50 Tips on How to Look Good in a Bikini This Summer

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For many, the thought of trading in their traditional one piece swimsuit for a bikini seems ludicrous. And, for others, there is no other way to go to the beach on a sunny summer day. Either way, whether it’s your first foray into the lovely land of two pieces, or you’re a cheeky suit pro, you always want to look your best.

I’ve compiled a lengthy list of tips for how to look good in a bikini, ranging from quick diet adjustments to upping your fashion game to body posture and sitting technique. At its core, I provide some thoughts on how to make sure you’re picking the best bikini for your body.

How to Look Good in a Bikini

1. Cut Down on Carbs

​Carbohydrates get a bad rap these days, but they are one of the (many) things you can eat that cause you to bloat. Cut back on these, starting several days before you’re set to hit the beach or pool in your bikini.

2. Limit Salty Foods

Similar to carbs, salty foods cause you to retain water and bloat up. Skip the potato chips when you’re getting ready to put your bikini on, and opt for something that doesn’t contain all the salt.

women sitting on the beach wearing a bikini

Processed foods are perhaps the biggest culprit here. Try cooking your own food, and you’ll instantly cut back on what eating out or frozen meals offer in terms of salt. Summertime is a perfect time to cook food on the grill, and this can be a way to cut down on the grease and salt. Plus, cutting down on this will help you look skinny in a bikini!

3. Try Coconut Oil

​Coconut oil has been shown to increase your rate of burning calories. While you’re probably not going to drop a bunch of pounds overnight, adding coconut oil to your diet as you lead up to summer is a great idea.

4. Reduce Bloat Through Diet

Don’t stop at just reducing the bad foods, but also add in the good ones. Vegetables like cooked broccoli, asparagus, celery, and spinach are diuretics and reduce bloat. In addition, they help to fill you up, keeping your mind off of other options that can do some damage to your bikini body.

5. Drink Lots of Water

Drinking lots of water has quite a few benefits, some of which include helping your skin to shine and preventing water retention. Both of these elements for setting your figure to look its best.

Water will also serve you well while you’re out in the sun, keeping you hydrated and able to stay outside for a longer period of time.

6. Exfoliate

​As much as week before you don your two piece, get your skin ready for shaving by exfoliating. Doing this before you shave helps to keep your skin healthy by removing the dead portions before you get to work on your trim. It’s a simple as using a loofah with body wash in the shower.

7. Shave Your Bikini Line

​Putting on a bikini requires more than your average leg shave job, at least for most ladies. The bikini line isn’t necessarily easy going either, but it’s a necessary part of wearing this style of suit.

Make sure you shave this area several days beforehand to give the area time to settle down from the process. Take your time – there is no need to rush it. Having a nice female shaver can help you get the job done right.

8. Soak Your Feet

​Your feet are a bigger part of looking your best on the beach than you think. Several days before hitting the sand, soak your feet in equal parts warm milk and water. The milk has lactic acid that help to break down the dead skin on your feet.

9. Spray Tan

​Sure, you don’t have to do this, and there are a lot of reasons not to. But, a spray tan will give you an even look throughout your body that really helps amplify how great your look in a bikini. This style of swimsuit leaves a lot of skin showing, and a spray tan helps to even things out.

You don’t have to darken yourself to the likes a Brazilian at the end of summer. Your focus should just be to have an even and consistent look across your whole body.

10. Pick the Right Suit

This topic deserves an entire article, but suffice to say, picking the right style of two piece will go a long way in looking your best. Larger busted women should pick a bikini that provides ample support up top, while a smaller chested woman can go with a sportier bikini.

Curvier women might do well to pick up a trendy high waisted bikini, while skinnier ladies might want to go for something strappy. If you don’t have any natural curves, look for bikinis that have high leg cuts and lots of color in the design.

If you want a little bit of oomph, there are a lot of great two pieces that push up your breasts a bit. And, on the other side of the spectrum, don’t think you have to avoid the bikini if you’re a new mother!

Don’t settle for anything less that what you look best in. Nowadays, there are a variety of cheap bikinis to fit women in all shapes and sizes.

a sexy woman leaning back wearing a yellow bikini

11. Work Your Arms

Believe it or not, working out your arms is one great way to look good in a bikini. The goal here is not to get buff, but just provide some toning, especially leading up to summer time. Tone arms help to accentuate your look in a bikini.

