How To Shop For Swimsuits When You've Got Big Boobs

Swimwear shopping is no walk in the park. It's like picking out lingerie, but lingerie that the general public will see you in. And, though you might put more consideration on color, pattern, and detail, also keep in mind that this little suit needs to perform, support, and feel comfortable enough to stay on your body in — and out — of the surf. This is especially the case for women who have big boobs.

The most difficult challenge for any busty woman looking for a one- or two-piece is finding something the provides enough support. No sagging, no spilling, no underboob, and nothing that squishes, either. And, chances are you've gone to great lengths to find it — trying on every swimsuit within a department store, ordering suits online only to return many, if not all of them, and mixing and matching brands, styles, and sizes just to find something that's up to the task. Yes, the struggle is real, but that shouldn't always be the case — at least not when you've got the right tools to help you. 

The eight tips ahead serve as guidelines to not only make swimwear shopping more successful for those with D cups and higher, but aim to give you a bit more freedom so you can actually enjoy your purchase. And, as far as finding that top that's up for the challenge, don't worry, we've got you.
1 of 9
Wide & Mighty
Opt for bikinis that don't cut stingily on the fabrics. Thick details, such as a wide band along the bottom of the bust and around the back, will help hold you in and give the upper part of your torso a bit more defintion.
2 of 9
Clever Blocking
A typical gripe that most busty women have — especially those with a comparatively slimmer waistline and hips — is that clothing that's made for fitting their chest falls way too big on the rest of their frame. The same can occur with a one-piece suit. But, as with a dress or top, colorblocking helps to minimize. Darker shades strategically placed along the waistline can help define a busty figure. On the other hand, if your goal is to minimize the appearance of your bust, look for styles that have darker shades on top and lighter ones along your midsection.
3 of 9
Keep Your Bra In Mind
Especially for ladies with a full chest, it helps to think about swimwear like you would underwear. Get measured, keep your exact bra size in mind, and start picking products that will cater to you. Brands like Freya, Cleo by Panache, and even the ASOS namesake line cater to cup sizes C-G, so you won't sacrifice a cute style for something that covers, or vice versa.
4 of 9

Avoid The Uni-Boob Effect
It's totally possible to find supportive swimwear that doesn't fit like a sports bra, which can often cause an unflattering uni-boob effect. Lane Bryant's senior designer for its Cacique line, Lynda Lund, recommends looking for styles with a defined neckline and molded foam cups that support and separate, like this plunging, pleated maillot. The convertible straps are an added plus — you can wear them straight or crisscrossed to further customize the fit.
5 of 9
Strap Smarts
Another element of your bra that should not be overlooked when it comes to swim shopping is the adjustable strap. If you have a short distance between your chest and your shoulders, a one-size-fits-all band will probably sag (causing you to do the same). Choose something like this Wolf and Whistle design, that adjusts all the way.
6 of 9
Stay In Control
Empower yourself to decide, and change your mind, about the amount of cleavage you want to show in your swimwear. A zip-front one-piece will not only allow you to adjust how low your top goes, but that V-neck shape is also flattering to elongate your neckline and torso.
7 of 9
Side Support
In general, retro-inspired shapes can be super complementary for a woman's fuller curves. This halter top with wide, side straps will provide more support than anything that's teeny. And, since these straps tie behind the neck, you can adjust how tight or loose you want your halter to fit — therefore providing a a little more lift, a snugger hold, and comfort to your liking.
8 of 9
Work The Lines
Like colorblocking, patterns are also helpful in selecting a one-piece suit that's flattering and defining for a woman with big boobs. Vertical lines inherently create a slimming appearance (if the goal is to minimize or balance proportions), but the offset of the horizontal stripes will highlight a smaller waist.
9 of 9
Rock Bottoms
Sometimes, the best way to flatter your shape and create balance in a busty frame is to focus on the bottoms. In this case, a wide-banded or statement-making option with bring more attention and dimension to your hips, thus complementing your ample upper half and shift the focus from one part of the body to the whole picture.

More from Shopping


R29 Original Series

Watch Now
Five love stories behind diverse, multicultural marriages.
Watch Now
Life experiments, 5 days at a time.
Watch Now
The style of subculture.
Watch Now
Viral trends, tried and tested.
Watch Now
From vibrators to lipstick, learn how your favorite products are made.
Watch Now
Extraordinary, one-of-a-kind individuals
Watch Now
The latest stories to watch.
Watch Now
Inside the homes of millennial women — & what they paid for them
Watch Now
Let's talk about sex, baby.
Watch Now
Female artisans around the world
Watch Now
Made by and for smart, opinionated women.
Watch Now
We helped 12 female directors claim their power.