Cute & Supportive Swim For Pre-Teens (Reader Question)


Recently, reader Jessica wrote:

Hi guys, My gorgeous 12-year-old daughter’s body has changed dramatically over the last six months, and we are currently discouraged with finding her a cute, youthful bathing suit that would accommodate her figure (34D). She prefers two pieces with high-waisted bottoms and modest, supportive tops that let her have fun in the water and be a kid. I know this isn’t quite your area, but since you sometimes do kids’ fashion, as well as women’s bathing suits, maybe this will fit into your wheelhouse. Thanks — and I by the way I finally bought the Athleta Brooklyn joggers at Laura’s recommendation and am a big fan.

Side note, I’m so glad you love the joggers! Now let’s get to work on finding cute suits for your daughter! My best friend growing up had some of the same must-haves as your daughter, and every year, we’d go swimsuit shopping and have trouble finding something for her that worked. It was always a struggle to find supportive suits that weren’t too revealing, racy, too mature, etc., In my search, I looked for fun, bright suits that are youthful, but offer some modesty and fit your requirements. I hope she finds some she really loves!

Fun, Supportive Bathing Suits For Teens & Pre-Teens

These are all adult-sized swimsuits, but I honed in on fun colors and prints in brands and styles that I know offer really supportive tops. Some of my favorite style tops for good coverage are rashguards and high neck. The rashguards are different, good for sun coverage (and for overall coverage), and can be worn over any swim top or sports bra that provides nice support. The high neck styles are great for eliminating any unwanted cleavage and they’re comfortable. They also don’t slip around while swimming. They’re a great option for those of us that have trouble with straps slipping off, too.

I found a lot of great high-waisted bottoms to match many of the suits below, but threw in a few mid-rise for variety. Any of these could be mixed with a solid high-rise bottom from the same brand, too! Suits are selling fast right now, but I wanted to give a little variety in style and color and print here, so fingers crossed they stay in stock long enough for y’all to find the perfect one!

We're shopping for supportive swimsuit tops for teens/pre-teens (not too racy or mature.) We found fun, bright suits at Athleta, Target & more.

01 | 02 | 03 | 04 | 05 | 06 | 07 | 08 | 09 | 10 | 11 | 12 | 13 | 14 | 15

01/ Target Longline Bikini Top: Love this print and the longer top! Still good coverage on top, but less than a rashguard or high neck. I’ve always had great luck with Target suits — and for the price, you can get at least a few summers out of them!

02/ Target Leopard Print High-waist Bottoms: These have a nice high-rise, and together with the top make for a cute swimsuit with plenty of coverage and support.

03/ Aerie High Neck Striped top: This might be my favorite. It feels youthful, but these high-neck styles give such great coverage and support! LOVE the stripes paired with the red bottoms!

04/ Aerie Red High-Waisted Bottoms: A great high-waisted pair offered in a few different colors.

05/ Summersalt Colorblock Top: Summersalt suits are just so well-made and comfy. I love these colors and the color-blocking here. These are a great investment if you think she might be wearing the same size suit for a couple of summers.

06/ Summersalt Green Colorblock Bottoms: One of the more mid-rise options, but they do offer higher rise, as well!

07/ Summersalt Black & White Stripe: Black and white is always in! I love these tops that have adjustable straps for a good fit and good coverage.

08/ Athleta High Neck Top: Athleta makes my very favorite swimsuits. They’re very well-made and their return policy is great. This high-neck style is so great for swimming and having fun, and not worrying about things slipping and sliding.

09/ Athleta Rashguard: This would be fun and easy for added sun coverage, as well as support. Pop it on over any top.

10/ Athleta Orange Top: Many of Athleta’s swim tops are offered in bra sizes. SO great! It offers such a better fit. This is cute on its own or could be layered under the rashguard.

11/ Athleta Purple Bottoms: These are some of my favorite swim bottoms with full coverage from Athleta. I have them in black, but thought this bright purple was totally fun!

12/ Athleta Orange Short: These shorts are another great option for water play and would look super-cute with the rashguard.

13/ Summersalt Diagonal Stripe: Again, Summersalt suits are so great, and I love the body diversity on their site. LOVE this black and white striped set. One of my favorites, too.

14/ American Eagle Tropical Top: I had to include one fun print and THIS— is so fun! Selling fast, but how cute! This top has great wide straps that provide upper support and wouldn’t slide off while playing in the water.

