Free climate compensated shipping on all orders above $125 USD

Your cart

    Free Gift Box Free Shipping

Your cart is empty

How Should a Bathing Suit Fit?

Whether you’re prepping for long summer days by the pool or a winter getaway to the sunny shores of some fabulous island retreat, one thing’s for sure—it’s time for a new bathing suit. As a result, you may find yourself in a department store changing room, asking yourself that age-old question: how should a bathing suit fit?

Knowing how to wash a bathing suit can affect the fit. A bathing suit that fits well should feel snug and comfy. Keep in mind, snug means close-fitting but not uncomfortably restrictive. The cut should also create a smooth silhouette that flatters your natural features. You should feel supported, confident, and ready for anything in your swimsuit style .

However, with tons of styles and cuts to pick from, it's not always clear how the perfect bathing suit should sit on your body. Don’t worry, we’ve got you covered. A simple four-step checklist is all you need to find your perfect fit, no matter your swimsuit style or shape.

Step 1: Put It On, Feel Out the General Fit

We know that swimsuit shopping can sometimes feel like one of the most intimidating tasks of warm-weather shopping. But we promise, the first step in swimsuit shopping is an easy one—trying it on.

In an interview with Glamour, fashion designer Kirsten Sarkisian detailed her process for finding her ideal bathing suit. Her first step always remains the same; "simply put it on your body."1 

She concedes that you can't make judgments on a bathing suit until it's adjusted to your body to the best of its ability. Once you're in your bathing suit, she insists on doing the following:

  • Adjust the swim suit straps 
  • Arrange your breasts, (lift them, and push them together)
  • Check the back of the suit for tangles or uncomfortable riding

Take a moment to check yourself out. See how your swimsuit lands on your body naturally. It will give you a moment to take stock. Notice what naturally flatters your body. That means asking yourself: 

  • Does the fit hug my body shape in ways that make me feel confident?

  • Does the cut help me feel at ease in my skin?

  • Does the suit emphasize my favorite physical attributes?

  • Does the size feel too constricting, or can I move freely without worrying about (ahem) overexposure?

The reflection also allows you to smile at yourself. You're doing these swimsuits a favor, you sexy thing!

Step 2: Test Your Tops

Once you find a suit that you feel flatters your body naturally, we can begin to look a little closer to ensure a perfect fit. That means a top-down approach—literally. 

How Should It Feel?

When trying out swimsuit tops, you should be spending quality one-on-one time with the girls. When searching for a top, you should check in on your breasts and how they feel. 

  • Does your chest feel supported? A well-fitted bikini top should provide lift, coverage, and peace of mind. Some bathing suits rely on straps to provide lift, but your breasts can achieve additional support with a flexible band or underwire. If your breasts feel unsupported or droopy, you may want to size down.
  • Are the straps helping or hurting?Adjustable straps can act as a life-saver for swimsuit support. However, straps may not remedy an ill-fitting bikini top on their own. If your swim top straps are at their maximum tightness, you should size down if your breasts still don't feel supported. Unsure if your straps are too tight? Try putting on a tight shirt over the bikini or one piece swimsuit. If you notice new curves and rolls that aren't present while wearing a regular bra, your straps are likely too tight. 
  • Does the padding help you feel confident? – Padding can offer your breasts a little extra protection against “headlight syndrome” and give your girls a helpful boost. If you have small breasts, padding can help them look fuller. However, padding may act as more of a hindrance if you have larger breasts. Bathing suits without padding provide some flexibility for women with larger breasts. If the padding is removable, try taking it out and seeing what a difference it makes to your chest's overall shape and comfort. 

Considering these factors can make a big difference in your comfortability. Now it’s time to marry that feeling of support with your sense of seaside style. 

What Style Suits Me?

Of course, you can (and should) wear whatever makes you feel confident. If you're completely at a loss for where to start, here are a few suggestions for beach vacation essentials  to compliment your specific body type: 

  • Small chest A classic bandeaux style can accentuate your frame very well. You can always add textures or ruffles to give the illusion of a fuller chest. 
  • Mid-sized chest  – If your boobs aren't quite big but aren't exactly small, consider a demi-cup bikini. Rely on some minimal underwire support to give you a natural and voluminous lift without the additional padding of a push-up.
  • Large chest – Large breasts need proper support. Therefore, you should look for bikini tops that take after bra designs.2 A wrapped bikini top can add some support and shape to your chest. You can also choose a full-busted bikini or one piece swimsuit to show off your girls and flatter your waist simultaneously. 

