dare. Easy on, easy off. Even the T-back is totally, unexpectedly bombshell.



Revele is the ideal manifestation of everything a slimming swimsuit should be. What at first glance looks like your average one-piece tank suit is actually anything but, thanks to its innovative Miratex triple-hold slimming power centered around the stomach and artfully wrapped across it. Underwire foam cups buoy your bust, comfort straps refuse to dig into your shoulders and the Xtra Life Lycra Spandex goes to war against chlorine, guaranteeing a suit that will look and fit just as perfectly a few seasons from now. Collect all four colors for a water wardrobe you can rely on to always cast you in your best light.



For those among us who shop around our busts before everything else, consider a slimming swimsuit from a renowned bra brand like Fantasie. By beginning with your bra size (UK bands 32 to 40 and cups D to H), you get the custom cradling of mesh-lined underwire cups and a fully lined suit, to boot—in this one-piece, light control comes in the form of dual-layer fabric. Then further tweak your fit with fully adjustable stretch straps. All in the same package, you’ve got great coverage and great support at a decent price for a high-performing shaping suit out of which you’re sure to get a lot of wear.



MOST AFFORDABLE SWIMSUITS

We’re Pour Moi fans for many reasons around here, though certainly chief among them is that it’s our least expensive bra-sized brand. Yep, you read it right: The whole supportive suit comes in at $78. The sporty, stretchy bikini top containing a hidden underwire is exactly on-trend this swim season, and it matches back effortlessly with the figure-finessing high-waisted bikini bottom (or, let’s be honest, any of the dozen black bikini bottoms already padding your drawer). With an eye-opening range of fuller UK sizes (bands 30 to 40 and cups D to K), it’s not hard to find what your body wants without breaking the bank.



For a highly flattering one-piece option under $100, this suit supplies the most bang for your buck. First off, it’s bra-sized with two-layer, underwire balconette cups, so you get bust-shaping support while you swim. And though the Creora Highclo stretch microfiber fabric rebuffs the rough effects of chlorine, elegant Anya looks about as far from sporty as you can get, with its elongating princess seams, ruched center detail, gold accents, decorative split straps that adjust, and surprising cut-out band in the back. A layer of Powernet within cuts a svelte and smooth figure in or out of the water. At this price, you’d be hard-pressed to find a more multi-talented bathing suit.



So it turns out you can have a whole hardworking bikini for less than a Benjamin. Ringing up at $93, you get to take home a super supportive, go-everywhere bra-sized bikini top and its mate, the quintessential low-rise bikini bottom. Both supply some flair in the form of scattered white diamonds on a basic black base, but not so much you can’t reliably rock it every single week of the season. Jewel Cove does more than just look damn good: The halter-inspired, pin-up-girl silhouette belies the structure of an actual bra. What’s more, Jewel Cove is an entire collection you can constantly dip into: Mix and match different shapes like a tankini top, a sweetheart bikini top, a ruffled version, a bandeau and a convertible wire-free style with briefs ranging from a little Brazilian to a retro high-waist.



BEST SWIM DRESSES & SKIRTS

Is it a swim dress? Is it a one-piece? With Amal, you get both. This innovative layered silhouette lets you tie it up on the side for sunning or active pursuits or wear it at full length, over the upper thighs, as a fabulous minidress. Either way, its one-shoulder, ring-detail strap flatteringly draws the eye up while the built-in firm control suit secretly subdues the tummy area. Removable foam inserts help gently shape and lift the bustline, too. Take your pick of un-basic black or the saturated deep ultramarine blue. Who knew modesty, shaping and support could be this impossibly chic? Must be some sort of Magic.



You already have your little black dress for nights out on the town, right? Meet your little black dress for days spent out on the water. Marais is as strikingly figure-flattering, curve-conscious and downright beautiful as any of the dependable choices hanging in your closet, from its V-neck in front to its U-shaped scoop back, from the gathered twist high on the waist to the way it flares forgivingly over hips and thighs. While modest enough for any occasion that still finds you in a swimsuit, it’s decidedly feminine, not frumpy; exceedingly comfortable yet precisely cut…the very definition of aquatic elegance.



If you could design your own swimsuit, it might shape up to look a lot like Parker. It’s as versatile as a swimsuit gets: Wear it tied up as a one-piece or untied as a swimdress. Give it a sexy halter neckline with jewelry-inspired metallic hardware from the front, and turn it into adjustable spaghetti straps in the back. Let it feel infinitely easy-breeze—but make sure it has hidden slimming and underwire cups built in for invisible security and support. Oh, and give it an inclusive size range while you’re at it...say, 16W to 24W? And it almost goes without saying, but it should make you feel completely at ease when you pull it on. Voila, here you have it—the best plus-size swimsuit money can buy.



