Shout out to shapewear brand Popilush, sponsor of this guide on how to style a bodysuit. Poplash bodysuits are shown below to demonstrate these styling techniques. Please check out the full line of shapewear, leggings and more at Popilush.com. All opinions are my own.
I’ll start with the number one rule for how to style a bodysuit: don’t take yourself too seriously.
Wearing a bodysuit is like having a fun fashion secret all to yourself. You know your top is practically underwear and onlookers might assume the same — but they don’t know for sure — and you really don’t want them to ruin your fun secret by asking. So, channel your inner off-duty model: stay away and relax with a silent stare.
Beyond having the right attitude, there are seven outfit guidelines that can help you perfect your bodysuit style. Read on to find out what they are, along with answers to your most pressing questions about bodysuits (yes, including how you pee).
How to Style a Bodysuit: 6 Tips for Success
1. Have a basic strategy
You don’t need to wear underwear with your bodysuit – but you can if you want. Try wearing your bodysuit without panties and bra. Let your comfort be the guide. Chances are, you’ll want to skip the extra pieces for comfort and convenience.
If you want to add your own foundation piece, choose seamless styles or thongs. These will minimize excess lines and keep the sleek look of the bodysuit in tact.
If you go without an extra bra, make sure the suit fits you properly. You don’t want to risk a nip slip.
2. Go high waisted
High-waisted bottoms are usually the best choice for bodysuits. With a high waist, you avoid looking like a member of Destiny’s Child from the 90s. You reduce the heavy exposure of your hips and obliques.
3. Strive for balance
The most common bodysuit silhouettes are tight and revealing. Look to balance it with your bottom outfit. Here are six pant styles that can achieve that balance with a bodysuit:
- Palazzo pants
- Slightly tapered cargo pants
- Boyfriend jeans
- mom jeans
- Wide leg denim
- Pleated, straight leg trousers
The thought process is the same when styling a bodysuit with a skirt. Try this skirt style:
- Floating maxi skirt
- A-line skirt — mini, midi or maxi
- Structured MIDI
You can style a bodysuit with shorts using the same technique. Skip the tight bermuda shorts and opt instead for:
- Paper bag waist shorts
- pleated shorts
- Rolled, comfortable fit denim shorts
Use layers with your bodysuit to achieve balance or add formality. Let’s say you decide to wear a bodysuit with leggings. This combo needs balance, because it’s hard all around. You can soften things up without losing sex appeal in some ways. Here are some ideas:
- Add a bomber jacket on top. This outfit is still very sexy, but hopefully not X-rated.
- Wear a light or even sheer button-down over a bodysuit. Tie it at the waist to show off your shape, or leave it loose for more coverage.
- Try a v-neck tunic or long cardigan over your bodysuit-leggings combination.
If you want to style a bodysuit for a less casual occasion, choose an outer layer with structure. A blazer works nicely. Or, if you’re wearing high-waisted bottoms, try a cropped, moto-style jacket.
5. Accessorize your bodysuit
Many bodysuits are a solid color, often black. Use that neutral backdrop to showcase your favorite accessories. Necklaces, scarves and belts look amazing with bodysuits.
6. Go with a chunky shoe
Choose a chunkier shoe to anchor your bodysuit outfit, such as:
- Ankle boots
- lug boots
- Dad sneakers
- the conversation
Avoid flat sandals and flipflops. You can wear heels, or even strappy ones — but they look better with wide-leg pants or skirts. With tight pants and a bodysuit, stilettos can have a cat-lady vibe.
7. Test your ensemble
You can learn how to style a bodysuit, but wearing one is a different challenge. Before you head out, put your clothes through a stress test. Sit, stand, walk around. And yes, use the bathroom. You want to feel confident that all of your pieces will be in place without any wardrobe malfunctions.
11 questions you never want to ask about bodysuits
Aspiring fashionistas have plenty of bodysuit questions — not just about how to style a bodysuit, but also covering more practical issues. Here are the answers you need.
1. Do you wear anything under a bodysuit?
You can wear panties and a bra under the bodysuit if you want, but you don’t have to. You’ll want to evaluate the comfort and coverage of your bodysuit to make a decision. If you’re more comfortable pairing foundation dresses with your bodysuit, look for seamless options or thongs to avoid extra lines. On your top half, if the bodysuit doesn’t have lining or bra cups, try a stick-on bra or pasty for extra coverage.
2. How are you supposed to wear a bodysuit?
There are many ways to wear a bodysuit. If you’re just starting to experiment with bodysuits, combine them with joggers for a killer athleisure look. Or, wear distressed boyfriend jeans and ankle boots with your bodysuit for an edgy, tough-girl vibe.
3. How do you wear a bodysuit if you have a belly?
If you have a belly, spend extra time finding clothes that are comfortable for you. That is your top priority. Then, pair your bodysuit with jeans – that combo will show off your curves. If you want to go with a camouflage effect, match a bodysuit with a high-waisted, drapey skirt. Add a crop jacket on top in a bold color.
4. Should the bodysuit be tight?
Yes, bodysuits are supposed to be tight. The exception is the surplice-style bodysuit, which has draping at the front. Even with that style, though, the fit should fit from your shoulders to your crotch.
5. Do you wear a thong with a bodysuit?
You can but you don’t have to. Try it with and without and see where you feel most comfortable.
6. Do you wear stockings over or under a bodysuit?
Put on your stockings first, then the bodysuit. Wearing stockings under a bodysuit keeps them from slipping off unexpectedly.
7. Can I swim in a bodysuit?
No, don’t swim in your bodysuit. It wasn’t made for him. But here’s a fashionista tip: Why not wear a one-piece bathing suit as a bodysuit? Then you can remove your outer layers and dive right into the pool.
8. Can you wear shorts with a bodysuit?
Yes, you can absolutely wear shorts with a bodysuit. Look for shorts with pleats or a paper bag waist.
9. Can I wear a bodysuit to work?
Yes, you can wear a bodysuit to work. Look for a bodysuit with a high neckline and wear it under your power suit or under a buttoned blazer or belted cardigan. No one will know.
10. How to use the bathroom when wearing a bodysuit?
Bodysuits have snap closures at the crotch. When nature calls, pull up your bottoms, even if it’s a skirt. Then, take off your bodysuit. Pull off any foundation clothing you’re wearing. Make sure none of your clothes are in danger of falling into the toilet and then have a seat. You don’t have to hold up the flaps of your bodysuit, but double check. You don’t want to pee your clothes.
When you’re done, stand up and reverse the process. Pull the foundation, snap your suit, pull your bottoms.
11. Can I wear a bodysuit with a dress?
You can, but going to the bathroom will be challenging. You either need to take the garment off or hold it on while going. It’s a lot to handle while you’re on the go.
And that’s it, the complete download on how to style a bodysuit. If you need more inspo, check out our post on bodysuit outfits here.