When it comes to swimsuit shopping, many people may think their options are limited to swimsuits that aren’t supportive, straps that hurt your neck and pieces that are just too tight. Swimsuit shopping can be an exhausting experience for just about everyone, but it’s especially true if you are someone who lives with chronic pain.
Having chronic pain can make it that much more difficult to find a comfortable swimsuit. Whether you live with fibromyalgia, Ehlers-Danlos syndrome or any other condition, you should be able to enjoy the pool, beach or lake just like anyone else. Finding a swimsuit that isn’t restrictive and doesn’t dig into your shoulders, stomach or groin can make your day under the sun or in the water a lot more enjoyable.
To help you find a swimsuit that works for you, we asked The Mighty’s chronic pain community to share which swimsuit brands they like the most. While these swimsuits help those living with chronic pain, remember that works for someone else might not work for you. Our hope is to, at the very least, give you some potential options that could be great contenders for you.
Here’s what our community suggested:
This one piece swimsuit has removable cups, allowing you to have as much coverage as you want. It doesn’t put too much pressure on your body, but you still get support from the straps. It’s super soft too, making it a great swimsuit to wear to the beach or the pool.
“I have this amazing one I got at Target,” said Rose Meredith Meddows. “It’s soft and comfortable to wear, one of the best I’ve ever bought. Bonus: it was pretty cheap.”
“I second Target’s one pieces!” Karrie Aun responded. “They are supportive, but easy to take on and off.”
Buy the Women’s Strappy Side One Piece Swimsuit pictured above for $29.99 from Target.
2. Lands’ End
This swimsuit top is more like a tank top than a tankini top. The straps are wide, making it a great option for anyone who has chronic shoulder or neck pain. A wider strap can be better if you are worried about straps digging into or putting too much pressure on your body.
“Lands’ End!” suggested Kelly Dupré. “I swim every morning and they are a little expensive, but they hold up and are very comfortable!”
“I get mine from Lands’ End,” said Dawn Griffith Hansard. “I can buy separates so the fit is better. They also have tops in cup size so there’s good support which helps with back and shoulder ‘coat hanger’ pain.”
“Lands’ End seems to be the most comfortable for me,” said Tabitha Hodges. “I’ve had the same tankini and shorts for several years now with no issues so I feel it is worth the extra money.”
Buy the Women’s Texture High-neck Tankini Top Swimsuit for $59.95 from Lands’ End.
This unisex swimsuit is comfortable and secure, allowing you to wear it without worrying about it worsening your chronic pain. The fabric is stretchy and conforms to your body. The zipper in the front allows you to adjust it to your needs, making it a great option if you need to adjust regularly due to your chronic pain.
Buy the Swim 6″ Unisuit for $79.00 from TomboyX.
4. Maxine of Hollywood
This swimsuit tankini top has a soft cup underneath, giving you support without underwire digging into your sides. Besides being supportive, many reviewers said they liked it because it was also flattering on their bodies.
Recommended by Dawn Roth and Delores Luttropp.
Buy the Maxine Of Hollywood Women’s Plus-Size 3-Tiered Ruffle Tankini Swimsuit Top for $62.99 from Amazon.
These high-waisted swimsuit bottoms mean you won’t have to worry about readjusting every time you move an inch. If a one piece swimsuit is a little too conforming for you, a high-waisted swimsuit from Aerie can give you the same feeling without being too tight around your mid-section.
“Aerie!” suggested Hannah Rose Jenkins. “The suits are so comfortable, last forever, and are always cute/trendy!”
“I have worn the same Aerie suit for years,” said Caralee Wells. “It’s kept its color and shape as if it’s brand new!”
“Aerie has very affordable high-waisted swimsuits that are great for covering up stomach scars, and a good alternative if a one piece isn’t comfortable for you,” recommended Laura Fincher.
Buy the High Waisted Bikini Bottom for $29.95 from Aerie.
If swimming is difficult for you because carrying your breasts causes pain, a swimsuit top like this one might be a great option for you. There’s extra support thanks to the extra boning built into the sides and it stretches to fit your body.
