Best Bathing Suits for Beach Babes Over Fifty | Work it, Girls!

Empty Nest Blessed by Suzy Mighell
woman in gingham lands end +draper james bathing suit standing in front of outdoor table and chairs with colorful cushions

I buy a new bathing suit every year. Whether I “need” it or not. We have a pool, and we love to spend time at our beach condo on Sanibel Island (View the live beach cam HERE.), so having a fresh, new swimsuit every year is important to me!

I’m a beach babe through and through, and, if I do say so myself, I know what I’m talking about when it comes to buying bathing suits! Natalie and I have been scouring the interwebs for suits this year, and I have to say: I think the bathing suit options out there for women over fifty are better than ever. (Praise hands for the resurgence of the high-waisted bikini, amirite? ????????)

woman in gingham lands end +draper james bathing suit standing in front of a patio

Today, I’m telling you how to shop for a bathing suit, what to look for, and even where to shop. And at the end of the post, I’ll share my tips for wearing a bathing suit with confidence (no matter what size you are) and what to do in the moment that strikes fear in your heart—when someone wants to take a photo of you in a bathing suit!

As always, images and pink links in this post are clickable. Thank you so much for using my links to shop! It means so much to me, and it supports Empty Nest Blessed!

woman in gingham lands end +draper james bathing suit sitting by the edge of a pool

Buying A Bathing Suit: How to Get Started

To avoid getting overwhelmed by all the options out there, figure out your favorite features and least favorite features before you even start shopping. Don’t beat yourself up about this! Just make an objective list, so you’ll know what to look for when you shop.

Brace yourself. It’s going to be challenging to find an excellent fit and superior fabrics for less than $75-100. I’ve included some less expensive suits in this post, but I don’t necessarily recommend them! Oh, you can go the cheap route, but don’t count on quality and longevity. I’ve done it both ways, and I’m telling you the truth here, gals. If you’re looking to save some dough, my recommendation would be to find a high-quality, well-made bottom (like this high-waist one or this super high waist one—both by Miraclesuit®) that you feel good in, and then mix and match the tops. Another alternative would be the unique Transformation Tube by Spanx. (More on that below.)

woman in gingham lands end +draper james bathing suit holding a pink pool ring standing by a pool and facing the sun

Buying a Bathing Suit: What to Look For

Look for suits that create optical illusions, playing up your best features and minimizing those you want to diminish. For example,

  • Suits that are darker on the bottom than on the top will minimize your lower areas.
  • Suits that are darker on the sides and lighter in the center will visually slim you. This one is a perfect example.
  • Suits with a belt or a design that mimics a belt (like the one I’m wearing in this post) will emphasize your waist.
  • Suits with strategic color blocking can help emphasize areas you want and diminish areas you don’t.
  • Suits with vertical stripes that will visually elongate your body.

Look for suits with flattering ruching.

Look for a bathing suit with detailing that draws attention to your face or your favorite body part. One-shoulder suits are a big trend this year!

Consider a two-piece tankini or a high-waisted or super-high-waisted bikini. Many suits are sold as separates now, so shop for your pieces individually, but consider how they’ll look together.

Suzy’s tip: If you’re going the high-waisted bikini route, consider ordering one size up from your normal size on the bottoms to avoid the dreaded muffin top. (Hey, if you’ve birthed babies, you’ve got that extra skin, no matter what size you wear!) I’ve found the super-high-waisted styles or even the styles worn lower on the hips to be a better option, for exactly that reason! (Another option is this fold-over bottom from Boden I bought that can be worn either high-waisted or lower on the hips.)

Be careful! If you go for a look that is too covered up, you’ll just look silly or like you’re from the 1940s!  (I think this one looks kind of like a nightgown!) The exception to this guideline might be this versatile, convertible swim dress/suit.

Don’t forget sun protection! Consider adding a coordinating rash guard/swim shirt for protection when you’re in the water. You can also do what I did and buy several solid color rash guards from Land’s End to match any swimsuit. (And always slather on your favorite sunscreen, of course!)

Buy a coverup you love! I’ve linked some great ones in a bunch of price ranges at the bottom of this post. You also might want to consider a coordinating coverup for your swimsuit! You want to feel confident walking back and forth to your condo or sitting around the pool.

woman in gingham lands end +draper james bathing suit sitting on the edge of a chair on an outdoor table and chair set
Cellulite alert! ????????????

Buying a Bathing Suit: How to Shop

Using the guidelines in this post, order multiple options. Try them on in the comfort of your own home and only keep what works. Look for retailers with free shipping/returns. (Most have that now.)

Buying a Bathing Suit: Where to Shop

Click through on the pink links to go right to the swimsuit sections on each site.

Land’s End

My favorite place to shop for swimsuits this year has been Land’s End! Their suits are beautifully-made, reasonably-priced, and their specialty is tops and bottoms that coordinate in multiple ways. When my friends at Land’s End offered to gift me a swimsuit in honor of International Swimsuit Day (May 19), I was thrilled!

Land’s End is always on my radar when it comes to swimsuits, but this year I especially had my eyes ???? on them because they have the cutest collaboration collection with Draper James, and y’all know that’s one of my favorite brands! The gingham swimsuit I’m wearing in this post is from the Draper James x Land’s End collection. (Unfortunately, it sold out right after I received it, but it is available in plus size and there are so many other cute options in the collection!)

In honor of International Swimsuit Day on May 19, Land’s End is offering 60% off any swimsuit and 40% off everything else May 18-19 only with the code SWIMPROMO. That’s an amazing deal, and it’s only good today and tomorrow!

