Swimwear: High-Rise vs. Low-Rise Bottoms

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Every year around this time I write about swimwear. And every year I have a hard time figuring out what I want to say because there’s the swimwear that I’m talking about and then there’s the bigger issue of body image. And that is such a huge and overwhelming issue to tackle that I never feel like I can do it justice.

I mean, I want to send messages of loving yourself and loving your body—cellulite and flaws and all—and ultimately I start venturing down a path of wear whatever you want! Whatever makes you happy! And completely forget about the fact that I’m actually…kind of…supposed to talk about, like, which suits I find flattering, but that very word goes against what I’m saying in the first place about loving yourself and your body and gah…down the rabbit hole again!

But it doesn’t have to be that deep. Sometimes it’s just about the swimwear. Like I have cellulite, I have kids, my body doesn’t look like it used to, but I still love it, I still want to wear what’s in style, and I still think I look good.

Best Bikini Bottoms: Cute Good American High-Waist or Cheeky Victoria’s Secret Low-Rise?

OK, so now that we’ve gotten that out of the way, let’s talk swimwear. I’ve been wearing low-rise swim bottoms for years. Literally…YEARS. In fact, when I did this post on swimwear with my friends back in 2016 I had already been wearing that exact style of swim bottoms since…college? High school, even?? I mean, there’s something to be said for finding something that works and sticking with it, but that is a looooong time, people. Obviously I’m really comfortable in my old low-rise, full-coverage swim bottoms, but I also don’t want to be stuck in a style rut because I’m too scared to try something new. And those higher-waist, hi-cut swim bottoms with cheeky backsides? Are definitely a bit scary. But…they’re just swim bottoms. And I’m not going to let a little cellulite or the fact that I’ve had two kids get in the way of having a little fashion fun.

Good American Good Swim: High-Waist Bottoms

I’ve LOVED Good American’s Good Waist jeans for years now–they’re crazy flattering on curves, leave no gapping in the waist, make your booty look good, and are super comfortable. So I thought I’d try their high-waist bottoms to see if they were able to make their swimwear as flattering as their jeans. (But that tanga you’re going to have to try on your own. 😬)

1. Good American High Waist Swim Bottoms

When I first put these on, I was like–woah, that’s a whole lotta booty. But the more I looked and thought about it, I kind of liked the extra coverage in the front and the higher cut. A low-rise cut hits me at the widest part of my body–accentuating that, but this high rise brings the eyes up a bit and makes me look taller. I like how they accentuated my curves while kind of smoothing out the front just a bit. The lack of butt coverage was the hardest to get used, to but I actually think the cut itself is flattering. They do run small, though. I’m wearing a 3 here (“fits like 10-12”), but when I tried the size 2 on (“fits like 6-8,” I’m typically a 6/28) they were too small. I’d size up 1-2 sizes if you have a bigger booty and hips! (They also come in a reversible black to green color that I ended up keeping too.)

I'm comfy in my old low-rise, full-coverage bikinis, but I don't want to be stuck in a style rut. And those high-waist, cheeky bottoms? Definitely a bit scary. But...they're just swim bottoms.

Good American High Waist Swim Bottoms (3/large, more sizes here)

2. Good American Waist Cincher Bottom

These definitely had the least amount of bum coverage, so bending down to make sandcastles would definitely be out, but they’d be great for vacation or lounging outside when you don’t have to run after the littles. The tie is a fun way to cover up and distract from things like a C-section indentation, but I couldn’t get it to stay tied the way I wanted it to. (Reviewers love it, though, so maybe I’m doing something wrong.) Oh, and this bandeau top? Awful. It was way too small (I’m wearing the 2/ “fits like 6-8” here,) and it just smushed my boobs together and downward and made creases on the sides of my ribs. I just…no. I need more lift, thankyouverymuch (which brings me to my favorite strapless of all time–see below).

I'm comfy in my old low-rise, full-coverage bikinis, but I don't want to be stuck in a style rut. And those high-waist, cheeky bottoms? Definitely a bit scary. But...they're just swim bottoms.

