We know that shopping for a bathing suit once you’re NextTribe age is about as much fun as a colonoscopy. But happily, it’s getting easier. More brands are offering elegant or active options that we can really feel comfortable wearing.
Having been three times to the NextTribe “Stretch Your Mind, Stretch Your Body” retreat on the beaches of Troncones, Mexico, I’d already done a bit of research about what kind of swimwear was available for a 60-year-old body. Then I faced a horror more daunting than my terror over bears, heights and being photographed nude: I videotaped myself wearing the swimsuits I’d found…and ran the footage in one of my “Talk’n Closet with Kim” style segments. Talk about overcoming personal fears!
Fortunately, while I was on our retreat, I had the opportunity to see the swimwear other real women were wearing. I interviewed them about the styles they’re currently loving, got in-depth information about the “why” behind their favorite new suits they had packed for the trip—and used the info to put together a list of shoppable items.
The coolest swimsuits for women over 50 this year include bikinis, tankinis, cut-out one-pieces, and full (but sexy) coverage for the non-sun lover. Get inspired by what the Tribers wore to the beach this year to pick out a suit (or two!) for yourself—sans terror.
Pat Reed, a first-timer on our beach retreat, loves the look and coverage of this takini from Title Nine so much that she has it several prints. You can combine the top with any kind of bottom (such as boy shorts or swim skirt) to suit your body.
If you’re done with too much sun, you can cover up in a most flattering way: A long-sleeved one-piece that is made for an active life. Our co-founder Jeannie Ralston, shown here, loves this suit from Title Nine for afternoons out in the surf on a boogie board. Find a similar style here. (Photo by Kimberly Cihlar)
Zip It Up
I don’t necessarily want to cover up all the way to my wrists, but I like this modern, sporty take on swimsuits by…you guessed it…Michael Kors. I can unzip a little after I get out of the surf to reveal my inner Bond Girl. Here’s a similar style that’s just as delish.
Ruffles That Roar
I love this suit from Cabana Del Sol for many reasons. One it’s leopard print, and as you may or may not know, that’s NextTribe’s signature print. Also, I love that it covers a lot of my midsection. As I like to say, when your body is bikini ready but your belly refuses to cooperate, go for a high-waisted bottom. The ruffled top, which you can drape in many ways, adds pizazz and might even be a crop top option worn with a sarong for dinner out.
No Extra Layer Required
A lot of times you’ll see rashguards go over a swimsuit, but Vanessa Harker, who is a big time boogie boarder at our beach retreat, likes her rashguard to BE her suit. Here she is with an adorable Billabong top with coordinating bottoms. Photo by Gigi Leventis Lewis.
The Side Gig
If you’re wary of showing too much skin in front or back, consider allowing just a peek with some side cut out like this jaguar print maillot with side rings by Agua De Coco by Liana Thomaz. Not as revealing, but still very sexy. Another big “meow.”
Lost in the Middle
And then again, thank God for ruching. This is trick for hiding rolls and anything you don’t love in your midsection. Here Jeannie is wearing a ruched-front suit that is similar to this gorgeous style from Garnet Hill. (Skinny little stripes help camouflage too!) Photo by Amy Kawadler.
Holding It Together
Amy Kawadler, another avid surf girl, likes a bikini at all times. You can do that when you’ve kept a nice flat tummy. This one by Betsy Johnson gives her underwire structure she needs up top (who wants to be falling out as you’re riding a wave) with sweet details like a ruffle and embroidered flowers. Check out this similar style.
Drama Under the Sun
If you’d prefer to accentuate shoulders over boobs, this is a wonderful, exotic style. The tropical print accentuates the Carmen Miranda feel. Here’s a Trina Turk version you can buy now.
A version of this article was originally published in June 2018, and has been updated with current styles.