Let’s Talk About Swimsuits

Let's talk about swimsuitsLike many of you, we hate swimsuit shopping. It’s discouraging to step into the dressing room with a pile of swimsuits only to walk out empty-handed and frowny-faced. We’ve been there. 

With that said, there was something about looking forward to our seven-day vacation to Costa Rica that motivated us a just a litttttle bit more than usual. We knew we’d be spending our days relaxing, swimming, and beach hopping, so we tried to collect several swimsuits for the trip. And, I’m not going to lie, we had fun doing it. For the past few months we were always texting each other photos and links to cute suits that we thought would be cuter on another gal. I can’t believe I just said it was fun. But yeah, it was kinda fun. #victory 

Let's talk about swimsuits Katie: ASOS Top + ModCloth Bottoms. Elsie: Victoria’s Secret Bikini (Top + Bottom).

Tip 1: Get over yourself

Before you start swimsuit shopping, you might as well accept the fact that 100% of women (and humans for that matter) have insecurities. We’re not perfect. Swimsuits can be freaky territory, but realizing that we’re all in the same boat makes it feel a little safer. So much of how we see ourselves is a mind game anyway. Instead of focusing on what you don’t love about your body, give yourself a compliment and a high five. You deserve it! 

Let's talk about swimsuits From the top left: ASOS Top (old), Victoria’s Secret Bottom, Victoria’s Secret Top, Rashguard. From the bottom (left to right): ModCloth, ASOS (Katie and I accidentally bought opposite pieces of the same suit!), Urban Outfitters

Tip 2: Dress for your body type

I know this one should be super obvious, but it’s tough—especially when you’re shopping online. When you’ve been scrolling through pages and pages of models wearing swimsuits, it’s easy to forget what you’re even looking for. I start noticing colors and cute styles, and then I’m like, “Waiiit a minute—I can’t wear that!” Ha! It doesn’t matter how cute it is if it’s not a style you’ll feel awesome in. Gotta stay focused! 🙂

Everyone’s body-type solutions will be different. I’ve sworn off both one pieces and two pieces that are sold as pairs because I need different sizes on the top and bottom. Whatever works, right?!

Let's talk about swimsuits Katie: One piece/Anthropologie (Similar).

Let's talk about swimsuits Laura: Dillards Bikini (Top + Similar Bottom). Katie: Top and bottoms/Urban Outfitters.

Let's talk about swimsuits Laura: ASOS bikini (Out of stock—aw, man!).

Let's talk about swimsuits Laura: Dillards Bikini (Top + Bottom).

Let's talk about swimsuits Emma: One piece/Urban Outfitters.

Let's talk about swimsuits Emma: Top/H&M (Similar), Bottoms/Target.

Tip 3: Mix + Match 

Emma and I have adopted the habit of collecting black pieces, and pieces that match with black. It’s super convenient to be able to mix and match pieces depending on your mood and the activities of the day. I highly recommend finding neutral pieces that you can mix with patterned and colored pieces. 

Let's talk about swimsuits Also several of you asked questions about our swim caps. I found one of these at a vintage shop on our honeymoon and the other from eBay (I think!). They are super easy to find on Amazon, too, for cheap! 

Our favorite places to shop? ASOS, Victoria’s Secret, Urban Outfitters, Anthropologie, ModCloth, and Dillards.

I hope this has been helpful. Happy swimsuit shopping! xx. Elsie 

Credits // Author: Elsie Larson. Photography: Elsie Larson, Katie Shelton, and Laura Gummerman. 

  • Congratulations! You bought really cool and nice swimsuits 🙂 I understand that you don’t like it to buy swimsuits as I neither like it. Fortunately I don’t need often swimsuits as I normally don’t go to the beach but after your lovely post I think I should go to the beach soon …
    xx from Bavaria/Germany, Rena

  • Looks like I need to do some shopping & just a few more crunches. Gorgeous suits. I especially love Laura’s Dillards tribal top. :] // itsCarmen.com ☼

  • I adore the lip print bikini! It’s true that planning for an awesome vacation helps with the shopping process. Sometimes, I like to pretend I’m planning a packing list when I shop, even when it’s just for everyday clothes. Always adds some inspiration/fun. 🙂 Hope you guys enjoyed the trip, looks like a blast! Thanks for sharing.


  • thanks for this. i was totally wondering about your guys’s fun, well-fitted swimwear! 🙂

  • You guys have the cutest swimsuits! I love mixing and matching too (especially because my chest is (ahem) larger than my bottom).

    A few weeks ago I got the first swimsuit that actually fits ME. I’m in LOVE! I got them at Seafolly (kinda expensive, but SO worth it).

    You’re so right about finding ones that fit your body style! I tried on probably 10 different ones and only ended up buying two… but I love them!

  • Where did you get those sunglasses in the last pic?! Those are so cute and unique!

