8 Affordable Swimsuits for Athletic Bodies For Around $20

I believe in voting with my dollars. I encourage everyone (myself included) to spend money on things that matter most to them, and not waste your hard-earned moolah elsewhere.  

And if there is one place where I want to cash a few checks, it’s travel.

In 2019, I flew to South Africa, Mexico, Palm Springs, Sante Fe (wait no, I drove there), and head to Bali next week. And while some might consider this excessive, exploration is important to me. I’ll choose memories over merchandise any day of the week, and while many girls faint at the sight of jewelry, my man Teddy knows the way to my heart is through a plane ticket.

The only tangible goods I’m prone to purchase is what goes into my suitcase.

With Cali, Mexico, and Bali on the upcoming flights list, there was one thing I had to stock up on: swimsuits.

But I wasn’t about to drop $80 on Victoria’s Secret bikini bottoms (have you SEEN those prices since they brought back swimwear this year?). That’s what I was looking to spend, in total, and I definitely wanted to buy more than one.

So I set myself a goal to replenish my water-safe wardrobe without spending more than $20 on a swimsuit—top and bottom included.

I Shopped on 3 Websites, Bought 8 Swimsuits, Some as Low as $11

I shopped at CupShe, Shein, and Zaful, and bought five swimsuits I was quite pleased with. If you’ve seen these websites pop up on your Instagram or Facebook promoted posts and wondered if they’re legit, I have *almost entirely positive things to say.  

8 Affordable Swimsuits for Athletic Bodies (6 for Less than $20 A Piece!)

Below, I’m sharing the swimsuits I bought, what I liked, what I loved, and what I wasn’t too wild about. Honestly, these swimsuits were so affordable that I consider all of them well worth the purchase.

 PS: I’m not sponsored by any of these sites, and none of the links below contain affiliate links—I just really love affordable swimwear!

Push Up Plunge Bathing Suit: On sale for $15.99

If you’re a small chested woman like yours truly (#ittybittytittycommittee) you’ll love this suit. The top doesn’t have any underwire, which surprisingly makes me feel a little higher up. It comes with adjustable straps to fit to your liking, and works great for those with broad shoulders or an athletic build.

Another thing I love about this swimsuit was the color, with the olive green looking great with my skin tone.  

·      Purchased from: Zaful

·      Color: Olive green

·      Size: Small

·      Top fit: Great for broad shoulders/athletic build

·      Bottom fit: Superrrrr itty bitty bottoms

High Leg Strappy Bikini Set: $14.99 

This was another successful purchase from Zaful. I love the cobalt color, which would look great on anyone. This top doesn’t come with adjustable straps, so I felt like it was a bit loose in the back, and the strings were a little awkward for small-chested women. On the plus side, you can pull it directly over your head like a sports bra, rather than mess with ties or clasps.

Oh, and these bottoms were real tiny and cheeky. In case that wasn’t obvious from the photo.

·       Purchased from: Zaful

·       Color: Cobalt

·       Top fit: Loose, especially for small-chested women

·       Bottom fit: Super cheeky

 ZAFUL Keyhole Tied Bikini Set: $18.49

Once again, I’m obsessed with the color on this suit—this time in mustard yellow. It’s another sports bra, pull-over-your-head top that you can put on with ease. And while it doesn’t have adjustable straps, you can make the front tighter by tying a bow. Finally, I love the little cutouts on the side, and think they’re very flattering.

While the bottoms don’t have a ton of options, they come with a thicker band than the previous two suits. They’re still real cheeky tho (are you sensing a theme?).

·       Purchased from: Zaful

·       Color: Bright yellow

·       Top fit: Very flattering

·       Bottom fit: Slightly more coverage

 Neon Lime Top With High Leg Bikini: $11.00

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Like you’d expect, the brilliant neon of this suit is what grabbed my attention. The top has a very sports-bra-y fit (is that a term?), and I recommend sizing down, particularly if you are smaller chested.

One disclaimer on this suit: It’s a bit see-through. If you plan to just tan by the pool, this probably won’t be an issue. If you want to dive into the ocean, the top can get a little translucent (the bottoms seem to be fine).

·      Purchased from: Shein

·      Color: Neon

·      Top fit: Great for athletic bodies, but size down

·      Bottom fit: Great

 Knot Front Dot Print Bikini Set: $12.00

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I thought this swimsuit was one of the cutest of the bunch (I just loved the little polka dots). I liked the front tie on the top, and when I tie it extraaa tight it makes me feel like I have more up top than I actually do. If you aren’t a fan of itty bitty tops and appreciate a tad more coverage on your cleavage, go for this.

The bottoms are small, but they do have a thicker band and more coverage than the previous options.

·       Purchased from: Shein

·       Color: White and black polka dots

·       Size: Small

·       Top fit: Great—makes you feel like you have more cleavage

·       Bottom fit: Small, but a decent amount of coverage

 Frill Hem Top With High Leg Bikini Set: $12.00

I don’t have too much to say about this suit simply because it didn’t fit me. I purposely bought this suit in a medium because I wanted to test Shein’s sizing, comparing one small and one medium suit.

I will say that this is a super cute suit, and wish I would have ordered it in the correct size. The ruffle is cute on the top, and it comes with adjustable straps. Plus it’s super affordable.

Blue Sea Solid Bikini Set: Out of Stock

I have to say, this was the one suit I didn’t quite love, mainly because of the top. The top doesn’t come with adjustable straps, and the cups are set extremely wide apart. The combination of these two things made me feel like I was “falling out” of the front. 

On a more positive note, I love the bottoms. They come with a little scrunch in the butt, which I know sounds weird, but makes that booty look real good.

·       Purchased from: Cupshe

·       Color:

·       Size: Small

·       Top fit: Didn’t love, made me feel like I was falling out

·       Bottom fit: Makes your butt look real good

 Cosy Bay Lace Up Bikini: $28.99

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The final swimsuit comes in this pink/nude color. The top is a little longer, with a thick band underneath the cups. It comes with adjustable straps, and has a cute strap in the back which you can work into a cross or bow.

The bottoms are a little more high-waisted and has a lot more coverage than any other suit on this post. If you’re around your partner’s family or your coworkers, this could be a great option.

 ·       Purchased from: Cupshe

·       Color: Nude

·       Size: Small

·       Top fit: Love, a little more coverage

·       Bottom fit: High-waisted

Where do you buy affordable swimsuits?

I thought Cupshe, Shein, and Zaful all provided great swimsuits, particularly for the price point. Most took 5-8 business days to deliver, with Cupshe having the fastest delivery and Zaful taking the longest. All arrived in time for my trips, and I wore each of them (except the one that didn’t fit) in the water and on land. 

Do you have other great sites to order affordable swimwear? Let us know in the comments!