12 Swimsuit Options For the 2012 Post-Partum Mama


Screen Shot 2012-06-05 at 11.19.42 AMReader Polina left this comment on Lane's One-Piece Swimsuit Manifesto:

Mamas, could someone please suggest a swimsuit for those of us with a real pooch problem? Like when your pooch has plateaued at looking 5 months pregnant even though you have lost all the baby weight and than some?

I get it.  I so, soooooo get it.  As you may recall, last summer I was still fighting a pooch.  And…to be honest, I'm still sorta fighting it (no pooch as long as I don't eat.  But once I have breakfast – BAM).

So yeah.  Last year, I tried everything.  And the sad news is that nothing really works.  There isn't a suit out there that will totally get rid of a post-partum belly.  This ruched number from Land's End helped…but if you look closely, the pooch is still there (although the gorgeous Esther had more luck).  

We went through all of this in great detail in our 10 Tips To Hide a Post-Partum Pooch in a Swimsuit article (last summer), and we learned a ton in the process. At the end of the day, I gave up, avoided mirrors, and rocked* a bikini.  So…you know.  There's always that helpful tip.  (Snort).

*as much as one can rock a bikini with a pooch.

So applying our 10 Tips from last year…here's our current picks of swimsuits that may help to hide a truly post-partum pooch. 


Ruching and Plunging

Without a doubt, a post-partum mama's best option is a suit with tons of ruching in the belly, plus a sexy, low, v-neckline.  This combo is as close as you will come to actually hiding the pooch.


A.  Miraclesuit's Sonatina, $142

This is the gold standard for pooch-hiding. This suit will suck your pooch right in and hold it.  Expect this suit to give you the best side-view, as well. 

B. J.Crew Ruched Femme Tank, $82

This is a more affordable version of Miraclesuit's Sonatina.  I actually prefer the slightly lower neckline of this J.Crew suit.  However, while this suit is nicely ruched, it doesn't *quite* have the pooch-sucking power of the Miraclesuit. 

C. Cocoa Rave One Piece Halter Swimdress, $94

Sexy swim-dresses are hard to find. But Cocoa Rave nailed theirs – the length is perfect, the suit is nicely ruched, and the plunging neckline keeps the look sexy, not matronly.  The flirty little ruffle would help distract from the pooch.  This suit won't totally hide the pooch…but rather distract from it. 

D.  Suddenly Slim by Catalina's Shirred Halter Swimsuit, $33

Reader Jenny recommended this suit.  I'm totally intrigued.  It has all of the components needed for successful pooch-hiding: great ruching, slimming panels and a low(ish) neckline.  For $33?  Yowza.  Also comes in polka-dot (patterns also help distract).

E. Zimmerman One-Piece Halter Suit, $180

M and I do love these plunge suits. Finding one that prevents nip-slip (as Lane previously pointed out) is key.  This one, WOW…despite the price, it might be my top plunge-pick.  See what's happening at the bottom of the plunge neckline?  It's ruched. Perfect.


Blouson, Patterns, & Ruffles Oh My



A.  Blouson Suits  

(Shown: Badgley Mischka Blouson One-Piece, $90 on sale)

These blouson suits are surprisingly sexy.  Clearly, when exiting the water all dripping wet your suit will cling to the pooch…but these suits are pretty quick-dry.  It might be worth it.  I also love J.Crew's Feather Blouson Tank, $88 (pictured at the beginning of the article) or Asymmetrical Blouson Tank, $118.


B.  Ruched and Printed 

(Shown: Painted Glass Maillot, $56 and Michael Kors Shirred Stripe Shipmate Zipper Suit, $120)

Patterns do help to distract from the pooch, but it's not enough if the patterned suit is smooth.  However…combine patterns and ruching, and you have a pooch-hiding winner!  (The truth will always be told by the side-view, however.)  I love the Painted Glass Maillot for the gorgeous pattern and strategic ruching…and the extra panels on the Michael Kors' striped suit make horizontal stripes work for a poochy mama, not against.


