Swimsuits for Big Busts: How and Where to Shop

If you have a large chest (DD or higher), you've probably been there, nearly in the tears, in the fitting room of a store. After trying on what seems like 100 adorably patterned, trendy, strappy bikini tops, none of them fit. NONE. 


If you have a large chest (DD or higher), you’ve probably been there, nearly in tears, in the fitting room of a store. After trying on what seems like 100 adorably patterned, trendy, strappy bikini tops, none of them fit your bust. NONE.

You leave the store, defeated, and go back home without any cute new bikini tops for your upcoming trip, leaving you wearing that same lifesaving bikini top you found ages ago that, yes, still fits your large chest, but is so tattered, because you’ve worn it for years.


I literally wore the same bikini tops that I found at a department store once for years. They seemed to be the only tops that could contain my boobs, while seeming somewhat sexy (which is  a fine line when you have a larger chest.)

If you aren’t in the DD+ club, consider yourself lucky this time of year, when the weather is warm outside and you can wear cute strappy or backless tank tops and bikinis that come in all different types of prints and sizes. You don’t need underwire or thick, supportive straps to hold your boobs in place. And yes, the grass is always greener, but when it comes to FASHION, the grass is truly greener on the other side, because clothes are typically cut to fit the average sized person – all over, including the bust. Have you ever seen a model on the runway with DDDs? No – the clothes wouldn’t fall right on the model!

I’m a 34G at the moment (ugh, pregnancy boobs!), so this problem has worsened for me. It’s caused me to look all over the place for bikini tops for large busts, scavenging. Luckily, I’ve picked up a few tips to help you narrow down the search for bathing suits for a big bust, as you seen hours scrolling through swimwear on the Internet. And then, I have a few brands/stores I recommend that carry swimwear for larger chests.

Tips for purchasing bathing suits for big busts

1. Avoid padding

Padding takes away room for your boobs and makes your boobs look bigger than necessary. I’ve found that it also takes away from the support – no extra weight is needed when you have your big boobs carrying all that poundage. Of course, you’ll need to embrace the hard nip when it’s cold or when you get out of the water, but apparently that’s in now anyway.

Most bathing suits that come with breast padding have removable cups, but if they don’t, and it’s a suit I really want, I’ll cut a tiny slit and pull the cups out, and sew it right back up! Just use thread that best matches the suit.

2. Try to buy swimwear in cup sizes, not S/M/L/XL sizing

If you’re in the big boob club, you know that a size XL for a swimming suit isn’t going to cut it – that’s the equivalent of usually a D size or, the brand just gives you extra room around the rib cage, which isn’t helpful when you’re trying to cover your actual boob. When you can, try to look for a bathing suit by cup sizing.

The exception: if the brand gives you size equivalents (i.e. XL = DDD/E), because certain bathing suits that don’t have underwire might not necessarily be given cup sizing.

3. Avoid trendy style swimsuits with minimal support

Here are certain styles of bathing suits that just DON’T work for large chests, and once you accept that, you’ll save time and energy! These are some of the styles I find that DO NOT work for my large bust:

  • Anything strapless, especially when the swimsuit gets wet, it becomes heavier, and it will just make your boobs look saggy!
  • Plunge neck swimsuit, unless they tie over to support and offer coverage, like this.
  • Triangle bikini tops that don’t come in cup sizes or have an equivalent (see tip #2).
  • Triangle swimwear tops that aren’t full-coverage. For example, this bikini top is meant to show more cleavage, which would result in major nip slips for us.
  • High-neck tops that cut in (see example here) – your boobs will spill out the sides, unfortunately.
  • Bathing suit tops that don’t offer at least one chance to adjust support – either around the neck like a halter tie or around the waist on the back.
  • Wrap-style bikini tops (like these).
  • Anything crazy strappy – it’ll make you look like a call girl (trust me!) – example here.

4. One-piece swimsuits are actually your friend

You’d think it’s counterintuitive to the whole “support” thing, but I’ve found that one-piece bathing suits, if purchased correctly, can be your best friend and actually support you well and keep you fully covered! The secret? High-necks! High neck one-piece bathing suits keep you covered and offer more support, because they really tuck you in.

