How to look good in a bikini Without working out

Disclaimer: I don’t have the best body. I am not a model (nor a model citizen). I am just a normal girl with imperfections (read: cellulite), jiggle, flaws and self conscious thoughts. But, I’ve come to embrace my time in a bathing suit with these tips.

oh no its bikini season

First – I stopped waiting to get to goal weight to enjoy my life. The years are passing and this is as good as it gets, might as well live it up! Enjoy your life NOW!

bikini tips

How to look good in a bikini – without working out

Yes, most of us have to work out and eat healthy to look decent in a bathing suit – I’m not saying don’t workout. I’m saying after you’ve done your best in the gym and in the kitchen – now what? This is that extra something that will make you feel better to bare it all…

How to Look Good in a Bikini

1. Get the right bathing suit for YOU. Ignore the trends and choose a suit based on your body type and best characteristics.

Every woman’s magazine has 26 articles on this each summer with suggestions for different body types.

I need some padding on top so I don’t buy triangle tops because they don’t do me any favors. I also prefer lighter color suits because they make me look more tan.

how to get bikini ready

2. Don’t layer. Don’t worry about covering flaws – in a bathing suit your flaws are going to be on display no matter what.

Adding layers just adds bulk to your silhouette. Accept that your not-so-favorite-knee scar is going to show. No one cares but you, so deal with it and toss the full body sarong.

I got ‘back for days’ and used to cover it up with shorts or a skirt the whole time at the beach. Um, I don’t think it’s an freaking mystery I’m trying to hide my booty. It’s out there for the world to see, so I might as well own it.

how to get bikini ready tips

3. Show off your favorite part.

If you have great ankles consider a very colorful tattoo with your favorite sports team to call attention there.


But maybe cute sandals could do the trick.

The point is to play up your favorite part and think about that when you’re at the pool so your head movies are saying, “I’m glad I have my favorite turquoise earrings!”

instead of “Oh gosh, please no one notice my forklift foot.”

If you have great boobs mix and match your suit with a bright top and muted bottoms. Or vice versa.

I was obviously hoping my huge, tourist hat would be the focal point…

bikini body tips last minute

4. Tan. Fake tan. You can do the booth spray tan or home version, but it totally helps.

bikini body tips last minute

5. Get waxed. Self explanatory.

6. Stand up straight. Yes, I would rather be hiding under a towel too, but we’re already accepted that we’re 3/4 naked in public. So, stand up straight, suck it in and smile.

7. Know your angles. If you’re going to be taking pictures or impressing the lifeguard in tower 16 you want to know how to hold yourself so that you look the best. We all have a good side, know yours. This isn’t photo-shopped, it’s strategic as all heck though.

last minute beach bathsuit tips

8. Have fun (and a drink). The truth is no one else is thinking about your body. No one cares. So, just have a beverage and enjoy the summer.


Question: Have any tips to add?


  1. says

    hilarious post. and great advice too. my husband just told me tonight that if you knew how little people care about you, you’d stop caring what they think. cause really people are too self centered to pay close attention to you anyway. and if they do and don’t like you, no skin off your nose! you look great btw!

    • Rob' says

      This is so, so true. And, if someone is in fact playing that close of attention to you, it’s probably because of their own insecurities, or better yet their admiration of you.

  2. says

    HA! “5. Get waxed. Self explanatory.” That goes for not just your cho-cha but arm pits and mustache.

    I appreciate this post. Can you believe I haven’t worn a swimsuit in over 2 years!?!

  3. says

    You are right to believe that truly most people are not looking. I don’t mean that in a bad way but most people are either worried about what they look like or are worried about filling their drink back up. If you catch someone’s eye it is for good reasons no bad ones unless ther is something really horrific going on. Like a private body part showing in public.

  4. Alexis says

    I love this post. I am trying very hard to accept my body but I am def not swimsuit ready. You, however, look great!

  5. says

    I spent years worrying about what I looked like and do you know what noone did care apart from me!!