Cabana Life

This site specializes in sun protective beachwear and swimwear. Everything on their site is UPF 50+. They feature happy and colorful bathing suits, rashguards, coverups, and SPF clothing, like this cute dress. One feature I like about this brand is that if your size is not available, they’ll email you when it comes back in stock. How convenient is that?

Boden

The bright clothing and swimsuit designs at Boden are so much fun! The designs are mostly tailored and classic, but with color combinations that are truly unique! I bought this bikini top, which you order by cup size (32A, baby! ????????‍♀️) and this clever convertible fold over bottom. Click HERE to see all of the one and two pieces that are available by cup size.

Anne Cole

Anne Cole is a new brand to me, but Natalie knew all about them! All they do is swimwear, and I love their designs!

Spanx

The designers at Spanx know how to design shapewear and clothes that fit women. Their Transformation Tube swim “accessory” is exclusive to them, and it’s designed to be worn up to 13 different ways! Check out photos on the left sidebar of this page to see what I mean! #brilliant

Talbots

It’s no secret that Talbot’s target demographic is women over fifty! They feature lots of Miraclesuits®, and they’ve got a collab going with Cabana Life right now that’s super cute.

Amazon

Amazon is a great spot if you need a suit fast, but I’ve found big inconsistencies in quality. I ordered a bunch of Amazon suits this year and ended up keeping two. I bought this one because I like the belt at the waistband, and this one because it was super high-waisted and looked vintage! Here are some of my other favorites.

Two specific brands I recommend that you can find on Amazon: Miraclesuit® and Anne Cole.

woman in gingham lands end +draper james bathing suit throwing a beach ball in the air

How to Wear a Bathing Suit with Confidence

In a nutshell, own it. If you’ve ever been to Europe, you’ve seen women do this well!

Do the best you can with your health and your fitness routine, and then accept the body you have now. You may never look like you’re 18 again, but the essence of who you are is not what you look like. It’s your character, your heart, and what you’ve built that counts (be it a business, a strong marriage, or some awesome adult kids).

Follow my tips and find a suit that you love, then stand up straight, put your shoulders back, and wear it with confidence. Think of what you’re modeling (literally!) for your daughters and even your granddaughters.

woman in gingham lands end +draper james bathing suit sitting on the edge of the table of an outdoor table and chair set

How to Pose for Photos in a Bathing Suit

If someone wants to take a photo and you’re in a swimsuit, don’t freak out and grab your coverup! (Again, own it.)

The Two Main Things to Remember When Posing in a Bathing Suit

Just like in any photos you take,

  • Face the light (otherwise, you’ll have a shadow on your face)
  • Create angles with your body wherever possible.
woman in gingham lands end +draper james bathing suit holding a pink pool ring and standing on the top step of a pool laughing

Other Tips When You’re Posing in a Bathing Suit

  • Stand up tall and relax your shoulders.
  • Place your feet together, side-by-side.
  • Push one of your hips out to the side.
  • Put one of your feet in tip-toe position (on the ball of the foot) and bevel like you’re a Rockette! This will minimize dimpling on the back of your thighs.
  • Slightly crook your arms at the elbow to visually emphasize your waistline.
  • Smile and look like you’re having the time of your life!

Don’t forget to use the code SWIMPROMO for 60% off swimwear and 40% off everything else at Land’s End today and tomorrow only! Many thanks to Land’s End + Draper James for this darling suit!

Pretty much everything I showed you today is on sale right now, so click through on anything you see in the boutique at the bottom of this post to check out other fabric and color options, as well as current pricing. ????????

Go get em,’ Beach Babes!

Blessings,

P.S. Don’t forget to pin this image for reference! (And be sure to follow Empty Nest Blessed on Pinterest!)

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Suzy Mighell

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10 Comments

  1. Thanks for being the only model of all the swimsuits that’s ove 50 ha ha! You look great and I love your humor and confidence to say “cellulite alert!”

    1. Wendy,
      Hahaha! It is what it is, I guess! We need to do the best we can, and remember that there is much more to life than how we look in a swimsuit! That said, I do think it’s important to remember the message we’re sending to our daughters when we talk about our bodies! It’s such a privilege of women to be the ones to carry life in our bodies, and we wouldn’t trade that for perfect bodies any day! Right?
      Hugs to you and thanks for your comment!
      xoxo Suzy

  2. Suzy, you look precious!! Friend, you have so much more nerve that I do! But, of course, I have to get my swimsuits at Bubba’s Tent & Awning! I enjoy your blog and enjoy seeing your smiling face! Love, Kathleen McLeod

    1. Hi Kathleen!
      I miss you, friend! Thank you for reading Empty Nest Blessed! Love you!
      xoxo Suzy

  3. You look adorable! Love the new Draper James collection at Lands End. Now, just waiting for my opportunity to enjoy a beach vacation. Fingers crossed ????!

    Your posts always bring a smile to my face.

    1. Margie,
      You are just the sweetest! Thank you! It’s a great collection, for sure! (A match made in heaven!!!) I hope you get to the beach soon!
      Thanks for your kind words!
      xoxo Suzy

  4. You’re adorable, and your tips are great! My fav combo is swim shorts with a bikini top. I feel like the bare midriff balances out the shorts! I’ll have to try some of your suggestions.

    1. Shannon,
      That is a great idea! I am going to try that!
      Thanks so much for your kind words!
      xoxo Suzy

    1. Cathy,
      You make me look good with the work you do, and I’m grateful for you!
      xoxo Suzy

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