Here are some examples:



5. Trust the swimsuit models online

If you’re looking at a bathing suit online and the model does NOT have your body type (i.e. a big bust) and she’s popping out of the top, the swimsuit probably won’t fit you. Use your judgment! Not all trends are for all body types, so just know what works for you and embrace it!

6. Buy bathing suit tops in colors/patterns that can go with neutral bottoms

I tend to buy mix & match bikinis and bottoms. Since the bikini tops are harder than the bottoms, I spend most of my energy finding the cutest, full-coverage, supportive tops and then I supplement with bottoms in colors that complement the tops, like white, black, or a turquoise color. This way, it looks like you have a matching bathing suit or a cool color block situation.

Don’t be discouraged if you find a bikini top that fits but it doesn’t come with a matching bottom – make your own!

7. Buy swimwear online only at places with FREE returns!

There’s a lot of trial and error with bikinis and I’ve learned that buying online is much easier – I hate breaking down in fitting rooms and leaving with all that wasted time in stores. Thus, whenever I shop online, I make sure it’s a place that offers FREE returns for my bathing suits. Then, you can order a certain bikini top in 2-3 sizes and not worry about wasting money on shipping.

My favorite places to buy bathing suits for big busts

I buy most of my bathing suits on Target or ASOS. What I love about ASOS is that they have a “fuller bust” line, targeted towards us girls, with, well, fuller busts.

I also have some bathing suits when Victoria’s Secret were making their swimwear line – and they were great, I’m bummed it was discontinued (well, they still have a small line through PINK, but I haven’t found anything worthwhile there).

There are a few other brands that I’ve heard offer swimwear for bigger busts, but I haven’t tried, like Monday Swimwear (they’re sold out in XL in all of the styles I’d get) or Lilly and Lime.

Some of my favorites lately:



Do you have any extra tips or favorite places to buy swimwear for big busts?

with love, Ali

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  • I like how you mentioned how one-piece swimsuits can cover and support more practically. My sister is in need of a few new swimsuits since she is going to Hawaii next month. Since she is more successful with online shopping, I'll have to help her find some good boutiques online and what fits her style.
    • You're so welcome! Glad you found this helpful!
  • I remember reading this post a while back and just referenced it again since I had a baby in october. my asos tops came today (I will not tell you how huge the top size is lol) but it's perfect. thanks for sharing!
    • Of course! Glad you found it helpful.
  • I love your blog post! I have a big bust and I struggle to find swimsuits that fit well. I have tried a lot of different stores and I have found some great places to buy swimsuits. Here are my favorite places:
  • Thanks for the help. My wife always has problems and I decided I would research swimsuits. Your article is the best by far.
    • Jason! Husband of the year. That's so sweet of you to do some research for your wife, glad to hear this was helpful!
  • I’m 16 and currently a 36K. yeah, K. I’m not-so-patiently anticipating a breast reduction surgery my mom has offered to pay for, but surgeons won’t operate till i’m 18 in case i grow more (god forbid). I feel like I look like a cartoon character or botched plastic patient in everything u wear, bc although they’re large, that pairs with gravity and they hand just an inch or so above my belly button. clothing shopping in general for me is absolute torture, which is especially hard as a teenage girl. None of my friends look like me or understand how hard it is, the amount of times I’ve had to explain why I can’t wear something backless because, no, pasties won’t cut it, is insane. as far as shopping, the worst categories by FAR are formal dresses (currently dreading my first prom) and swimsuits. I’ve figured several of these tips out for myself by now, but what really was most helpful about this article was hearing someone else voice my frustrations, and mention specifics I’ve never heard anyone else talk about before. Thank you. I feel seen and a little less like a circus performer. Here’s to finding at least one more bikini top to add to my collection anticipating an upcoming spring break trip to puerto rico (i currently own one ivory rose one i purchased through asos). again, thank you. i really appreciate this post.
    • Kaira! We really appreciate you sharing your perspective on this with us. It gives us a lot of joy to hear that Ali's experience was able to help you feel a little better. We're so grateful to have you as part of this community. If you ever have any questions or need guidance from Ali, don't be a stranger. Always here for you!
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