    I went to morrocco on hols this year and absolutely loved it – I rocked my bikini at the beach and as it was a surf holiday I even had to don a wetsuit no hiding there ladies and gents!

    Great post :)

  6. Sarah says

    I’m sorry but…..this is by far the most narcissistic post I’ve ever seen come from your blog. I like you, I really do, but this is just too much. Enough with the painstakingly angled, faux Sports Illustrated picture.

    • Toni says

      Monica, like so many of us, has struggled with her body image. The fact that she has decided to own it in a bikini is both relevant and admirable, I say go girl, you look great!

    • says

      Seriously? While I am not one to care how I look in a bathing suit (I’m a guy go figure) I think these are helpful tips. I have always thought that a high percentage of girls are in the wrong bathing suit (unflattering mostly) and this post points that out (see #1). Also she wraps up her tips with “8. Have fun (and a drink). The truth is no one else is thinking about your body. No one cares. So, just have a beverage and enjoy the summer.”
      Last, (no offense Monica) but she is not supermodel and is attempting to show that anyone can have a bikini body.

    • Mia says

      I have mixed feelings. This post definitely has an air of fishing for compliments to it, especially when coupled with the comments showering praises. On the other hand, I think all women should feel more confident with their bodies. Why are we so hard on women who are actually happy with themselves? We should be supportive. I will say though, that someone who is truly confident with their body wouldn’t feel the need to suck in so much in every.single.picture. Breathe a little. It’s good for you.

        • Mia says

          Love how anyone who thinks that posting bikini selfies is somewhat conceited is considered a meanie. Rolling my eyes so hard right now, I can see my occipital lobe. I feel bad for people who need to hear praises and adulation 100% of the time.

          • Mallory says

            BAHAHA. “I can see my occipital lobe”. sorry but the neuroscience major in me found that one hilarious!

          • Nebride says

            I feel bad for people that need to make negative comments in order to put others down. Women are so conditioned to feel shame about their bodies – so what if she IS fishing for compliments, you have to admit she’s got a body worth complimenting. How about we stop finding something to criticize about every.single.woman’s body and just accept that there is beauty in everyone. As someone who zero self confidence I think people like Monica are an inspiration – I hope to have your confidence one day Monica!

  7. Raquel says

    This article is awesome! I’m now 30 and after having been hit with the realization that my twenties are gone along with the birth of my first child, I’ve finally come to the conclusion that its okay to enjoy wearing a cute bathing suit flaws and all!

  8. Amy says

    You are hilarious! Thanks for the giggles this morning. One day I will be an old lady and looking back at old photos of myself and wonder why in the world I ever was so critical of my body. It’s easier to put on a suit now after age 40 than it was in my twenties. Things are in a much better perspective as I gracefully age. Cheers to summer!

  9. says

    love this post! It’s soo true and I’m even a victim. We waste too much time trying to get the “perfect” body that we sometimes miss out on life. Like everyone else is saying, no one is even looking :)

  10. Sherri says

    I super-love this post. I for one am guilty of not abiding by the “nobody cares” rule. When I’m in a suit I feel like EVERYONE is staring at me and noticing every single flaw. Even my husband!

    I need work lol.

  11. Natasha Pattison says

    Love this!!!!!! Everyone is going to have flaws no matter what, embrace them and don’t let it stop you from having a good time. If i’m feeling good then automatically i believe i’m looking good too!

  12. Paula says

    Preach, girl! If women’s magazines had articles like this instead of the ones full of impossibly toned fitness models doing CrossFit on the beach, the world might be an easier place in which to sport a two-piece.

  13. says

    I always think ‘no one is going to remember you’, so even if they see you and your flaws they don’t care, and they will forget in about 30 seconds.

  14. Gloria says

    Love this! I grew up super self-conscious of my body and for years would always avoid going to the water park whenever I would go to our local amusement park with a group of people. I never wanted people to see me standing around and waiting in line in my swimsuit, but last year I said “who cares!” and had such a great time! Life is too short to put off joy :-)

  15. says

    Great post. Whenever I feel self conscious I look around am realize I am pretty dang normal. If anything I have better abs than the average joe! So I think about that instead of my giant rear and tree trunk legs. I think being interested in fitness sometimes skews our perception of what we should look like. I have friends who could care less about fitness and are like this is me, I’m gorgeous, moving on.

