Where to get supportive swimwear for large chested, but otherwise petite, woman in Vancouver, BC?
May 18, 2009 3:11 PM   Subscribe

Where to get supportive swimwear for large chested, but otherwise petite, woman in Vancouver, BC?

Asking on behalf of my fiancée. She says she's never owned a decent swim top in her entire life and would like to correct this before our honeymoon to Hawaii in August. She wears a 36DD bra but is otherwise pretty slight (5'10", 130 lb ish).

Basically, this question but for Vancouver, BC.

Most of the bathing suits in her size are not supportive enough and end up not being very flattering (her words). She wants something with real underwire support, which seems to be surprisingly difficult to find.

She's tried most of the mall lingerie/swimwear stores with no results and is becoming pretty frustrated. Any ideas on where to look, either in the Vancouver area or just over the border in Bellingham?

She did find this company in the UK, but their sizing seems unusual and it would obviously be best if things could be tried on instead of just guessing and hoping. Something like this in Northwest would be ideal.
posted by Nelsormensch to Clothing, Beauty, & Fashion (14 answers total) 1 user marked this as a favorite
Specialty lingerie stores are her best bet, i.e. not department stores or La Senza or Victoria Secret across the border. Most good ones will stock swimwear as well. She needs a proper fitting (at 5'10" and 130lbs, I imagine she's probably not actually a 36 and will have a much smaller band size) -- it will change her life. I'm sorry I can't give specific Vancouver recs, but I really really encourage her to get fitted at a lingerie store where they know boobs; it's the best advice any woman could have.
posted by pised at 3:44 PM on May 18, 2009

My wife swears by Land's End as they have a very wide selection of bra styles in attractive-to-neutral bathing suits. Most store suits have a shelf bra at best. Land's End carries both underwire and soft cup.
posted by GuyZero at 4:03 PM on May 18, 2009

Best answer: Roxanne makes swimsuits in actual bra sizes which provide satisfactory support for chesty women. When I googled the brand and Vancouver, this place came up so I assume they (at least) carry Roxanne suits in your area.

Good luck!
posted by DrGail at 4:34 PM on May 18, 2009

Seconding she needs a proper fitting. She's probably at least 34 - I've the same dimensions and unless she has a ginormous ribcage, a 36 is too big. It will make all the difference in the world.
posted by sephira at 4:35 PM on May 18, 2009

nthing that she needs to get a proper bra fitting and that she is likely wearing the wrong size bra. I am 5'7", 150 lbs and I wear a 32 or 34 band (and a F or G cup). Before I was fitted I was wearing a 36DD. Once she knows her actual bra size, it will be less frustrating to find a good swimsuit top.

Given this, Lands End is unlikely to be helpful. Lands End is better for stereotypical mom types - (no offense to mom types - I am a mom) those that want to keep more covered up and have a little droop in their b-cups. They don't work well for a very busty woman (voice of experience here).

This thread may help. Many of the companies that make these unusual-sized bras (like Freya/Fantasie) also make swim wear. So if you know your bra size with them, then you have a better chance at getting a supportive swimsuit.

This Canada-based company offers free shipping within Canada.
posted by jeoc at 4:43 PM on May 18, 2009

My friend, who is petite but busty, got her suit at Biggerbras.com
posted by radioamy at 5:47 PM on May 18, 2009

I'd recommend a bra fitting at Diane's on South Granville. Once she's been properly fitted, finding a top that fits well might be as simple as ordering online.
posted by smilingtiger at 5:51 PM on May 18, 2009

I have a Lands End suit that is attractive and supportive, and I am not a stereotypical mom type - and I'm a 36F. I got a DDD cup and while it doesn't fit perfectly, it works when I'm not wearing my other suit, which is a Freya suit that I bought according to my bra size from figleaves.com.
posted by elsietheeel at 5:56 PM on May 18, 2009

Lands' End does have pretty good bathing suits for all different shapes. They sell them at Sears stores if you have one near you.

Piggyback question, I notice a lot of people recommending online/catalog stores. How successful are you at buying a suit without trying it on? Does it usually work out?
posted by bluefly at 6:01 PM on May 18, 2009

I'm a 36D, and to my utter shock, I just bought the most supportive best-fitting bathing suit of my life at The Gap! (I'm sure there must be a Gap with a GapBody section in vancouver.)
posted by Kololo at 7:36 PM on May 18, 2009

The word petite in clothing usually means "short", and may or may not mean "thin". I would never call a woman who is 5'10" petite.

Has she tried a two piece? You can get different sizes for the top and bottom and they don't always mean you have to bare your midriff. I too have had luck at Gap and also Old Navy.
posted by soelo at 9:34 PM on May 18, 2009

Seconding smilingtiger's great idea to get a proper bra fitting at Diane's on south Granville, then shop for a bathing suit accordingly. Swimco at 1864 West 4th Ave has a very good selection of mix-and-match tops and bottoms, as well as one-pieces with good bra support. The sales staff are friendly and the brands they carry are high quality. I've bought a few bathing suits there and the ones I've had for 5 years+ still look great.
posted by parkerama at 12:22 AM on May 19, 2009

Best answer: The folks at Splash (2950 W. 4th) have a good selection and have been really helpful with non-standard sizes for me.
posted by lunaazul at 6:37 PM on May 19, 2009

I wasn't very happy with the Land's End suit I bought. The wire size was fine, but the cups were just not big enough.

I currently have a CoCo Reef suit and it's pretty good. Not as supportive as a bra, but I don't feel like my boobs are at naval level.
posted by vespabelle at 9:56 PM on May 19, 2009

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