Voluptuous in all the wrong places : swimsuit edition
March 4, 2013 8:03 PM   Subscribe

I need 2 swimming suits for an upcoming beach vacation. I'm having problems finding tops that fit because I'm bigger, but have a small bust.

I'm a US size 16, with a B cup. I'm totally fine finding lots of swim bottoms that fit without a problem, but all of the tops are designed for much bustier ladies. I've Googled and found one company, Roxanne, that sells swimwear by bra size, but that's it. Is there more out there? Certain styles I should look for? Are bathing suit tops tailorable? I would greatly prefer a tankini style or one-pieces. A typical triangle top might work well, but I don't think I could confidently show that much skin.

Thanks for your help!
posted by Fig to Clothing, Beauty, & Fashion (18 answers total) 7 users marked this as a favorite
Figleaves sells tops by bra size.
posted by chiababe at 8:11 PM on March 4, 2013

Lands end
posted by pearlybob at 8:12 PM on March 4, 2013 [2 favorites]

JCrew sells by the piece but you'll have to look at the sizing chart to figure out what the sizes translate to.
posted by Bunglegirl at 8:13 PM on March 4, 2013

There are two-pieces that look essentially like one pieces. Those might work, buying different sizes for top and bottom. I know I've seen them at Old Navy and at Target, but I don't have specific brand recommendations. There are some on herroom.com, too. It does end up more expensive, I think, than buying a whole suit together, but those retailers aren't all that expensive in the first place.

Also, try googling for "retro" bikinis. They cover a lot more than modern ones and seem to me often to be made for the figure you describe.
posted by INTPLibrarian at 8:16 PM on March 4, 2013

Lands End is a good place to start. Also Title Nine.
posted by radioamy at 8:18 PM on March 4, 2013

J. Crew actually does sell some of their suit tops in actual bra sizes... primarily the ones that are designed like bras. Here's one that comes in a variety of different colors. I'm little on top and I love their suit tops. I have this one in a 34B and it's lovely.
posted by two lights above the sea at 8:18 PM on March 4, 2013

I'd stay away from anything that says "soft cup bra". I'm a B too and can never fill those things out. Shelf bra is better for me. And second LandsEnd.
posted by cecic at 8:25 PM on March 4, 2013

Best answer: Oh, I'm sorry! I totally missed that you prefer one-piece. That complicates things, but you could always go this route? Not size with bra sizing but I suspect that wouldn't matter much for that piece. Very chic and forgiving.
posted by two lights above the sea at 8:26 PM on March 4, 2013

Best answer: Lime Ricki, maybe?
posted by hooray at 8:35 PM on March 4, 2013

Nordstrom also carries mix and match swimwear, which could work well for tankinis.
posted by quince at 9:31 PM on March 4, 2013

Best answer: Athleta tankini tops are sold by bra size.
posted by Sidhedevil at 9:36 PM on March 4, 2013

Although it can be daunting, I have found that wading through the swimsuit section at department stores can actually be helpful, they tend to carry a lot of variety. IIRC I found a bra-sized swimsuit at Dillards a few years ago.
posted by radioamy at 10:18 PM on March 4, 2013

If you decide to go the retro route, Pin Up Girl Clothing might be a good source. They don't size specifically by bra size, but their sizing charts have a rep for being accurate and they let you see the model's measurements! So maybe hunt around for a model with a similar build so you can see how the suit would look. I've heard their customer service is also very very knowledgeable and helpful.
posted by WidgetAlley at 11:24 PM on March 4, 2013

Seconding Athleta. Expensive but I've found their swimsuits, particularly the ones where the top is shaped like a running bra (wide straps) accommodate wide rib cages but smaller breasts.
posted by notcomputersavvy06 at 4:17 AM on March 5, 2013

Best answer: It might be worth giving Popina a call; they're lovely people and could probably advise you about which suits would fit you best.
posted by dizziest at 12:05 PM on March 5, 2013 [1 favorite]

Came in to recommend Popina as well. I bought my first bathing suit in years at their shop and it was a wholly pleasant experience. They are great at what they do.
posted by garden hoe at 12:25 PM on March 5, 2013

I was also going to recommend Athleta, which offers a lot of tankini styles, sized by bra size. They are expensive, but they really are sized well.

But, yes, you can have a swim top tailored, but you might want a tailor or seamstress, rather than a drycleaner who mostly just does hems or sleeves.
posted by crush-onastick at 7:58 PM on March 5, 2013

Response by poster: Thanks y'all -- now I've got too many options, and need to limit myself :)
posted by Fig at 7:05 PM on March 12, 2013

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