Plus-Sized Swimsuits
February 3, 2005 4:56 PM   Subscribe

I'm asking this on my wife's behalf. As a plus-size woman, she's having trouble finding a proper swimsuit - one geared towards swimming as opposed to sunbathing. [more inside]

The rest of the details:

Ideally, it should have a high neck. More importantly, here's what it needs to not have: a skirt or a soft-cup bra. Her size is 18W and she's already tried Junonia and Land's End with no success. Is there any place else with a better selection?
posted by O9scar to Clothing, Beauty, & Fashion (10 answers total) 1 user marked this as a favorite
When I got my swimsuit in a slightly smaller size with similar requirements my tactic was to shop where the older people shopped. Stores like Talbots and Nordstroms stock plus sizes, have really nice quality stuff, and usually a good selection. A quick scan of their sites, however, and I didn't see much fitting your description. Oddly, the high neck seems to be more of a dealbreaker than the no soft-cups. A few more plus-sized sites that were close but no good were the Just My Size and the Swimsuits Just for Us. However, actually has swim and racing suits [some with cups and some without] many in sizes that go up to 20. In my world, they're the king of the high-neck sites and actually seem to have a variety of styles. I'd say try them first. LL Bean also has a couple of suits in sizes up to 18 but they've all got some sort of nefarious bra in them, whether it's the cups or the underwire or the weird stretchy shelf bra thing.
posted by jessamyn at 5:42 PM on February 3, 2005

North Shore Swimwear can cut and sew custom bottoms up to size 18 pants. They let you mix and match top and bottom styles for a perfect fit.
posted by gokart4xmas at 6:06 PM on February 3, 2005

H20 Wear has several suits that go to size 18 or 20, many with shelf bras and high necks.

There are one or two in the "plus size" section at Shore-fit Sunwear that don't appear to have soft-cups (and quite a few high-neck underwire styles in the "missy" section, which goes up to size 20). Is underwire ok?

This Speedo comes in 18 & looks promising. Not a super-high neck, but maybe an option?
posted by belladonna at 6:29 PM on February 3, 2005

A blog called The Pretty Pear has a bunch of links and information for plus-size folks. Your wife may find some useful information there.
posted by cyniczny at 6:35 PM on February 3, 2005

Response by poster: A clarification - the high neck is not a deal-breaker - it's just that some low cut styles let water in. The soft cup bra is by far the biggest issue.

And thanks for all the suggestions.
posted by O9scar at 7:03 PM on February 3, 2005

I've heard good things about Lane Bryant, but don't know if they have swimsuits.
posted by 6:1 at 7:14 PM on February 3, 2005

I have had excellent luck with JCPenny's - you can shop online and they have a lot of different styles. Good luck.
posted by blackkar at 7:22 PM on February 3, 2005

I used to be 20W. has an amazing selection of very swimmable swimsuits and they're inexpensive to boot. You can sort their suits by several different methods, the style, the cut, your body type, your size. This store was a godsend when I was that size, they really know how to cut clothes (including swimsuits) for plus sizes.
posted by palegirl at 9:11 PM on February 3, 2005

I haven't ever bought one, but Lands End has a wide variety in lots of different sizes.
posted by matildaben at 7:05 AM on February 4, 2005

I go bodyboarding with a woman in her 50s who wears a plus-size swimsuit. I'm not sure of other details but I know the brand is Speedo and she seems quite happy with it.
posted by onalark at 12:36 PM on February 4, 2005

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