Friday, 6 July 2012

Swimsuit Season

It's swimsuit season again. Not that you'd guess if you step outdoors into the pouring rain! But for those of us off to sunnier climes at some point in the next couple of months, making sure we have light, cool, skimpyish clothes and swimwear we feel good in can be stressful and frustrating. Warning: I'm in the mood for a bit of a rant.

Why is it that if a woman needs a bikini top with a decent amount of support in a cup size larger than a C, we have to pay more for our swimwear and can't just pop into any old high street shop and pick up a bikini or one one piece for £19.99 like all the smaller busted women out there? I've been into every single shop and scoured the websites online and I am so annoyed to find that the only costumes that fit me a) cost far more than the non-cup size ones and b) seem to come in gross, ugly, flowery fabrics more suitable for my great grandmother c) don't provide good comfort - halter necks, when you have a big bust, are not great. My neck gets quite tired of holding my bosoms up all morning!

Have you ever tried to buy a bikini with a 32E top? The cheapest one I could find (apart from M&S where none of them appealed to me at all) was £64. £64!!!! From Bravissimo. That's crazy. And I didn't even like it, the colours and pattern were garish and far too bright. I loved a stripy one I saw in a high street shop for £20 but even the size 16 top (two tiny little triangles attached to a string no thicker than a shoe lace) barely covered me.

I have had this problem since I was 15 years old. I can still remember the horrible shopping trips to buy me swimwear with my mother, and sadly, infuriatingly, very little has changed.

Why is it that women with larger breasts are not catered for? I don't get it. Is there not a market out there for attractive swimsuits in large sizes? But then, I know it's the same for all clothes in larger sizes. There is so little choice, so little available. A few retailers include the larger sizes in their collections but walk into most high street shops or designer stores and you'll be lucky to find anything above a size 16.

Surely this is an untapped market? How is it that some clever entrepreneur hasn't cottoned on the fact that women of all sizes need to dress and like to dress well? Is it just that designers are all prejudiced or that there's no way to get investment or support to create attractive clothes and swimwear that fit all women, not just slim ones?

I am utterly fed up. I want to go and buy myself a pretty bikini which fits me well without having to spend a fortune. As it stands I have to make do; with colours I don't like and shapes that don't suit me - and all at a ridiculous price.

I would love to hear your experience of buying swimwear and if anyone has any great shops or websites where you can buy affordable and attractive ones in a 32E, do let me know.


  1. There's lots on in varying prices - and you might be lucky and get something in their sale.

    My bugbear is finding swimsuits for a 36G without any ridiculous padding or built-in cups. I just want a sensible swimsuit with a shelf to keep my boobs off my waist, that I can swim in. Luckily Zoggs seem to understand - but again, they're not very cheap.

    BTW UK sea temperature is currently around 14 degrees. I've been going in since March - rain doesn't matter when you're going to get wet anyway!

    Hope you find a lovely bikini and have a fab holiday.

  2. Hi Anna,
    I have looked on Figleaves many times but I find what I talked about - that the bikinis for cup sizes are not as nice and are FAR more costly than the regular, non cup size ones. There are a few that are OK but on the whole they are ugly and overpriced.

    14 degrees... you are a brave woman! That sounds cold to me when I'd have to get out of the water and stand in the same 14 degrees. Fine when the outside temp is 30 and I can bask in the sun while I dry :-)

    1. Hi Sophie, sorry to hear Figleaves has disappointed you too. Maybe it's time to investigate naturist beaches?!?

      You're right, getting out of the water when the air temperature isn't tropical is a bit a challenge. I like to think that my ability to withstand the cold is a very positive benefit of having excellent, in-built insulation (like a seal)! Here's the proof:

  3. Hi Sophie, Try Tesco - our local Tesco Extra has a good selection.

  4. Hi Sophie - is there anything you like at They have a wide selection and it's reasonably nice. I take your point about cost though - I am GG/H cup and long ago resigned myself to paying extra for bras/swimwear that fits. :-(

  5. You need to talk to the brilliant Georgina from She knows her big-boob bikinis.

  6. Most of Debenham's bikinis go up to an E cup, and they have nice ones that go up higher too and they have some in the sale. I found that I tried on an 18 recently and it didn't fit in the cup area!! (I'm a 12 normally) I've been annoyed by the fact that unless you want a hideous bras M and S maternity bras do not go above DD. I was a 34DD to start with now I'm a 36E and bound to get bigger, surely maternity bras should be made bigger as some people go up 4 cup sizes. In the end I bought bikinis for my holiday from Debenhams and maternity bras online and thankfully they fitted.

  7. Thanks leni and to all of you who made suggestions. I have found a couple of bikinis but I have to say I would not have chosen the colours for patterns if I'd had more choice and there were many more non cup sized ones I preferred. Ho hum! Whatever the style and colour of my bikini I shall enoy swimming in it and basking in the sun!


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