Swimwear Confidence In 2023 | The 411 | PLT

Swimwear Confidence In 2023

19 | 07 | 2023


Key style and confidence tips from experts to feel your best in swimwear this summer!


Swimwear is one of the most common attire to cause the most distress among women.

Well, for 2023, it’s time to shake off self-doubt and rock your swimsuit confidently.

We know boosting your confidence in swimwear is easier said than done, so we surveyed 766 U.S. women about their swimwear confidence and spoke to 3 confidence experts to provide tips and suggestions for finding the best suit for you. Here’s what we found:


To Swimwear Or To Not…

Many people have opted to avoid swimwear altogether.

We found that over 2 in 3 women do not feel confident in their swimwear at all.


Here are the top things women are not confident about in their swimwear this year:

#1. Body shape / Body image – 77%

#2. Other people’s judgment – 47%

#3. Suit doesn’t fit well – 27%

#4. Skin tone – 14%

#5. Skin texture – 9%


Here’s what Rayne Parvis, Style Coach & Personal Fashion Stylist says about why swimwear season can be so daunting for many people.

“This can be a daunting task when people don’t lovingly accept their shape and are not looking for suits that would then help create a balanced look as well as additional support and coverage if needed. It’s also good to know that 90% of all suits run small so you need to size up. Sizing up will save you the heartache of trying on suits where none of them fit which would make anyone feel bad about themselves. Avoid this by sizing up, and paying attention to where you need support or extra coverage.”


Gabrielle Arruda, Fashion Designer and Style Enthusiast, had similar things to say about swimwear being a daunting task:

“A lot of times when we build an outfit for regular wear, we are balancing out certain elements, adjusting fit issues with belts or layers, and strategically drawing focus to our favorite elements of our figures. With swimwear, the style lines and elements of the piece become incredibly important. You can’t “mask” any mistakes and it’s more obvious if the garment just isn’t working.

People may not realize that this is the issue, so they chalk it up to not liking their bodies or not wanting to be so bare. More often than not it’s just a matter of really evaluating a swimsuit before you buy, and not getting caught up on how it looks in the ad, magazine, or on the model.”


Over 1 in 4 women feel swimwear is the hardest thing to find when shopping.

Finding the right swimsuit can make all the difference – yet it is often one of the most challenging pieces to shop for. 28% of women report swimwear being the hardest thing to find, while 43% shared it’s somewhat difficult to find a suit they feel good in.


We also spoke to certified life and style coach, Carol Davidson, who shared her tips on shopping for swimwear:

#1. “Don’t skip the sizing chart – especially if the brand is new for you. Even if it is a brand you’ve purchased in the past, sometimes they change the scaling, so you definitely want to look at it.“

#2. “People should be reading the reviews. Not just the anecdotal “I love it” or “I don’t”, but more for how something runs because one person can have an opinion, but if 15 people have review an item and they say the same thing regarding fit – chances are that holds true.”

#3. “My best tip, especially for swimwear, is to bend, stretch, move. Make sure that that’s a good fit when you’re in motion because that’s really what you’re supposed to be doing when you’re in a swimsuit. It’s not just looking great being on the beach blanket but presumably you’re going to be walking a beach, going in the water, swimming in the swimsuit. You want to watch for any gaps, gaping, pulling – that kind of a thing. And sometimes you only really experience that when you’re in motion. My feeling is that anything you try on should fit just as well in motion as it does when you’re standing still in front of the mirror.”


Not feeling confident wearing a swimsuit can affect many aspects of your life. Nearly 1 in 3 women said if invited to an event requiring swimwear (i.e., beach day, water park, etc.), they would attend and wear a suit but feel embarrassed/intimidated the whole time. 23% said they would wear a cover-up the entire time.


Gen Z feels most confident in high-waisted bikinis.

Switching up your suit style and color is all it takes to feel good in what you’re wearing.

The top 3 suit styles women feel the most comfortable in are: full one-pieces (48%), a tankini (32%), and a high-waisted bikini (28%).

However, over 50% of Gen Zer’s said they felt most comfortable when wearing a high waisted bikini.

1 in 4 millennials reported feeling most confident in a cut-out one-piece suit.


Black Mix & Match Crinkle High Waist High Leg Bikini Bottoms image 1

Black Mix & Match Crinkle High Waist High Leg Bikini Bottoms


Overall, triangle bikinis came in as the least confident swimwear style for most people (61%) while a full one piece provided the most confidence (48%).


“I think that there’s a lot of opportunity if people think about creating a cohesive look rather than focusing on just the swimsuit. If you think about it, we don’t just wear pants everyday or we don’t just wear a top everyday. We put ourselves together in a cohesive way and I think the same can be said for swimwear. If you think of it as an opportunity to show your fashion sense, there’s a different mindset around it.

You can control where the focus goes. The truth of the matter is, people’s eyes will flow to the most significant detail. So if I am someone who doesn’t really like my bottom half, but loves my top half – I want to put the most significant detail at the top, and that includes accessories.”