Push ups are easy to do, don’t require any equipment, and provide pretty instant results. You don’t need to make any trips to the gym or carve out hours with a personal trainer – just drop down and bust out a set.

Alternatively, if you have a set of dumbbells, you can easily do some arm curls and other related workouts.

12. Work Your Abs

Similar to push ups, sit ups are similar but work on your abs. And let’s be honest ladies, the stomach is probably the most sensitive area on our bodies, and it’s what is front and center when I adorn myself in the infamous two piece.

Sit ups, or their modified cousin the crunch, help to work your ab muscles and provide some tone and definition. Similar to push ups, it only takes a minute to crank a set out.

13. Eat Small Portions

Day of, you’ll benefit from cutting back on your portion sizes. Eat a healthy breakfast, but don’t overeat. Focus on foods that are high in protein and lean in fat. You don’t want to starve yourself at all, but think portion control.

The stomach has to stretch when I put too much in it, and that is exactly the opposite of what I want happening on beach day., ​regardless of the type of bikini bottoms you’re wearing.

14. Wear the Right Makeup

​Often forgotten when talking about developing your best bikini body, makeup compliments perhaps your most beautiful feature: your face.

Keep in mind your not going out for a night on the town – you’re headed outdoors for a day of sweating in the sun.

Understated makeup is best, but focus on adding definition around your eyes.

If you’ll be frolicking in the waves in your suit or practicing cannon balls off the diving board, make sure you use waterproof makeup!

15. Add Bra Inserts

Whether you’ve picked the right suit or not, sometimes your pair need a boost. From bra inserts to pasties, there are a lot of options that you can use to add a little bit more size and shape to your bikini boobs.

If you think you’ll be doing this frequently, there are bathing suits that have inserts built into them. This is one of the simplest techniques to make your boobs look a little bigger.

16. Wear a Cover Up

​If you’re nervous about donning a two piece this summer, this is a great go-between. A cover up is generally a thinner, breathable material, or even opaque, and sits over top of your chest area. It can cover more than that, but those are the basics.

Adding a cover up allows you to lean into those moments when you have some self-doubt sitting on the beach. Don’t let those times stop you – a cover up might be just the way for you to ease into rocking the bikini.

17. Wear a Sarong

Similar to a cover up, a sarong does the same thing but sits over your waist. In essence, follow the same logic here as you would for a cover up.

How to apply these two pieces of clothing? Find the area of your body that is mentally blocking you from enjoying a bikini, and pair it with one of these.

Sarongs can also be good for a bikini that is made from certain materials. Sometimes, a two piece can look great until you start to sweat, for example. Just like men have to be concerned with their underwear in hot weather, a sarong can be a great cover up for a bikini that shows just a bit too much as the day wears on.

a woman bending her back wearing a bikini

18. Wear Stacked Sandals

​Stacked sandals work great for lounging by the pool, and they do double duty by upping your fashion. In addition, they help accentuate your legs and elongate your body, which bolsters your bikini look.

You might not be able to pull these off in deep sand at the beach, but these sandals are the perfect compliment to a two piece outfit.

19. Tape Your Boobs

Depending on the type of boobs you have, adding some tape might be the perfect solution to giving your breasts the added perk and support they need.

If you’ve ever considered wearing a bra with your bikini, tape is a great alternative that will help keep your boobs in place. Active summer-goers will appreciate this technique, and you can worry (a little less) about a boob or two popping out of your bikini.

The technique for taping your breasts isn’t that hard. Just make sure you use waterproof tape if you plan on getting in the water.

Big or small chested, boob tape works wonders to give you a little more lift and shape to your breasts.

20. Use Good Lotion

Bikinis show a lot of skin, so it’s good form to make sure that skin is look its best! Don’t cheap out on the lotion before you head out to the beach – the sun, sand, and salt water combine to make a rough combination for your skin.

Instead, lotion up in the days leading up to heading out in your two piece. Bonus points for using a lotion that includes a bronzer, which will give you a little boost of added color and warmth.

21. Accessorize

​One great way to stand out in your bikini is to add some accessories. A necklace, earrings, bracelet – frankly speaking, any type of jewelry will do the trick.

