Ladies, ye of the larger chests: Gather ’round, because it’s time to figure out the best suits for us to wear this season. We know that we’ve got a different, ahem, set of problems than many of our sisters.
I’m with you; I am one of you. I, too, have heard the friends lamenting about how they wish their chests were bigger, not realizing the #struggleisreal to find something that doesn’t make you overly matronly…or overly sexy…but just right.
Today, on the eve of July 4th and not a moment too soon, we’re coming to grips with some of our gripes and getting stellar advice on flattering options for the curvaceous among us from swimwear buyer and resident expert Megan Puma.
“Everything gives me over-the-top cleavage.”
Ugh, isn’t this the worst? Not that there’s anything wrong with ample cleavage, it’s just not always wanted or appropriate given certain situations like, say, your kid’s swim class or a pool party with your boyfriend’s parents. Those of us with larger-than-life bosoms often find that the cuts of suits not meant to be cleave-heavy become exactly that on our frames.
Megan’s Picks for Keeping it Tasteful
- Fantasie Ottawa Underwire Tankini Top: If you’re looking for a tankini top that covers and supports, here it is. With a modest neckline, the top is going to give you the coverage you want. Plus, there’s a built-in underwire bra with adjustable hook-and-eye back closure to lift, lock and load. And wherever you go, the solid jewel tones go with everything.
- Freya Jewel Cove Convertible Bikini Top: Bralette tops are a smart way to cover up cleavage without compromising on style. One of the best-selling tops so far this season is this convertible which, with its polka-dot inspired diamond pattern, also happens to be be a total classic.
“My cups runneth over…and they’re sagging to my midsection.”
Cup support is a huuuuge deal for the generously-chested. When you don’t have it, you’re hanging down low or spilling out the sides. Neither of these is a good thing.
Megan’s Picks to Keep ’em Reined in
- Pour Moi Hot Spots Bikini Top: This top works in three different ways to ensure there’s zero sagging and plenty of support. First off, it’s bra-sized, so you can order a design that’s specific to your figure. The straps are adjustable so you can tighten or loosen them as needed for lift and comfort. Lastly, foam-lined cups help to contain, shape and support.
- Fantasie San Remo Plunge Tankini Top: This classic tankini literally will not let you down thanks to the built-in bra with supportive foam-lined, underwire cups and adjustable hook-and-eye closures. And the convertible straps can be tightened or crisscrossed for extra lift.
“Why does extra support have to mean grandma levels of fabric?”
Preach. Just because I want my swimsuit to fit properly absolutely does not mean I’ve given up on looking stylish and my age.
Megan’s Picks for Keeping it Cool
- Birdsong Hibiscus Bloom Tie Front Bikini Top: This top only looks like a sweet little nothing. It’s actually packed with supportive features and on-trend good looks.
- Panache Anya Stripe Underwire Bandini Top: This tankini bolsters without adding bulk. The support comes from the contour cups with underwire, side-boning and silicone lining along the edges to stop slippage. The tapered silhouette accentuates your curves rather than covering up your figure. Cool optical stripes, too.
- Miraclesuit Blue Curacao Seraphina Underwire One-Piece: Everybody loves the shapeliness of this suit, which has a built-in underwire. And despite some ruching across the torso, it doesn’t have a ton of excess fabric, so it doesn’t feel heavy as you’re wearing it. The cross-over V-neckline, wide straps and aquatic print are all figure-flattering, too.
“Bandeau tops are cool and all, but they never stay up.”
Since I went through puberty, I’ve yet to meet a bandeau top that worked on me. That’s all about to change.
- Panache Anya Riva Twist Bandeau Underwire Bikini Top: Panache is known for making one of the most supportive bandeau tops on the market. The construction makes it so you can go about your summer activities without fearing a wardrobe malfunction. Since you’re choosing this top by your band and cup size, you’re already ahead of the game compared to bandeaus that just come in sizes small through large. Foam cups, underwire and side support anchor Anya in place. If all that wasn’t enough to have you feeling confident, it comes with straps that can be worn various ways. Score.
- Freya Tiki Bar Twist Bandeau Bikini Top: Yet another appealing option, with 3-part seamed underwire foam cups to (you guessed it) support and shape. There’s also side-boning and power net wings to keep this tropical-print top right where it belongs.
“I don’t want to risk overexposure.”
I find this to be especially true when I’m looking for a cute one-piece or tankini, don’t you? Everything feels like it’s hanging out way too casually down in front.
Megan’s Picks for Getting Back That Groove
- Panache Anya Spot Tankini: Since this top goes by bra size, you can get the perfect (read: snug) band size that will ensure you’re getting enough support in back and all the way around. There’s actually a hidden hook-and-eye bra closure inside so you can tighten or loosen as needed.
- Birdsong Plus Size Daydream Sharkbite Underwire Tankini Top: Accommodating dress sizes 18–24 and up to a K-cup, this is that rare tankini that compliments and covers. It stars an innovative adjustable neckline you can change up depending on your desired level of coverage, along with an underwire and fully adjustable straps to further zero in on your perfect fit.
- Magicsuit Solid Sutton One-Piece: Such a chic one-piece for when you want more all-around support. This tank-suit style with little triangular cut-outs has a back that comes up higher to help with support, a front that zips down as low as you dare to go and straps that are adjustable. And of course the shaping fabric gives firm control throughout the whole suit. Boom, total confidence.
“Just this once, can I please find a one-piece that doesn’t smoosh my boobs?”
A flattened-out uniboob is never my desired look…nevertheless, it persists. Luckily, turns out there are better options out there to accentuate these curves.
Megan’s Picks for Keeping It Real—and Really Pretty
- Panache Anya Riva Underwire One-Piece: A little black swimsuit with so many benefits. This bra-sized suit has built-in cups and underwire, giving you a supportive fit without all the chest-mashing. Construction aside, it also has seams and ruching that visually streamline your waist and enhance your chest.
- Miraclesuit Rock Solid Revele Underwire One-Piece: I love this because it’s a subtly sexy suit that’s both slimming and supportive. It has extra-firm control targeting only the midriff. Hidden underwire cups let you feel both supported and comfortable. In other words, you get to do you and look good doing it.
Abby started out covering beauty, fashion, lifestyle and health at Jane, Allure and YM before diving into digital at The Daily Front Row, Fashionista, Glo, MarieClaire.com and Cosmopolitan.com. She’s a freelance writer/editor/consultant now, obsessed with style, sports and pop culture.