Are you smaller than a C cup? If so, this post is not for you.
As a large-breasted woman, I have a major complaint for swimwear manufacturers: Can we get some support in our bathing suit tops, specifically tankinis? Those of us D cupped or greater have minimal selection for swimwear that supports.
When it comes to selecting a bathing suit, we have either shelf bras (a piece of elastic that sits under your breasts and hardly does anything), soft cup bras (which simply hold your breasts in place, or tries to), or you have underwire, which is the most supportive and bra-like option.
Finding an underwire in a bikini is far more common than not. After all, a bikini is very similar to a bra. But, not all of us want to wear a bra to the beach. So, fortunately now we have the option to wear a tankini – great!
However, even 70% of tankinis don’t even have underwires in them – just shelf bras or soft cups. The tankinis that do have underwires are hard to find; not to mention they usually cost more than $100 just for the top!
Even one piece suits have minimal support. However, since I don’t buy one piece swimsuits, I don’t have enough information to include them here.
The best tankini bathing suits that I have been wearing for the past few years were from Land’s End. The tankini tops were made from good quality fabric and you could get a good underwire in them. At around $60 a top, they were also much more affordable. But lately even the Land’s End suits have been lacking in style and underwire options. Give me a suit with a trendy design and fun colors! Don’t bore me with polka dots, make me wider with horizontal stripes, or make me seem older with some old-fashioned floral design!
But the bigger issue for me is the breast support. We walk around all day in supportive and pricey bras. Why are we supposed to hit the beach with hardly any support? Some people walk on the beach for exercise; others play volleyball. Let’s just say most women need support doing these activities and there is little available out there that isn’t in a bikini form.
I’ve spent countless hours looking online and in stores for ANY kind of bathing suit top with a wire. I don’t even look at styles or colors. My first requirement is a wire. If it’s only a shelf or soft cup bra, I keep looking.
The average American woman’s bra size, according to lingerie retailer Intimacy, is a 34DD. DD breasts need support! And since 50% of women wear a one piece or tankini top with bottoms, she’ll need better support than a piece of elastic in a shelf bra.
Just because I want to go to the beach, that doesn’t mean I need to give up functionality, support, or fashion. With so many retailers out there, we shouldn’t have to go without. The extra fabric for a bra is already in most of these swimsuits already. Adding a wire and making more specific sizing doesn’t seem like a stretch.
As for my endless search this year for a new suit, I had to settle on a $100 tankini underwire top from Everything but Water. I sincerely hope it lasts me a few years. I really don’t want to have to go out and search for swim support again. Of course, my husband wants me to give up the tankini to find support in a bikini top. No thanks. After two kids and decades of yo-yo dieting, I’d rather keep my midsection covered. But that’s just me.
Anybody else frustrated by our choices of supportive swimwear? Let me know in the comments.