Recommended by Bev Frodsham Murphy.
Buy the Indie Berry High Neck Bikini Top for $80 from Bare Necessities.
If you want a swimsuit so you can swim regularly for exercise or physical therapy, a swimsuit that gives you an equal amount of support and the freedom to move could be the right choice for you. It’s super comfortable, stays in place and can handle the constant movements and motions of swimming laps around a pool.
“I swim twice weekly when I’m doing well,” said Chrysoula Cruise. “I have a few different suits and bikinis for whatever mood takes me, but my favorite is a black one-piece shorts suit by Slazenger. It’s easy to get on and off, comfortable to wear, and has lasted heavy use through the past year. There’s no buckles or sore bits digging in. I swim confidently in it.”
Buy the Boyleg Swimsuit Ladies for £29.99 from Slazenger.
Torrid has sizes ranging from 10 to 30, with a wide variety of swimsuits for a multitude of body shapes. This swimsuit lets you feel covered while giving you the range of motion you need. Many of Torrid’s swimsuits have adjustable straps that you can change depending on what you need to feel comfortable.
“I got mine at Torrid,” said Jordyn C. “The bulk of my pain comes from my stomach, so I was able to get a bikini to let the area go untouched, without showing off too much. They have high-waisted briefs and supportive tops without underwires for those who need more support up there as well. Also, [they have] many other styles, but I definitely have been keeping with Torrid suits for years now.”
“Torrid is awesome,” said Jennifer Hudak. “Not tight. Fits right. And great in the breast area.”
“I like the swimsuits from Torrid with the adjustable straps on the top,” suggested Liz Ann Taylor. “I was internally decapitated in a really bad accident, so I’m fused from c1 to c4 and have a lot of neck pain. It helps to have a top that I can adjust the straps depending on how I’m feeling!”
Buy the Light Blue Floral Swim Set for $85.34 from Torrid.
9. Victoria’s Secret
A strapless swimsuit is a wonderful option if straps cause you to have extra neck and shoulder pain. This swimsuit has underwire and soft cups, allowing you to feel secure without anything pressing down on your shoulders.
Suggested by Anna Starr.
Buy the Wrap Front Bandeau One-Piece above for $138 from Victoria’s Secret.
This swimsuit top has straps that can change in the back, allowing it to go criss-cross or straight down. This gives you the option to adjust it in the way that works best for you. There’s also boning on the inside giving you even more support.
“I love Seafolly,” said Hel Mills. “They have some amazing fits and underwire tops.”
Buy the Ocean Alley F Cup Halter Bikini Top for $118.00 from Seafolly.
Lululemon specifically designed these swim trunks for men to have a good lightweight option. The waistband on these trunks is extra breathable which is helpful if tightness around your abdomen or pelvic area causes your chronic pain to worsen.
Buy the Namaste At The Beach Short for $88 from Lululemon.
This halter one-piece is tight enough to support you while you swim, but it’s loose enough to not make you feel uncomfortable. If you want something that is less clingy and has more flow to it, this may be a good swimsuit option for you.
“I love this swimsuit,” said Jessica James. “I’ve gained a lot of weight and can’t deal with tight clothes and I also want stuff that covers me a bit more and makes me look less flabby. However, I also want to look cute. This sailor swim suit is literally my favorite. I don’t swim much, but when I do, this is my go-to.”
Also recommended by Kris Tuscano.
Buy the Ladies Retro Bikini Dress for £18.99 from Amazon UK.
13. Swimsuits for All
This swimsuit is breathable and isn’t too tight around the middle. It won’t put a ton of pressure on your body or your midsection. It may be a good option for you if you experience abdominal pain or bloating.
“Tankinis with wide straps [from Swimsuits for All],” said Krisann Baldwin McFarland. “Blouson style.”
Also recommended by Tiffany Rice.
Buy the Rendezvous Blouson Tankini Top for $43.20 from Swimsuits for All.
What’s a swimsuit brand you would recommend for others with chronic pain? Comment below with your suggestions.
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Author: Veronica Vivona