Rosemary Mac Cabe

Hemlines, heels and haute couture – your daily dose

Searching for swimsuits – what do do with big boobs and a hatred of thick waistbands

So, in approximately three weeks’ time, I’ll be heading to Nice, in the south of France, on a solo sojourn to stay in an apartment in the old town, drink some good wine, eat some good food and read lots of books …

Wed, Jul 25, 2012, 10:30


So, in approximately three weeks’ time, I’ll be heading to Nice, in the south of France, on a solo sojourn to stay in an apartment in the old town, drink some good wine, eat some good food and read lots of books (suggestions welcome!). In the meantime, I’ve been hunting for the perfect bikini for the imperfect bikini body, and it is no mean feat. My shortlist so far?

This black bikini top, by Seafolly at My-Wardrobe, is no great shakes – but it’s got good coverage, the straps can be removed for minimal tan lines and it’s black. So three strong pros there.

This underwired balconette style bikini top by Freya at Asos is really pretty, and ticking almost all of my boxes. I love the colours, the style and like that it comes in bra sizes (unlike Asos’s own “fuller cup size” bikinis, which range from a 30 to 34, so are basically only for Victoria’s Secret models) – although I am slightly concerned that it looks a bit like, well, a bra. I’d pair it with a pair of black bikini briefs, possibly from Dunnes, Penneys or the likes. I feel it’s really important with bikinis to support your upper half. Where my lower half is concerned, I don’t care all that much.

This Minkpink bikini set is gorgeous – I love the print. My concerns are twofold: triangle bikini tops make me look a bit like a porn star (not my favourite look), and are these fuller 1950s briefs really flattering on anyone? I remain unconvinced. It doesn’t help that this is almost €100 and, once these two weeks are done, will possibly never see the light of day again.

Speaking of expensive, this Mara Hoffman high-waisted bikini set, also from Asos, will set you back a cool €300. And I love it. However, I am concerned firstly that a size 14 doesn’t actually mean a size 14 with DD boobs, and secondly, that, well, it won’t be €300 well spent. Don’t say anything – deep down, I know the truth.

I like the look of this coral striped number from Topshop, and at £14 it doesn’t matter all that much if I ever wear it again (except for, I know, the waste) – but, again, generic sizes (8-16, in this case) don’t fill me with confidence when it comes to potential boob support, and not being able to see it on a model is, again, disconcerting. Still – cute. It would be lovely with a pair of contrasting bottoms. Royal blue, say, or a bright fuchsia.

Lastly, I like this bikini from Next. It’s a pretty print and it comes in bra sizes (I’m obsessed!) – plus, the bottoms go up to a size 20 which is always good in my book. I like to go a size up with swimwear bottoms anyway – there’s nothing worse than muffin top in a bikini, nothing. (Serious things like bank debt notwithstanding.)

I’m leaning towards the Freya number at the moment – I can mix and match it with black and coloured bikini bottoms, plus I’m guaranteed to be supported in it. Is there anywhere else I should check out? And please, don’t tell me to go into the real world and try on bikinis. If I want to spend a day getting depressed I’ll watch MTV.

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