C.  Is For Color-Blocking

(Shown: Club Bossa One-Piece Draped Swimsuit, $538 and Tory Burch Blocked Plunge Swimsuit, $105)

There's nothing more obnoxious than a $500 swimsuit.  I know.  But it's here for inspiration because it's So. Flippin. Perfect.  The high-waisted dark bottom and light top do an amazing job of pooch-hiding.  Plus, it's ruched.  And has a low neckline.  Finding a suit like this would be a sure bet.

Tory Burch's Color-blocked swimsuit doesn't have any ruching (and the side view would reveal all)…but from the front, this suit could be gorgeous on a post-partum mama. 


D. Distract With Ruffles

 (Shown: Sirens Swimwear Frill Full-Piece, $50 and J.Crew Flutter Bandeau Tank, $118)

Throw a bunch of ruffles on a one-piece and you have a decent pooch-hider.  The Sirens suit is my fav (thanks to Tasim for the recommendation)…but they are TOTALLY sold out!  Of everything!  (Bookmark it, Mamas.  They come out with a whole new line in August.)  J.Crew's Flutter tank might also help to disguise that extra bit….


Tankinis (With a Warning)

I don't love tankinis for post-partum Mamas.  You can see why here. General stomach flabbiness, yes.  But a truly post-partum stomach?  No. 

HOWEVER.  If you pair a tummy-tucking bottom with a tankini top that has some extra distraction features….the combination should hide even the most stubborn post-partum pooch.


A.  Shabby Apple's Hawley Swim Top, $55

Pair a glamorous swim top with a high-waisted brief for a spoof on the $500 color-blocked suit mentioned above.  There's no ruching to camouflage, but the color-blocking alone may be enough tame the pooch.

B.  Miraclesuit's Magic Suit

(Shown:  Miracle Suit Mariposa Lolita Tank, $120 and Classic Brief, $62 or Miraclesuit's Ruched Tankini Top, $96 on sale)

Miraclesuit is pairing tankini tops with a high-waisted brief that helps to tame the pooch.  While the styling of their ruffled tankini top gives me a headache…this combo is perfect for pooch-hiding.  If you are looking for something less….ruffled?  leopard-printed? jeweled?  then try their striped and ruched tankini top.

C. Gottex Spring Daisy Tankini Top, $98

Most tankinis don't allow enough swing to truly hide a post-partum pooch…but the little extra fabric on this top (as well as the pattern) should do the trick.  Layer it over a high-waisted, tummy-tucking brief.  

D. Hapari Tummy Tuk Bottoms, $28

These bottoms were originally recommended by a reader, and we're continually getting feedback from others on how good these are.  Additionally, they come in the widest range of colors, and have the highest waist of any other briefs we've found.  And only $28?  A steal

E.  Gottex Ray of Light Halter Tankini Top, $94

Now THIS is how it's done.  This Gottex tankini top is post-partum pooch-hiding perfection.  The extra ruffle of fabric will help to hide even the most stubborn of pooches.  Pair this baby with a Tummy Tuk bottom and watch your pooch (mostly) disappear. 


Happy Swimming, Mamas!!





  1. Whit – Just a slight muffin top? You sure you are ready to say goodbye to a bikini? If you are, a few to consider:
    1. The Miraclesuits above do come in busty sizes
    2. Some of J.Crew’s suits have a D-Cup size option. If you are just muffin-toppy (instead of the full-on pp pooch), this would probably be perfect: http://www.jcrew.com/womens_category/swim/patternsandprints/PRDOVR~77238/77238.jsp
    3. This one isn’t underwire, but it has very supportive straps and molded cups. One of the reviewers liked it for a full bust. And it has ruching: http://shop.nordstrom.com/s/badgley-mischka-mb11-shirred-maillot/3162464?origin=category&fashionColor=Coral&resultback=0
    4. If you are willing to check out bikinis…Victoria’s Secret has a million in D+ cups: http://www.victoriassecret.com/swimwear/sizes-d-dd?pageAt=all
    Chicky, email me if you still aren’t finding anything you like…..

