1st time buying a bathing suit in 20+ years. Assistance needed!
July 1, 2014 2:17 PM   Subscribe

When I moved to a new city, I joined a nearby community fitness club that offers Aqua Fit. Only problem is: I haven't worn a bathing suit since childhood. Butterfly stroke snowflakes within.

My requirements for the suit: something with lots of support as I am a busty lady (36G), preferably cute, priced at $100 or less, and easily available in Canada.

I hope the Hive Mind can help as it would be all too easy to be reduced to tears at a store.
posted by Kitteh to Clothing, Beauty, & Fashion (19 answers total) 2 users marked this as a favorite
I am a 38-40G and I find that the most important part of a swimsuit bustwise is not what's under the boobs, but what's over them. If the neckline is low enough to demonstrate substantial cleavage, then the drag of the water threatens to pull my top down. I swim in a high neck racing swimsuit with a shelf bra and it's fine -- pricey and a bit hard to find if you're plus sized, but fine. My current swimsuit is from Land's End, and while it's a few years old, they look to have similar things in stock right now, and they ship to Canada.
posted by KathrynT at 2:29 PM on July 1, 2014 [5 favorites]

I think you should buy what you can and pair it with a matching sports bra. Then find an actual bra-size fitted swimming suit and have it shipped.

Figleaves.com ships to canada and you can search by cup size. Panache makes a great sport swimsuit for $92. I'm on my phone otherwise I would go link crazy for you!

I'm not busty but I'm thin with a mega backend which has meant me switching to a skirt type bottom at the ripe age of 24.

Don't get discouraged. Swimming suits are hell. That's why I vote for getting a fitted one for your bust.
posted by Crystalinne at 2:31 PM on July 1, 2014

Seconding Land's End. They ship to Canada, their suits are well-made, and they tend to have more conservative cuts (which reduces the chance of boob slippage). They also have some suits with support built in, and they do tankinis too, so if you're a different size on top than you are on the bottom, you can just order separates. Their return process is pretty simple as well.
posted by bedhead at 2:31 PM on July 1, 2014

Try a specialist lingerie store such as this one, which (from your profile) is in your town.
posted by essexjan at 2:32 PM on July 1, 2014

I've heard good things about the retro style one pieces on Modcloth... On my wish list!
posted by jrobin276 at 2:42 PM on July 1, 2014

Jrobin276, I ADORE the ModCloth one pieces (I own two) but they may not be perfect for this situation. They don't have underwire support and the ruching in the front is a whole second layer of fabric that can create a lot of drag. It's more a "sit by the pool feeling adorable, then go for a gentle paddle" suit than an water workout suit.
posted by mostlymartha at 2:45 PM on July 1, 2014

Nthing Lands' End, and their swimwear is on sale 40% off until midnight central time tonight. If you find a style you like, it will be almost a steal at the sale price. Very well made.
posted by vers at 2:54 PM on July 1, 2014 [2 favorites]

I'm a 42 I - nthing Lands' End suits. A few years ago I decided I wanted to swim again and I bought something like their Slender Tulip swim dress. It was the first suit I'd worn in 20 yrs. Liked it so much that I bought 3 more when they went on sale.
posted by Sal and Richard at 3:05 PM on July 1, 2014

Another lands end vote. Not only are they AMAZING on sizes and quality but you can return/exchange for any reason till they get it right. Best customer service. Glad to know about the sale.... I'm shopping tonight!!
posted by pearlybob at 3:08 PM on July 1, 2014

Another vote for Lands End.
posted by anastasiav at 3:14 PM on July 1, 2014

I came in here to suggest ....Land's End.

Now that that's out of the way :) Style-wise I suggest something specific to aqua aerobics or lap swimming. I think it goes by "aqua fitness " on the LE site. Before I started regularly swimming for exercise I used to wear a tankini + skirted bottom, and when I switched to a fitness/lap suit, even as a novice swimmer, I realized the drag from having a skirt is actually significant.

I also like suits with straps crossed in the back to reduce annoying strap slippage. I think a T or racer back style will also prevent that.
posted by NikitaNikita at 3:40 PM on July 1, 2014

Also, in case it's helpful, I'll add that if they ask you to wear a cap at your pool, definitely look into a lycra one from a swim store because it is WAY more comfortable. If your head isn't in the water, no need to be rubberized + aerodynamic in a tight silicone cap, IMHO. Also also, I left a comment on an earlier thread that might be helpful if you are new to the pool thing.:)
posted by NikitaNikita at 3:47 PM on July 1, 2014 [1 favorite]

mostlymartha is right (looking at their swimsuits on a computer now, instead of my phone). The one I had bookmarked a year (or more?) ago was underwire and had boning in it; the esther williams website is not the website of the designer I remember (unless they've redesigned and stopped with the wires/boning?). Unfortunately, I can remember what the website looked like (and the swimsuit!) but not the name. I'll comment back if I think of it, or if it turns out I have it bookmarked at home. Pregnancy has turned me into a 36f, so I'm with you on this one!
posted by jrobin276 at 3:58 PM on July 1, 2014

Lands End are nice suits, but for some reason they've never worked for me. They always make me look shlumpy. What has worked is a brand called Longitude (I don't understand this, as I am quite short waisted), and lo and behind you can get it in Canada. Their surplice shapes are so structured (including bust support) and flattering that I can literally buy them online without trying them on and they just work. Good luck!
posted by fingersandtoes at 4:09 PM on July 1, 2014 [2 favorites]

Look at Bravissimo. I have several swimsuits and bikinis from them and because they are bra-sized they fit well and are very supportive. They also have some cute styles this season, and postage to Canada is only £7.95. I'm a 30FF, swim a couple of km a week and have not noticed any problems with drag. Maybe if I was doing a lot of diving in, but not with normal use.
posted by tinkletown at 4:42 PM on July 1, 2014 [1 favorite]

My first time buying a swimsuit in 35 years or so, I shopped at Bare Necessities. Me, I bought this one, and it really looks terrific and is swimmable.
posted by janey47 at 5:29 PM on July 1, 2014 [1 favorite]

The Esther Williams one piece I bought this season has boning but no underwire. It's quite supportive but the halter may be too much weight on your neck.
posted by fiercecupcake at 5:36 PM on July 1, 2014

I recently bought a racerback tankini at Addition Elle in Toronto for $56. They let you mix and match tops and bottoms. The one I picked isn't on the website or else I would link you... it was on the clearance rack. I'm 6'1", size 14/16, bra size 38 F/G and the smallest-size top and second-smallest bottom at AE fit me perfectly.
posted by cranberrymonger at 9:25 AM on July 2, 2014

Thanks, everyone! I ended up buying a Land's End swimsuit and am very very happy with it!
posted by Kitteh at 12:25 PM on August 1, 2014 [2 favorites]

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