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How to Tell if Your Swimsuit Is Too Small

How to Tell if Your Swimsuit Is Too Small

The fit of your swimsuit determines how comfortable and confident you are during your tropical vacation, whether attending a fancy poolside soiree or playing with the kiddos by your poolside.

A too-small swimsuit fails to provide you with sufficient coverage, enhance your figure, and will often shift uncomfortably with movement and activity.

Finding the perfect swimsuit can be difficult, especially if you don’t know your measurements.

So what if you know your measurements and still get it wrong? How will you know your swimsuit is too small? And how can you avoid purchasing a swimsuit that makes you feel uncomfortable?

Read on to find out how you can avoid making this mistake when you are out shopping for your next swimsuit.

Tell-Tale Signs That Your Swimsuit Is Too Small

Woman in a perfectly fitting floral Anne Cole swim dress

The perfect swimsuit for your particular body provides you with adequate support and coverage. If it doesn't, it may be time to go up a size or several sizes.

But how do you know?

Too Tight or Unbreathable

A swimsuit that's too tight is uncomfortable to wear and could even cut off a consistent oxygen supply, making it difficult to breathe.

Although one-piece swimsuits and bikini bottoms are notorious for wedgies, this could be an indication of a poor fit. You might find yourself adjusting too often if you are wearing a swimsuit that’s too tight.

The idea behind a comfortable swimsuit is being able to swim, walk around, and play by the pool or on the beach without adjusting wedgies at the back of your suit every other minute.

Quality swimwear is made using breathable and stretchable fabric that ensures it is neither too tight nor does it restrict how freely you can breathe. Besides, it provides secure comfort, such that you don’t need to keep tugging or adjusting your swimsuit during your beach or poolside escapades.

The Straps Are Digging Into Your Shoulders

Your swimsuit is too small if you can’t slide at least two fingers under the straps. This remains true if your swimsuit straps keep digging into your shoulders, causing pain, discomfort, and indentations in your skin.

You can tell your halter-necked bikini is too small if it keeps straining the back of your neck despite not tying it too tightly.

It helps to get swimsuits with adjustable straps, as they can accommodate your body more snugly. The ability to adjust your straps also helps to achieve more balanced support.

Woman in a tropical swim dress with wide shoulder strap

Wide straps also make bathing suits more comfortable for women with a fuller bust line because they ensure better distribution of the weight of your breasts. They’re also less likely to dig into your shoulders and prevent neck and shoulder strain that’s common with ill-fitting swim tops.

Here’s what an Anne Cole customer thinks of our convertible bandeau top with an adjustable halter tie.

“This convertible bandeau top can be worn with or without the narrow adjustable halter tie. The tie in the back can be adjusted to different heights. It didn’t fall off jumping big ocean waves! Great Anne Cole lining and fit! I’m a 38D and got the L." — Mary B.

The Band Is too Tight

When the band of your bikini top is too tight, it can cause pain and irritation by putting too much pressure on your back and rib cage. It can also cause spine stiffness because it restricts movement, especially in the upper back.

The band of your bikini top or tankini should fit snugly so that you can breathe and move comfortably when secured on the loosest hook setting.

Ideally, it should fit horizontally across your back and should not fit more than a finger or two underneath. Additionally, it should not be so snug that it hurts.

Swimsuits with adjustable bands are great as they offer a customizable fit, especially for a fuller bust.

The Cups Don’t Offer Sufficient Coverage

Depending on the look you would like to achieve, a bathing suit that does not intend to have the sides of your bust showing can indicate that it is too small.

In general, a cup size too small will dig into your breasts and have them pour out on the sides or pull up during activities. You can avoid this by getting proper fitting swim tops, with cups that lie relatively flat against your chest.

Although some swimwear necklines, like the deep V or the sweetheart, are revealing, overexposure often indicates that your swimsuit is too small.

If you are shopping in-store, try bending forward when you fit the bathing suits to ensure your top sufficiently holds your bust.

Your Bottoms Are Too Snug

A woman in bikini bottoms that fit her perfectly

A bikini bottom or one-piece swimsuit that is too small for your bottom will cut into it and may be unflattering, especially if that's not the intended style.

It's also time to size up your bikini bottom if it's revealing more than it is intended and causing you discomfort.

It’s important to note that different bathing suit bottom styles work for different body shapes and sizes.

You can avoid getting the wrong fit of swimsuit bottoms by reading our article “How to Choose a Swimsuit for Your Body Type”, and by following the guide below. Our guide recommends styles for specific body types, increasing your chances of landing a swimsuit bottom that fits right and compliments your body.





  • High-waisted bikini bottoms
  • One-piece swimsuits
  • Swimdresses

Pear shaped

  • High-waisted bottoms
  • Swim skirts


  • Side tie bikini bottoms
  • Bottoms with bold waist details


  • Side tie swim bottom
  • Classic skirt swim bottom

Expert tip: Don’t be afraid to experiment with the different bottom styles until you find one that suits your figure perfectly.

You Feel Uncomfortable In Your Swimsuit

“There’s no such thing as a bad figure. There are just bad swimsuits.” — Anne Cole

If your swimsuit makes you feel any less confident due to your curves, then it’s probably too small. Your swimsuit should fit and flatter your figure, making you feel confident and beautiful in the body you are in.

At Anne Cole, we have a wide variety of swimsuits to fit every size, shape, frame, and silhouette while ensuring you feel your best. Our swimsuits are classic but with on-trend and updated prints, colors, and designs to ensure they are as vibrant as the women wearing them.

Our collection consists of high-waisted and scooped bikini bottoms, strapped and strapless bikini tops, different designs of tankinis, and a variety of one-piece swimsuit designs. We let you choose a swimsuit that fits and suits your body and your personality, making you feel uniquely you.

Tips to Get the Right Swimsuit Fit

Woman in striped Anne Cole bikini and bikini bottoms
  1. Two-piece swimsuits can offer a better fit since you can choose the size of your tops and bottoms. If you’re looking for something different, you can always go for a tankini. Tankinis offer more coverage with adjustable sides and more support for a secure fit.

  2. The sizing of your swimsuit is also dependent on the type of activities you engage in. For instance, because bathing suit fabrics often stretch when wet, you should consider sizing down or going for your actual size if you spend a lot of time in the water. Otherwise, if you'll be lounging and staying dry most of the time, it's best to size up to ensure you have some room for breathing, moving, and stretching.

  3. Invest in quality swimsuit fabrics that are flattering, durable, breathable, and comfortable. Your swimsuit should not be too tight or tug on your skin. At Anne Cole, we use soft fabric to design swimsuits that sculpt, mold and flatter the body.

  4. Another common cause for fit issues such as cinching, pinching, and spillage is unflattering construction techniques. Get yourself a swimsuit that is designed with women in mind so you can enjoy a flattering swimsuit that works for your body. The elastic material on our swimwear is tucked away between several layers of fabric, keeping it away from your skin and ensuring it sits flat on your body.

  5. Remember, a perfectly fitting bathing suit doesn't move or slide with each step or shift in your movements. So, if you keep readjusting your suit between activities, the suit just doesn't fit, and you need to get a new one.

It's Not Just About the Fit; It's About Confidence

The perfect swimsuit is not only defined by how it fits your body but more by how it makes you feel. There is not a one-dimensional idea of perfection with swimsuits but it goes without saying that the best swimsuit for you should fit well, give you adequate coverage, and make you feel your best.

Anne Cole Swimwear offers a wide variety of swimsuits to suit every body shape, size, skin tone, aesthetic, body concern, and for every point of your life. Check out our floral swimsuit collection that includes classic designs with a fresh twist.

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