Beach season and packing for a vacation is enough to make any woman of any size nervous about baring her body to the masses. This shouldn’t be the case, whatever your figure, as we should embrace what we have by simply learning to enhance our best bits while drawing the eye away from parts that we do not like. A good rule of thumb, is that baring flesh does not make you look bigger. Quite the opposite is true in fact. Covering your body in loose, ill-fitting clothes is always a sure fire way to make any woman look larger than they are, none more so than beach attire. A swim suit, for instance, is actually far more flattering when it shows more skin than swaddling it in yards of material. Below are some ideas for plus size outfits for the beach that can be mixed and matched in numerous ways to create many different glamorous outfits!
The kaftan is the quintessential vacation item to ensure you pack in your suitcase, time and time again. It’s an example of a highly versatile piece that can be worn over a swimsuit but also over shorts, leggings and jeans - meaning that it can also be worn year round when you return home. For your summer vacation, however, find one that is made from a thin, sheer material so that your one piece or bikini can be seen underneath. Make sure the fabric lets your skin breathe and keeps you cool. Kaftans are the perfect piece of apparel to stop the sun’s glare frazzling any pale skin.
In terms of shape, a kaftan will more often than not have an empire line which is great news for plus size ladies. Steer clear of ones that have absolutely no shape whatsoever - they will just make you look bigger than you really are. While long, ankle length kaftans are very stylish, kaftans that fall just above the knee to mid thigh are the most useful, so pick one that finishes at your upper legs’ smallest part. The ultimate plus size outfit for the beach is wearing a kaftan over your swimsuit, with a hat and some trendy sandals. Match with a raffia beach purse or of the moment net sack bag and you’ll have somewhere to throw all your daily beach essentials - your book, towel and iPod.
The Two Piece
A bikini is far more wearable for plus size ladies than many would think, especially with all the different styles that are on the market these days. These styles make this type of swimwear a very viable option to plus size women. The 1950s style of high-waisted bottoms are having a reprisal and not only look great, they also keep tummies in check too. Ones with skirts are great for rectangular shaped ladies who need to create curvy hips to achieve a more visual balance and a waist. On top, much like the one piece, a two piece that has a built-in shelf and molded cups will be flattering to all - it keeps large chests in one place and enhances smaller busts for those that need a little help in that area.
Halter neck triangle bikinis should only really be attempted by smaller chested women - ones with ruffles or other detailing will also help create the illusion of a larger chest than is really there. The two piece is a great base for a beach outfit, and depending on confidence can be simply covered up with your packed kaftan, or perhaps the same sarong and t shirt that can be worn with a one piece. If the two piece is highly colored and patterned, it can be fun to wear a slightly sheer t shirt that shows your bikini off while you head to the beach bar for some refreshments. Or, for an even easier look, just throw on one of your plus size dresses for the beach (see below), and you’re set.
The Beach Dress
Plus size dresses for the beach are a godsend - not only are they comfortable, they require minimal styling to create a cute plus size beach outfit. The key is to find a dress that fits you well and makes the most of your curves. It also needs to be super quick and easy to put on so that when you are at the beach you can easily dress and undress without any awkward yanking or pulling down of your hemline. Remember to stick to the body shape rules when finding this dress. So find one that fits snugly to your waist if you have one, or skims over any lumps and bumps by having an empire line cut, similar to a kaftan. For the neck line, choose a beach dress that mimics your swimwear’s neckline. If your bikini or one piece is a halter neck, make sure your dress is too. Otherwise, a normal tank top finish is suitable for bandeau swimsuits and balconette topped bikinis. Whichever shape you choose, finish with your hair piled high on your head for a chic and elegant look that is also practical whilst spending the day in the surf and under the glaring sun.
Rompersuits are super fashionable at the moment and are great for the beach and any summer vacations since they’re almost an outfit in themselves. There are rompers to form stunning plus size outfits for the beach for all women. Plus they can take you from a
hotel breakfast, to the beach, to the bar especially if the right pattern and accessories are chosen. Larger patterns look best on plus size ladies and make a romper a real stand out item. Ensure you choose a flattering neckline - larger busted ladies will do best when choosing a wraparound or V neck in comparison to a t-shirt finish or high neck which will just create a monoboob. Small busted women will look fabulous with a halter neck or off shoulder number. The bottom half of the romper needs to finish at the legs’ most shapely part while the waistline needs to fit according to the wearer’s silhouette too. If you have an apple-shaped figure, try to find a wrap-topped romper as this will create the illusion of a waist where there is none. Hourglass shaped ladies will do well to search for rompers with built in belts or a closer to the body finish.
