How To Choose a Bikini for an Athletic Body Shape

athletic body bikinis

We’re not into labels. In fact, we’re dedicated to defying them. But we know shopping for a bikini can be less than fun sometimes. We know that feeling confident and feeling your best is how to look good in a bikini!

In this helpful guide, we’ve asked our bikini experts to answer your top questions on how to find a flattering swimsuit for an “athletic” body type.

Q. “What Is an Athletic Body Shape?” - Caroline

Women's bodies come in many beautiful shapes and sizes. The “athletic” body type, also known as the “inverted triangle” shape, characteristically has a muscular build with proportionally wider shoulders and fairly uniform measurements across the chest, waist, and hips.

An “athletic” body typically has:

  • Broad shoulders
  • Smaller to medium chest
  • Long torso with an undefined waist
  • Narrow hips
  • Toned legs

Q. “Any General Tips for Athletic Shaped Body?” - Stacy

“Athletic” bodies come in all shapes and sizes, but muscular shoulders are generally one thing they have in common. We recommend styles that highlight the legs and hips. Adding volume to the lower body is also a great trick for creating a curvier silhouette.

Q. “What Are the Best Swimsuits for Athletic Shaped Bodies?” - Tara

The good news is that there are plenty of flattering swimsuit options for women with athletic body shapes. Swimsuits with thicker straps, high-leg bottoms, asymmetrical styles and cutouts compliment this body shape beautifully.

athletic body one piece swim

One-Piece Swimsuits

One-piece bathing suits are a great option for those who want some fun in the sun without bearing it all. Our favorite picks for the “athletic” body are one-shoulder styles, especially ones with ruching details or cutouts. These options will make the shoulders appear more slender while accentuating curves. Consider trying a plunging neckline with wide straps if you’d like to highlight your bust.


athletic body bikini tops

Bikini Tops

Our best advice for bikini tops is to find a style that is comfortable, flattering, and functional. A women’s swim top with padded cup inserts and wide shoulder straps will check all three boxes. These styles will enhance the bust and create a more proportional look with the rest of the body.


athletic body bikini bottoms

Bikini Bottoms

If you’d like to lengthen those beautiful legs, go itty bitty! We love skimpy bottoms for women that have a high-leg rise. These cuts draw attention to the lower body and create a super-flattering, long-legged silhouette. Styles with eye-catching details like side ties or ruffles are great for adding volume and shape to the hips.


Q. “Can You Wear a Sports Bra as a Bikini?” - Zoe

Of course! But if support and comfort are what you are after, consider sports bikinis that are purposely designed for active beach days. Tank swim tops are a great choice because they resemble a sports bra in fit and shape.

sports bra bikini top

If you’re gearing up for a day in the waves, a surf top or a rashguard may be the perfect staple. For more info on active bikinis, check out our guide on "How To Choose A Surf Bikini".


“Are There Any Dos and Don’ts When Choosing a Bikini for an Athletic Body?” - Kaia

DO: Use color, print, and eye-catching details to enhance your favorite features. Bright and bold styles will draw attention, while darker colors have a more neutral effect.

DO: Remember the power of a wide shoulder strap. While spaghetti straps and halter tops will make the shoulders appear broader, a thick strap top will balance your upper and lower body.

DON’T: Limit your options! Try on a ton of styles and continue exploring different fits and fabrics until you find one you love.

DON’T: Feel obliged to follow trends. Be true to your own sense of style and rock what makes you happy. Feeling confident never goes out of fashion.

Whether it’s a skimpy bikini or high-performance one-piece, the most flattering women’s swimsuit for your “athletic” body shape is the one that makes you feel beautiful and the best version of yourself. Happy hunting!


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