Best swimwear for women over 50 to look and feel their best

Your go-to guide for the best swimwear.

Models posing in swimwear

by Scott Wells |
Updated on

Summer is finally upon us and thankfully that means that we can bask in the sunshine (don't forget your SPF). Whether you’ve booked a staycation in the UK or are packing your suitcases and jetting away, Celebrity Stylist Scott Wells is here to provide you with the lowdown on what the best swimwear to invest in is.

Scott has been styling celebrities for over 5 years and has worked with the likes of Denise Welch, Strictly Come Dancing’s Dianne Buswell, model Twiggy and is a Royal Fashion expert. As well as this, Scott has spent over six years dressing women of all ages from 20-50+ and sizes 6-20+, so you know you can trust that he knows what he is talking about.

He says: “Purchasing swimwear can seem a daunting and tiresome task as you try to figure out what best suits your body shape and makes you feel good on the inside as well as the outside. You don’t want the item to only serve its purpose, but you want and deserve the support where you need it and for it to not look old-fashioned.”

“With phrases such as ‘beach body ready’ growing in recent years, it’s no wonder that women feel more pressure than ever to look good. In my opinion, every body is beach body ready, and with celebrities such as Helen Mirren, Andie Macdowell, Tracee Ellis Ross and Goldie Hawn proving that age is just a number, it’s time to love the body you’re in.”

Thankfully Scott is on hand to round up the best styles to invest in for the summer ahead.

The best swimwear at a glance:

  1. Best Tankini Top: Cotton Traders Navy Striped Long Tankini buy here.

  2. Best Colour Block Swimsuit: Pour Moi Colour Block Tummy Control Swimsuit buy here.

  3. Best Plus Size Swimsuit: YOURS Curve Black & Pink Floral Halter Neck Swimsuit buy here.

Tummy Control Swimsuits

This type of swimsuit is just like your shapewear in terms of that they are designed with a special internal panel and made from fabric such as Lycra, Spandex or Polyester to allow for stretch and support when wearing.

Best belted tummy control swimsuit

Monsoon Teal Belted Printed SwimsuitMonsoon
Price: £27.50 (WAS £55)

www.monsoon.co.uk

A belted swimsuit is a brilliant style to put in your suitcase. The addition of the belt allows for the wearer to control the fit of the item which effortlessly highlights your natural silhouette, creating an instant slimming appearance. The one shoulder design adds to the flattering effect as it swoops down and opens up the neck area. Customer's have highlighted that the colour is great for showing off your tan.

Pros

  • Brief-style cut
  • Flattering shape
  • Playful print
  • Built-in belt

Cons

  • One shoulder design can cause skin to overhang

Best colour block swimsuit

Pour Moi Yellow and Navy Colour Block Tummy Control SwimsuitPour Moi

Colour block swimsuits work great at creating sections to the item to break up your torso. This option from Pour Moi tricks the eye into thinking it's a high-waisted brief and bikini top with a white strip in the middle, giving an hourglass illusion.
Customer's comment they love the colours and the fabric is soft on the skin. They also highlight that it's great whilst swimming as the straps provide great support without being uncomfortable.

Pros

  • Wide straps
  • Flattering design
  • Secure fit
  • Cut to fit the body
  • No fitted underwire

Cons

  • Tummy control could be stronger

Best multi-pack swimsuit

Marks & Spencer red and white patterned Tummy Control Square Neck SwimsuitMarks & Spencer

Why get one swimsuit when you can get two? Solve your issues of deciding whether to go for a printed or plain option as you get both in one with this 2-pack from Marks and Spencer, one being a red and white print, whilst the other is a khaki green with drape detail. The Square neckline creates an elegant finish to the item as it frames the neck and shoulders. The added layer of power mesh is built in to sculpt your natural figure.
Customer's love the quality of this swimsuit which helps make it fit very well. It's also seen as great value as you get two swimsuits for the price of two.