15/ American Eagle Tropical Bottoms: These are cute and full-back coverage, but you could easily mix the top with any of the high-rise bottoms in a solid color, if that’s preferred!

Shop Cute, Supportive Swimsuit Tops & Bathing Suits For Teens & Pre-Teens


Feeling confident in a swimsuit is tough at any age, but very tough as a pre-teen while your body is changing. Thank you so much, Jessica, for writing in about this and letting us hopefully help with this difficult task. You’re a great mama, and I do truly hope these are helpful options for your daughter.



Check in with me over on Instagram @laurajansenstyle for more casual rocker chic fashion, kitchen dance parties, musings on how much I love food, and other shenanigans from Portland, Oregon.


  1. Thanks so much! Can you please do more about dressing preteen girls? It’s so hard to find the balance between cutesy and way too grown up. Also brands with good sizing for in between ages. Any ideas would be so appreciated!

  2. This is a fantastic post; thanks Laura. I would love to see more content like this as well – finding cute, stylish clothes for preteen girls is a challenge.

  3. Hi – these look great. Just wanted to add that we are on a lake, and the 13 year old next door has been wearing this set from Garnet Hill: and — and it’s very cute and she seems to do all the water play she wants without any worries. On sale!

  4. I don’t know if the adult bathing suits are higher quality, but I bought my daughter an Athleta girl’s bathing suit a couple years ago when she was around 11 because they were very modest and age-appropriate. The elastic crapped out within the season, which was very disappointing. I had a pair of their joggers do the same thing in the waistband, where the elastic just gets un-stretchy. With a bathing suit, that’s a deal breaker. So buyer beware.

    • Ooh no! I’ve never had issues with anything from Athleta. They also have a GREAT return policy, so they might even take those items back after a year or more! Definitely worth a try. Their customer service has been amazing. But noted about the elastic!

  5. I have a 14 yo daughter so I know the shopping hell you mamas are in with 12 yos. My daughter is petite and modest. We found Aeropostale was the best for in between tween and teen, and she wore athleta girl ($ for that age group, so these were on sale or presents from family) and sporty clothes through that period. American Eagle, Hollister, Abercrombie were all too big even in 000/00, and some of their stuff was way too revealing for my kiddo. A lot of walk-in and straight back out. 😉 H&M can run small and so there are some things in women’s that may fit. Target’s teen section is hit or miss, but worth a look, as is old navy/gap. Aerie is our go to for bathing suits and bras – I’ve tried looking in department stores and target and they never would work. Aerie can have decent sales. It gets much easier as soon as they grow a bit more!

  6. I was a 32D in 7th grade, so I feel for your daughter! (And as a mom, I now feel for you!)

    Dolfin Uglies are another option. My tween daughters think the designs are very cool and have had several. Dolfin is a competition brand, so they hold everything in. (I am 5’1″ and a 32DD, and I can wear them safely).

    In general, surfing brands worked well for me. They are designed to keep in the goods but don’t look like you’re borrowing your grandma’s swimsuit.

  7. Dressing pre-teen/early teen girls is crazy difficult! I have twin 13 year old girls with DRASTICALLY different body types, so I need to find clothing that makes one not look like a 6 year old (and it’s happened where my 7 year old niece showed up in the same maxi dress my 13 year old has. She was not amused.) and one not look like jail bait. For bathing suits this year, we’ve had luck with J. Crew and Amazon, honestly. I hate spending too much for suits for them because they only for for one season and Amazon had a lot of choices that they were both really happy with and I felt we’re age appropriate. We’ve done Aerie before, but found that a lot of their high waist bottoms are “cheeky” cut, so they don’t work as well this year. Another place we’ve had luck with was, surprisingly SheIn. I know it not the best quality and is a somewhat questionable company, but desperate times and all that. Good luck in your search! It’s definitely not an easy one!

  8. I would personally stay away from high necked designs for a large bust, for a few reasons. I find they accentuate & enhance a larger bust (I’m a 34D/DD) and they also create a difficult tan line for wearing dresses & tank tops.

    I would also suggest Boden swimwear – it is *incredibly* well made & supportive. They always have fun prints as well as solids. Older patterns are often steeply discounted. I would also suggest Carve swimwear which fits like a dream – they have tons of sportier styles that are more modest/less “sexy.” Also a huge Athleta swimwear fan both for style & support!

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