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How to find swimwear for big boobs

IMAGE VIA RAQ APPAREL

WORDS BY CAIT EMMA BURKE

Because not a lot of swimwear is made with bigger breasts in mind.

Having an ample bosom and wanting to wear cute things isn’t always easy. I know this because I a) have big boobs and b) have written about trying to participate in fashion while being well endowed before, and the response the article received showed me how many women out there also feel frustrated.

But clothing troubles aside, I’ve always found swimwear, particularly bikinis, an impossibility. I was forever spilling out the sides or popping a titty after jumping into a body of water a little too enthusiastically. There just weren’t any fashionable brands catering to fuller busts when I was growing up, and anything that did comfortably fit me was clearly aimed at an older demographic, usually sporting a dated floral pattern and bulky underwire.


For more style suggestions, head to our Fashion category.


In recent years, though, a selection of labels have popped up (just like both my boobs did when 14 year old me tried to wear a tiny Roxy bikini) that cater to people with breasts that are D cup and above. But first, there are a few things you need to keep in mind when looking for swimwear that will fit a fuller bust.

Firstly, and this might seem stupidly obvious, but make sure the swimwear actually fits you, and fits you well. This is the main barrier women face when it comes to feeling comfortable in swimwear. And these days, swimwear that fits larger breasts isn’t all clunky underwire and thick, unsightly straps – there are options out there for women who want extra support, and women who want no underwire at all but still don’t want to be spilling out of their swimmers.

The key is finding the silhouettes and styles that fit your body the best. Luckily, lots of swimwear brands you buy online are happy for you to purchase several different sizes and styles, try them on at home and return the ones that don’t work for you.

Also, if you’re hesitant about an underwire bikini, you’ll be pleased to hear that underwire has come a long way in recent years. I recently purchased an underwire bikini top for the first time, and you can’t even tell it’s there, and I feel incredibly comfortable and supported while wearing it.

Strap wise, if you’re opting for a halter neck style, you’ll want to make sure they aren’t flimsy and can actually support the weight of your breasts. It’s also a good idea to go for brands that have made catering to bigger breasts their MO – the last thing you want is a brand that’s scaling up the exact same styles and shapes that are made with smaller breasts in mind. Below are a selection of my favourites.

Raq Apparel

 

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Designer Sophia Argyropoulo created Australian swimwear label Raq Apparel out of frustration at the lack of options out there for anyone a D cup and over who wanted fun, youthful and supportive bikinis. Very quickly, the label found success and a dedicated community of fans, thanks to its vintage-inspired swimwear and body-positive approach. I own the brand’s multi-way top, and can confirm that I feel sexy but supported while wearing it. In the words of the brand, it’s swimwear “designed by busty women, for busty women”.

raqapparel.com

The Fold

 

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The Fold is a collaborative effort by Melbourne designers Carly and Stephanie, who saw a gap in the market for swimwear catering for D cups and above. They both knew firsthand how it felt to be self-conscious at the beach and, frustrated at the lack of swimwear available for bustier women, set out to create a brand that’s supportive, comfortable but also flattering and stylish. The brand works with a team of expert D+ technicians and every piece is sampled up to 20 times to ensure it shapes, supports and lifts your breasts as well as your best bra does. Impressive, right? The Base Lime is a favourite of mine, but the entire range is beautifully designed and made to last.

thefoldswim.com

Phylyda

 

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Phylyda is the brainchild of German-born designer Lydia Maurer, who worked with heavy hitters like Givenchy, Yves Saint Lauren and Paco Rabanne before launching the swimwear label in 2016. The brand offers an aesthetically pleasing range of boldly coloured swimwear that runs from sizes 4 to 18 and goes up to a 42F cup. The range is known for its superior fit, and many of the styles feature lingerie fitting techniques like adjustable extender clasps.

phylyda.com

Monday Swim

 

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Monday Swimwear is a big player when it comes to swimwear. Founded by Natasha Oakley and Devin Brugman, two women who spend a lot of time in their swimmers, Monday’s aim is to instil confidence in their consumers. The brand has a rigorous design and approval process which means every piece has to be fitted several times to ensure the perfect fit. Catering up to an E/F cup, its tops are fitted to each of these cup sizes accordingly, instead of being scaled up from the smallest size. I particularly like the Jamaica top – it strikes that ideal balance between comfort and showing some cleavage.

mondayswimwear.com

Lily & Lime

Another label born out of friendship and shared frustration, Lilly & Lime was created by Emma-Jane Hughes and Ashleigh Hill, both bigger busted women who dreaded swimwear shopping each summer. Envious of the broader selection available to their smaller busted friends, they launched their specialised swimwear label, catering to D cup and above. Each style has been carefully designed to provide shape and support, without compromising on style. The brand caters right through to HH cup, and its website has an impressively detailed fitting guide, complete with an online size calculator and custom size check with an expert bra fitter.

lillyandlime.com

Andie

 

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Andie makes very sleek swimwear and designs with every fit preference and body in mind. Usually, when a brand tries to appeal to such a broad cross-section of people, they don’t nail the larger sizes. But Andie really does, primarily because it uses feedback and wear tests from thousands of women to ensure that its styles and sizing can accommodate a range of bodies, including larger cup sizes. It also has a team of fit experts who can help with sizing, fit advice and try-on tips. I’ve had my eye on the Tulum one-piece for quite some time. Usually, low back one-pieces like this don’t offer the best support for bigger breasts, but this style’s crisscrossed back provides extra support while still giving you some of that open back action.

andieswim.com.au

Youswim

 

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If you’re after super comfy, stretchy one-pieces and bikinis, then Youswim’s for you. The brand makes one-size-fits-all bathers up to a size 18, which, I admit, seems inconceivable. But once you try them out – I have a green bikini from the brand and can attest to its magical stretchy properties – you’ll see how it can be adaptable to different bodies and sizes. These swimsuits aren’t structured (there’s no underwire or multiple straps here), so if you’re wanting a more carefree, comfort-orientated pair of swimmers that can still accommodate your boobs, these should do the trick. The ribbed, woven material the brand uses and the punchy primary colours means that you can also wear these out as clothing if you so wish, and as your body fluctuates, you can rest assured that your swimmers will be able to accommodate you.

youswim.com

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