6 Tips to Picking the Perfect Supportive Swimwear


Summer is almost here and that means swimsuit season will be in full fledge!  Most woman erk at the thought of trying on swimsuits because they don’t feel like they look good in them, they show a lot more skin, and it’s hard to find one that fits and is flattering.  Add in the fact that finding a swimsuit that supports your boobs can cause a lot of women to want to pull their hair out.  

The good thing is I’m going to share with you my tips in helping you find the most supportive and flattering swimsuit for your beautiful self.  By keeping the support part of the swimsuit the most important in your search will help you to find a swimsuit quicker, you’ll feel a lot more comfortable, and it will make you look thinner.  Yes, I just said thinner.

First, I want to give some great examples of our celebrity friends who are doing it all wrong.

I love Queen Latifah, Jennifer, and Alanis, but all of these women could benefit from a swimsuit makeover.  So let’s learn from our celebrity friends of what not do when it comes to swimwear.

Now, here’s some amazing examples of what a supportive swimsuits should look like:

All of these gals boobs look great.  They’re being supported, separated, shaped, these women look hot and fabulous.  One thing that all of these swimsuits have in common is an underwire.  Underwires will make a huge difference when it comes to lift, support, and shape.

So let’s get started on my six tips to picking the perfect and supportive swimwear!

Tip #1.  Look for swimwear that has a way for it to tighten in the back and behind the neck.

 Here’s two great examples of what you want to look for.

Freya Tootsie Tankini

Coco Reef Bikini Top

Did you know that 90% of the support in the swimsuit comes from the band around your waist.?  So you want to make sure it’s snug.  The best kind of swimwear are ones where the swimsuit comes in a bra size, like a 38DD.  More info on this later in the post

So how do you know if a swimsuit isn’t supporting you enough?  It’s really easy.  Put your swimsuit on, turn your body to the side and look in the mirror.  Does your boobs hang lower than halfway between your shoulder and elbow?  Do you feel like you’re bouncing and swaying all over the place?  If you said yes to one of these, that’s means that the bra in the swimsuit isn’t supporting you.

Here’s a great example I found online.


Look what a difference an underwire makes on this woman.  She looks so thin!  

Tip #2.  Know your bra size before you go swimsuit shopping.

 If you don’t know your size I recommend you read my bra sizing guide where I walk you through the steps to getting an idea of what bra size you are.  Or go get professionally fitted at a department store or bra boutique.

Tip #3 Know what your bra needs are.  

By knowing your needs before you go will help you to not waste time by trying on 50 swimsuits, will help you to identify what you’re truly looking for, and keep you focused on your end goal.  This helps me not to be swayed by swimsuits I know won’t work for me.

Answer the following questions below to help you identify what you’re looking for:

A. Are you looking for more support, coverage, or to look minimized?

If you said yes, I recommend in sticking with a swimsuit that comes in a bra size and or has an underwire.  Separates, like a two piece, bikini, or tankini are going to work the best for you.

B. Are you wanting to look more busty or fuller?

If you said yes, go for a bra that has some molded or padded cup and or an underwire.

C. Will you be running around, and being active in your swimsuit or will you be lying and walking around?

If you’re going to be running around I highly recommend you to wear a supportive top that has an underwire, molded cups, or a way the top can be tighten to give you the support you’re going to need.  If you’re going to be lying around sunbathing, you can get away with a non underwire, BUT if you want to look slimmer, lifted, and feel supported, I always recommend an underwire.

D. Is your cup size larger than a DD?

ALWAYS stick with an underwire top.  Your boobs will thank you for it.  Strive to find swimwear that comes in your exact cup size.

It doesn’t matter if you’re lying around the beach or zip lining through the jungle, you’ll feel and look better in this type of swimsuit.Finding swimwear that comes in your bra size are harder to find, tend to be more expensive, but are higher quality.  You won’t be able to find these at your Target, Marshall’s, or JCPenney.  You’ll have to go to a specialty swimsuit store, or my favorite place, online.  