Step 3:  Check Your Bottoms

Next up, we have bottoms. An excellent bikini bottom (or even the lower half of your one-piece) should provide coverage, accentuate your booty in the best way, and keep the wedgie risk to a minimum.

Exploring different bottoms can help you maximize your confidence and realize your full booty potential. 

How Should It Feel?

There isn’t an exact science to how your bottoms should feel. Too large bottoms will sag, and too tight bottoms will pinch or ride up. 

A good rule of thumb? You’ll know you have a good bikini bottom when you’re not constantly adjusting it. 

Bikini bottoms are designed for coverage and comfortability, so you should ensure that the bottoms you choose have the back (and front) coverage you’re hoping for, whether that’s a thong bottom or a brief style. 

What Style Suits Me?

Size and comfort are one thing, but showing off your beachy buns is another. Consider opting for a bathing suit bottom that shows your assets in a cheeky way. 

Here are a few suggestions for bathing suit bottoms to complement your behind.

  • Flat bottom – If your booty is on the flatter side, a tanga may work well for you. Tanga bottoms are halfway between a thong and bikini cut. The slim cut offers maximum booty real estate, helping to amp up your (pardon the pun) assets. By ensuring the fabric is snugly fit and not droopy, a tanga can give the appearance of natural lift and shape. 
  • Round bottom A cheeky bikini bottom can help show off those voluminous curves. You can let your buns get some sun or use a medium coverage bikini to ensure a cheeky peek without exposing too much.
  • Petite bottom – If your butt is relatively small or boyish, ruching can be your friend. Rouched bottoms provide comfort and add a touch of texture to give the illusion of shape. 
  • Wide bottomIf you have a wide set bottom, consider using an angular cut bikini. Choose a clean, simple cut that hugs your hips well and shows off your shape. 

When you shop with a discerning eye, you may be amazed at how much a simple tweak in style or shape can make a difference. Treat your bottom to a beach day free from worries and wedgies. 

Step 4:  Weigh Your Options

Now that we've explored the ins and outs of what comprises a well-suited and flattering swimsuit, let's talk about the more nuanced components that you should consider when hunting for the perfect suit. 


The beauty of modern bathing suits is adjusting them to your specific requirements. After all, measurements fluctuate; it's natural. So having a top with adjustable straps or bottoms with tie-strings on the side can come in handy. 


Think about what you like to do best when wearing a bathing suit. Are you more likely to splash around in the water or lounge by the pool?

  • I’m a splasher – Swimsuits tend to stretch when wet. If you’re on the fence about sizing, it may be in your best interest to size down if you plan to get wet and wild.  
  • I’m a lounger If you're not planning on getting your swimsuit wet often, you can choose to size up if you're unsure what fits you best. Wear what you feel most comfortable in and get your tan on. 

The best minimalist swimwear should be functional by design. Therefore, how you plan to use it should be considered when making the final decision. 

Complete Your Summer Checklist with Gooseberry

Scoring a well-fitted swimsuit can turn a good day into an amazing one. By breaking down the fit from bikini top styles to bikini bottom styles, you'll finally check: "finding the perfect bathing suit" off your list. 

Now that you know the how in finding a perfect suit, let’s help you find the where—Gooseberry.

String together an amazing summer with Gooseberry. Our sultry, sculpting swimwear collection offers a perfect fit for everybody, so you can savor every sun-soaked moment poolside, lakeside, seaside, or wherever your suit takes you. Need to fill up your suitcase with more sensational ensembles? Check out our intimates and loungewear collection. You can celebrate the sunrise with our cozy loungewear and after dark, indulge in our signature sexy intimates. 

Gooseberry is more than a summer fling. We’re a perfect fit. 


  1. Glamour. Bikini Fit Hacks: 3 Things You Must Do as Soon You Put on Your Swimsuit.
  2. Canadian Living. Yes, You Can Find Your Perfect Bathing Suit.
  3. The Zoe Report. How to Find a Swimsuit That Truly Fits, According to Designers.

A Guide to Different Bikini Bottom Styles

Shopping for new bikini bottoms? Read on for our guide on the different bikini bottoms styles. 

Read next post

6 Minimalist Swimwear Options to Shop For

Minimalist swimwear can still make a fashion statement. Discover the [x] minimalist swimwear options to shop for.

Read previous post