  • Oh man, all of those suit are so adorable and you all look so relaxed and happy! Costa Rica is one of my absolute favorite places; my husband and I went there for our honeymoon and fell in love with it! We had a similar view from our balcony, and it was absolute heaven. I did the same thing of buying multiple swimsuits for our trip…you practically live in them on a vacay like that! I don’t have any high waisted suits yet though, but I’m finally convinced. I need one for the summer!

    Adorable post, ladies 🙂


  • Swimsuit shopping is the living worst. 😛 But when you find one you like, it’s like a dream come true!!!

    Do you have suggestions for more one piece swimming suits? 🙂


    the bbb blogger

  • I love buying swimsuits from ASOS, since you can so easily sort by cup size. Which I need. Plus, they’re always on sale. Which is awesome!

    You all look lovely 😉

  • I appreciate this post, as I too have been wondering where all of your lovely swimwear comes from…

    But, as a long-time reader of this blog, I feel the need to chime in to say… there is something here that I feel just isn’t right. The section on “Dress for your body type” is probably not a message that you want to be spreading to your readers. Why can’t people just wear what they want to wear? Why must their “type” dictate what they want to wear so that they feel good?

    And why are you saying that you “can’t wear” a certain piece? You can wear anything you please!! Believing anything else just isn’t a body positive frame of mind.

    People should wear what they feel comfortable in, regardless of if it “fits” their body “type” or not. Simple as that. If others view your outfit/swimsuit in a negative view and it makes them uncomfortable just because you’re not conforming to your “type”, then that’s -their- problem. Wear what makes you happy, and who cares about what others think.

    I understand that this comment probably won’t get displayed, but figured I’d voice in anyway.


  • I love that all of you girls are slightly different shapes and sizes and you all look so gorgeous in your swim suits! Great choices and great advice! Thanks 🙂 xx

  • I’ve been looking for a fairly cheap retro-style swimsuit for months, and I can definitely agree that it’s not easy to find!

    I was drooling over Anthropologie’s suits, but they were way out of my budget. I finally found a look-alike on eBay for $15. I was a bit skeptical about how it would turn out, but I am absolutely in love with it! Just thought I’d share that gem. 🙂

    You girls always have the cutest suits!
    xo Rachelle // Beloved Bluebird

  • Love this post! it’s so helpful. I’m currently hunting down the perfect bikini.

    Emma x

  • Hey there!
    I hear you completely.

    Shopping for my body type is a tip that has helped me a lot, but not necessarily a rule that anyone should have to follow. I agree with that! 🙂


  • All of these are so nice ! But how do you know what is best suited to your body shape ??

  • Would you say that the Victoria Secret swimsuit top would work for bustier women? Constant battle… 🙂

  • Great post and very helpful! I still need to shop for bikinis for the summer and am dreading it, but when I’m coming home with something gorgeous I’m always very happy. I really liked your photos and as most of your swimwear comes from websites I love I’m definitely going to check them out.

  • Thanks for this! You guys all had such cuuuute swimsuits on your trip — and you all look awesome in them, by the way. I still need to go swimsuit shopping this summer so now I have some inspiration!

  • ALL YOUR SWIMSUITS ARE ADORABLE. I kind of want a new swimsuit, but I don’t think I’ll be seeing water that much this summer, so it might not be worth it.

  • Bathing suits may be dreaded by nearly 99% of the female gender but with a smile and a jubilant demeanor like you have whilst donning them could make any suit look fantastic! Smiles, confidence, and playfulness are key! Love your looks.


  • Hi Meg, I am a 34D and bought this same VS top a few weeks ago. I have to say it fits better than ANY bikini top I’ve ever owned. I’m in love with it! Now it is slightly padded and shaped, so it wouldn’t work for smaller boobs, but they sell it by your bra size instead of S, M, L. I’d say if you’re a busty gal, give it a try!

  • Seafolly is fabulous. I too ended up spending cash on a swimsuit that I knew I would adore. I love Seea, they are even made in the USA and are great if you’re active (like boogieboarding, surfing, prefer a rashguard, etc.)

  • I love swimsuit shopping! And your cute suits are making me want to buy more. 😉 You guys look fabulous. Thanks for the post.

  • Hey!
    So Laura and Katie totally have to same glasses, Katie just took off the bar on top…. I totally have a pair of the same and they’re literally the only glasses that look good on me and I want another color but now can’t find them cause the boutique I bought them in sold out!! Did they get theirs somewhere online by any chance?!?

    Lovely pictures and swimsuits BTW! I’d never thought of looking at urban or Dillard’s! Thanks for the tip! The trip looks like stop much fun!