My favorite online stores that carry a wide range of larger cup swimsuits are: AmazonNordstromHer RoomEBayFigleaves, and Bigger Bras

Some of my favorite brands are: Freya, Panache, Cleo, Prima Donna, Curvy Kate, Pour Moi, and Figleaves.  Most of these brands carry from a 28-56 band and a D to a K cup.

E. Is your cup size smaller than a DD?  

You have a lot more readily options like: TargetJ CrewOld NavyGapJCPenneyDillard’sMacy’s.

I recommend an underwire for everyone, but if you’re smaller than a DD then you can get away with not wearing an underwire, if you do this you won’t feel as supported and lifted.  

There’s many different swimsuit tops for small busted girls.  If you want to be shaped, go for one that has molded cups, or even a little padding.  Try to find swimsuits that at least have some boning on the side of the swimsuit that will help the cup to have more support and shape.   

Tip #4 Try to stick to swimsuits that come in a bra size.  

Yes, there’s swimsuits that come in a 38K, 32F, and a 34B.  They’re harder to find, but by going this route will give you the ultimate customized support, lift, and shape. 

One question I get asked a lot is what about those swimsuits that come labeled in dress sizes, like 6, 8, 10, and 12 or are labeled as S, M, L, and XL and are associated with a cup size, for an example they’ll say that the cup fits a D cup, are these ok to wear?

Swimsuits that are labeled like this are different then swimsuits that come in a actual bra sizes because they won’t give you the customized fit and comfort as bra size swimsuits.

Swimsuit sizes that come in S, M, L, and XL and in dress sizes are assuming that if you wear a large, that you have a large bust, or if you wear a small you have a small bust, so if you find that is your case, then these swimsuits will work fine for you.  If you aren’t the same size on top as you are on the bottom, like many women are, then these swimsuits will be your worst nightmare, unless you can buy them the top and bottom in separate sizes.

Here’s a great example I found at Dillard’s of some swimsuits that have a dress and cup size associated together.

My advice with these types of swimsuits, is to focus more on the fit and not the size.  This might sound contradictory to what I’ve mentioned above about trying to stick to swimsuits that come in a bra size.  You might find that it feels baggy around or that the torso is too short.  If this is the case, I would go for a tankini or a bikini, these will be much easier to fit.

I found this bra size conversion table, it’s actually for nursing bras, but I think it really does a good job of converting your band and cup size to a size.  This chart doesn’t have dress sizes, so I added them here: (XS 0-2), (S 2-4), (M 6-8), (L 8-10), (XL 12-14), (1X 16), (2X 18).


Tip #5 If you have a hard to fit shape, stick to separates.  

Women are shaped so differently and to accommodate this, separates are going to be your best friend.  There’s one piece swimsuits that come in bra sizes but the problem with these is sometimes an one piece doesn’t work due to small or large hips, long or short torsos and etc.  If you’re a one piece swimsuit kind of girl, I recommend you to stick to swimsuits that have a hidden band and hook and eye in the swimsuit to get maximum support.

Tankinis can give you the coverage of a one-piece but the customized fit of a two-piece.  Tankinis often look amazing on women with short or long torsos.  If that one-piece you’re trying on is too short or long, a tankini will be the perfect suit for you!

Tip #6 Invest in the the top.  The top part of your swimsuit is where I would spend my money.  I often spend more on my top to make sure I’m getting it in my correct bra size, and then I’ll go buy my bottoms at a different store.  The good thing about going this route will it not only save you money, it will give you a customize look and fit, and your swimsuit will be one of a kind.  Not matching is like totally in right now, I swear.  Plus, you won’t have to worry about running into someone who has your exact same suit.  How embarrassing, I know! I hope these tips will help you to find the perfect swimsuit for you this summer.  

By getting a swimsuit that fits and shapes you will leave you feeling more confident, sexy, and give you one less thing you have to worry so you can enjoy quality time with your kids, family, or just relaxing in summer weather.  

I hope this helps you!  If you have any questions, please leave a comment below!