I hope that you’re enjoying our Curvy Swimwear month so far! I’m going to change gears slightly from curvy swimwear sewing to current swimwear options available in ready-to-wear (RTW). It’s been nearly two years since our last post on RTW swimwear (see The Wonderful World of Curvy Swimwear), so I thought that it was time for an update on this topic.
While putting together this post, it was refreshing to see how many more options us curvy women have for swimwear than we did just a few years ago. Let’s take a look at what’s available for us in 2016!
Most of us are probably familiar with Modcloth as an extended size-friendly online retailer who specializes in cute, retro-inspired dresses and clothing made from fabrics with fun novelty prints. Modcloth also carries a fairly sizable line of swimwear, including a good selection of swimsuits that go deep into their extended size range. I picked two designs from Modcloth that jumped out at me.
Available in sizes 16-26.
I’ll start off with a curvy classic–the Beach Blanket Bingo swimsuit. I own this swimsuit, and I know that several other of my fellow CSC editors own or have owned this suit at one time. It’s got a cute design and decent coverage without making you feel like you’re hiding everything. The retro design is fun, but not over-the-top vintage styling. I can personally verify that the suit holds up just fine, coverage-wise, to casual swims in a community pool with your preschooler. The only downside to this one is the halter-style straps, which get a bit heavy on your neck after a while, if you’re large-busted.
Available in sizes 1X-3X.
High-waisted two-piece styles look great on a curvy figure. I like this one from Jessica Simpson for the clever peek-a-boo mesh inserts that add a bit of sexiness while still giving this suit enough coverage to make it practical for casual pool use. Unlike a lot of suits these days, this one features a racerback, which helps prevent strap slippage and avoids the neckaches that come along with the halter-style that’s common in plus sized sizes.
For the unfamiliar, Bravissimo is a clothing retailer out of the UK that specializes in clothing, lingerie, and swimwear for large-busted women. The swimwear carried by Bravissimo provides plenty of bust support and offers options for D-cups all the way up to HH/J cups in some styles. Unfortunately for those of us shopping online and trying to figure out how a given suit might look on our own figures, Bravissimo’s models don’t tend to be particularly curvy. However, if you live in or are visiting the UK, you can always visit one of Bravissimo’s brick-and-mortar stores.
Available in UK sizes 30D-38HH.
The Riviera Tankini jumped out at me because of its slightly-sweetheart-ish neckline, a neckline that tends to be very flattering on those of us with larger busts. Other curve-friendly features include a concealed bra-back fastening (no halter ties!), adjustable shoulder straps, underwire cups, and a wide range of cup sizes. And you can’t go wrong with being able to choose individual sizes between the top and bottom portion of a tankini.
Available in sizes 30E-38K.
If you’re looking to do some serious lap swimming or other water sports where keeping everything in place, this suit by Speedo appears to be a good choice. It’s a full-coverage suit with built-in underwires and a back clasp fastening.
At a significantly lower price point than some of the other retailers featured in this roundup, Target carries a wide variety of plus size swim options. Bonus for those of us who live in the US: We can actually go to a brick-and-mortar Target store and try these suits on. In my experience, the suits that I’ve bought from Target have tended to be a bit more supportive than some of those that I’ve bought from other discount retailers (e.g. Old Navy).
I will lodge one complaint about this season’s selection of plus swimwear from Target: a huge proportion of the bikini and tankini tops have huge ruffles/flounces hanging from the bust. Now, I know that I view the world through large busted goggles, but I can’t see those giant flounces hanging right and looking nice on those of us who are more endowed in the chest region. Both of my selections from Target omit the boob flounce.
Available in sizes 18W-26W
Okay, this suit offers a bit more coverage than most of my choices AND it has the dreaded tie-halter-straps, but I’m including it because it’s cute as heck. This is a swimdress that you can wear without looking like you’re likely to be eating dinner at 4pm at a Coco’s for the senior special. With the little drop-waist skirt, this suit would be a good option for someone who is short-waisted (like me), as proportions will help elongate your torso.
Welp, you know that anything made by a “Dreamsuit” or a “Miraclesuit” is going to be focused on minimizing certain body parts. And we here at the CSC are all about celebrating our bodies as they are…BUT this is one eye-catching suit. And if you are looking to minimize your midsection, this suit claims that it will help you do that. Bonus: pick any of the many suit bottoms from Target to complete your swim look.
For the unfamiliar, Torrid is a popular retailer with both online and brick-and-mortar shopping options for curvy women. Their swimwear styles trend towards bombshell styles that celebrate curves, but instead of the retro-inspired prints that you’ll find on Modcloth, Torrid’s styles tend to reflect their youthful customer base with prints inspired by tattoos and other trends.
Available in Torrid sizes 0-5.
With a padded underwire top, convertible straps, and a hook-closure in back, this bikini top would be super cute if the underwired cup size works for your figure. I like this one because it’s got a bit of a retro look to it, but you’re not constrained to dealing with a halter-tie closure like many bombshell suits have. Depending on your personal preference, you can either choose a swim skirt or high-waisted bikini bottom to complete this look.
Available in Torrid sizes 0-5.
Like the bikini top posted above, this one-piece suit features padded demi-cups and convertable straps (no halter tie, again!). The black side panels combined with the print front should provide a torso-elongating effect for this suit.
Unlike a few years ago, it seems like now there are swimsuits available in extended size ranges to suit just about any woman’s taste. While it seems like many suits veer towards the retro/bombshell trend, this probably isn’t surprising, given that this style tends to look particularly good on a curvy figure. However, if bombshell retro isn’t your thing, you’ll still have quite a few options from a variety of retailers.