  • I had never thought of buying black pieces and then mixing them up! Like, it literally had never occurred to me but it is an awesome idea. Just like you, I need different sizes so I can’t buy them together anyway. Thanks for the tip! The getting over myself part is going to be a little harder, especially since I recently gained weight, buuuut I will try to think of enjoying my holidays in Sicily instead 🙂

  • You all look great and I love the look of the vintage swimsuits. So cute! I have found some on Amazon for pretty cheap but I still like a two-piece bikini, lol. I know my body isn’t perfect and I’ve had three kids but I do work-out and I eat right. I guess it’s about confidence. If you wear it with confidence, which by the way you girls all looked comfortable, then at the end of the day you’ll look as good as you feel 🙂


    Laurali Star


  • I actually already own 2 of the bikinis in this post! The lip print one and the blue animal print one. I got them via asos too, but they are actually from river island so if they’re sold out on asos people might be able to get them from River a Island! Can’t wait to go on holiday and actually wear them! Fab post xx

  • Yes, I agree with Kelly. Any place where you can order by your bra size instead of Small, Medium, Large etc is WAY better. I like VS and ASOS best for this reason. 🙂
    xx! Elsie

  • Trial and error! I trying on lots of different options helped me a lot. Also I prioritized the practical aspect first (getting tops that fit well) and the cute side second (finding cute bottoms to mix it up!)
    Hope that helps. xx! Elsie

  • suggesting Dressing for your body type doesn’t have any effect on body positivity. Most people do feel their best when they wear clothes that FIT. Recognizing your body type and the pieces that work best with it is part of being a mature human. As a plus size pear I shop for my body type by doing exactly what Elsie does, buy separates in different sizes. ABM never suggested that certain bodies should dress certain ways, just encouraged taking the time to find the right pieces for you as an individual.

  • I prefer bikinis that cover less for a tan more homogeneous.
    But as i love swimming i need very confortable ones : )

    I use to mix my bikinis too!

  • Pretty sure Laura’s blue leopard print bikini is from River Island (90% sure it’s from here) or Topshop (10% of doubt that it’s not a River Island one) and it’s definitely still in stock in the UK! (I’ve tried it on, and heed the advice about finding one to suit your body shape – high waisted is NOT my style!)

  • I’ll be honest, I’ve always hated swimsuit shopping until I realized I just hated wearing them in front of people. I’ve finally accepted my body and I LOVE IT! I’ve definitely been finding suits that I just feel comfortable and confident in. I lean a lot towards high-waisted suits and cute tops. I definitely do the whole mix-and-match thing as well and it honestly has me LOVING this new swim season. I’ve even started a swimming class!!


  • I love mixing amd matching tops and bottoms. It started when I found a top I loved on sale but the bottom was not there. So I just found a bottom in a color that worked and was happy as a clam!

  • Loved This article! I totally felt in love with the lips and eyes clutch on the last picture!!! where can i find it?
    Kisses from Brazil!

  • Love all those suits:)
    By the way, where did you stay in Costa Rica because I think I stayed at the same exact place! (I recognized the awesome pool with the view that Emma’s in)

  • I have that vintage swimcap! I recently went to Blue Springs in Gainesville, Florida and we wore it jumping off the dock! It was so fun taking pictures and just being silly girls running around in a frilly cap.

  • I love Malia Mills. As someone with a larger bust myself, who often struggled finding good suits, Malia Mills was the answer. They actually sell their tops and bottoms separately (which i love) and they do their tops by bra size. They are definitely pricey, but well worth it. I actually wrote a post about their suits awhile back if you want to check it out! Good luck! xoxo http://www.yaelsteren.com/bathing-suit-love-malia-mills/

  • Love the suits in this post, especially the light blue ruffle top with the higher waisted navy bikini bottoms. Absolutely adorable and looks fantastic! Love the energy in the photos and your smiles! Btw I wrote a post awhile back on a brand of suits that I love – Malia Mills. They are definitely more expensive but they last forever (i’ve had some of my suits for over 12 years!) and they are pretty great. If you want to check out the post here is the link! http://www.yaelsteren.com/bathing-suit-love-malia-mills/ xoxo yael : )

  • I LOVE RETRO SWIMSUITS WITH A PASSION! Seriously those highwaisted suits killed. LOVE IT!
    Xx from the Girl in the Houndstooth Coat

  • Tip 1 about getting over yourself, such good advice. I’ve just come back from a holiday in Portugal – first bikini in 2 years after putting on a bit of weight, after the initial insecurities I soon realised that no one really cares and it’s much more fun to just relax and jump in the pool.

  • Does Anyone out there have tips for shops online that sell structured tops for larger chest sizes but not necessarily plus size? I’m a 12/14 on the bottom but the girls are 36DD and I feel like no one realizes how heavy they freaking are! I need under wires!! I usually get directed to plus size sites but usually those sizes run too large for me, and regular stores don’t go up high enough in sizes. Anyone else have this problem? Where do you shop? Am I destined to wear sports bras and tank tops in the pool forever?

  • I live in Hawaii, so it’s beach season all the time. It’s discouraging for someone who needs to lose 20 pounds. I just pretend to be Brazilian and not care about how gross I look in my cheap swimsuit. Yours are all so cute. Wish I could afford them. You ladies look fantastic.

This site uses Akismet to reduce spam. Learn how your comment data is processed.