When it comes to finding the right bathing suit, call me Shakira, because my hips don’t lie. In fact, they’re brutally honest—and they will NOT settle for any old bottoms. I love dressing in ways that emphasize and celebrate my wide hips, but when summer rolls around and it’s time to hit the beach, I often have trouble finding the perfect poolside looks. Few suits flatter my hips in the way I’d like them to, and even fewer actually feel comfortable while I have them on. I want to look bomb and feel good, which is why I went on a quest for the best swimsuit for wide hips. Spoiler alert: I found it, it’s a game-changer, and it’s available in a ton of colors and patterns, plus mix-and-match top options.
Before I bless you with the tea on my favorite swimsuit, let’s tackle what makes a suit *wrong* for my wide hips. Anything with too low-rise a side can cut me off at an unflattering spot, giving my curves a weird bulge or indentation that I simply did not ask for. Plus, if a suit isn’t stretchy at the seams, it can make matters even worse.
Let me stop right here and state the obvious—you can wear any swimsuit your little heart desires and you’re going to look fab AF. That said, if like me, you’re seeking the world’s most flattering pick for wide hips, there’s one in particular you should buy. Ladies and gentlemen, allow me to present the swim bottom of my dreams, aka the Aerie High Cut Cheeky Bikini Bottoms.
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I was first attracted to this style two summers ago, when high-cut silhouettes were all the rage and I found myself with time to kill and an American Eagle gift card to blow. Bathing suit shopping had always been something of a stressor for me (I love my body, but that doesn’t mean the fitting room struggle isn’t very real) so I wasn’t feeling particularly optimistic as I took the suit into the changing room along with a few pairs of Aerie joggers and leggings.
Lo and behold, I ended up falling head-over-heels in love, buying two colorways for myself and another for my similarly-wide-hipped sister. Believe me when I say my tanline last year was the exact shape of this swimsuit, because I hardly wore any other style.
What made the fit so right, you ask? For one thing, the ultra-high-cut sides are practically made to highlight my wide hips, whereas low-cut bottoms often cut me off in, um, less-flattering spots. Plus, the polyester and elastane material is super stretchy, and the basically-seamless leg holes (is that what we call them?) don’t create any indents or bulges mid-hip.
The high-waisted middle is ridiculously on-trend, and the bum area is cheeky, but not to the point that I couldn’t wear this suit around family or out in public. It seriously checks all the boxes.
If you’re like “Wow, this girl posts a lot of Instagrams of herself in bikinis,” I need to inform you that I was NOT that person prior to discovering this swimsuit. It seriously changed my poolside confidence! And each time I think my collection is complete, Aerie either puts the suit on sale—or adds a new color, pattern, or matching top option.
Currently, the Aerie site boasts sizes XXS through XXL and over 30 different colorways for this bottom, which you can preview it with a variety of swimsuit top options via the handy dandy Bikini Mix & Match tool shown below. Spoiler alert, though, the product pages don’t always show every single colorway and material, so just type in “High Cut Cheeky Bottoms” on the Aerie search bar (or click that hyperlink!) and you’ll be set.
In addition to the classic material, they’ve even added new fabric options, included ribbed versions, waffle knit styles and a cute crossover option inspired by their best-selling leggings. Obviously, I’m buying some of each!
If you’re on the hunt for a suit that makes you feel fantastic about your wide hips, look no further than this gem from Aerie. Personally, my hips are one of my favorite parts of my body, so a swimsuit style that really celebrates them (and makes them look damn good, I might add!) is a must-buy—and then a “must-buy again in a ton of different colors”—in my book.
A version of this article appeared in March 2020.