How to wear: a bikini when you’re curvy.

Step 1: Find a comfy bikini


Step 2: Wear it

And that’s it! Let go of the worries that people will think you’re fat (1. we’ve all got flaws and 2. YOU’RE NOT FAT, you’re beautiful). Let go of trying to find a sexy suit that will perfectly hide the cellulite on your right thigh or the bit of belly you earned during your VERY HUMAN winter weight gain. Find a suit you feel comfortable in and rock the shit out of it.

Growing up and going to college near lakes, I spent most of my summers in bikinis. I’ve had endless talks with my fellow curvy girl friends about swimwear. Do you get a sarong? Do you wear shorts? Do you only take your cover-up off when you’re covered by the helpfully obscuring water? Those are some solutions – and I’ve been known to take part in them – but the most important way I’ve found to feel good about wearing a bikini is to treat it like any other piece of clothing.

Some bikini tips I’ve discovered as a water-lover.

1. Ask yourself: Is this as comfy as my normal attire?

While I love that one-pieces are coming back (I wrote about my fave one-piece here), bikinis are just so comfy. I’ve asked girl friends many questions, like: “Will you tell me if I get too big for a bikini?” and “Is there an age cut-off for bikinis?” But the reality is that even at my heaviest, I was still wearing bikinis.

The trick I’ve found is to try on A TON. But don’t just try them and stare at yourself. Walk around. Tie it exactly like you would for a whole day at the beach or pool. Sit down like you’re on a boat. Heck, lay down like you’re on a towel and make sure the front isn’t too low and your girls aren’t spilling out.

If you’re adjusting it every time you move, it’s not the suit for you. My best swimsuits (like this one from Target) are as comfy as my pajamas. These are the suits I pull out from the pile and bring on vacation. The ones I loved on the hanger but was adjusting constantly (looking at you, Victoria Secret swim) never make it to the water.


2. Find a suit that matches your personal style.

Every summer I scour Target for the best suits. Inevitably, I get one that’s hot pink. But do I own ANY shirts that are hot pink? No! These suits sit in my closet as I wear out my black, blue, and neutral-colored suits.

Trendy is not a bad thing. But finding bikinis that match your closet always helps. I’ve been super into rust-colored clothes this season, so getting this rust-colored suit guarantees that whatever I wear as a cover-up (shout-out to this Anthro button-up) will match.

3. Don’t feel like you have to be sexy.

Just because you’re wearing what essentially amounts to waterproof bra and panties doesn’t mean it has to be sexy.

I particularly love high-neck swim tops because I feel nice and covered in them. And, oh my gosh would you believe it, I can actually do what a bikini is meant to do: SWIM! This one from Target fits like a glove and bonus: the bottoms have great coverage and are adjustable (no pinching!).

A bikini does not have to bare it all. You don’t need cleavage or booty showing to pull off a two-piece swimsuit – though I do have some that do both.

Confidence is sexy. So wear whatever makes you feel good about yourself and screw wearing the same suit as Jessica Alba or even Ashley Graham.

curvy swim target bikini nonbasicblonde

Photos by Julia O Test Photography

The gist is this: I love swimming and really everything about water, and no fashion rule (not that one should exist) is going to get between me and the beach.

Happy swimming!



Bikini. Target (top and bottoms)

Shirt. Holding Horses via Anthropologie (exact)

Jeans. Madewell (exact)

Shoes. Steve Madden (exact)

Sunnies. Ray-Ban (exact)



Becca Hawk



I love your bikini and your tips – you’ve inspired me. Now if only our beach was warm enough not to have to wear a parka!


Aww thanks so much! I know, I feel the same! These pictures were taken on a particularly warm day, but all I wanted to do was swim!


Love this and you! So proud of you for always staying true to yourself no matter what, you inspire me!


You’re the best Mere 🙂 YOU inspire ME!


You’re are the cutest and thank you so much for this post 🙂 Confidence is SEXY!! Do you, girl!

xoxo, EK


Thanks so much Ela! I so appreciate your support 🖤

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