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What is a High Waisted Bikini and How to Wear One

What is a High Waisted Bikini?

High waisted bikinis are pretty self-explanatory. As their name suggests, high waisted bikinis are bikini bottoms that rise up high on your waist. The waistline of high waisted bikini bottoms usually rises to the middle of your waist and rests at or just above or below your belly button to offer full coverage for your lower midsection.

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With that being said, a high waist is just about the only key characteristic that all high waisted bikinis share. Beyond their high waist, the wide variety of bikini bottoms that are included under the umbrella of high waisted bikinis are extremely varied. The broad selection of high waisted bikinis available on the women’s swimwear market can make trying to shop for one a bit overwhelming, but it also helps make high waisted bikinis universally flattering for women of virtually any body type, shape, or size.

The title of ‘high waisted bikini’ is often applied to refer to matching or coordinating two-piece bikini set, but the high waisted description only refers to the bikini bottoms themselves. You can wear almost any bikini top with your high waisted bikini bottoms, so feel free to buy a matching set, shop around for separate coordinating pieces, or spice up your summer wardrobe by mixing and matching new high waisted bottoms with your favorite bikini tops that are already a part of your at-home swimwear collection.

Are High Waisted Bikinis in Style?

High waisted bikinis have topped the trend charts on the women’s swimwear market for several seasons. Trends are always changing, but high waisted bikini bottoms are still in line with the newest modern swimwear trends for summer.

In fact, high waisted bikinis have been flip-flopping in and out of style since the mid-20th century. High waisted swimwear popularized for women during the 1940s and 1950s when more “scandalous” and feminine form-fitting, two-piece swimwear styles became more appropriate for casual wear. High waisted bikini bottoms have proven themselves to be timelessly trendy, as they’ve been on and off the top of the trend charts on the women’s swimwear market for more than half a century. Swimwear styles are always changing and evolving, but there is no indication that high waisted bikinis will be going out of style any time soon.

Who do High Waisted Bikinis Flatter?

Whether a swimsuit naturally flatters your figure can make or break how it looks on you. If you want to look and feel as confident as possible in your swimwear, it’s important to choose swimwear that flatters your unique figure. Every woman has a one-of-a-kind body that is slightly different than anyone else’s. Of course, there are body type and shape categories that can help guide you in the right direction but, at the end of the day, your body is completely unique and you have to determine for yourself which swimwear styles help you look and feel your best. With that being said, figuring out which swimwear styles are best suited for your body type, shape, and size—and also match your comfort level and style preferences—can be a major challenge.

One of the best things about high waisted bikini bottoms is that they are almost universally flattering. High waisted swimwear is most-often suggested as a flattering choice for curvy and plus size women. While high waisted bikini bottoms do offer especially flattering, smoothing coverage for curvy women, they can definitely flatter petite and athletic body types as well. On petite women and women with straight or athletic body types, high waisted bikini bottoms serve to enhance your waistline and hips to create the illusion that you have a curvier midsection than you really do.

Why Wear a High Waisted Bikini

High waisted bikinis have a lot going for them. They’re ultra-stylish, comfortable, versatile, and almost universally flattering. These are just a few of the many reasons why such a large number of women choose to rock high waisted bikini bottoms during the summer.

First off, high waisted bikinis leave you with a ton of freedom when it comes to styling your swimwear look. You can pair high waisted bikini bottoms with virtually any bikini top, so you can mix and match individual tops and bottoms to create the ideal swimwear look that matches all of your style preferences and keeps you well within your comfort zone.

High waisted bikinis offer shaping coverage for your lower midsection up to the middle of your waist. This part of your midsection includes many common problem areas that make many women feel under-confident in their swimwear. A high waisted bikini can help you feel comfortable in your own skin while still showing off a little bit of bare skin so that your swimwear look comes off as modern and trendy without being overly modest.

High waisted bikinis are also a great option for tanning if you don’t feel comfortable wearing super scandalous bikini bottoms. Unfortunately, most semi-modest swimwear options—like tankinis and one piece swimwear—are not ideal for tanning evenly. Unless you’re counting on getting golden on your lower back and midsection, a high waisted bikini won’t mess up your tanning session or leave you with frustrating, unsightly tan

lines that seem to take forever to fade. High waisted bikinis offer coverage for your midsection to help you feel more comfortable and confident in your swimwear, but they leave you free to pair them with any bikini top of your choice. If getting a golden tan is a top priority for you, pair your high waisted bikini bottoms with a simple strapless top that will help you achieve an even tanned glow while maintaining some coverage on the bottom.