Pros

  • Adjustable straps
  • Lightweight fabric
  • Padded
  • Non wired

Cons

  • Can fit small

Tankini Swimsuits

This eye-catching tankini from Boden is one of our favourites as not only is the bold pattern gorgeous, but the halter-neck straps are brilliant for a flattering neckline. You can also un-do them to avoid any unsightly tan lines. The block coloured side panels create a slimming effect. The style comes available in 11 different colours and prints so there is something for everyone. Buy the matching bottoms to this top here.
One customer commented; "Being in my 50's it's hard to find a suit that fits well and this is the one. It's comfortable and stays put whilst not being too figure hugging. It's true to size and I'll be ordering another."

Pros

  • Halter-neck style
  • Colourful print
  • True to size

Cons

  • Material can be clingy
  • Snug fit under arms

Best striped tankini

Cotton Traders Navy Striped Long Tankini Printed TopCotton Traders

You can never go wrong with a navy striped swimsuit, it's a true summer wardrobe essential. This option from Cotton Traders is excellent in many ways. Not only can you detach the straps to have a bandeau style neckline, but it comes in a long length with ruched side seams which you can alter and adjust for your own comfort. Buy coordinating swimming shorts from Cotton Traders here.

**Customer Review:
**"Fabulous fit as there is an inner bra which provides great support when wearing. I love the ruching on the side and the horizontal stripes."

Pros

  • Long length for more coverage
  • Adjustable and detachable straps
  • Adjustable ruched side seams
  • Inner support panel

Cons

  • Hand wash only

Best affordable swimsuit

Matalan Black Tummy Control Wrap Front Tankini TopMatalan

If you're wanting a more flattering swimsuit colour, then black will be your best friend. Designed with various elements such as ruched stomach control panelling, built-in shape wear technology, adjustable straps and a flattering v-neck wrapover front which helps to support your bust makes this a great tankini to snap up for your summer holidays. Buy the matching high-waisted bottoms here.
One customer commented; "I can't tell you how much I love this tankini top. I'm in-between sizes so sized up for more comfort and it is super flattering in all of the right places. The bottoms are a snug fit, giving the best support. Highlight recommend."

Pros

  • Adjustable straps
  • Built in tummy control
  • Flattering wrapover front style

Cons

  • Little stretch to fabric

Patterned Swimsuits

Best ruched tummy control swimsuit

This light coloured striped swimsuit from Next is a gorgeous, understated option which provides all the best bits everyone needs. As well as the diagonal striped pattern which creates a slimming illusion, the wrap over, side ruched seam creates a gentle, elegant drape. What is most brilliant about this swimsuit is that it has a UPF rating of 50+, meaning it will protect your skin just like SPF.
Customer's rate its fit and support saying it gave them a real confidence boost when wearing it.

Pros

  • Ruched side seam
  • Striped fabric
  • Light colours
  • Wire-free cups
  • Available in petite

Cons

  • Scoop back can cause some spillage

Best floral swimsuit

Peacocks White Floral SwimsuitPeacocks

It wouldn't be summer without some flirty florals included in your wardrobe somewhere. This light coloured, yet vivid swimsuit from Peacocks is a great one to get your hands on. It includes padded cups for support for your bust and comes with a ruched waist panel for extra distraction to the eye.
One customer commented; "You can't go wrong with this swimsuit. I love the added cups for the support for your bust as I feel sometimes those without don't give enough. The light colours and pattern create a really nice visual."

Pros

  • Machine Washable
  • Padded cups
  • Ruched waist

Cons

  • White can discolour

Best animal print swimsuit

Debenhams boohoo Orange and Pink Tummy Control Zebra O-ring Scoop SwimsuitDebenhams/ boohoo
Price: £15 (WAS £18)

www.debenhams.com

Want to brave the bold? Then this colourful take on the timeless zebra print is one for you. Not only do the stripes create that distracting element to disguise any areas you may be conscious about, but the O-ring allows for two draped pieces of fabric to come around and nip you in at the waist but also cover the tummy area.
One customer commented; "I don't usually go for bright swimsuits but I'm so happy I purchased this one for my holiday. The fabric around the stomach made me feel more comfortable and I got loads of compliments."

