CUPSHE: Swimsuits That Show Off Your Tummy

Welcome back to our series of posts about how to highlight your favorite body part. Today, we’re talking tummies and the best ways to enhance them with swimwear. We’ll forgive you for thinking that bikinis are the only way to go if you want to expose your midriff, but never discount the power of a sultry one-piece swimsuit. In reality, peek-a-boo cutouts and monokinis can showcase your abs or reveal your waist just as well as more obviously tummy-baring two-piece swimsuits.

Flattering and flaunting the tummy is all about finding the right swimsuit to work with your specific silhouette, so we’ve compiled a few tips, tricks, and ideas to help you get the most mileage out of this area, whether you’re full-figured, hourglass-shaped, straight up-down-down, or rocking a killer six pack.

Low-Rise Bikini: Why It Works

Best to start with the “gimmes,” right? Two-piece swimsuits with low-rise bikini bottoms are a classic beach look for a reason. This silhouette makes the most of a taut tummy and a wee waistline, leaving a solid amount of skin exposed in the middle. Keep in mind that bikinis with a few added details (think ruffles, strappy accents, and that sort of stuff) will balance out all the bareness for a more well-rounded look.

Well, hello there, torso! The sky triangle bikini’s ultra-low-rise bottoms effectively reveal everything below the bust line to the curve of your hips. Sleek in a perennially popular black color, this two-piece swimsuit (happily) couldn’t be described as plain. That’s because delicate ruffles trim the straps of its French-style bralette bikini top...and because its Brazilian-cut back keeps things ultra-cheeky––and perfect for avoiding tan lines on your tush, too!

Flaunting your fab tummy might be the first priority when you’re searching for a swimsuit, but it’s almost certainly not the only one. If other criteria include making the most of a tiny travel bag, you’ll be pleased to know that the Isla bandeau bikini is designed with a reversible bottom––one side is printed, one side is solid––so it’s basically like getting two looks for the price (and suitcase space) of one. The tile-like medallion pattern and discreet cutouts at the hips add more visual interest to a pared-down silhouette.

We love the versatility––and the abs for days––of bikini separates. One of the hardest parts of swimsuit shopping is finding the right fit, especially if you wear a different size in a bikini top and bottom. Swim separates take the “argh!” out of the equation, since you can buy each piece in the appropriate size. We like the look of this particular pairing because the front is deceptively simple, keeping all eyes trained on your abdomen. But once you turn around, it’s another story: multiple sets of adjustable straps on top and a cheek-baring bottom ensure the view is just as appealing from behind.

One-Piece With Horizontal Cutout: Why It Works

Peek-a-boo cutouts, situated front and center, work by pulling the eye to the middle of your frame. Plus, it’s such a cool, trend-forward look that you’ll be seeing it often in this season’s crop of swimsuits. Beyond being a one-piece suit that still showcases a sexy stomach, this type of design works well for ladies who like to stay busy at the beach. They (we) need swimwear that won’t roll down, hike up, or come untied during a quick lap in the pool, a float in the ocean, or a spirited game of frisbee on the shore––all scenarios that present, ahem...issues...when wearing two-piece bathing suits.

We’ve already called middle cutouts as the breakout trend of the summer, but don’t let that intimidate you. This one-piece swimsuit presents the perfect way to dip your toes into the look, because the cutout is relatively small, and the overall effect is more elegant than faddish. There’s nothing too risqué here, either so this swimsuit would be perfectly acceptable for a family beach outing or a vacation with kids in tow.

So, you don’t quite trust yourself to mix-and-match bikini separates for that perfectly imperfect look yet. No problem! One-piece bathing suits like the Striped and Leafy Cutout One-Piece handle it for you. More daring than the Charlie Cutout One-Piece we name-checked above, this swimsuit features a midriff keyhole that’s a bit wider and longer, though the bottom half still covers the belly button to keep you from feeling too exposed. One of the best aspects of this swimsuit is that it’s sewn together firmly at the sides––this is clutch when you’re running around on the sand or frolicking in the surf.