  16. says

    I loved this post. It was refreshing and I could totally relate. I always get anxious about bikini season or before a trip and try to find myself a tankini or a one piece, but I never actually wear it once I get to the beach.

    I like what you said about just owning it. Who cares… be confident and go with it. I like that advice and this post a lot.


  17. says

    This made me laugh out loud at my desk. I love the cartoon at the end. Thanks for sharing!

    (And don’t worry about Sarah’s post. This post was real, refreshing, and funny. And you look awesome. Confidence is contagious).

  18. valene says

    Love it! EVERY female has self conscious thoughts, just got to brush those thoughts aside and embrace what was given to you. And the cartoon at the end…AWESOME!

  19. Harper says

    I just wanted to say thanks. Thanks for encouraging us readers to own it. I struggle with getting over the “goal weight” ideal after losing 60 pounds and hitting a long ass plateau. This reminds me to just relax.

    Have a great weekend.

  20. says

    love this!

    and so refreshing to hear (and see) someone who’s the pinnacle of fit and healthy talk about having cellulite and a generous backend. it’s life and you’re right… we just have to deal with it and move on!

  21. says

    I think you look great!!! I don’t like bathing suits – I avoid them a lot but I think you hit it right on. You need to pick something that makes YOU feel good not what looks good on someone else! I too can’t wear the triangle tops after trying for years to get my body to look good in it! Now I am focused on what looks good on MY body not someone else’s.

  22. says

    This is such a great post! I wore a bikini for the first time this summer in years and felt great for a lot of these reasons.

    I totally agree on the drinks. One drink (or five) and you just don’t care anymore.

  23. Sandy says

    This post is exactly the reason why I LOVE reading your blog everyday! Gurlll, you crack me up! So positive, inspiring, and hysterical. Helps me get through the morning workday slump….zzzz…

  24. Lisa says

    Ready for the best quote ever??


  25. Zoe says

    this post is fantastic!!!!! i love it. great timing for me personally too!! and i totally lolled at 7- it’s so true!!! of course you look fabulous and like you have a REAL body that works! and looks hot too

    where did you get your swim suits? they’re cute!

  26. says

    I love this post. I was just thinking about how I stopped caring about my cellulite thighs at the pool. I have been taking a kid I nanny for to the pool all summer. Old me would have worn shorts or a skirt. The new and improved me doesn’t care as much. I stand up straight and own what I have. Hiding isn’t going to change a thing. My thighs are out for all the world to see!

  27. Tara says

    Great post. And I agree, you have to have the confidence and not care what anyone thinks.
    Honestly, if I see anyone is a 2 piece, that others may think should not be in one, I say ‘you rock it girl’ (to myself). Atleast they have the confidence to wear it, and it shows they dont care what anyone thinks. And I think that is sexy. If we were alot less judgemental with each other and turned that into encouragment/positivity toward each other, it would be such a better world!!!

  28. Tara says

    Oh and that Natalie Dee cartoon, too freakin funny! I almost spit out my coffee with that one!! haaa! ‘I feel a breeze…….”

  29. Cady says

    Hey, Monica!
    I just found your blog from Gina’s and I love it! You are hilarious. For me, I wear whatever will keep me comfortable (not emotionally, but that physically suits my activities!) I’m the kind of girl who likes to run around and play at the beach and I HATE having my thighs rub together, so personally I like to throw on a pair of short swim shorts, which are also way more flattering! :) I say, go for whatever you can have a fun time in.

  30. Colleen says

    LOVE THIS…and thank you for being so real…no plastic here! Please don’t let any of the “haters” discourage you! I am proud of you and your decision to share and help others take themselves a bit more lightly. Walking around 3/4 naked in front of a whole beach of people is hard for everyone!!


