7 two-piece bathing suits that don’t make little girls look like teenage girls

Kids Ink SwimsuitI’ll say it: the bathing suit choices for little girls are abhorrent these days–teeny string bikinis, plunging v-necks, high cut briefs, ruching at the “cleavage” presumably to create more of it. It’s making me crazy.

To say nothing of a certain retailer (ahem Abercrombie) that recently introduced–then backpedaled on–padded bras for 8 year-olds.

Still, I do like two-pieces for girls. They’re cute and make changes easy, especially when you’re in the diaper phase.  So I’ve spent a little time tracking down a few picks for summer that will let your little girl look like your little girl for a good long time. I’m thinking 23 years or so. -Liz

The girls tankini from Kids Ink
(at top) looks like Peter Max 70’s pop art. It’s not something an adult
would wear, which is what’s cool about it for kids. If you’re looking
for a 3T you’re in luck–that’s what’s left at The Silly
Wagon for 60% off.

striped bikini from Polarn O. Pyret

The striped bikini
from Polarn O. Pyret is beautifully constructed, with an athletic style tank top in the label’s trademark stripes.
The sizing covers a span of 2-3 years, and the suits are built to last
that long too. No need to go up a size if you’re on the fence–my 4
year-old fits in the 2-4 size perfectly, with a little room to grow.

Circo Girls Tankini

At Target lat week, I grabbed this striped tankini
by Circo for just $8. (Whoo!) The top runs a bit big and slouchy–if
your daughter is between sizes, order down and you could still get a
couple of years out of it.

mini boden swimsuit

Why yes, I am on a stripe kick. Funny you should ask! I think the stripe bikini set by Mini Boden is so sweet, but I love the same retro cut and button accents of the blue gingham bikini too. At Nordstrom.

rash guard set
For a totally different take, look into a rash guard set which is smart for the sunburn-prone or early season Atlantic ocean dips. This UPF 50+ set from Cabana Life is adorable.

girls board shorts

Similarly, I think board shorts
are so fabulous on little girls. The ones from Baby Banz are made with
50+ UPF, and look great whether you pair them with a racer style tank,
or a rash guard top.

girls tankini at Old Navy

If you have a good eye, you can find some cute, age-appropriate suits for kids under 6 at Old Navy. I grabbed this ruffled floral tankini
at a great price, and it claims to have UPF 50 sun protection. I never
would have grabbed it based on this photo, but in person, the cream and
pinks and brows really looks quite elegant.

(And psst…Old Navy recently ran an ad with us promoting 30% off spring+summer baby/toddler clothes, plus an extra 15% off coupon for their Facebook fans.)

Cool Mom Staff

We spend our time looking for cool stuff so you don't have to. Hope this one fits the bill.


  • Reply May 17, 2011


    Sing it!

    Why are girls’ clothes (and swim wear) so slutty?

  • Reply May 18, 2011

    Helen Redfern

    These are great. I want my little girl to look like… a little girl!

  • Reply May 18, 2011


    Two piece suits are so much more convenient for potty breaks. My rules are the top piece has to touch the bottom piece (no belly sticking out) and the top piece can’t be cut too low. A big thank you to the stores who do provide age appropriate wear.

  • Reply May 19, 2011


    For this year, I’ve just got my baby girl (5mo next week!) in a cute little swim diaper. We’ll probably be mostly swimming at the pool, so sunburn shouldn’t be an issue, unless we try a lake; our part of the Pacific doesn’t exactly get warm.

  • Reply May 20, 2011

    Lisa Thakkar

    Is the 30% off for CMP + Old Navy FB fans still happening? I went to the link, but don’t know how to access the 30% off…

  • Reply May 27, 2011


    Thank you! They are growing up far too fast anyway…….I don’t think we need to push them into their sexuality out of the cradle!

  • Reply May 30, 2011


    I couldn’t agree more. These bathing suits are gorgeous!

Reader Comments