Close up photo of a woman wearing a light blue cropped swim top with a multi colored floral swim skirt

There are swimsuit bottoms for all tastes, sizes, bodies, and styles. But there may be a small downside to all these choices and that is choosing which one to pick. What are the different types of swimwear bottoms and how do each of them fit? What's the difference in fit between high waisted or boy short?

We'll guide you through our selection of swimwear bottoms and tell you how each one fits to help you pick the perfect pair for you!

Start with the Basics

An image showing where to measure your bust, band, waist, and hips

Swimsuit bottoms and how they fit are as different for every woman as our bodies are unique. We will each have a differently shaped silhouette and behind, so it is essential to find a pair of swim bottoms that allow you full freedom of movement, comfort, and staying in place.

Before you even choose it's important to know your measurements. It is perfectly natural for our bodies to fluctuate in size every season. So, to begin:

  1. Find your natural waistline. Generally, that is right below your last rib and a couple of inches above your navel. 
  2. Measure this area and note it down. 
  3. Next, find the widest part of your hips, roughly 8 inches or so below your waistline, and jot down that measurement.

Having your measurements will help you to find the right bottoms to fit you. Here’s a useful size chart and measuring guide that explains how to find your proper size. You can also visit our wonderful Fit Finder page if you need assistance finding the right sized swimsuit bottom from Lime Ricki. Our easy swimsuit fit quiz will help you find the right style and size based on your measurements.

The Different Types of Swimsuit Bottoms

The are various types of swimsuit bottoms, each with their unique style, size, and features.

High Waisted

Close up photo of woman wearing a blue and white striped cropped swim top with blue high waisted swim bottoms

High waisted swim bottoms are considered one of the classic swim cuts that have withstood the test of time and trends, with good reason. These wonderful swim bottoms offer full coverage behind and in front, settling at or a little bit above the navel while featuring a leg cut that covers most of the hips.


Photo of a woman wearing a pink Margrethe swim bottom

Mid-waist bottoms are designed to fit directly on or around your hip bones. Settling below your natural waistline to sit at or just below your navel. These offer moderate coverage around the back with a little less coverage than high-waisted while still being modest. They're comfortable yet sporty enough to allow movement without slippage.


Photo of a woman wearing a light periwinkle blue classic swim bottom

The classic swimsuit bottom is another timeless trend like the high-waisted. Compared to mid-waisted bottoms these bottoms settle at the lowest part of the hip, a few inches below the navel. Classic bottoms also usually feature a bit of a higher-cut leg.


Close up photo of a woman wearing a bold pink and blue print featuring tigers and leopards swim skirt

Swim skirt bottoms can feature a high waist or mid waistband, settling a little above or directly at the navel. These flirty and frilly swim skirts come with a bottom and a skirt that generally settles below the hips at the start of the tops of your thighs for an adorable and modest, comfortable look.

Boy Shorts

Photo of woman wearing pink gingham swim shorts

Another superb full coverage choice, boy shorts should offer full coverage in of the rear with material that will wrap fully around the hips. Boy shorts should sit higher on the hips than mid-waist or classic, and like skirts, cover a small amount of the tops of your thighs as well while allowing full movement.

How Swimsuit Bottoms Should Fit

Now that you've measured yourself and learned about the various swim bottoms and are ready to pick the ones you love—you might be wondering how they should feel and fit.

  • Saggy bottom. If you find yourself with a surprising amount of room around your behind, or if you catch a bit of droop or very loose cloth at your rear, your swim bottoms are not the right fit! Saggy fabric leads to constant re-adjusting or accidental slippage in water.
  • Everyone has a tummy. Is yours supported? Does it feel like your swim bottoms are going to roll down your belly? Or maybe they already do? The rise in your swimwear should be supportive of your shape and shouldn't be doing any rolling or slipping. Even if it simply feels like your bottoms are sitting too low in the front, that's a good indication it's not the right fit, because that no doubt will lead to you needing to constantly fiddle with your swimsuit bottom when wearing it.
  • Muffin top. Muffin top is not your body's fault, but that of a wrong-sized swim bottom. A perfectly fit swim bottom will hug your hips or waist perfectly without spillage.
  • Are you able to move comfortably?: Can you move and be active in the bottoms with confidence? If you answer that with no, then you may want to try another size or even style of swim bottoms.

Find the Perfect Swimsuit at Lime Ricki

Photo of woman wearing blue and white gingham swim shorts

At Lime Ricki, it is our mission to design swimsuits by women, for women, with ultimate comfort in mind. It's why we work so hard to ensure that you have every tool you need to exactly find a swimsuit top, or bottom that is right for your unique and beautiful body.

Not only do we have Fit Specialists and an easy-to-use, wonderful Fit Finder tool on our website, but we also offer the chance to try before you buy! Find the pair of swim bottoms you like, check out the details, try for 7 days and return what you don't keep or can't wear. Follow our handy guide above for how each swimsuit bottoms should fit to help you find the perfect one for you.

It's time swimsuits embraced the wonderful bodies we are in. Let Lime Ricki help you get back to what matters: you, the waves, and the water.