  2. Ok, Shana, though I’m on the tail end of the learning curve, I *might* be finally getting this stuff. Still working on the suit, but I wore this surprisingly pretty rashguard to the pool today over an old halter suit (and substantial pooch): http://athleta.gap.com/browse/product.do?cid=46761&vid=1&pid=826058
    It’s nice not to have to worry about dousing myself with sunscreen after dousing the kids, and it’s still cool enough here the long sleeves felt nice. We’ll see how this holds up to that notoriously steamy Atlantic coast in August.
    Thanks, friend! Miss you!
    PS–I even wore an effing fedora with it. What are you doing to me?? 🙂

  3. My issue is the thighs. Argh. If you not done with this subject I’d love to hear your opinion on swim skirts or shorts. I feel much more confident in one but don’t want to look too matronly.

  4. I am on my way to pick up the Suddenly Slim by Catalina. The reviews were all glowing and if fuller figured ladies like myself can say how sexy and beautiful they feel in a swimming suit, I have to give it a chance!

  5. After a singleton and twins within two years my pooch will never leave…despite being 10lbs less than pre-babies! Still the J. Crew Femme Tank is the most flattering suit I’ve ever owned…bring on the beach.

  6. Grr…that $33 swimsuit is soooo cute and has awesome reviews, but it is sold out too in most sizes and colors, except for black. Fingers crossed that they get more in stock soon!

  7. I just ordered the $33 dollar one (I have a Wal-Mart gift card!), but sold out in all colors/patterns except black in my size. I wanted the red one, but for $33 (& free w/giftcard), I’ll give the black one a try. THanks for this! Still pooching although my “baby” is turning one later this month(!!)

  8. I had to add my two cents on the J Crew suits–love them! However, I always end up having bra cups sewn in because they do nothing for toning down the high beams. The extra cash that I save from not buying a higher end suit is usually spent…so if you are on the fence as to the cost of one vs another you might factor this in if you are like myself and want a more modest look.
    I had also ordered the Cocoa Rave suit online and had to return because it is neon pink and not the lovely shade above 🙂

  9. What I love about your post-partum ideas are they work awesome for the early stages of pregnancy too…you know that stage before the cute obviously-pregnant-belly bump when you just start showing and your pants stop fitting and you don’t really look “pregnant” yet? And people are wondering…”has she put on a little weight?” or “is she pregnant?” but are afraid to say anything? I’m 4 months this week and at that early bump stage where maternity clothes are too big and it’s kind of annoying to find things to wear where I don’t feel just fat. I appreciate these recommendations so much! Thanks ladies!!

  10. AMANDA – THAT IS AWESOME!! Seriously. I LOVE the look. And with a fedora, no less? You are my hero. Wish I was there to hang out in person. Sigh.
    Jess – We covered swim skirts last year (link below). Rule of thumb: if you are going to cover the thighs, then show off the torso with a bikini top. Or…have you tried a surfer-girl inspired look? I love board shorts with bikini tops. But if you are feeling really shy, board shorts and a rash guard still looks WAAAY better than some loose, too-long swimdress. Here’s the swim skirt article link: http://www.aintnomomjeans.com/2010/06/how-to-wear-swim-skirts.html
    Megan – Thanks for the feedback!!
    Sarah – Sing it, Sister. Remember my very first summer pregnant? Ugh. I was just chubby and embarrassed. I remember it too well. 🙂
    The rest of you….let us know your thoughts on the $33-wonder-suit!

  11. Ha! Love the advice. I bought a Spanx tankini on zuilily or somewhere… High-waisted, spans-like bottoms are perfect. The top: kind of obscene with my bust, which I’ve taken to calling “boobs of doom.” (still nursing after 9 months.). Sigh.

  12. What are your thoughts on this one?
    I’ll have VERY recently weaned my then 7 month old, like a week recently, when I head down to Jamaica for a destination wedding. Currently I’m wearing a 32F HotMILK bra, was a 32D pre-pregnancy.
    I’m worried about deflated balloon boobs…these are the times when I long for the simplicity of maternity clothes.

  13. Thank you so much for answering my question with so many fantastic options! I think option E will fare the best in my pooch hiding efforts. I will definitely be picking up the Hapari bottoms as well. What color would you recommend with that turquoise top?