– Carol Davidson


All of our experts also weighed in on choosing the best color and patterns for your swimwear this summer:

“Prints in suits do tend to be more forgiving. I would look for a print that you already love and suits your style personality. If you’re a wild child, animal print will give you that extra boost of sass. If you are more demure and sophisticated a sleek solid suit in a black or in one of the season’s on-trend colors will do just fine! Ruching is also a magic design quality that can mask any lumps or bumps you may be insecure about.”

Rayne Parvis, Style Coach & Personal Fashion Stylist


Pink Cheetah Padded One Shoulder Swimsuit image 1

Pink Cheetah Padded One Shoulder Swimsuit


“I think opting for suits that are at least 75% composed of your seasonal color palette (or your own most flattering shades) is a good goal. In terms of pattern, I would examine your personal preferences. What outfits and prints do you naturally gravitate towards and feel you best in, and how can you carry those types of prints, details, or embellishments into swimwear? A lot of people find it helpful to match the scale of their pattern to their bodies. So if they are long and tall, a larger print might be optimal. If they are petite, a smaller-scale print might be harmonious. Generally, you want to avoid any print that is larger than the palm of your hand, especially with swimwear as there is not as much room for the print design itself.”

Gabrielle Arruda, Fashion Designer & Style Enthusiast


 Purple Crinkle Stripe Scoop Neck Swimsuit image 1

Purple Crinkle Stripe Scoop Neck Swimsuit


Don’t let your body shape deter you from finding your dream suit!


“Celebrate your body type by choosing styles that will help you look fabulous and feel confident in your swimsuit.

For women who are fuller through the hips and thighs, look for eye-catching details above the waist (i.e., a pop of color, deep neckline, or hardware) to draw attention to your upper body. Also, try an arched leg that hits about an inch below hip bone. Alternatively, a skirted bottom, with a slit or ruched sides, accomplishes the same thing and makes the look a bit flirtier. In addition, vertical stripes or graduated shading (light on top, dark on bottom) create a slimming effect.

If you have a tummy, suits that skim over the mid-section like an A-line tankini are magic. A ruched or textured fabric over the mid-section works wonders too. You can absolutely wear a bikini but choose high waist bands that are shirred or folded to give more coverage. Stay away from tight fitting tankinis, belts, and low rise or sting bottoms and you’re in good shape.

Underwire in the swimsuit is key for large-busted gals. Wide straps, boning and seamed cups help, too. In addition, halter tops with wide bands can offer support and show off the ‘girls’. And let’s not forget about racer backs and high necklines. They are practical ways to keep you swimming in style and feel supported. (Skip skimpy styles that lack structure are best for sunbathing, not swimming.)

Straight, slim figure? Try three-dimensional details like ruffles or bold prints to make you look more curvaceous. Bottoms with embellishments at the hip help to create a waistline while horizontal stripes or a padded top will add volume. Opt for high cut sides that show off your hips. On the other hand, avoid vertical stripes, square necklines, or completely solid fabrics which can elongate and slim.” 

– Carol Davidson, Certified Life and Style Coach


Plus Black Basic Low Scoop Swimsuit image 3

Plus Black Basic Low Scoop Swimsuit


No matter what, you are beautiful!

No matter your shape or size, everyone deserves to feel good about themselves – and your swimwear can be a great way to feel like the goddess you are this summer.


Rayne Parvis is here to remind us that “All bodies are beautiful and all are unique. Cheesy but true. We get so used to seeing filtered or photoshopped bodies on social media that our mind is being tricked to think that’s how we are supposed to look. We are supposed to look how we look in real life in whatever state we are in and that should be celebrated.“


Gabrielle Arruda says “So often we feel like our style goals are a destination that we must reach, and reach asap. But, the reality is your style is a constant evolution that grows with each season of you… There’s a swimsuit for every body and every person that they will absolutely feel their best in.“


Carol Davidson shares a final reminder to “Swimsuit confidence: The words ‘swimsuit’ and ‘confidence’ need not be mutually exclusive! With a bit of pre-planning and styling know-how, anyone can feel more confident in a swimsuit or any warm weather attire.”


And remember… confidence doesn’t happen overnight.

It’s a journey of self-discovery. Be patient with yourself and celebrate every step you make to feeling comfortable in your swimwear.

Embrace your individuality, love yourself unconditionally, and let your confidence shine through this summer.


Empower #EveryBODYinPLT and check out our entire swimwear collection here.


Stuck on swimwear style?

The Best Swimwear To Suit Your Shape



We surveyed 760+ US women on their swimwear confidence.

Questions were multiple choice, with the option to provide qualitative data where needed.

Respondents were split by age/generation to find key statistics about swimwear trends in the US.


Sourced Experts:

Carol Davidson – Certified Life and Style Coach. You can view her work here: caroldavidson.com

Rayne Parvis – Style Coach & Personal Fashion Stylist. You view find her work here: Rayneparvis.com , IG: @rayne.parvis

Gabrielle Arruda – Fashion designer, stylist, and style enthusiast. You can view her work here: gabriellearruda.com

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