Good American Waist Cincher Bottom (3, more sizes here) | Bandeau Top (2–way too small)

Victoria’s Secret: Low-Rise Bikini Bottoms

Victoria’s Secret was my go-to swim for so many years. I basically wore J. Crew’s surf hipster bottoms and Victoria’s Secret’s Bandeau Top mixed and matched all the time. It was the only strapless top I found that had enough support to hold the girls up–even my nursing boobs. I remember bringing Greenlea to the beach as a baby and nursing her in that top with no problems (fold top down, fold it back). And then Victoria’s Secret just…stopped making swim. Whaaaaa?? BUT…that top is back now, my friends, and it’s still as good as I remember (it comes with straps when you need more support, too). But now the real question is what am I going to wear with it? The high-rise bottoms above or the low-rise bottoms I’m used to?

1. Victoria’s Secret Malta Cheeky Hipster Bottom

I loved these. They’re closer to the low-rise silhouette I’m used to, but the “cheeky” cut makes them more flattering than full-coverage bottoms that cover EVERYTHING. They do cut across the widest part of my body and don’t make me look as tall as the high-rise bottoms, but I do like the ruching that helps to keep them in place. They’re cheeky but don’t ride up. These were still high enough to cover my C-section scar in front and high enough in the back that I wasn’t worried about crack showing either. 😂

I'm comfy in my old low-rise, full-coverage bikinis, but I don't want to be stuck in a style rut. And those high-waist, cheeky bottoms? Definitely a bit scary. But...they're just swim bottoms.

Victoria’s Secret Malta Cheeky Hipster Bottom (M) | Malta Bandeau Top (34D, runs small)

2. Victoria’s Secret Capri Ruffle Cheeky Bottom

I almost loved these cheeky bottoms but didn’t like that my C-section scar wasn’t covered…that’s low. Not that there’s anything wrong with a scar, but I was uncomfortable with how low it made these seem. The ruffles are really cute, though, and the ruching was flattering like the pair above. They come in a ton of fun colors and patterns and can also be worn pulled up higher on the sides (check out the pics of the models) if you like that look better. I liked the matching halter top, too, and especially liked that the straps are adjustable. In the end, these were just a bit too low for me, though.

I'm comfy in my old low-rise, full-coverage bikinis, but I don't want to be stuck in a style rut. And those high-waist, cheeky bottoms? Definitely a bit scary. But...they're just swim bottoms.

Capri Ruffle Cheeky Bottom (M) | Capri Ruffle Halter Top (34C, tts)

Conclusion: High-Rise or Low-Rise?

I kept one of each. I really did like the higher rise, especially after comparing it to the lower-rise…they were more flattering than I had expected them to be, and ultimately made me look taller and accentuated my curves more. (The booty coverage–or lack thereof–will take some getting used to, though.) I also kept the low-rise cheeky bottoms because they stayed in place so well and I love the ruching. Last summer I wore a swimsuit more than I had in a long time because of COVID, and I’m sure I’ll get a lot of use out of both of these this summer too. (Fingers crossed the weather cooperates.)

I'm comfy in my old low-rise, full-coverage bikinis, but I don't want to be stuck in a style rut. And those high-waist, cheeky bottoms? Definitely a bit scary. But...they're just swim bottoms.
Zack really felt like he needed to “help” with this one 😂

I’m not done with my swim reviews! I still plan on doing a review of one pieces and have some more two pieces to share with you guys as well. Let me know if there’s anything you want to see and also…which one do you guys like better? The low or high rise?

XOXO,

Scotti

PS–I’m loving this St. Tropez Self Tanner!! It’s super-easy to use because of the mitt and the fact that you can see exactly where you’ve applied it…ooh and it’s on sale at QVC right now! Two full-size bottles and two mitts for under $50–one bottle is usually $44 so that’s a great deal!

Oh hey, Pinners…

I'm comfy in my old low-rise, full-coverage bikinis, but I don't want to be stuck in a style rut. And those high-waist, cheeky bottoms? Definitely a bit scary. But...they're just swim bottoms.

4 COMMENTS

  1. Gorgeous! #1 all the way! Those Good American swim bottoms were made for you! Loving the more triangle top with them as well. Perfect.

  2. Both look great! I can see why you still like the low rise, it’s almost counterintuitive that less coverage = less booty accentuation. For my narrow frame, the high-rise would hopefully give me some curves.

  3. Thank you Scotti! We are similar in size (28″ waist, 5’4″, curvy,) so this is really helpful to me. even though I am normal sized, it’s hard for me to find people with my body shape to compare to, so i always find your reviews really helpful.

  4. I’d love to see some vintage-inspired suits; for example, a high waist but fuller bottom coverage. These look great on you, but when I tried a “cheeky” suit last year I felt self-conscious and like I constantly wanted to adjust the bottom.

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