Another few ideas: jean shorts, headbands, or a kimono. At a ritzier, pool-side party, you might even be able to pull up high heels.

A lot of women forget to accessorize their bikini outfits, and this can be a great way to look your best.

22. Add a Straw Hat

Cute and fun, a straw hat functions as a way to keep the sun out of your eyes and hair out of your face. In reality, though, it adds a nice fashionable touch that says “hey I’m approachable, laidback, and cute.” And let’s face it – that’s a great vibe to put off when you’re on a beach!

​Hats in general are a great asset on the beach, as they can help you deal with all the hair problems that come with salty water and air.

23. Stand Tall

​Enough with the outfit help – how about some good old fashioned posture technique? Yes, its true, standing up straight will naturally accentuate your body for the better.

No matter what body type you have, you’ll benefit from consciously focusing on standing up straight and tall throughout the day.

Standing straight and tall pulls everything up. While the results aren’t dramatic, this can be a great way to get a little more lift out of smaller breasts.

24. Sit With Knees Up

Ladies, this one position might change your mind about wearing a bikini this summer. Whenever you sit, bend your knees up toward your chest, making a V with your legs. Whether you want to lean forward and put your hands around your knees, or lean back with your hands on the ground – either is fine.

This position is fantastic for a number of reasons. For starters, it slims out your legs and minimizes any leg fat you might have. It also adds some gorgeous curves to your figure. Finally, it draws the eyes toward your upper body.

Careful, you might draw the looks of some passing gentlemen with this relaxing beach pose.

25. Dig Into the Sand

​Use the soft sand to your advantage – when you sit down, dig your booty into the sand a bit and let it absorb a little bit of your butt. You’ll instantly look smaller and lose a few pounds in the trunk.

26. Choose the Right Color

A woman wearing a blue swimsuit near the ocean

This is essential for both slimming and enhancing your problem areas. If you’re trying to enhance your chest or butt, light colors will do the trick. White is always a subtle choice, although if you want those areas to stand out, try bright colors like yellow or neon pink.

On the other hand, if you’re trying to slim down parts of your body, dark colors will work best. Black is basic. Try dark blues and purples. Chocolate brown is another color that looks great on all skin tones.

27. Cover Stretch Marks

Everyone has stretch marks. Some are less noticeable than others. If you feel insecure about yours, you can choose a bikini bottom with thicker straps or you can cover stretch marks with body jewelry.

28. Cover Cellulite

Just like stretch marks, pretty much everyone has some amount of cellulite. If you’re uncomfortable about it, pick a bikini bottom with full coverage. 

Cellulite on the back of your thighs is also common. You can always tie a scarf around your waist or wear shorts to hide it. 

29. Wear a High-Waisted Bottom

High-waisted bikini bottoms are trendy for so many reasons. A high-waisted bottom can shape your figure and make your butt appear larger. 

If you have extra fat in your midsection or if you have love handles, a high-waisted bottom can push those areas towards your hips. This gives the appearance of bigger hips and a smaller waist. 

30. Style Your Hair

Styling your hair can bring attention to your face rather than to your body. Keep your hair down and add extensions to make your hair longer. Long hair can be a simple cover up to your bikini. 

31. Oil Your Skin

Applying oil to your skin can give it a natural shine, especially under the glistening sun. Oil is great for your skin and also works as a moisturizer. Make sure to apply the oil after you’ve put on your swimsuit to prevent any oil spots.

32. Use Body Makeup

Body makeup can be a great way to cover any type of marks you’re uncomfortable with. There are brands that are waterproof, which makes them perfect for the beach. 

You can try a body bronzer or simply a foundation that will cover scars, acne, bumps, bruises and more. 

33.  Buy Maternity Bikinis

Maternity bikinis aren’t just for pregnant women. If you’re looking for a good suit with tummy control, you can find some good ones in the maternity section. 

Not all maternity bikinis are for heavily pregnant women. There are some suits for early pregnancy. These can work even if you only have a little unwanted belly fat. 

34. Use Sunblock

You should always consider using sunblock while under the sun, regardless of where you are. However, not using sunblock while you’re at the beach in a bikini can result in some pretty unattractive burns. 

Keep sunblock with you at the beach and reapply as needed. Red burnt skin won’t look good on any bikini.

