So, here we are, beginning with full bust swimwear. This will be the first post of at least two posts – but really, however long it takes me to settle on the perfect swimsuits for this summer. In what follows, I will review a few triangle bikinis, some of ASOS’ current full bust offerings, and the Miss Mandalay Los Angeles bikini.
[First, a word on the validity of the following reviews. My reviews should be taken with a grain of salt, as I can only judge how clothing fits my particular breasts. If you are in my size range (28GG/30G), and have a similar shape to mine (even fullness to full on top, moderate projection, average root width, tall roots), you may find my reviews particularly relevant and helpful!]
As a young teen, before I grew my bosom (I was a late bloomer–but boy did it bloom!), I was never allowed to wear cute little triangle string bikini tops. Mom didn’t like them. Unfortunately, before long, I couldn’t wear cute little triangle string bikini tops. They simply didn’t come in my size. Let alone any other bikini top that I was aware of.
In the past few years, before I discovered full bust brands, I did have some luck with Old Navy, surprisingly: I could jam myself into their triangle bikinis in size XL. Now, it wasn’t the best fit, and string bikini tops are inherently too shallow for a bust with moderate projection. It wasn’t supportive, and it could be painful on the neck after awhile. It could be sexy, to some extent, but it would also flatten my boobs oddly from the side view. Tying the back and neck tight enough, especially if I did not force some unsuspecting companion to do so, was always a pain in the ass. Worst of all, the boobs would tend to want to leak out the bottom of the cups. Underboob is mortifying, for a gal like me.
However, if you are a little bit smaller than me cupwise, let’s say somewhere between 30E and 30FF (and all sister sizes) the Old Navy XL may be a good fit for you: if a string bikini is what you’re looking for. Here is a photo of poor me, trying to make this bikini top work:
A few years ago, I also splurged and bought a very expensive triangle bikini by Vix Swimwear, called Bia. This version, which you can still find here, at Nordstrom (at 25% off now), is advertised for D+ and up. It is a bit too small and shallow for me to be completely comfortable, but I believe it would do well for those between UK size 30E and 30FF (and sister sizes). See a photo below:
Bia is a gorgeous shade of tropical sea green (yeah I just made that up. light emerald maybe?). The bikini is worth its price tag, because it is such a soft and sexy fabric. The halter straps are thicker, so they do not hurt as much as string straps. On the straps are gold adjusters, which adjust up and down so that you can adjust coverage. Personally, I found that annoying, as they would move when I didn’t want them to, so I sewed them in place! You can observe in the photo, unfortunately, one boob trying to escape the bottom. Little Lucie needs some nice, tacking, wires!
Which leads us to a more recent development. A few months ago, I was headed towards a warm place for the holidays, where there was a good chance I would be able to sit in a jacuzzi under a palm tree regularly. With my new, recent wealth of full bust bra knowledge, and an entire tool chest of online stores to browse (Figleaves, Bravissimo, Herroom, etc.), I decided to try to find a bikini top that would actually fit, and in which I would feel confident.
I ended up being satisfied with a purchase from Figleaves (at half price, no less! Shopping swim in December is the way to go.): the Eda Bahia Hidden Wire Halter Bikini Top. I purchased a UK 30G. The top fit fairly well. Take a look at the photos:
As you can see, especially from the side view, the top offers a good amount of projection. The 30G runs large in the band; it seems closer to a 32. Luckily, since the top is a halter, the tightness of the band is not as important, so it still worked for me. The cups are a little small for a G, and I end up physically maneuvering my boobs slightly out the sides of the cups so that I don’t get a bit of quadboob in the middle. Thus, the top is not the perfect fit for me, but for a bikini top it is more than sufficient – and much better than my triangle bikinis above. Moreover, it is a splendid blue color, and the gold adjusters this time do not annoy me–they actually stay in place.
The past few weeks, I have started looking for bikini tops again. If all goes to plan, I will be honeymooning this summer–so I really want to find an assortment of bikinis that I can feel sexy, pretty, or sexy/pretty in! Somehow, I came across ASOS (I had never shopped there before), and found that the ASOS brand has a DD+ full bust range that goes up to a UK G. And they were half the price point of full bust brands Freya, Panache, Curvy Kate, et al. I mean, $30 for a full bust bikini top seems almost uncanny. Furthermore, ASOS offers free shipping and free, easy returns to the U.S. And, a 10% student discount, to top it all off. Here is what I tried from their range:
First up is the “ASOS FULLER BUST Mix and Match D+ Plunge Halter Bikini Top DD-G” in black. This top does not feature molded cups (which I’m happy about), and is made out of a stretchy (but suitably thick) swim fabric. There are many colors, and some prints, of this bikini top, and they range in price from those on sale at around $9 (from last year) to full price which is around $30. Here is what UK size 30FF (US size 30H) looks like:
I was really surprised the 30FF in this style fit so well, because a 30G in other styles was too small. So, it seems like ASOS has some pretty inconsistent sizing. However, the inconsistency for me may be in part due to breast shape. Of all ASOS’ offerings that I’ve tried so far, this style offers the most projection–indeed, a good amount of projection! There is no smushing flat against my chest going on here. Each boob is allowed to take a nice, round shape. This top is extremely supportive, and runs true to size (if it’s not a teeny big in the cup for a 30FF–though maybe it’s just stretchy). The 30 band is a firm 30–I love it!–and would be great even for 28 bands. The wires and gore tack beautifully, and there’s actually some Y cleavage going on here–something I usually don’t get in bras. Hmm, ASOS brings the magic!
