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Bathing Suits for Girls With Big Boobs

1989_baywatch_003

The Baywatch babes got their suits specially made to hold up their chests.

I have big boobs. 36Ds, to be precise, a measurement recently confirmed by not one, but two different bra fitters after I haughtily insisted that I knew my body and I was most definitely a C-cup. Turns out, they know my five-foot, three-inch body better than I did.

I like my large chest well enough. I look phenomenal in dresses made to accentuate curves and my boobs aren’t so big that I suffer from health problems like a good friend who is considering reduction surgery after years of lower back pain.

The only time I find myself longing to be smaller is when I’m clothes shopping in the summer, when I stare longingly at skinny-strapped dresses and halter tops. Shoving 36Ds into a strapless bra and expecting them to stay in place is a little like sticking a spoon to your nose. It’ll work for a while, but it’s not a permanent bond.

I’ve avoided the bathing suit dilemma for the past seven years by simply not wearing one. This is not as hard as you would expect when you factor in that I can’t swim — ask me about that one over drinks sometimes — and that both my boyfriend and I make our livings creatively so we don’t have a lot of cash to blow on vacations.

But this summer, I need a bathing suit. I’m going on a week-long trip to Ocean City, Maryland, and am very much looking forward to splashing in the ocean and reading on the beach. If only I can find something to wear.

I don’t think my criteria is especially strict. I would like my boobs to safely strapped to my chest. I’m not going to be jogging along the beach in my bathing suit top, but if a particularly strong wave hits me, I’d like to feel confident that I am not pulling a Janet Jackson at the Superbowl. It should also be Not Ugly. I’m not saying it has to be cute, but it should not make me visibly cringe when I see it on the hanger.  I’m open to one-piece suits, though I’d much prefer a two-piece, because while I am pretty short — approximately 5’3” — I have a long torso, which makes me a tricky fit. Also, I am 25 years old and I work hard to be skinny, dammit. No granny suits for me, please.

Per recommendations from other well-endowed friends, I ordered a suit from J. Crew. When it arrived, I excitedly tried it on in my un-air-conditioned bedroom. The lining was so thin, my nipples showed through and there was such minimal support that my usually perky chest seemed to be reaching for the floor.

I’ve now been on the hunt for two weeks and have tried on 36 suits in five stores. The only one that was even an option in terms of fit was hideously floral and came up so high on my waist that I looked like I was trying to hide a big belly underneath. I’ve also scoped out Athleta.com, which carries swimsuits for women with C to DD cups. I’m sure these suits are serviceable but they’re also ugly as sin.

I have realized that whatever suit I buy must — MUST — have an underwire, which is harder to find than you might imagine. This morning, in a fit of desperation, I ordered this suit from Anthropologie.

Particle Mosaic Top and Bottom, Anthropolgie, $216

For a whopping $216 (plus tax and shipping!), I am hoping that this suit will fit appropriately. If not, I’ve got a list of back-ups to order. See them below the jump.

Also: I’d love to hear from you on this topic. I’m sure that I am not the only big-boobed girl who has run into this problem. Where did you find an appropriate swimsuit? How much did you pay for it? And if you’re a lady with smaller breasts, what other problems do you have when shopping for a swimsuit? We may feature your comments in a future post.

This cute blue bikini with underwire will only run you about $50. But be warned: The sizing is not good for your self esteem. My 36Ds require a XXL.

American Eagle

American Eagle

For reasons I will never comprehend, this suit comes with padding and underwire. But, the padding is removable and it comes in a ton of bright, cheery colors. You can also choose from a variety of bottoms so you’re sure to get an appropriate amount of coverage — no matter how you define appropriate.

Victoria's Secret

Victoria's Secret

This simple, elegant suit carries sizes up to a 38DD and most user reviews are favorable.

Nordstrom

Nordstrom

This suit comes in a variety of colors. I don’t love how much in resembles regular undergarments, but for someone looking for something simple, it’ll do the trick.

Venus

Venus


erica | Jun 29 2010 8:38am | FASHION, SHOPPING, body, wtf?, bathing suits, boobs, summer | Comments 21

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Josh  says:

Shouldnt an article about bathing suits for girls with big boobs actually feature bathing suits worn by girls with big boobs? Just sayin…..

Jun 29 9:51 AM

Tweets that mention Bathing Suits for Girls With Big Boobs | PW Style | A blog about style, fashion, beauty, arts and culture by Philadelphia Weekly -- Topsy.com  says:

[...] This post was mentioned on Twitter by PWStyle, Yancey @YanceyG. Yancey @YanceyG said: Bathing Suits for Girls With Big Boobs: The Baywatch babes got their suits specially made to hold up their chests…. http://bit.ly/clfqrw [...]

Jun 29 9:53 AM

Lo  says:

I have basically the exact opposite problem. And I’m now on a mission to find that adorable American Eagle bikini. Thanks!

Jun 29 10:45 AM

Annie  says:

As a fellow large chested woman, I feel your pain. I actually purchased bathing suits from Target that don’t make me look like a grandma and also don’t let my boobs do whatever they want.

Josh – she didn’t feature large-chested women because there are none to be featured…that’s kind of the point of the article.

Jun 29 10:45 AM

Jaime  says:

Check out figleaves.com and barenecesseties.com – that’s where I shop and I am much larger than a D. MUCH.

