Tuesday, August 09, 2022
For men, women, and teens

Modest yet cute swimwear for women – where to find it

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Swimming pool at resort

If you’re looking for modest yet trendy swimwear, you’re in the right place! Whether you’re young or older; slender or curvy; and no matter what your reason for modesty, we’ve got you covered. There are plenty of cute and stylish options for occasions when you want to rock your swimwear – modestly. Here we show you how.

Most places in-store tend to assume (incorrectly) that women want to show off as much skin as possible, when that’s not always the case! This can actually be even more of a problem than you think for those size 6 and under, because swimwear brands think those women will be going for a bikini, so there are not always as many modest options offered for those sizes. Regardless of your size, there are so many reasons why you might want to be modest – for example, protecting the torso from harmful UV rays.

Let’s move on and look at some go-to stores that reliably stock modest styles among their offerings. Some of these ship within the US, others internationally.

1. Target

If you’re going for a range of cute styles at a budget-friendly price point and a range of sizes, I recommend Target for modest swimwear. You’ll find sizes ranging from small to large to plus sizes. In particular, they have a good selection of skirted tankinis. In fact I’ve purchased two from there before, and the quality is excellent and very durable.

You get convenient shipping and returns within the US, although the US store does not ship internationally. Outside of the US, you might already have Target in your country, but styles may be different.

2. Macy's

A US department store, Macy's also ships internationally to over 100 countries. Macy’s swimwear tends to be a little pricier than at Target, but not always! – some items can actually be cheaper at Macy’s. You’ll see fancier brands and unique styles there. You can always find a good range of modest styles included in their swimwear collection each year.

If you’re outside the US: Their international shipping service goes via a 3rd party service called BorderFree, although that’s all handled for you seamlessly in the checkout page. Overseas shipping can be a little pricey, and you should carefully check the returns policy so you know what’s involved if your item isn’t a good fit for you.

Within the US: You’ll get convenient shipping and returns.

2. AliExpress

AliExpress is a place where you can get literally almost anything, usually direct from the factory in China who makes it – no middleman. They ship practically everywhere in the world. Their swimwear is awesome, and very low in price, including the shipping cost (shipping is often free, even for one low-cost item). I shop at AliExpress frequently. Their regular clothing (pants, tees, tops, etc) isn’t always of the best quality, so I wouldn’t recommend shipping for those items, but their swimwear is very well-made, and I’ve bought some great handbags and other accessories from there.

Be aware it’s a marketplace (i.e. similar in concept to eBay), not a brick-and-mortar store like Macy’s or Target, so you need to remember that there are many different sellers on AliExpress. Therefore when you buy an item, you’re buying it from a particular seller and/or factory. Different sellers may vary in customer service, reliability, etc within the AliExpress platform. If you see an item you like, always check out the feedback for that seller before buying so that you can see the experience from other buyers.

Tips for buying swimwear from AliExpress: Sizing is all-important!

  • Most AliExpress sellers will give sizes based on Asian sizing, which typically runs a lot smaller than US or UK sizing. For example, a US size 4 (typically around size 10 UK/Aus/NZ) would be considered at least a Medium and sometimes a Large in Asian sizing. And if you’are a size Large in the US, you might be considered a Plus size in Asian sizing.
  • Some sellers give their sizes in US sizing if they have a large US customer base, having converted it from Asian sizing.
  • Because of these potential differences, always check from the product description a) what sizing method the seller is using and b) check the actual measurements they provide. Sometimes their country conversions can be confusing or you might be between sizes, but if you use the measurements they provide in the product description, you should be fine. I’ve bought swimwear from China before and had no problems, so long as I stick to the sizing chart.
  • Sizing charts can be different for different sellers and/or different items; just because you’re a size Medium for that cute tankini you want, it does not mean you’ll necessarily be a size Medium for a tankini in a different style (or from a different seller).
  • I’ve noticed that sellers make every effort to be accurate in their sizing chart measurements for each individual item. It’s in their interests to do so, because if they don’t, they’ll wind up with disgruntled customers leaving bad feedback when the item doesn’t fit, which affects their seller rating.
  • Shipping can take a really long time since it has to come all the way from China to wherever you are. It can easily take several weeks. I’ve never had an item go missing – and you can rest assured if it doesn’t arrive they have a straightforward refund process.
  • If you are buying skirted swimwear, check the product pics and description carefully to see which type of briefs are built-in with the skirt: regular panty-shaped briefs, or boy-shorts. The norm in the US is panty briefs, and you can certainly find plenty like that on AliExpress, but there are also items on AliExpress that have boy-shorts instead. You can’t always tell by the standard model pic, so look at the detailed pics in the product description. The type of brief is a matter of personal choice – neither is necessarily better or worse; just be sure you know what to expect when it arrives.
  • Shipping usually comes with tracking included (again, this can be seller-specific and item-specific). This lets you keep an eye on its progress to you, plus if it doesn’t arrive or is somehow never sent, you can see this soon and get a refund.
  • Look into the seller’s policy for returns in case the item doesn’t work out for you. Unless they themselves make a mistake (e.g. send wrong color, etc), you would typically have to pay for return shipping, which can be pricier than you might think. I simply don’t buy at a price higher than I can afford to lose if it just doesn’t suit me, and I figure the times I get great deals will more than offset the rare occasion when something doesn’t work. This has worked out for me because pricing can be so low – I got a cute yellow swimdress for around $16 that gets lots of positive comments at the pool.
  • If you’re hesitant about AliExpress (I actually was until my brother told me he’d shopped there often), you might want to try your first transaction with a non-sized cheap household item first. This is just so that you get familiar with how the system works before dealing with stuff that involves sizing. For example, their USB drives start at just a few dollars, including shipping. That said, you should be fine diving right into swimwear if you go with the tips I gave you above; that’s what has worked for me.


Yes, modest stylish swimwear can be found when you know where to look! Our three best go-to options are Target, Macy's, and AliExpress.

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