Pros

  • Bright and colourful
  • Draped waist band
  • Scoop neckline

Cons

  • High leg cut

Halter Neck Swimsuits

Best polkadot swimsuit

Wallis Black and White Polkadot Ruched Halter Neck Tummy Control SwimsuitWallis
Price: £31.50 (WAAS £45)

www.wallis.co.uk

Polkadot's are a true timeless pattern and another which you can't go wrong with. Whether you choose a large scale version of the print or a smaller print like this one from Wallis, you'll be left looking classy as always. This version comes with adjustable straps on the back and neck so that you can tighten to exactly how you want them.
Customer's love the fit of this swimsuit and say it's very figure flattering.

Pros

  • Tummy control lining
  • Ruched front panel
  • Streamlined silhouette

Cons

  • Back strap isn't very supportive

Best plus size swimsuit

We're big fans of this floral swimsuit from YOURS. Not only has it been designed with power mesh to provide the ultimate tummy support, but the quick drying fabric is chlorine resistant which means that the smell won't linger and there will be very little discolouration. The floral print is serving 70's vibes which is a big trend for the season.
One customer said; "Being a bigger lady I struggle to find a swimsuit that gives me exactly what I want and this suit does exactly that. The thin straps provide the support I need up top and the mesh insert holds everything in where it needs to be."

Pros

  • Wide range of sizes available
  • Quick drying fabric
  • Removable straps
  • Chlorine resistant

Cons

  • Sizes start from UK 14, so restricts those smaller

Best reversible swimsuit

White Stuff Reversible Halter Neck SwimsuitWhite Stuff

Minimise packing space as this white Stuff swimsuit gives you 2-in-1 with it's reversible design. The plain panels in the fabric are specifically placed to create a more slimming silhouette as they cut along the top of the stomach area and along the sides.
One customer commented; "Great fit and colours as you can choose whether to go colourful or monochrome."

Pros

  • Reversible
  • 2 options of colours
  • Flattering design

Cons

  • Hand wash only

High Waisted Bikinis

Before you turn your head from bikinis, opt for a high-waisted option. These two-pieces can provide you with just as much support as swimsuits. Age and body shape shouldn’t deter you from wearing what you want to wear, and when you’re having a wobble simple throw on a kaftan or cover-up.

High-waisted swimsuits deserve more love. Not only do they elongate the silhouette by creating the illusion of longer legs, but they also provide great tummy control and coverage around the stomach.

River Island Plus Black Buckle Bikini TopRiver Island

This black set from River Island screams understated confidence. The costume is made from scuba fabric, which means that it will give you more support than those made with other fabrics. The gold belt buckles on the top and bottoms give the piece a modern edge.Buy the matching bottoms here.
One customer commented; "The support this bikini gives me is unparalleled to those from other high street shops. I don't usually go for a bikini but this high-waisted option holds everything in where it needs to be."

Pros

  • Scuba Fabric
  • Clip fastening
  • Available in a swimsuit
  • Available in regular and fuller bust fits

Cons

  • Straps are wide

Best high waisted bikini briefs

John Lewis Navy Bali Palm Knot Bikini TopJohn Lewis

Scream holiday vibes with this palm print bikini set from John Lewis whilst you soak up the sun. The centre front knot detail adds a decorative touch to the scoop neckline, whilst the high waisted briefs provide support to the tummy area. Buy the matching bottoms here.
One customer said; "The soft colours of this bikini are great for showing off your tan on holiday. I really loved how the high waisted bottoms gave me the feel of shape wear so I felt more confident."

Pros

  • Removable padding
  • Adjustable straps
  • Non wired

Cons

  • Hand wash only

Phase Eight Red Fern Bikini Phase Eight

Style this bikini with a white shirt and matching sarong to take you from beach to bar in seconds. The top has no fastening on the neck straps so that it saves the fuss of having to tie it up. The sweetheart neckline bring balance to the outfit and opens up the decolletage area on the body. Buy the matching bottoms here.
One customer commented; "The vibrant red of this set makes it a gorgeous bikini. The removable straps are a lifesaver when sitting out in the sun, however, I wish they were adjustable to make a little more supportive."

Pros

  • Clip fastening on top
  • Removable straps
  • Flattering sweetheart neckline

Cons

  • High cut on the back of the bottoms

Scott Wells is a Celebrity Stylist & Senior Style Writer. As well as styling various celebrities for red carpets and photoshoots, he is an avid Royal fashion fan and makes custom clothing designs.

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