Fuller figures can also look smashing when revealing a peek of tummy, and this swimsuit is proof positive of it. A solid top and printed bottom half accentuate the cuteness of the cutout in the center of the suit while breaking up the torso for a more balanced look. Molded underwire cups lend support, while adjustable crisscrossing shoulder straps offer security and a customizable fit. Flattering little details like ruching at the sides and a self-tie at mid-back finish this plus size swimsuit off with a flirty, feminine flourish.

Belted Bikini: Why It Works

When the basic bikini just doesn’t feel special enough, count on a belted two-piece bathing suit to direct attention towards your midriff. The addition of a belt or buckled accent lends more definition to the waist and puts the focal point squarely at the center of your body. Plus, it’s always nice to have some fashion-forward decoration on a bikini––it adds a little attitude to even the most basic of beach looks.

Here’s a lightning-speed fashion lesson for you: circular metal buckles like the ones seen here convey instant retro vibes no matter which garment they appear on––swimwear included. Even better, the intentionally mismatched (but well-coordinated) top and bottom ensure there’s nothing old-fashioned about this bikini; it’s modern and vintage-y all at once! Plus, the belt highlights your midsection to perfection thanks to the bikini bottom’s high rise, which hits at the smallest part of the waist.

Another two-piece bathing suit that’s slightly less literal with a similar look, the Tropical Leafy O-Ring Bikini offers the same waist-defining properties, care of its circular buckle. The bikini bottom has a lower rise that exposes your belly button, but still sits high enough on the waist to convey a trim tummy and feminine curves. We’re loving foliage prints right now, too. They make a stylish departure from the usual tropical floral patterns we see every year, and they’re bright and interesting enough to pop at the beach.

Not into prints? No worries, because this bikini suits all of the minimalists out there. The refined design of this two-piece is enhanced with a subtly ribbed fabric for an appealing touch of texture. But really, we’re here for the buckles. They offer a sleek contrast to the soft ribbing, and when placed at the sides of the waistline like so, they help frame the stomach. All of it works together to create an elevated, Bond Girl-esque aura out of a pared-down silhouette.

One-Piece with Side Cutouts: Why It Works

A one-piece with cutouts placed at the sides of the waist (rather than in the middle at the belly) presents a clever and different method of flattering your abdomen. The side cutouts act as optical illusions on these maillots, tricking the eye into whittling the midriff down so that your waist seems smaller and your curves, well...curvier! These swimsuits work best for boyish or athletic figures, turning a straight up-and-down silhouette into one that’s more feminine and shapely.

We get it. Monokinis do not normally make great choices for women with larger chests, since they don’t usually provide much support. But it’s time to rethink that premise when we’re talking about the Red Cutout Swimsuit. You get all of the necessary bust support, thanks to molded cups and wider-than-usual shoulder straps that are also adjustable––delivering a customized and secure fit for “the girls.” The waistline-chiseling cutouts at the sides are simply the cherry on top.

Monokinis draw a certain type of wearer to begin with, someone who courts attention and isn’t afraid of making waves. That goes double for the Animal Safari Cutout Swimsuit, which is emblazoned with the actual definition of a statement print. (Is that a toucan we spot? Yep, right alongside a zebra and some leopards.) Once you get past the flora and fauna, you’ll find a sculptural silhouette with a single-shoulder neckline and deep side cutouts that carve into the front and back. But the real star might be the round buckle at the belly button; it ties everything together and breaks up the swathes of wild pattern.

Attention, petite ladies: this is the one-piece for you. It elongates shorter torsos and looks like wearable sunshine. No, really, the color of this swimsuit is so Insta-friendly it practically could have a filter named after it, but we digress. Beyond the vivid hue, the silhouette is essentially that of a tank suit, only updated with side cutouts. Those cutouts form curves where there are none and make the waist appear teensy––a technique that’s as simple as it is sophisticated and effective.

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