The One Piece
The one piece is such an elegant way to do plus size swimwear and a brilliant item to help hide tums for those of us who wish to keep it covered. They also have the ability to have hidden shapewear to keep bits in check with extra support if needed. Some tricks of the trade when it comes to wearing a one piece with maximum confidence is to find a swimsuit that has a pattern that flatters. Any piece that has vertical stripes is a key item to pack for your vacation, or a swimsuit that has vertical ribbing to elongate your torso whilst smoothing out any bumps. The same effect will be created if you pack a one piece with a deep cut neckline. The deeper the better, but this is perhaps a look that should be attempted by those with a small chest.
Bustier ladies will need some support for their chests, so a one piece that has in built cups or a bra is a fantastic purchase. If you are feeling daring, however, try a mono kini. They are far more wearable and flattering than may be first immediately thought. The cutaway panels create a beautiful hourglass silhouette and give the appearance of a waist where perhaps there is none. It’s also a high octane fashion look that will keep you looking effortlessly stylish on the beach. Whatever shape you go for, the one piece is perfectly paired with a sarong wrapped around your waist and knotted at the side to create one of the chicest plus size outfits for the beach. If you like a little bit more coverage, throw a classic t-shirt on over the top and an oversized envelope tote to finish off this classic beach look.
The Pattern Shorts
Patterned plus size shorts are having a moment which is great for ladies who have a fantastic set of legs or a smaller bottom half to the top part of their body. If this is you, make the most of your shapely legs and curvy butt by donning a bright pair of attention grabbing shorts coupled with a simple white tank. This is a modern update on the All American outfit which is perfect for the summer. For it to look its best, find a pair of shorts with a cut, fit, and finish appropriate to your figure and the silhouette of your legs. If you want to wear your shorts snug, remember to ensure that the material doesn’t pull across the crotch, or don’t cut into your thighs or belly when you sit down. Looser shorts can circumnavigate this issue, but if they are too loose, their baggy nature can look unkempt as well as add pounds to you. For either cut, make sure the length stops at your thighs’ narrowest point. To lengthen those legs even more, wear shoes that don’t have an ankle strap and you’ll be showing off your pins to their best advantage while wearing a trendy and stylish outfit.
To pull all these pieces together and to look trendy at all times on a beach vacation, there are a few key plus size accessories that you should throw into your bag when packing. Firstly, a straw, wide brimmed fedora is a classic shaped hat that is not only stylish, but will protect your head and hair from the sun. Some aviator shaped sunglasses will also shield your eyes from any harmful ultraviolet rays while diminishing the need to wear makeup to hide under eye circles. Long chain necklaces look great at the beach and against slightly tanned skin, so remember to put a few of these in your suitcase too. They can be worn on their own, wrapped around your wrist for a pretty bracelet or layered up around your neck for a bohemian feel that always looks great at the beach. For your feet, pack a couple of pairs of flats - some brightly colored plastic flip flops are practical for the beach and its sand while keeping you looking cool. Choose a pair of leather gladiator sandals in either a metallic or nude shade for times when you go to the beach bar or restaurant.
Going to the beach shouldn’t fill you with fear or horror - plus size or not. There are lots of fun and stylish outfits that can be worn there to give you confidence and help you look your best. All the items above can be mixed and matched to your heart's desire and make getting ready for a day on the sand quick and painless. As ever, look for items in quality materials that don’t cling to where they shouldn’t, but fit well and skim over your body in the most flattering way. Ensure that the cut of any clothing enhances your body shape and any color you wear, especially when worn close to the face, makes your skin glow. Additionally, remember any underwear should give you maximum support and not cause unsightly bulges where there shouldn’t be.
Finally, well pedicured feet are a must for a day at the beach. Dressing for the beach needs confidence, and if you follow the above rules, you will have a memorable vacation for none of the bad reasons and all of the good ones. So remember to have fun with your vacation packing - the summer should be about embracing bright colors and vibrant patterns that intensify your natural beauty and make the most of your womanly curves.