How To Choose Vacation Swimwear

Before embarking to coastal paradises and sun-soaked destinations, choosing the right swimwear becomes a packing priority. Every beachside, poolside, or lakeside moment is an opportunity to show off your personal swimwear style while enjoying the water.

This guide will cover the basics on vacation swimwear, whether you’re looking to accentuate your body shape or pick a suit that’ll keep you covered on your water adventures. We’ll go past aesthetics and dive into comfort, functionality, and how many swimsuits you should be taking on vacation.


Understanding Your Body Type

Maybe you’re set on a swimsuit you’ve seen online, hey, we say go for it! Or maybe you’re trying to highlight some of your favorite assets. If this is the case, the first step in nailing the look you're going for is understanding your body shape and how to balance it. 

  • Inverted triangle – Where the bust is bigger than the waist.
Carlie One PieceCarlie One PieceLeah Top & Highway Bottom

Accentuate the hips with detailed bottoms, like side-tie and high-waisted styles. Try halter-neck tops and one-pieces with accents, like belts or thick bands, on the waist.

  • Triangle or pear – Where the waist is bigger than the bust. 
Blair Top Highway Bottom for Triangle ShapesBlair Top Highway Bottom TerryBikinis for Triangle Shapes

Try bottoms that lengthen the legs, like high-leg or brazilian styles. You can also draw attention to your top half with more intricate style tops, like high-neck or shoulder-tie designs.

  • Apple – Where the bust is bigger than the waist with more undefined hips.
Celine One Piece for Apple Body TypesCarlie One Piece for Apple Body TypesEva Emmy Top Apple Body Type

Define the hips with waist details, like one-pieces with cutouts or ties, or try high-waisted bottoms matched with longer tops that visually cinch the waist.

  • Rectangle – Where the bust and waist are similar with more undefined hips.

Sydney One PiecePink Prism Suits for Rectangle Body Types

Try shortening the torso with a V-neck or deeper plunging swimsuit top or one-piece. Accentuate the waist with a belted or wrap style.

  • Hourglass – Where the bust and waist are similar with more defined hips.
Eva Emmy Swimsuit for HourglassTriangle Bikini

Enhance your curves with extra supportive tops or let bold colors and patterns capture the eye. High-waisted bottoms are universally flattering, but lower-waisted ones complement these proportions too.



Consider Your Destination

Alongside feeling confident in your vacation swimwear, you’ll want to consider your destination and vibe – think resort cabanas versus snorkeling excursions. The local climate and activities you’ll be doing should play a role in what bikinis or one-pieces make it in your luggage.


Tropical Destination 

Pops of color and abstract or floral prints fit the vibe for scenic beach vacations. Embrace full island-style with wrap-style sarong cover-ups or crochet dresses that add a textural element to your swimsuit outfit. For a picture-perfect look, try white or red swimwear that stands out against leafy green and blue backgrounds.

Blair Top and Vanessa BottomJava Banana BikiniTracy Dress



Resort Swimwear

Resort swimwear should easily transition you from poolside to your favorite restaurant at the hotel. One-pieces double up as tanks when added with shorts or skirts. Since you’ll most-likely be spending hours lounging, opt for a swimsuit with minimized tanlines, like triangle tops and skimpy bottoms. Complete the look with a maxi cover-up and large tote.

Resort SwimwearHolly Dress



 Eurotrip Vacation

Europe is known for classic and timeless style – you can’t go wrong with your favorite flattering black or neutral-colored swimsuit. It’s also all about the details, think small shoulder ruffles, self-tie fronts or waist ruching. Bring a silk scarf to tie up your hair and a linen button-down that doubles as a cover-up.

Core Collection Celine One PieceCover Up Dress

Yacht Week Vibes

Yacht Week calls for swimsuits that can handle the party. Go for bolder looks, whether that be colorblock bikinis, metal detailing or tops that zip in the front. Look for multiple styles in the same fabric so you can mix and match for boat parties and island excursions.

Black BikiniCamilla Top & Vanessa BottomBlack Bikini



Adventure-Packed Trips

Hiking to a waterfall? Sport swimwear is a great option that has you covered to, during and from your outing. It usually contains more coverage on the bust with supportive straps so that you can focus on the adrenaline rush. Whatever you choose, make sure it fits snug when dry as it’ll expand when wet. And since swim tops can double as sportswear, pair them with biker shorts or leggings to maximize packing. Don’t forget your favorite sports cap and beach towel.

Leah Top Highway BottomLinda One PieceBlack Bikini



How Many Swimsuits Should I Take on Vacation?

These are general suggestions and will vary based on your exact location, how much time you plan on spending in the water, what types of activities you’ll be doing, and, of course, personal preference.

Trip Length

# of Swimsuits

Weekend getaway


3-5 days


1 week


10ish days


2+ weeks



Destination Type

# of Swimsuits

Tropical island


Beach resort




City with a pool


Adventure trip


Spa retreat


Backpacking trip





Consider Mix-and-Match Options

Mixing and matching your swimwear is an easy way to expand your wardrobe and add versatility to your look without having to think about completely refreshing your repertoire. You can do so in a couple of ways:

  • Choose your favorite color and look for swimsuits in that hue, or start with your favorite existing piece and expand on that color. Blacks, whites and reds can be found every season.
  • Build a collection based on prints that use the same colors, like blue and white florals that can pair with other gradient blues. This option allows for plenty of room to play and choose bolder options that are still cohesive.
  • Tie your pieces together using similar styling elements, like tie tops with tie bottoms, ruched tops with ruched bottoms, or tops with thicker straps and bottoms with thicker waistbands.

 Mix and Match

Additional Tips

  • Do a try-on before you pack – It may seem obvious, but last-minute packing can lead to tossing in your most aesthetic bikinis that may not be the most practical for your trip. Make sure to try on your swimsuits and cover-ups before putting them in your suitcase.
  • Wash and dry your swimsuit – Hanging your swimsuit outside may not be the best option. To keep your swimwear in the best condition, always rinse it after use and dry it in a well ventilated area. Be careful not to leave it in the sun for extended periods of time to avoid fading.
  • Confidence is key – No matter your swimwear, rock what you’ve got and enjoy your well-deserved vacation.

Vacations are for trying new things, so don’t be afraid to go for styles of swimwear you haven’t tried before. You may just come across something you love that’s perfect for your upcoming destination.


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