  31. says

    awesome post! My hubby is always saying a girl’s best feature is confidence. It’s ridiculous to try to worry about how people will see you…they never notice what you want them to notice anyway…when I buy a new piece of clothing and wear it to work my co-workers either a) don’t notice until like 5 weeks later when i wear it a second time or b) notice and compliment a different thing about my outfit that day. so why stress about a bikini? :)

  32. says

    My favorite tip: wear a light colored swimsuit to make yourself look tanner. When I wear bathing suits people are like jeesh let me grab my sunglasses! The glare coming off your skin is giving me a sunburn by association! Then add a dark suit and people are like, vampires at the beach today? So a light suit helps…

  33. Steph F. says

    Love this post! I *wish* that I had owned it a bit more when I was in my twenties and early thirties….looking back now, I realize I was pretty darn hot but for some reason I always thought my thighs were too big, my stomach not defined enough, etc. etc. Now that I am pushing 40 with two kids, I really am much more comfortable in a tankini, but this year I decided to ditch the matronly swim skirt I’ve been wearing the past couple years and sport a regular bikini bottom with my tankini top. Sure, I don’t have the thinnest legs but they are strong and muscular and I’m going to show those bad boys off while I still can :) BTW, I think you look fantastic!

  34. says

    This just made my day :) I have worn a bikini twice this summer and it was hard not to compare myself to the other ladies (I was in Vegas). But the right suit and a good drink made me feel pretty damn good :)

  35. Becca says

    I think the only real advice needed is the last piece: have a drink and realize it does not matter. No one cares, and if they do, well, f*** ’em. Fake tans and bikini waxes won’t help if you don’t like your body, or if you’re constantly worried about what other people see. I say, if you prefer to be pale and unshaved, do that. All these beauty standards are made up anyway. :)

  36. says

    these are great tips- especially the reminder that ultimately we’re the only ones judging ourselves so harshly! everyone else is most likely too busy judging themselves to even notice- they probably think you look 100x better than them! ps- you look great and the tan is a mussssst, I always make sure to start using self tan lotion at the beginning of the summer, I swear it turns any white stomach into something that semi-resembles abs ha!

  37. says

    I wonder how many people came across the title of this post and thought you had a quick fix for a perfect body?
    It is clear from some of the comments, this post got mixed reviews. I think it is hilarious and you look great! If anyone talks smack just reply “I have run X number of marathons with this body, how many have you run?”

    Thanks for making my day!

  38. Katie says

    I am currently on vacation in Greece and on a whim packed a bikini and some mom suits. Everyone hear rocks bikinis irrelevant of their size so I decided to as well. I have to say it was liberating and fun to wear a bikini with my baby daughter at the beach! You are so right and I love this post-the haters can hate!!!!!

  39. Shannon P. says

    As someone who has struggled with body image issues for years, I very much appreciated this post. Your thoughts, as expressed in this post, reflect the type of mind-set I am working towards! So, thank you! Keep up the positive attitude. You lead by example day after day.

  40. Charlotte says

    I think it was a good post, especially for those of us with poor body image issues. Donning a bikini is sending a message that I’m proud, comfortable in my skin and feeling good about myself. Monica is not model thin, she looks healthy and athletic. This is a necessary example that more young girls should be exposed to. Happy, healthy, realistic-looking individuals.

  41. Monica says

    This was a great post! I always have a hard time being confident in a bathing suit and this post really gave some good advice.

  42. ellethemagnanimous says

    You look fantastic in a bathing suit. If I had anything close to your body, I would definitely wear one and not be an ounce ashamed or not confident. And a big old weird stomach with a scar, so bikinis are out for me probably forever. Oh, well. Must be nice. But I don’t care most of the time, only when my husband is salivating over other women who can wear bikinis.

  43. says

    Love it. I’m not terribly comfortable in bikinis (I’m a tankini or speedo gal, I like being able to play without worrying about what’s flapping around) but even at my highest weight you couldn’t keep me out of a swimsuit to enjoy the beach or the pool.

    When I do on occasion rock a bikini, my husband just thinks its hot, I’m just always scared about flashing people :).

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