Can You Wear Shapewear in the Pool?

Shapewear sculpts your body into the shape you’re most comfortable wearing outside. While everyday control-wear puts the power over your image back in your hands, it isn’t ideal for every situation.

Can you wear shapewear to the pool? Yes, if push comes to shove. Should you? No. Instead, choose a swimsuit designed to do the sculpting for you. 

Bathing suit features that can help you achieve the body shape you want are:

  • Texture created by folds and gathers.
  • Color—allow you to accentuate with bright colors and downplay with dark colors.
  • Line—as in necklines, midriffs, and bikini cuts to create the desired silhouette.

How do you go about choosing the perfect swimsuit to make you feel comfortable and that doubles up as chic shapewear?

Identify the Area You Want Targeted

Before you can select the ideal swimsuit that perfectly combines texture, line and color, you’ll need to understand the shapes that you’re working with.

Body shaping trends currently focus on slimming down and sculpting various parts of the body. Let’s take a step back and consider the nuanced effects you can achieve with various swimsuit styles. It’s more than just tummy control. 

Women’s body types vary and our shape wish lists are as long as they are individually specific. There are so many parts of you to celebrate, from elegant collar bones and necks to toned arms and voluptuous curves. Focus on playing up what you love about your body.

What are your favorite body parts?

  • Do a mirror exam in your best underwear and catalog the good bits and those that could look better.
  • Note areas you love and those you feel would benefit from shapewear, for example bust, thighs, and tummy.
  • Use a soft measuring tape to take all your measurements and understand your proportions. Using a detailed size guide will help you determine the right fit.
  • Target your shopping to the silhouette you want to achieve, and stick to your actual size. Don’t size up or down.

Slimming Swimsuits: Shape Your Tummy With a High-Waisted Miracle Suit 

Tummy Control High-Waisted Swim Suit Bottoms

Go super high with the high-waisted bottoms of your bikini. The long, continuous line from your hip to your ribcage creates a flattering, elongated shape in your midriff area. 

This type of swimsuit accentuates the nipped in curves of your midline and smooths out your tummy. You can level up the silhouette with dark colors like navy blue and black, which downplay the less flattering bits rather than draw attention to them.

Shirring, gathering, and ruching can also create a ripple effect that gently skims over your tummy, creating a more flattering look.

Super High-Waisted Skirt doubles as control wear

If you need more coverage than swim bottoms can offer, a high-waisted skirt is the perfect choice. The shirring on this Anne Cole skirt adds texture that deflects from the tummy. It is slimming and aesthetically pleasing.

Check out what our customer had to say about this skirt bottom:

Maryellen D.

Verified purchase

This is the best thing I ever bought! It gives just enough coverage where you need it, whether it be your lower tummy or your butt! You can make it long or short. I am normally a size medium but bought a large and fit perfect! Definitely well worth the money!!!

Mix and Match Colors To Play Up the Curves You Love

Tankinis are an Anne Cole swimwear invention that maximize color and proportion to create the shape you want. Color and pattern are one of the easiest ways to highlight what you like or deflect attention as you wish.

Compare one swim top design in floral print and plain black to see the visual effect
 Compare one swim top design in floral print and plain black to see the visual effect

 

A black tankini paired with black bottoms is both slimming and elegant. By contrast, when you break the dark solid colors with floral print, you get a look that is both vibrant and flattering for a longer looking torso.

An alternative approach is to use color blocking. Depending on color placement and contrast, color blocking can create a slimming effect. Consider vertical color blocks to slim and elongate a petite frame. Diagonal color blocking enhances the curves.

Color Block Tankini

 

Colorblock Mesh High Neck One Piece Swimsuit 

Tankinis give you the coverage of a one piece with the versatility of a bikini. You get to create a well-fitting silhouette, in which you feel most comfortable.

The Magic of Wraps and Stripes Work on Bathing Suits

Is there anything more slimming than wrap swimsuits and well-placed stripes? They highlight where your body naturally cinches—bringing out your beautiful proportions.