BEST SWIMSUITS WITH INCLUSIVE SIZING

Not only is the Freya Jewel Cove one of our top affordability picks, it’s also a sizing superhero: This little black diamond-patterned bikini comes in UK band sizes 28 to 38 and cup sizes D to J, which is to say that it’s as excellent a choice for full busts as it is for full figures. And as only a bikini made by a bra brand could do, Jewel Cove marries the hoisted-up look of a halter with the support of a seamed underwire bra—no padding in here, only a mesh lining for your most natural profile—that features mesh side wings for 360-degree support. Non-stretch, self-tie straps provide a level of security you may never have known.



Oceanus is a classic shaping style that comes in sizes that cater to your unique figure: 10-18, DD or DDD cups and plus sizes 16W to 24W. This silhouette is a staple in the legendary Miraclesuit collection because it’s the textbook definition of a figure-flattering, go-everywhere maillot. That signature Miratex triple-firm-control midriff panel goes to work at the same time as the crossover shirred detail adds chic styling with a side of camouflage. Up on top, foam cups shape and support your breasts as the wrap V-neck accentuates it. Wear this tank suit to swim laps (it’s chlorine resistant) or to lounge by the deep end, enjoying comfortable coverage either way.



Finding a well-fitting suit here and there is always something to celebrate. But shop Birdsong, and you’ll see that’s the sort of thing that can happen on the regular. This Bare Necessities exclusive swimwear brand is all about delivering great fit and great fashion, real support and real style, exceptional quality and accessible prices—even in the “hard to find” sizes. For 2021 bra-sized swim, look for 30 bands (that’s a new size) to 38 and cups D to I; one-pieces in sizes 8 to 16; swimwear bottoms from small to 3X; plus sizes 18-24 and D-K, and 16W to 24W. If it sounds like a lot of options, it’s because it is. Soak them up.



BEST COVER-UPS & SWIM ACCESSORIES

What good is a swimsuit if you can’t leave the beach? Any waterfront outing requires a cover-up that lets you dip out for a lunchtime lobster roll or a cocktail without wasting valuable sun-drenched hours stopping off to change first. This casual knit is as versatile as it gets: In black or white (at this price, you can have both!), it goes with any and every bathing suit you own. An optional knotted hem and keyhole racerback give it two cool design twists. The textured fabric blend feels light and airy but covers well enough to go out in public. It refuses to wrinkle, meaning you can wear it multiple times on a weeklong trip. Its fit and sizing are as easy-breezy as its mid-thigh length. Just add flip-flops and you’re good to go.



If you prefer that your cover-up hold its own on the fashion front, you can begin and end your search with this flatteringly draped gown that reads more sundress than schmatta. A midweight microfiber poly-Spandex blend (the very same one that a Miraclesuit swimsuit is made of, in fact) is both long enough and substantial enough to take you from the beach to the boardwalk. Its stunningly sophisticated silhouette—ruched scoop neck, halter strap, wrap-front tulip hem, deep cut underarms—will not go unnoticed at your next all-inclusive getaway or pool party. Take your pick of saturated jewel tones, or play it straight as your little black dress of the beach club.



A going-out clutch. Oversized sunglasses. Sunscreen. Don’t forget to pack all of your most important beach accessories—including these brilliant water-resistant adhesive stickers. Like a Band-Aid but bigger and better, they comfortably manage to prevent nipple show-through when the water gets chilly or a wardrobe malfunction that threatens to tank an otherwise happy day. Made for all breast sizes, in beige and cocoa skin tones, the knitted fabric petals easily and securely go over your breasts for added insurance in mixed company, be it a couple’s getaway, an afternoon at the town pool or a family waterpark adventure. In a pack of five, you can pick and choose when to deploy these disposable life-savers.



Published: 4.19.2021

Bare Necessities: Editor Bio

From the desk of: Brooke Glassberg

Editor at Bare Necessities


Brooke oversees all the words here at Bare Necessities. In a previous life, she was an editor at Good Housekeeping and O, The Oprah Magazine. Brooke has written for Glamour, Travel+Leisure, Food Network and more. She’s into concerts, travel and her exceptionally adorable daughter and husband.

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