  14. Trista – Nice call on the control max suits!! Love them!
    Kat – That might be my new favorite phrase. 🙂
    Jessica – LOVE the suit. Gorgeous. I’m not sure how quickly ‘the girls’ will deflate once you stop nursing….I was pregnant with P when I weaned R so mine didn’t really change much. But I don’t think it’s right away. I’ll bet that if the suit looks great now, it’ll look great then as well.
    Readers: Can you weigh in? How long after weaning did you notice that ‘the girls’ started to deflate?
    Polina – I was debating that one! Brown looks great with that muted turquoise, but I kinda liked the lighter turquoise bottom as well (although it’s almost impossible to get the colors right when looking at a computer). The Gottex top has a thin line of color running through the strap….but I can’t quite tell if it’s green or a lighter turquoise. Matching that would work. Hapari also had a coral that might be pretty for a pop of color….

  15. Love these looks. The problem I ALWAYS run into is the suits I like are never the ones that look good on my body ugh… But these look like they kinda work with every body type

  16. I have suit A in a giraffe print, wore it 4 weeks postpartum and felt very confident! It was also very easy to breast feed in obviously. 🙂 i was even very disappointed when iyou discovered that it was too big this year.

  17. After trying the J Crew ruched femme tank with D cups and found the cups couldn’t contain the boobs of doom, I’ve ordered the Miraclesuit Sonatina (pictured above) with the DD cup. Unfortunately, sizes start at 10 and it’s available only in black. :p Decency over style. I’ll just keep thinking “classic classic classic” when I’m putting it on.

  18. Where oh where is the link to the first suit?! Did I miss it? THAT’S the suit I want to rock after my twins are born =)

  19. I ordered the $33 walmart number in Red AND in Black, and they arrived this past weekend. Let me just say, this is bathing suit is NO JOKE! Ladies, it is FABULOUS. The pooch hiding qualities are phenomenal, the ruching is super flattering, and the crossover top even allows for discreet nursing, without having to untie. At $33, it’s a serious winner. I would have paid $150 for it – it and makes me feel like a classic retro Hollywood Harlot, accentuating the curves, nipping in the waist, and just generally airbrushing away any and all flaws. Paired with a fedora (Banana Republic – Men’s size!- to accomodate my big ol’ noggin), and I felt like a million bucks this weekend, even if I was just sitting on the grass next to my son and his 3 inch deep kiddie pool. The frozen margarita in my hand didn’t hurt either. Thanks for the suggestion. This is the first time in YEARS that I have had a little thing called swimsuit confidence! Apparently it IS a thing!

  20. I bought the Gottex Ray of Light halter tankini and the Tummy Tuk bottoms based on this post and they are AMAZING. The fit is great (the top definitely runs small like the site says) and the bottoms are super comfortable. I’m actually looking forward to heading to the pool in this!! THANK YOU!

  21. Reporting on the Miraclesuit Sonatina, DD-cup: works as promised. It’s actually a quite modest swimsuit considering the V-neckline and what looks like a higher-cut leg.

  22. I didn’t want to spend a fortune, so I went with the 33$ Walmart in black. I read all comments before ordering, and since they were helpful, felt I owed it to all moms who love this blog to write in! Size runs normal. Like the ruching. For those of you post-partum and breast-feeding, I feel I have a bit of extra space up here and I usually buy a B or C cup bra. Very happy about my first ANMJ inspired purchase, thank you!

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  24. I recently ordered the Suddenly Slim by Catalina’s Shirred Halter Swimsuit.
    This suit has restored my confident in showing my legs in a suit! For the past three years, I’ve only worn swim shorts, a swim skirt, a swim “dress” type suit, or used a cover up in effort to hide all my lost battles with weight gain, motherhood, and weight-loss. This suit is SOOOO flattering that I finally feel confident to simply throw it on and go!
    Only word of advice; I had to order one size smaller than expected. A little tighter seemed to hold in all the “extra”.
    LOVE love LOVE love LOVE it! Best suit purchase EVER!

  25. When do we get to see the 2013 picks?! Going on a vacay with my hubby (SANS kiddos) and I need a great suit & appropriate tan lines to go with it! Haha

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