When to Wear a High Waisted Bikini

High waisted bikinis are appropriate for a wide variety of occasions. They offer enough coverage to make them modest enough to wear on a vacation to the lake with your family or to a child-friendly public pool. However, high waisted bikinis are also trendy enough to wear when you want to look and feel sexy and turn heads at the beach. High waisted bikini bottoms are the perfect compromise between sexy and trendy and modest and classy.

Well-suited for virtually any occasion where swimwear is appropriate attire, a high waisted bikini is a wardrobe essential. Every woman should have at least one pair of high waisted bikini bottoms in her collection. High waisted bikinis are the perfect swimwear choice for a wide range of summer outings and activities.

Do High Waisted Bikinis Make You Look Thinner?

High waisted bikinis are naturally slimming for a wide variety of body types, shapes, and sizes. Their high waist offers effortless coverage for your midsection. As long as your high waisted bikini bottoms fit correctly, they should act as gentle shapewear that smooth and sculpt the curves around your midsection without overtly revealing their shaping properties.

One great thing about the design of high waisted bikinis is that it subtly smoothes your curves while accentuating rather than hiding them. High waisted bikinis enhance the narrowest part of your waistline to help your waist appear slimmer while accentuating the curves of your hips to create the illusion of a coveted hourglass body shape. Their high waisted coverage also makes your tummy appear flattered and hides love handles and muffin top.

How to Shop for a High Waisted Bikini

There are a few things to keep in mind when shopping for a high waisted bikini. Size and fit are the most important things to consider during your shopping process. High waisted bikini bottoms should fit snugly enough that they don’t look baggy. However, if they fit too tightly, high waisted bottoms can create bulges above your waistline that will not help boost your body confidence. Finding high waisted bikini bottoms that fit tightly enough to be flattering but not too loosely is definitely a balancing act.

If possible, always try on a bikini before you decide to buy it. Of course, with the rise of online shopping, you might prefer to shop for your summer swimwear from the comfort of your own living room rather than dragging yourself to go try on a pile of bikinis at a brick-and-mortar department store or swimwear boutique.

If you do choose to go the online route, that’s fine. Just make sure you only purchase from reputable online retailers that have plenty of past customer reviews to back up the quality of their products, customer service, shipping, etc. Use the size and measurement guide from the online store you choose to buy to measure yourself carefully and thoroughly and select the right size accordingly. Even with these precautions, it’s important for your own protection to only purchase swimwear from reliable online stores that have fair return policies to cover you in case the real bikini that arrives on your doorstep doesn’t fit quite right or doesn’t look like what you expected.

How to Wear a High Waisted Bikini

One of the best things about high waisted bikinis is their versatility. High waisted bikini bottoms give you endless styling options and allow you to create one-of-a-kind swimwear looks that will set you apart on the beach or by the pool despite the popularity of high waisted swimwear.

The first step to styling a high waisted bikini is, of course, choosing the pattern and style of high waisted bikini that you want to wear. The expansive high waisted swimwear market gives you plenty of options. There’s no need to stray too far out of your comfort zone. If you’re new to high waisted swimwear, keep it simple by choosing a high waisted bikini bottom style that features the same cut of other bikini bottoms that make you feel comfortable and confident. For example, if you tend to gravitate toward bikini bottoms that offer full coverage in back, go for high waisted bikini bottoms with a classic bikini cut. On the other hand, if you prefer to show off a little more skin in cheeky swimwear, opt for high waisted bottom with a cheeky or thong cut instead.

In terms of patterns and colors, the right choice for you depends entirely on your own style preferences. Animal prints and classic large polka dots are two of the hottest, trendiest patterns in women’s swimwear for summer 2019. Just make sure to plan for your swimwear look as a whole. You need to keep the bikini top you plan to wear in mind, too. For example, if you choose to wear high waisted bottoms with a bright or busy print, wear a matching top or a top in a coordinating solid color to avoid clashing.

The pattern of your high waisted swimwear also plays a role in how your bikini bottoms flatter your figure. If you want to minimize the appearance of bumps or rolls around your midsection, wear high waisted bikini bottoms that are textured with ruching, lace overlay, ruffles, cut-outs, strappy detailing, etc. Also, busy prints like animal print or bright floral help create the illusion of a smoother, slimmer figure.

You can pair any bikini top with high waisted bikini bottoms. It all depends on your bust size, comfort level, need for support, and style preferences. A classic bustier bikini top is especially flattering for curvy, full-busted women and plays up the classic, vintage style of high waisted bikini bottoms. A basic triangle top is well-suited for small-breasted women and keeps your swimwear look in line with current trends without taking the focus off of your bikini bottoms. One shoulder bikini tops are one of the top women’s swimwear trends for summer 2019 and are ideal for women with small to medium bust sizes. Trendy one shoulder bikini tops are great to pair with high waisted bikini bottoms because they offset the full coverage of the high waisted bottoms to create a streamlined, sexy swimwear look.