7 Plus Size Swimwear Brands with Bra Sizing
Growing up, I remember thinking there were only two bikini top options: sports bra style or triangle. While those are totally valid styles for anyone who wants to wear them, they are not necessarily supportive, especially for plus sizes. I wore a triangle bikini top exactly once and spent more time worrying about spillage than actually enjoying the pool.
Wearing a bikini top is a lot like wearing a bra. You care about how it looks and feels, but you also want it to provide a strong foundation for every activity, whether you’re lounging in a hot tub or snorkeling in the ocean.
Bra sized swimwear provides the most accurate fit. For example, a size 20 or 2X is based on a bust measurement, but doesn’t account for cup size. This makes finding the right bikini top fit difficult, especially when you’re plus size and also full busted.
Many of the brands making this kind of swimwear also make lingerie, so if you know your bra size with the brand, then you can find a suit that fits similar to your favorite bra. Though this list is not exhaustive, here are seven brands where you can find plus size swimwear complete with underwire, clasps, adjustable straps, power mesh and more.
As noted earlier this year on TLA, Elomi is an Eveden Group/Wacoal Europe brand that has embraced the plus size community online. I knew Elomi made bras, but I first realized they had swimwear when I noticed a strapless bandeau style bikini top on plus size blogger, Trendy Curvy. I had never seen a strapless bikini top embody so much support. Like their bras, Elomi swimwear is available in band sizes 34-44 and cup sizes DD-HH. You can shop Elomi swimwear at retailers such as HerRoom.
2. Playful Promises
Playful Promises is a UK-based brand that has used blogger collaborations as a way to gain traction in the plus size community. First was GabiFresh’s lingerie collection expanding the brand’s sizing up to a US 24 in September 2017. Building on that momentum, Playful Promises launched a swimwear collaboration with plus size model Hunter McGrady at the end of May 2018. Although the sizing for the bottoms went back down to a size 20, bikini top sizing expanded up to a 44I.
3. Swimsuits for All
Speaking of GabiFresh, she’s one of the first bloggers to popularize the plus size bikini, or fatkini, as she affectionately referred to it back in 2012. She’s had a collaboration with Swimsuits for All since 2013 and has continued to innovate and dominate in the plus size swimwear arena. Over the years, she has expanded cup size offerings. Her line with Swimsuits for All now releases twice a year and is available in D/DD, E/F and G/H.
4. Lane Bryant
Lane Bryant is one of the largest retailers for plus size fashion and you’d be hard-pressed to find a plus size woman who hasn’t worn a Lane Bryant bra at some point. Their swimwear options have Cacique bras built right into the suits, which means if you’ve worn Lane Bryant bras, you already know your swimwear size. Sizes range from 36C - 46G.
5. Curvy Kate
I first learned about Curvy Kate’s plus size swimwear when bloggers Essie Golden and Kelly Augustine teamed up to celebrate their US launch. The blogger duo took a trip to Miami and declared Curvy Kate the best swimsuit for larger busts. They offer plus size band options 40-44 and as a full bust brand, they offer cup sizes D-K.
Torrid is another major retailer offering plus size swimwear, both in store and online, making them one of the more accessible brands. Their swimwear includes bikinis with flounce tops and peplums in fun patterns and prints. While Torrid uses their traditional 0-6 sizing for their swimsuits, they have a size chart correlating each size with a bust measurement and cup range. For example, Torrid’s size 6 corresponds to a size 30, a 54-58” underbust and a C/D/DD.
7. JCPenney’s Boutique+
Boutique+ is a brand carried at JCPenney. They have been making both budget-friendly and trendy plus size fashion. They were the first to partner with Project Runway winner Ashley Nell Tipton on the fashion side and now they've teamed up with plus size model Jessica Milagros to launch Boutique+ swimwear. Not all of their styles feature underwire, but the ones that do are extremely supportive with moulded cups and wide bands. Their swimwear sizing ranges from a 1X-3X, which covers a 38DD/40D - 42DD/44D. Hopefully this one day expands to the 5X carried by their fashion offerings.
Although some may see plus size swimwear as a chance to escape underwire, others may be looking for a swimsuit that provides support on land and in sea. Shopping for plus size, bra size swimwear means looking no further than your favorite lingerie brand or perhaps trying something new.
What do you think of plus size swimwear with bra sizing? Do you prefer swimwear with underwire?