In the same style, I also purchased a larger cup size in two different colors. I had interesting results. Here is a UK 30G (US 30I) in marine blue, on sale now for $8. Here is the link.
This marine top is one cup size larger than the black top, but is actually smaller in the cup. Hmmm. It is a bit too small for me, and I quadboob a bit. I really love the look and the color, and wonder if I should keep it since it’s only $8.
But the UK 30G Fuller Bust Mix & Match Plunge Halter Bikini Top in white is much more true to size. It is definitely bigger than the black 30FF above, and I’m wondering if it is almost too big for me. Take a look:
There is actually a little wrinkling in the cup, and so much projection that my boobs felt a little less stable than in the 30FF (like they might roll out). Ultimately however, this bikini top is very wearable, and the white color is glamorous (although I did, in fact, return it).
Now, compare the ASOS style above, with the Miss Mandalay Los Angeles, below (which you can also purchase from ASOS -on sale right now for $68!, as well as from Breakout Bras and Bravissimo). The tops are similar, because they both feature non-moulded cups and double string halter straps. However, they do have a bit of a different shape, and hold the breasts differently. I ended up liking both, and thought both were flattering in different ways. The catch is this: Miss Mandalay Los Angeles retails for around $85. Nearly triple the price of the similar ASOS top! Is it worth the price?
I hate myself for this, but I think it is worth the price (at least, for me). I purchased a UK 28GG (US 28J). A 28H or 30GG would probably fit me best in the cup, as the cups on the 28GG were a little too small (therefore, I do think this style runs small in the cups), but the 28GG is still wearable. The 28 band is a nice and tight 28 band. Compared to the ASOS top, these cups are more shallow (though not as shallow as a string triangle top), but they are also wider, and hold the breasts close to the body. They give a more minimizing look, but still with pretty sexy cleavage. The top is very supportive and everything feels held in, and like it’s not going anywhere. In addition, the split gore in the middle gives Los Angeles a little more game than the ASOS top! And maybe I’m crazy, and have been too primed by the high price tag, but the top feels a little more luxe as well. I couldn’t help it – I’m keeping it!
All right. Two more, and we’re done for now. Here is an “ASOS FULLER BUST Mix and Match Spot 50s Halter Padded Bikini Top” which I picked up last week for $8. Again, a steal. There are many colors and patterns in this style as well. I ordered this style in UK 30G (US 30I). Here’s a few photos:
This style, as you can see, runs small, shallow, or both. In the last picture you can see the significant quadboobing. It’s a shame, because it’s a pretty style, and a nice change from all the more open-chested plunges above. I am wondering if this top runs small because it is an older version, and that perhaps the newer versions are made truer to size. It is definitely a style I would like to try again.
Finally, here is the “ASOS FULLER BUST Lily Floral Hidden Underwired Bikini Top DD-G.” This same style comes in many colors and prints, including some that have matching high waisted bottoms! There are quite a few tops in this style that are on sale for around $9.
I did want to get a colorful bikini top, and this meets the requirement nicely. The fabric of this top is also incredibly soft. But here’s the issue with the sizing: Above is a UK 32G (US 32I). The 30G had been too small in the cup, by far. I surmised that perhaps a 32 band would fit, since the 30 band was fairly tight. I was correct. I can confirm that, at least in this style, a 32 band is tight enough to work on a 28 back. The increased cup size was a lot better, too, but that brings up another issue: compared to the Mix and Match Plunge Halter Bikini above, this top is designed much more shallow. It is a little too shallow for me, and I get some quadboob near the center of the top. So, if you’re shallow, this is your top! If you’re much more projected, go for the Mix and Match Plunge Halter.
So, there’s a brief look at some full bust possibilities this swim season. The main takeaway, I think, it that ASOS is a good place to start your own search. They offer 6 or 7 different, and very inexpensive, full bust styles (I only reviewed 3 kinds here), including longlines and bandeaus – as well as some pretty cute bottoms. On the website for each ASOS brand item, you can usually also click play to see a model walk down the runway wearing the bathing suit! Not to mention, of course, the free shipping and free returns.
To be frank, I was hesitating to tell you guys about ASOS, because I kind of want it all for myself! 😉
And hey, let me know how my first “review” post was. Advice or suggestions are welcome!