When it comes to swimsuits, moms bring a lot of demands to the dressing room.
We want a bathing suit that hides our stretch marks, mommy pooch and other parts that aren’t as firm or toned as we might like them to be; provides the perfect amount of support; and also accentuates our best features. After all, as my friend Crista says, “If you’re going to be nearly naked, you might as well feel good about it.”
Oh, and it needs to move with us as we chase our kids around at the community pool, beach or water park. It’s a tall order—and it’s no wonder most of us would rather be doing, well, literally anything other than trying on bathing suits.
That’s why I was beyond excited when five friends, all in a range of sizes, agreed to tackle more than two dozen bathing suits with me in a quest for the most universally flattering suits for moms. We purchased them all on Amazon (which offers a generous return policy), and we made a party out of trying them on for each other, sipping some Champagne and making lots of jokes along the way.
Here are eight of the most sexy, yet supportive swimsuits for moms.
1. CUPSHE Women’s Happy Ending Solid One-Piece Swimsuit
Recommended For: A mom looking for a flirty suit that is on trend; great for moms with small to medium busts
Why We Like It: The CUPSHE Women’s Happy Ending Solid One-Piece Swimsuit is super cute on various sizes (from small to XL). We like the ribbed fabric and the ruffled neckline, and the criss-cross straps at the back make you feel secure enough that you won’t feel like you’re going to fall out. Note that CUPSHE sizing tends to run small, so size up when ordering.
2. COCOPEAR Vintage Skirted Swimsuit
Recommended For: Moms who prefer skirted suits with a hint of sexiness; great for plus-sized moms
Why We Like It: Some of my mom friends prefer a skirted swimsuit option for better coverage, and the COCOPEAR Vintage Skirted Swimsuit was the best we found. My friend Jennifer couldn’t resist taking it home with her. It features shorts underneath the skirt. While some skirted options skew a little matronly or sporty, the supportive and ruched bust area on this suit looks feminine and elegant, especially on plus sizes.
3. Tempt Me Two-Piece With Off-Shoulder Ruffled Crop Bikini Top
Recommended For: Moms who want to dip their toes into two-piece waters without a full-on bikini; great for masking upper arms and tummies
Why We Like It: It’s been several years since some of us ventured out in a two-piece, but the latest crop of high-waisted and retro looking swimsuits were flattering enough to give us the confidence we’d need to pull this off at the beach or pool. This Tempt Me Two-Piece is great for moms who might be less than confident about their upper arms, and the ruffles draw attention away from the lower body. The high-waisted bottoms provide good tummy coverage.
Crista liked this suit, but still wasn’t sure if she’d feel confident enough to wear it on an average day at the pool. “I would have to be going somewhere with my husband, she said. “But the ruching covers all the mom belly and stretch marks. I mean, I’ve had twins.”
4. B2prity Women’s One-Piece Backless Monokini
Recommended For: Everyone
Why We Like It: We like the B2prity Women’s One-Piece Backless Monokini suit provides a sexy peekaboo option for the cleavage, but still works on a variety of sizes (and chest sizes). The tie at the neck makes it adjustable, and there’s a light amount of tummy support and ruching to make it a solid pick for the average mom bod. I purchased this one; I liked the fit and loved the pink print (there are several cute print options).
5. Septangle Women’s Two-Piece Halter
Recommended For: Everyone, particularly moms who are pear-shaped
Why We Like It: To be honest, the Septangle Women’s Two-Piece Halter (in sizes 10 to 20 Plus) doesn’t look like much in the product photo or out of the package. But when most of us tried it on, VAVOOM! It was an incredible, universally flattering suit with a fully adjustable criss-cross back and cute buns-hugging boy shorts that didn’t dig in or ride up. This suit looked phenomenal on several friends of different sizes.
“It has the right amount of padding at the top that doesn’t feel like armor,” said my friend Tina, who ended up buying this suit. “The bottoms smooth my butt, and they’re tight but not digging in. It’s a hint of sexiness, but you can still wear it with your kids.”
6. Viottis Women’s Floral Rash Guard
Recommended For: Petite moms
Why We Like It: More moms are exploring rash guard swimsuits to help shield their skin from harmful sun rays (while minimizing sunscreen application time), and the Viottis Women’s Floral Rash Guard suit is a great example of a cute, yet practical option. It comes in a two-piece option, as well. We did find this suit to run very small, so consider ordering up by as much as two sizes from your normal size.
7. Angerella Women Vintage Polka Dot High Waisted Bathing Suits Bikini Set
Recommended For: Everyone
Why We Like It: We pushed our boundaries a bit to try on several two-piece suits, and this Angerella swimsuit was attractive on plus sizes and small frames alike. The high waist combined with the molded underwire bra-like top creates a great look for moms interested in flaunting a bit more skin than a typical tankini.
“There’s support, which is really important when you have big boobs,” said my friend Jessica, who took this one home. “I don’t mind being sexy around my kid, but if I have to worry about my boob falling out, then I can’t be with my kid.”
8. Tempt Me Scrunched One-Shoulder Two-Piece
Recommended For: Moms who don’t mind showing off a little cheek
Why We Like It: The Tempt Me Scrunched One-Shoulder Two-Piece offers one of the most stunning tops of any we tried. Ruched throughout the bodice and beautifully draped across the shoulder, it creates an ultra feminine silhouette. However, moms who were less than confident about their backsides were a little unsure about the high cut of the bottoms. Crista liked this one the best, but thought if she bought it she might wear it with different bottoms.
Cynthia J. Drake is a travel writer based in Austin, Texas, where she lives with her husband and two sons. Since becoming a mom, she’s been stranded at sea with her family, gotten lost in the Rocky Mountains, dealt with more than her fair share of public vomiting, and still can’t wait for the next trip. She writes regularly for AAA magazines, Austin American-Statesman, Texas Highways and Cruise Critic. Follow her on Facebook and Twitter.