A woman in a red suit kneeling on the beach

35. Wax Unwanted Hair

Some people can shave and not have any side effects. Other people are not so lucky. Waxing is a much better option when your skin comes in contact with saltwater. 

Shaving, especially on the bikini line, can leave razor bumps. Not only that, once you enter the saltwater that razor burn can get worse. If you can handle the pain of waxing, you’ll end up with a much better look and feel then you will with shaving. 

Plus, you won’t have to worry about the hair growing back for a few weeks!

36. Add Coverage for Bigger Bust

Some women worry about how their large bust may look in a bikini top. Others may have a hard time finding a top that gives them enough support. 

Women with a larger chest should stick to full coverage bikini tops. Halter tops are a good choice. Make sure the top fits well and is comfortable. Don’t try to flatten your chest, this can look unflattering. 

37. Make Your Legs Look Longer

Any bikini bottom that is v-shaped will do this. High-waisted bottoms can maximize the effect. For longer legs, make sure your bikini sits above the waist or hip line. Thong bottoms will make your legs look longer from the back. 

38. Create Curves

Creating curves is as simple as mismatching your bikini. Wearing a light color on top and a dark color on the bottom can give the appearance of a pear shape. Likewise, choosing a bikini with horizontal lines can add to the effect.

Wearing a suit with side cutouts can also create curves. This can give your waist a slimming look. 

39. Carry a Beach Bag

You can carry a large beach bag to cover the areas you feel insecure about. There are plenty of cute designs and styles to choose from and you will need something to carry your belongings at the beach, after all.

40. Pick a Bikini With Lots of Lycra

There’s a reason lycra is popular in swimsuits. Lycra is a strong material that can push in areas with excess weight. You can check always the tag to see how much percentage of lycra is in the swimsuit before you decide to purchase.

41. Use an Epilator for Unwanted Hair

An epilator is a device that pulls each hair from the root. They aren’t as messy as using wax and you can use some of them in the shower. This is another way you can remove hair besides shaving. If you can stand the pain, the results are worth it.

42. Reduce Body Acne

Body acne can be an issue when wanting to wear a bikini. A lot of people think that acne cleansers only work on your face. Truth is, there are several acne cleansers for your body that you can use. You don’t have to deal with body acne. 

43. Conceal Back Fat

Bikini tops can either conceal back fat or make it worse. If you already have some slight back fat, a thin strap on a bikini top can make it bulge out. 

Wearing a thick bikini top can cover and hug your extra weight. Make sure not to purchase one that’s too small as this can push the weight onto your stomach or lower back.

A woman drying his hair near the pool

44. Eat Smaller Portions of Food

A natural stomach is the size of a fist. If you eat fist-sized portions of food several times a day rather than larger amounts two or three times per day, your stomach won’t expand. This can help decrease that bloated look. 

Although it’s better for you, you don’t have to make a habit of eating this way. You can, however, try this a day or two before you go out in your bikini to slim down your stomach.

45. Hide Big Arms

A lot of people see their big arms like a big problem. Wearing a swimsuit top with sleeves is not only stylish, it can also cover up your arms and make them look fit. 

If you’d rather not wear a bikini top with sleeves, you can wear tops with plunging necklines or ones that have a lot of details. This will distract people from looking at your arms. 

Wearing a bikini with thick straps that go across your shoulders can camouflage your arms from certain angles.

46. Camouflage Broad Shoulders

Thick straps on bikini tops work best for broad shoulders. Swimsuit tops that look like tank tops sit on the ends of your shoulders and make them appear rounder. Halter top styles may make your shoulders look broader. 

Stay away from spaghetti straps or strapless tops. Although, you can always add accessories to your neck to divert the attention away from your shoulders.

47. Avoid Dairy

So many people are lactose intolerant and don’t know it. Dairy is a natural component of cow’s milk so it can be in a lot of other foods you’re consuming. You might not even be aware of it. 

Lactose intolerant or not, eating large amounts of dairy can cause gas and bloating as well as discomfort, and nobody wants that when they’re trying to look good in a bikini. 

If it’s very important that you look and feel your best while in a bikini, cut out dairy from your diet 2 days prior to when you plan on wearing your swimsuit. This will prevent the chance of bloating. 

