The Secrets to Swimwear Shopping Success

By Linda the Bra Lady on December 8th, 2011

So I’ve helped you find the perfect bra. Hurray! That’s what I do. But did you know that I also carry a wide range of bathing suit styles? Even at the beach, you need to be supported. Just because you are taking a vacation doesn’t mean that your breasts can. Besides, wearing a bathing suit it the closest that many of us come to wearing lingerie in public. In such a fragile situation more important than ever to wear the right garment so you can truly feel your best.

You may be thinking “why in the world is Linda writing about swimsuits in the winter?” First of all, I’m worldwide! So some of my friends on the other side of the equator are actually in the middle of Summer! And second, it’s much easier to feel confident when you go to the beach during the summer: you’re tan, you’ve been slurping fruit and playing outdoors. But, for those that want to indulge in a winter vacation, they’re dealing with pastey skin and a season of wolfing down gravy, eggnog and pie. In your weakest hour, I’m here to help!

Cup Size: Luckily, many of my favorite bra brands also make some of my favorite swimwear! Imagine if you’re a 34F or a 40D and you were asked to buy your bras in small, medium or large. I don’t think so! I carry swimsuits from AA-K cup. You read that right. Get the same support and shape you get from your bras in your swimsuit top. Remember, just like bras, styles and fit vary by brand and style. And just like a petite bust who wants a push up or demi cup, or a fuller bust who needs more coverage, the cup style matters too. Remember, you’ll get the best fit from a cup sized swimsuit top if you get fit or refit by a professional bra fitter, like me! Can’t make it into the store? Pay attention to my suggestions on each item’s Fitting Support, or ask my Bra Divas for help.

Band Size: Again, just like bras, your back band gives the most of your support! So many women tell me “I don’t want the back to dig in – everyone on the beach will see my back fat”. I have the same answer for women who complain about this and their bras: Get over it! A lifted bust will always help you look and feel your best, so without clothes to cover you up, it’s even more obvious if your bust is sliding down your front. Believe me, a lot less people look at the back of you. Focus on the front first!

Underwire vs. Non-Underwire: If you have been blessed with a perfectly perky bust, you can wear a little triangle bikini top or other non-underwire style. But, if your breasts need a bit more lift, try an underwire bathing suit top! Many women don’t associate an underwire with lounging around on the beach, but in the right size, you’ll actually feel more comfortable. Not to mention how supported and secure you’ll feel if you decide to pick up a game of volleyball, dive into the pool or chase after the kids! Just like in your basic bras, an underwire can add more support for those with more to support.

Swimwear for your shape and lifestyle: Women come in all different shapes and sizes and knowing what styles best compliment your own shape will make shopping so much easier. Take a look at a few options below.

  • Women with petite breasts who enjoy a fabulous push up bra or want to create a little more curve on the beach will love the Panache Atlantis line. Their suits are super stylish, but also have built in push ups! Another line, Voda, has string bikini styles with that extra bump. No one will have to know! It’s our little secret. And, because the padding is built in, you won’t have to  run the risk of finding floating push up pads in the pool.


  • Women with a full figure do not need to fear the beach. Picking a suit that helps you feel comfortable will also help you feel confident. First rule: wear a supportive top! Lifted breasts will always help you look taller and thinner whether in clothing or swimwear. A Gorgeous one piece like the Fantasie suit below flatters with it’s basic black torso. Also, the subtle print and twisted material emphasizes your best (and now perky) asset!

  • For those that have serious curves but still want to show it off, I love underwire bikini sets like this one from Panache. The underwire is so supportive and fits so well, you will never have to worry about a swimsuit malfunction while out and about. And sets likes these allow you to mix and match or choose the bottom that best flatters your hips. This boyshort style is a great mixture of coverage and cute, but you could also choose the bikini style or go with a great solid bottom!

  • For those who are very active, even supportive basic styles may not work. Trying a style like this new one piece from Freya will keep all parts of the swimsuit (and of the body) where they should be. I especially love the criss-cross back which acts as extra support. Don’t ruin your swimming experience by wearing a sports bra under your suit (this actually happens!). Wear a supportive and attractive sporty suit instead!

  • Pregnant women are some of the most beautiful women in the world to me, but they don’t always feel like it. It can be stressful to debut your new body at the public beach. Finding a suit that is both comfortable and flattering is the best way to feel fabulous while you wait for Junior to arrive. Whether it’s a one piece, tankini or bikini, finding a suit like this one from Anita and wearing the correct (often upgraded!) cup size is key to feeling great.

  • I’m proud to offer so many amazing mastectomy products in my new Murray Hill store and online! I was trained to fit bras by the American Cancer Society ages ago, and still believe that women who have gone through a mastectomy, lumpectomy or even reconstruction deserve bras and bathing suits just like any other woman. One of my favorite mastectomy brands, Anita, makes great one pieces and this fab tankini! See? Your options don’t have to dwindle after surgery!

These are just a few of my top tips for finding the right bathing suit. Knowing what size or style to wear can really make a difference in how you look and feel. Don’t hide under a floppy hat – flaunt what you have and be proud of what you’ve got!

PS: A special thanks to our current BFF, Tina, who inspired this blog post!

Stay fab!




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