What to Wear to a Pool Party if You are Not Thin? Our Choice

JAN 04, 2023 AT 08:51 AM


What to wear to a pool party, the beach, or anywhere there will be swimming or water activities has been the question asked by women all over the globe since the 18th century.

Back in those days, when modesty was the buzz word, ladies would not be seen in anything that showed their legs or arms and could be seen floundering around in the water in long dresses known as bathing costumes. A far cry from the bathing suits of today. Even men would not go bare-chested opting for a swimsuit that covered the torso. 


Since then, bathing suits have progressively shown more skin and today some bikinis are nothing more than the tiniest triangles of fabric held together with a cord. If the thought of being in a swimsuit in the company of other people leaves you in a cold sweat, do not fear, we have you covered. Sitting at the poolside fully clothed does not have to be the only option.

Whether you are skinny, medium built, or plus size, there are numerous options of pool wear for you to choose from. So, what is a girl to buy? Let's look at a few factors.

The Point of a Swimsuit

The point of a swimsuit is to cover the parts of your body that you do not want to reveal, but still be able to move, swim or at least wallow in water. You do not want it to slip off or to the side, chaff, or be uncomfortable.

Fortunately, nobody has said that we are only allowed one swimsuit per person, and as finances allow, we may have a few. One for tanning, one with more modesty, one that is safe to wear in moving water, etc. They all have different names and come in unlimited designs.

Different Shapes and Sizes

Just as there are unlimited human body shapes and sizes, so there are swimsuits. Cosmopolitan did an article in June 2022, that details this and also mentions the risk factors of shopping online for a swimsuit and the drawbacks of trying items on in the unflattering lighting of fitting rooms.

The good news is that you do not have to find a swimsuit that is designed for your body type. Thank goodness! Let's look at the most popular types, starting from those which cover the most skin to those that cover the least.

1) The Swim Dress

In various lengths and styles, this is the most body-covering variety of swimsuits and a remnant of the bathing suits of old. They look and feel like normal dresses but are made from light, non-absorbent fabric.

2) The full or One-Piece

Designed for the slightly more demure, the full costume covers the torso and resembles a skintight body suit or leotard. There are many variants including those for water sports that are designed to fit snugly and avoid losing it in rough water or vigorous movement.

Some have long or part sleeves and/or cover parts of the thighs. Most are sleeveless and have various neck fastenings and styles including the halter neck, racing back, and over-the-shoulder varieties. Some are wrapped around or have added short skirts.

The one-piece is worn by all body types and is functional and relatively modest if your belly is the part of your body that you would rather not show the world or the other guests at a pool party.

3) Tankini

The tankini is a very popular variety of swimsuits. The top is similar to a tank top extending down to a separate bottom. The advantage of this style is that one can have the coverage of a one-piece while in the water or walking around, but the top can be lifted to expose the belly while lying down to tan.

4) Monokini

The monokini is a cross between a one-piece and a bikini. The top and bottom pieces connect, normally with a ring or other embellishment, but leave most of your belly exposed. These are especially useful if you want to tan but also want to have fun in the sun and water. There is very little chance of losing the bottom half in a mad dash across the pool. 

5) Longline

The longline bikini top extends midway down the torso, normally to about the belly button but leaving the lower half of the belly exposed. They are a middle ground between a one-piece and a bikini.

6) Bikini

The ultimate 2-piece swimsuit, with a top that includes multiple varieties such as the classic triangle, with neck and back straps to ones that have shoulder straps, full-backs, or halter necks. The bottoms may be nothing more than a couple of triangles with ties on either side to keep it in place or resemble bikini panties, G-strings, or full belly hugging varieties.  

Swimsuit Accessories

Along with the basic swimsuit, a variety of accessories may be available to add to your swimsuit.

Skirts, baggies, shorts, sarongs, and wraps of various lengths to name but a few.

The Company You Are In

How comfortable you feel can be in part dependent on who else will be in your company. If you are in a group of close friends, they know and accept you for the person you are. It may be worth consulting with them about your choice of swimsuit if you need some advice.

If they are good friends they will be honest allies in your search for the perfect swimsuit. If the majority of the guests are strangers, you can rest assured that they more than likely either feel the same as you do or are too busy with whatever they are involved in to notice you.

Body Image

When we are children, most of us are more interested in what we are doing than what we look like whether in a bathing suit or other clothes. The teen years and early adulthood are when the majority of young people become more body conscious. As our adult bodies develop, some put on weight, while others become top or bottom-heavy.

As we grow older and more mature, we grow more comfortable with our bodies. You see the changes that age and experiences have on your own physical being and those of your friends. Life experiences such as giving birth to babies, accidents or illnesses, or lifestyle choices alter our bodies, as do healthy eating and exercise. Everyone is on their own journey physically and emotionally.

Body Assessment

If you are unable to objectively assess your own body, there are many skilled fashion designers, dressers, and wardrobe professionals that are able to assist you. Even a quick Google search will reveal multiple sites that advise on how to dress your body type. Your choice of swimwear should be comfortable and flattering and more importantly, you should not feel self-conscious about it.


So, to answer the question of what to wear to a pool party if you are not thin? Our choice is whatever you feel most comfortable in. There are enough swimsuit varieties and accessories to hide the parts of your body that you do not want to show.

However, if you have lovely arms or legs, or back, show off those attributes. If you are like many women, and each day is different, buy a wrap or other accessory as a temporary covering if your belly is bloated or you suddenly discover a new vein or patch of cellulite on your thigh.

No one is perfect, and despite what you may think, everyone has a part of their body that they are not entirely happy with. If you don't believe me, ask your friends. Even the one who seems to have a beautiful body and has it all together will tell you about something she would like to improve on.