48. Stay Away From Busy Prints

Bikinis that have too much going on can add the appearance of rolls or lumps to your body. This can be patterns or bubble prints. If you’re trying to look slimmer in a bikini, stay away from any sort of prints. Solid colors are best when trying to look slimmer. 

Vertical stripes can make you look taller and horizontal stripes can make you look thicker. However, if you aren’t looking for either of these effects, stay away from all patterned prints. All they do is add more to your body.

49. Choose Bottoms That Will Lift Your Bum

A lifted butt can make any bikini look great. When your bikini lifts your butt, it gives the appearance of a full and bigger bottom. This can affect the way your hips look as well. It can make your hips look bigger or fuller which can give the result of a smaller waist. 

A full covered bottom will work best to lift your backside. Look for bottoms that lift the bum. These might have a thicker and longer waistband. This can help to tuck in tummy fat and push it down into your hips.

You can also look for panty shaped bikinis. These usually have thick waistbands and have enough coverage to lift your butt while still showing it off a little bit. It all depends on your preference.

A woman leaning on a surf board on the beach

50. Act How You Want to Look

Finally, act how you want to look. While this might sound like nothing more than a psychological trick, it works.

Instead of focusing on the negatives, spend your mental energy thinking about all of the positives in your body. Each girl is created unique and different, and a bikini can be as much of a confident booster as it can be a buzzkill.

Remind yourself how beautiful you are. And, if you need to, act that out, even at times you don’t feel that way.

Tips to Look Good on a Bikini

TipsWhat to do
Tip 1Reduce carbs
Tip 2Limit salty foods
Tip 3Try coconut oil
Tip 4Reduce bloating through diet
Tip 5Drink lots of water
Tip 6Exfoliate
Tip 7Shave your bikini line
Tip 8Soak your feet
Tip 9Spray tan
Tip 10 Choose the right suit
Tip 11Work your arms
Tip 12Work your Abs
Tip 13Eat small portions
Tip 14Wear the correct makeup
Tip 15Add bra inserts
Tip 16Wear a cover up
Tip 17Wear a sarong
Tip 18Wear stacked sandals
Tip 19Tape your boobs
Tip 20Use good lotion
Tip 21Accessorize
Tip 22Add a straw hat
Tip 23Stand tall
Tip 24Sit with knees up
Tip 25Dig into the sand
Tip 26Pick the right color
Tip 27Cover stretch marks
Tip 28Cover cellulite
Tip 29Wear a high-waisted bottom
Tip 30Style your hair
Tip 31Oil your skin
Tip 32Use body makeup
Tip 33Buy maternity bikinis
Tip 34Use sunblock
Tip 35Wax unwanted hair
Tip 36Add coverage for larger bust
Tip 37Make your legs appear longer
Tip 38Create curves
Tip 39Carry a beach bag
Tip 40Opt for a lycra bikini
Tip 41Remove unwanted hair using an epilator
Tip 42Reduce body acne
Tip 43Conceal back fat
Tip 44Eat small food portions
Tip 45Hide big arms
Tip 46Camouflage broad shoulders
Tip 47Avoid dairy
Tip 48Avoid busy prints
Tip 49Opt for bottoms that will lift your bum
Tip 50Act how you want to look

Frequently Asked Questions

Which Bikini Style Should I Go For?

The best bikini style to go for depends on your body size and shape. For instance, if you are a breastfeeding mother with sagging breasts and a larger belly, you can consider going for maternity bikinis to help hide the belly and lift the breasts.

On the other hand, if you have stretch marks or cellulite on your butt, you can consider going for a bikini that offers more coverage. 

How Can I Look Slimmer in a Bikini?

You can look slimmer in a bikini by wearing high-cut bottoms. Usually, these bikinis create an illusion of thinner and elongated legs, making you look taller and slimmer.

Keeping in mind that most people who want to look thinner also have excess weight on the belly area, the design of these bikinis also helps to cover the belly area.

How Often Should I Change My Bikini Style?

Although the frequency of changing the bikini style is more of a personal choice, you can consider changing the style after every wear.

This ensures you don’t look like you are wearing the same bikini every time, especially when most of your bikinis are of the same color. For instance, you can wear a Brazilian bikini and the following day a thong bikini.


Rock that bikini, and if you ever have any doubts about if you should have put it on, double down and rock it harder! Chances are, you’ll gain a new form of confidence, and you’ll be better able to push through the doubt.