Jun 29 10:49 AM

Christine  says:

Bare Essentials on Rt. 202 in Wilmington, DE. Amazing. The whole shop is FOR well-endowed ladies, and after years of frustration (I wear a 32E), it’s the only place I’ll go. I got a two-piece for about $120, and I haven’t felt so hot AND secure in a bathing suit since before puberty. Love love LOVE!

Jun 29 10:55 AM

emily g  says:

Is it me or did the Victoria’s Secret model get a particularly terrible retouching job? Look at her freakishly long torso!

Jun 29 12:11 PM

bw  says:

lands end carries simple styles in large cup sizes, victorias secret , and http://www.maliamills.com/

Jun 29 12:14 PM

Ashley  says:

I have DD’s and I totally understand you…try being that big and barely 5 foot, I feel like a mini Fembot…you should try victoria secret, I had really good luck with them.

Jun 29 8:12 PM

erica  says:

Update! After soul-searching and a lot of these comments, I ordered the Victoria’s Secret suit. God willing, it’ll fit and I can return the horrendously overpriced one from Anthropologie. Thanks for the input, everyone!

Jun 29 8:30 PM

Andrea  says:

Love the article. From one large chested girl to another have you tried Lands End? Some of the suits are total grandma style but this year they are really cute.
I’ve gotten a few tankinis from there and they actually make a ton of different sizes for each suit. The have D cups, DD cups, mastectomy, regular torso, short torso, long torso, etc. and they are totally affordable plus you can mix and match top and bottoms. They are pretty true to size too. I got a tankini d cup top and it fits really well. Plus this is the time of year where they start to put everything on sale!

Jun 30 7:06 AM

Sarah  says:

My 36DDD’s are horrific when it comes to bathing suit shopping! The current suits i have are made by esther williams.. and one from TJ Maxx that has underwire and great support. I lucked out, but i dread my next swim suit purchase. I hope the anthro suit works out for you, but i find that most stuff there runs small in the chest area! my fingers are crossed!

http://www.figleaves.com is a decent resource for suits in big cup sizes, though! i might need to order another one next year.

also.. i really love this suit.. and it’s custom made from your measurements!
http://www.lightvisionstore.com/shop/swimwear/black-high-waisted-two-piece

Jun 30 6:25 PM

Bathing Suits for Girls With Big Boobs: Success! | PW Style | A blog about style, fashion, beauty, arts and culture by Philadelphia Weekly  says:

[...] huge thanks to everyone who commented on my recent post bemoaning the difficulties of finding a supportive bathing suit. Per the advice of many readers (and lots of friends who commented on my Facebook; friend me! And [...]

Jul 7 9:59 AM

Sarah  says:

Yeah, I’m a professional bra fitter and 36D does not constitute big boobs. They look like they’re about a b-c to anyone else’s eyes, but end up in a D because the rib cage is small. Like, if someone’s measuring people but not the weird V’s Secret way, people would be shocked at what their measurement was. Letters in bra sizes really don’t mean much of anything in regards to the appearance of someone’s boob size. This misconception drives me crazy. It’s just the result of the math of the measurement. Not until about a 36DDD does the person start “looking” busty. I’ve had girls say that Lane Bryant, which is usually considered only a plus size store, have had excellent luck with their bathing suits that go down to a 36d, and have molded cups and underwire in them.

But, anyway -

Aug 3 11:18 AM

Lisa  says:

I found a great one by Freya… have you tried them? I wear a 32FF/30G and find that most tops in those sizes are really ugly… they come up really high in the chest and basically look like bras. But this Freya suit was one of the few halters I could find, and I love the ruffle detail. The downside is that the knot in the halter can hurt the back of my neck after a while, but that’s why you make sure that you are getting the smallest band size that will fit. I would also check your fit again since most retailers selling bras have no clue what they’re doing. Anyway, here’s the link for the Freya suit: http://www.figleaves.com/us/product.asp?product=Freya-Swim-Pier-Underwired-Halter-Bikini-Top&product_id=FBF-AS3019&size=&colour=Reds

Sep 28 12:25 AM

pikavippi  says:

You certainly deserve a round of commendation as a remedy for your fill someone in on and most importantly, ur blog as a whole. Bleeding rich calibre material.

Dec 14 9:14 AM

patty  says:

i am 14 and have a size c chest! ughh i hate it so much. i am on the hunt for a bikini top that is shaped like a sports bra if anyone knows of a place to get them that would besuper helpful!!

Dec 20 4:48 PM

Leah  says:

im a size D& in everything else it works out great, except bathing suits. i mean come on now, whats up with the yarn tied onto the tiny triangles, it doesnt make sense. im skinny i weigh 120 pounds im 5′4, but wtf???? ive basically given up -_____-

Jun 25 8:37 AM

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Mar 16 7:46 PM

Alex  says:

I just bought a bathing suit top from barenecessities.com, one of the Freya ones, so fingers crossed it fits when I get it! But they’re having a super clearance something sale that let me get the top super cheaply, and I figure that I can find a black bottom somewhere else that’s also reasonably inexpensive. That’s the one good thing about bathing suits being sold as separates. Bare Necessities was great because a lot of the suits come with a wide variety of band and cup sizes, including bands as small as 28, which can be almost impossible to find in stores. So these comments were actually super helpful for me!

Jul 9 10:45 PM

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