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12 Modest Swimsuits I'd Happily Trade My String Bikini For

Covering up never looked so good.

Design by Morgan McMullen

The phrase "modest swimsuit" kinda has a negative rep, and I'm here to set the record straight. Modest doesn't mean ugly or that you have to completely cover up at the beach. Instead, modest swimsuits are simply toned-down versions of your string bikinis and one-pieces with over-the-top cutouts. Think: Swimsuits with sleeves, or more ruching in the midsection and back. These suits were made to help you look and feel your best. You can still look feminine, sexy, comfortable—all those good things—without feeling completely naked. Let me prove this to you with the best modest swimsuit pieces ahead.

Shaping Swimsuit
H&M hm.com

This H&M swimsuit promises a sculpting effect on the tummy, back, and butt, thanks to its strategic wrap-over fit and ruched detailing. It's fully lined with lightly padded cups and boning for support. Adjust the straps to your desired fit, and get ready to hit the beach or pool feeling your best.  

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Solid & Striped Denim Harper One-Piece Swimsuit
Madewell madewell.com

Every summer there's one swimsuit that stands out because of its design or material, and this season it's this denim one piece from Solid & Striped. You can wear this into the water, dry off, then turn this baby into a bodysuit with a pair of jean shorts for that denim-on-denim look. Add on these geometric earrings to complete your outfit. 

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North Sea Scalloped Patchwork Gingham Swimsuit
Marysia net-a-porter.com

Long-sleeve swimsuits don't have to be bland and boring as Marysia Dobrzanska Reeves, the designer behind Marysia, proves. This gingham one piece comes in Fourth-of-July-inspired colors and a zipper that can expose as little or as much of your chest as you'd like. It's made from stretch-crepe for optimal movement and comfort, which is important if you like to stay active in the water or on the sand. 

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Belted Swimsuit
Tory Burch net-a-porter.com

In my book, navy is basically black in terms of being flattering and versatile. This buckled swimsuit is elegant and classic thanks to its streamlined shape and smooth Italian fabric, which is woven with stretch for flexibility. A small plunging neckline in the front creates that subtle sexy vibe without showing the girls off too much. Wear with a woven sunhat and espadrilles for that Insta-outfit. 

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Bandeau Flyaway Tankini Top
Kona Sol™ target.com

Tankinis have a history of looking matronly, but this one from Kona Sol is anything but. The floral top comes with removable straps and a sheer, flowing bodice that will flatter anyone's front and back sides. Meanwhile, the bandeau style keeps your boobs supported. Switch up the bottoms depending on your mood, from a high-waisted style to a slightly cheekier fit.

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Alison Wrap-Effect Striped Ribbed Swimsuit
Solid & Striped net-a-porter.com

This one-piece resembles a bodysuit and not a swimsuit, making it the perfect pool-to-lunch look. Short sleeves provide modest coverage without fully covering up your arms, if you want to show off your tattoos or jewelry. Additionally, a high-cut design on this one piece gives the illusion of longer legs.   

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Danielle Sunflower Belted One Piece Swimsuit
Onia x WeWoreWhat everythingbutwater.com

For a floral swimsuit that seems out of the ordinary, opt for this feminine-meets-western vibes one piece. (The belt is detachable!) A bustier-style fit makes the suit feel sexy while the lack of cutouts and other showy designs keeps your body covered. And like some of the one pieces here, this one can easily be worn as a bodysuit too.

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Genevieve Striped Seersucker Bikini
Lisa Marie Fernandez theoutnet.com

For two pieces that are modest but still cute, look for more covered top styles and high-waisted bikini bottoms versus a thong fit. This seersucker set from Lisa Marie Fernandez passes the test because of it's romantic yet demure silhouette. Pair with a breezy white cover up.

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Flower Meditation One-Shoulder Lycra Swimsuit
Johanna Ortiz modaoperandi.com

Owning a Johanna Ortiz swimsuit is like buying a piece of art. There's so much detail and intricacy involved in the creation of every item. This one-shoulder piece, in particular, has a cute ruffle shoulder design, an elaborate floral print, and a pistachio-colored background that makes everything pop. You can't help but feel fancy and one-of-a-kind in this swimsuit. 

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Ruffle Plunge Swimsuit
& Other Stories stories.com

The universally-flattering color black already has us sold and any extra details is the proverbial cherry on top. Ruffles take this piece from basic to eye-catching and this will be your season-less staple for years to come. 

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Everly Rash Guard
Flag Pole NYC flagpolenyc.com

This two-piece swimsuit is made from an Italian four-way stretch material that is anti-pill, anti-bacterial, chlorine resistant, and quick-drying. Basically, this swimsuit does it all. The sporty top still feels sexy with separate bottoms and, according to the description, is great for those with a longer torso (come to me). If you're not a fan of the high-waisted bottoms, switch out for the brand's Casey option

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Gamela Belted One-Piece Swimsuit
Mara Hoffman nordstrom.com

Mara Hoffman's one of those brands that's mastered the modest but still so feminine and cute look for all its swimsuits. Take this peachy gingham number with a waist tie and high-cut leg silhouette. You're covered in the midsection and back but still able to show some skin in all the right places. Top with this bucket hat, this season's It piece, and you're ready for photos. 


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