 Maillot with wrap detail, Swim Dress With Skirted Bottom Maillot with wrap detail, Swim Dress With Skirted Bottom


Whether you’re curvy and in need of cinching or you’re petite and looking for curve definition, wrap styles are universally flattering.

Wraps and the texture they create skim over the tummy and hips for a slimming effect. Anne Cole’s Fresh Palm Breeze print swim dress underscores this. Its removable padding gives you the option of a structured top or a natural, laid-back look.

Swim dress with skirted bottom

Our customers agree:

Amber B.

Verified purchase

It’s perfect for this mom bod. Flattering and slimming, yet it covers the tooshie that no longer defies gravity. It’s my new favorite suit!

Color block styles that mimic the contours of a wrap swimsuit perfectly balance the proportions of long torsos.

compare two color-blocked suits that mimic wraps  compare two color-blocked suits that mimic wraps


As an style, bold mid-waist stripes can give you a polished and defined look, perfect for poolside lounging. They also contour your midsection and lend more texture and definition to the tummy area, such as this tropical one-piece swimsuit.

Mesh Over the Shoulder One Piece Swimsuit

Wavy stripes with texture and belts can also be used as a subtle embellishment that is stylish and effortless.

 

Textured Belted Swim Bottom

The Best Bathing Suit Necklines for Top-Curvy Women

The neckline, both back and front, is a focal point for most swimsuits. Necklines can swing your swimwear from classic to on-trend with just a few lines.

If your bust is curvy, you want a neckline that flatters without overly highlighting the area. Fit is key. Any swimsuit that is too tight is not only torturous but also unflattering.

Ruched, Scoop, Square and Sweetheart Necklines

Scoop and sweetheart necklines curve delicately around your bust. They flatter without being over the top.

Twist Front Shirred One Piece Swimsuit

Our customer, Amanda’s experience affirms this:

Amanda W.

Verified purchase

Love the vibrant colors in the print and the quality of the fabric. It feels really nice while wearing this bathing suit, and it stays in place even without the strap!

Scoop and square necklines give your bust breathing room that is both flattering and comfortable. Bonus points for a textured one like this beautiful Anne Cole Plus one piece that calls to mind the surf in summer.

 

Textured Bandeau One Piece

Pay extra attention to the straps. The wider the straps, the more flattering and comfortable the bathing suit, since they will be more proportionate to the bust and provide better support.

We love that plenty of Anne Cole’s bandeau swimsuits come with removable, adjustable straps—be sassy and strapless or elegantly strapped in. 

Deep V and Strapless Swimsuits

These two silhouettes may seem counterintuitive for busty women because they are more open, but hear us out. Fight the temptation to gravitate towards full coverage swimsuits. 

Deep V and strapless bathing suits play up the collarbones and draw the eye up towards the neck. For better support and comfort, opt for strapless necklines in a one piece or tankini style.

Twist Front Shirred One Piece

V-Neck One Piece

Be a little daring with a front and back v-neck swimsuit. It’s flattering and sophisticated, thanks to its uncluttered lines.

Why Should You Shop Anne Cole for Your ‘Shape Wear’ Bathing Suit? 

Finding the perfect swimsuit that feels comfortable and flatters you as much as the best shapewear requires you to understand your body. Anne Cole strongly believes that women understand the designs that feel and look good on them.

Here’s a cheat sheet for shopping for your desired silhouette: 

Type of body shaping needed

Swimsuit design feature

Tummy control and slimming

  • High-waisted
  • Folds (shirring, gathering, ruching)
  • Solid colors
  • Wrap design

Bust slimming

  • Sweetheart neckline
  • Deep V-Neck
  • Ruched neckline
  • Strapless
  • Scoop neckline
  • Wide straps

Emphasize cinched in midriff

  • Belts
  • Stripes
  • Wrap design
  • Diagonal color blocking

Draw attention to preferred body features

  • Bright Prints and colors

 

Using our tips on color and line, confidently experiment, mix and match, and take chances on styles you’ve never tried before. 


Browse the high-quality, sophisticated swimsuit collections of Anne Cole and Anne Cole Plus to find the one that best suits you.