How do I keep my breasts under control while swimming?
May 15, 2011 3:14 PM   Subscribe

I need a swimsuit that will keep my breasts under control while swimming. Help please!

I love to swim, and want to join my local gym just for the pool. However, my breasts are quite large and I need to find a good swimsuit that will keep those suckers supported and unexposed while swimming. In the past I've gone with Lands' End suits, and they seem to work out well, but the one I currently own is now too big, and I'm wondering if there's anything better out there.

I'm about a size 16/18 in normal clothes and bra size is 40 F. I would prefer something with wired support, or something so form-fitting that it sucks the girls in. But with breasts like this, it's hard to find something that holds up well.

Can anyone point me in the right direction? If you can give me specific model numbers for suits you've tried, that would be great. Thanks!
posted by Sal and Richard to Clothing, Beauty, & Fashion (17 answers total) 26 users marked this as a favorite
Have you thought about wearing an underwire bikini top underneath a one piece swimsuit? You'll get the support from the underwire top and then the one piece worn over that will keep your boobs in place.
posted by MaryDellamorte at 3:23 PM on May 15, 2011 [2 favorites]

I wore a water polo suit when lifeguarding many years ago. My chest is not nearly as large, but they aren't small by any means. The suit zips up to the neck in the back, and the armholes are high. I am your dress size, so is something to consider. Perhaps with the underwire bikini suggested by MaryDellamorte, it might work.
posted by oflinkey at 3:26 PM on May 15, 2011

Best answer: Look for suits made by Fantasie or Freya, try the UK bra site Bravissimo (ships internationally) or

Not cheap (although once you know the best size/style you can pick up more on ebay), but I'm a 34G and I really have found it's worth it to pay up and get something great rather than try to cobble together a solution.
posted by crabintheocean at 3:30 PM on May 15, 2011 [1 favorite]

Best answer: Here is Bravissimo's current selection of one-pieces. Despite the way some of them look, they are all underwired with serious bra support.
posted by crabintheocean at 3:33 PM on May 15, 2011 [1 favorite]

I wear a sports bra under my suit. If you get the colors and cut lined up right, it actually looks ok and works really well. I hate under-wires with a fiery passion, but I'm sure you could find a suitable under-wire bra top.
posted by charmcityblues at 3:59 PM on May 15, 2011

Freya suits are good - they go by bra size. I had one when I was a 38F and it was grand.

It looks like has their own brand of underwired suits that are also by bra size. I don't see that they go up to 40F, but you could probably do a 38G just fine.

Avoid halters. They're good at hiking the breasts up, but in my experience the neck strain isn't worth it. Also most of them are incredibly cleavagey.
posted by elsietheeel at 4:06 PM on May 15, 2011 [1 favorite]

Lands End has an "aquafitness suit" right now with options for D, DD, and DDD cups and up to size 18. You could also try the so-called miracle suits that are out there, which are super compression-y.

I think the key is to find a suit not just with a large cup, but that's actually made for active swimming rather than just hanging out the pool or beach. I have some suits with large cup sizes that I love, but they're not the best if I actually want to swim laps.
posted by bluedaisy at 4:18 PM on May 15, 2011 [1 favorite]

Maybe this one, from Dick's Sporting Goods? Though there's no underwire, the lining is 23% Spandex, so it sounds like the form-fitting factor would be fulfilled.

One caveat: This particular model is exclusive to this chain, so if the chain doesn't have your size online, you'll have to hope that your size is available at a bricks-and-mortar Dick's Sporting Goods near you (if there is one).
posted by virago at 4:36 PM on May 15, 2011

I've had good luck with water polo suits as well, and I've got a similar figure.
posted by restless_nomad at 4:57 PM on May 15, 2011

I heart my Speedo, though I didn't get the underwire. I'm 42DD.
posted by SMPA at 5:05 PM on May 15, 2011

I just bought this swim top a few days ago, and I can't recommend it highly enough. (I usually wear an 8/10, and a 32G bra. Yeah, they're hard to manage.) It's got a full bra inside it, complete with underwire cups and a band with hook-and-eye clasps in the back.

This top supports the girls like magic without the uniboob look I get from a sports bra. I'm shorter in the torso than the model in the picture, so the top is longer on me, which is totally fine as I'm not an exposed-stomach kind of girl.

I paired the top with a Miraclesuit skirted swimsuit bottom, and the combination of the two has created the first swim outfit I've had in years where I don't feel overexposed or self-conscious about bouncing or generally deeply uncomfortable.
posted by jesourie at 5:19 PM on May 15, 2011

Best answer: I second Bravissimo.

I am a size 10/12 in clothes and a 34GG brasize. After some initial sizing problems and mailing back and forth (which, yeah, was expensive) Bravissimo was PERFECT. I have two high quality tankini style tops that have built in underwire support, and have lasted about 2 years with no problems. ( I just buy whatever bottoms at target to save money on that half of the suit )

I've also worn them as shirts - I can never get camisole tops to fit me well. I have one with about inch thick straps and one with spaghetti straps, the thicker straps are more comfy, but I like them both.

You can order a catalogue from them, they'll send it for free, and they had excellent customer service the last time I called (especially about sizing confusion).

(Also, their dresses fit AMAZINGLY WELL. Before I found this catalogue, I really thought I was doomed to tailoring or ill fitting clothes for life.
posted by nile_red at 5:40 PM on May 15, 2011 [1 favorite]

(the models I have aren't sold anymore, unfortunately)
posted by nile_red at 5:42 PM on May 15, 2011

Response by poster: Thanks for the answers everyone. Nile_red, did the sizes tend to run large or small? I'm planning on ordering a suit from them but want to try to guesstimate the best I can to avoid shipping back and forth. Thanks.
posted by Sal and Richard at 7:14 PM on May 15, 2011

I wear a rash guard shirt while diving to prevent the old boob-popping-out. No support but definitely unexposed. I forgot it today and felt very naked.
posted by anaelith at 8:04 PM on May 15, 2011

The sizes tended to run small...I remember going up on the band size to give myself less of a tight fit on the top. (but this is after wearing the wrong size for years...I thought I was a 40DD, and then got fitted and turns out I was 34GG, and then for the bathingsuit I got a 36G) If you call them and get advice, make sure you tell them you're talking about US sizing.

It's a lot like a real bra built into a bathingsuit, it's tricky at first to figure out how to put on, but omg amazing.
posted by nile_red at 9:49 PM on May 15, 2011

Swimsuits For All has great options in athletic suits for all sizes. I have a similar build and have found their suits form-fitting enough not to need the underwire options. The high-neck suits are especially good for coverage and streamlining for comfortable lap swimming.
posted by judith at 11:30 PM on May 15, 2011

« Older Help me fix my home network - please!   |   Resist 'Ali Baba' gag - Resist 'Ali Baba' gag -... Newer »
This thread is closed to new comments.