Every summer, women around Australia crack out their cossies and head to the beach to make the most of the sun and surf.
But around the nation, millions of women with bigger busts struggle to find swimwear styles that are both flattering and supportive. In fact, finding a bikini or one-piece that ticks even one of those boxes can be tricky.
Just about any woman who is bigger than a DD-cup can tell you how disheartening that experience can be, including former Bachelor star and body-positive queen Abbie Chatfield.
“It’s really hard to find togs that are for big, natural boobs that aren’t going to squish them and also have a smaller band size,” she told Ruby Staley for RAQ Reads.
Fortunately, things are changing in the swimwear world and now there are bikini ranges and entire brands dedicated to supporting (pun intended) busty women.
Abbie teamed up with one of those brands, RAQ Apparel, to design her own range of bikinis just for busty women, after struggling for years to find styles that suit her.
With the collab launching on Thursday, the 26-year-old revealed on Instagram that the range is “supportive, flattering and f–king hot” – so they check all the boxes!
But RAQ isn’t the only brand jumping on the busty swimwear bandwagon; Marvell Lane is another trailblazer founded right here in Australia by fellow busty lady Rachael Calvert.
She designs fun, flattering bikinis and one pieces in a whopping 30 different bra sizes, telling Now To Love exclusively: “Generally speaking, the three key elements to keep an eye out for are underwires, adjustable straps, and an adjustable back.
“We include at least two, if not three, of these elements in all our designs.”
ASOS also carries a whole “fuller bust” range that offers more affordable options, if shopping on a budget this summer.
So what should you be looking for when it comes to buying a bikini or one-piece for a bigger bust?
“When it comes to fitting women with a fuller bust, there are a few quick style tips that help make all the difference, depending on your individual needs,” Rachael tells us.
“For example, if you require additional shaping and lift, then an underwire is essential – it provides wonderful support and a nice, rounded shape.
WATCH: How to tell if your bra is the right size, according to the experts. Article continues after video…
“If you’re more active in the water or like to swim laps, then a crop-style swimsuit works best, however, the same principle applies; seek out an underwire for shape, lift and support.
“Finally, adjustable straps are non-negotiable. We’re all different heights and shapes and the ability to change the strap lengths means you can tailor it to your individual needs.
“This means no more slipping of straps and additional support when setting them at the right height.”
With all that in mind, here are some of our favourite bikinis and one-pieces that support and flatter bigger boobs this summer!
If you’ve always wanted a classic triangle bikini but found that they simply didn’t offer the support you needed, this is the bikini you’ve been dreaming of. Designed with a triangle sape, adjustable halter straps and ultra-supportive underwire, it’s everything you could want from a staple swim top.
Abbie chose a vivid yellow and a bright floral pattern for her version of this bikini, describing it as being “like your mum’s favourite 80’s bikini”. Available in bra sizes from an 8D up to an 18F, you can mix and match the top with cheeky, standard or high waisted bottoms.
Shop the Multiway Bikini Top, $99, from RAQ Apparel.
Abbie also included RAQ’s classic crop style in her collab, confessing that this bikini top is so supportive “it’s literally better than a sports bra”. That’s some seriously high praise for the style, which is perfect for women looking for extra coverage and lift.
Like all RAQ styles, you can mix and match the top with a range of different brief styles and it comes in up to 40 different bra sizes.
Shop the Underwire Crop Top, $99, from RAQ Apparel.
The Emelie top is the perfect style for anyone who wants something comfortable and fun for every beach- or pool-side occasion. In fact, this top is so cute and comfy it’s our top pick for the best busty bikini top on this list – high accolades, we know!
“If you’re fuller through your side breast tissue or are shallow through the top of your bust, then the Emelie Bikini Top is perfect for scooping that tissue in, providing more lift and shape,” Rachael says. Available in bra sizes 8D to 16H, you can mix and match this top with all the Marvell Lane bikini bottoms too.
Shop the Emelie Bikini Top, $139.95, from Marvell Lane.
This cute bikini top features supportive, adjustable straps, a full underwire and a cute ruffle that perfectly flatters biger curves. Rachael adds: “If you carry your fullness all in the front of your bust, then the Ava Bikini Top provides beautiful support and a natural tear-drop shape.”
Available in bra sizes 8D to 16H, you can get help with finding the perfect size and fit for you on the Marvell Lane website. You can also mix and match the top with a number of the brand’s bikini bottoms, including high-waist and cheeky styles, to create the perfect set.
Shop the Ava Bikini Top, $139.95, from Marvell Lane.
If you’re not a huge fan of bikinis or would prefer a bit more coverage, the Ruby One Piece is a great option that provides plenty of support while still looking fresh and flirty. It’s full adjustable, with a tie back that makes it easy to tighten or loosen depending on your figure and fit preference.
Available in bra sizes 8E to 16H, this one-piece features 15mm or 20mm wide straps depending on the size to ensure you’re getting the best support for your bust.
Shop the Ruby One Piece, $219.95, from Marvell Lane.
Another great one-piece option is the Aruba swimwuit from Monday Swimwear, which has no wires and is great for women who prefer a wire-free cossie. The supportive under-bust band and wide straps help hold everything in place while still looking chic and fashionable.
Just keep an eye on Monday’s unique sizing chart when you’re shopping; th ebrand caters to sizes up to a G-cup, but it lists sizes from P (smallest) to VVV (largest) rather than using classic bra sizing. Check the dedicated fit guides before selecting your size.
Shop the Aruba One Piece, $270, from Monday Swimwear.
This top keeps things simple and comfortable, with wide straps and no wires, plus a totally adjustable tie-back that makes it perfect for just about any figure. You can also mix and match the style with a whole bunch of Monday briefs, from the ultra-cheeky to high-waist and full-coverage styles.
Shop the Jamaica Top, $125.19, from Monday Swimwear.
Another perfect bikini for the woman who doesn’t want to deal with underwire, the Tri Top is engineered to lift and support bigger busts without sacrificing style. The thick underband, soft foam cups and cross back straps fashioned from Italian sculpting fabric make this bikini top feel as luxe as it looks.
Available in an 8E to a 16F, the style also comes in black and there are three levels of coverage you can choose from in the brief.
Shop the The Tri Slate Top, $160, from Form and Fold.
Not only is this top made from one of the coolest fabrics we’ve ever seen, it’s also designed with support and style in mind. The classic design is oh-so-on-trend right now while still featuring everything you want from a bikini designed for bigger busts; underwire, adjustable back and straps and extra side support.
Available in an 8E to a 16F, the style comes in a range of colours, has hundreds of positive reviews and can be paired with four different brief styles – so there’s something for literally everyone.
Shop the The Base Clay Top, $180, from Form and Fold.
It may look like a simple, streamlined one-piece but this style really is “The One”, because we’re in love. Designed to sculpt your body and support your bust just like shape wear, the textured fabric, classy neckline and low scooped back make it as stylish as it is comfy.
If that’s not enough, there’s also a hidden underwire bra built into this style which also comes in sizes ranging from an 8E to a 16F.
Shop the The One Olive, $280, from Form and Fold.
This top is the perfect blend of simplicity and style, pairing a sexy, plunging neckline with cute frill detailing on the bottom. You can also connect the straps in the back to convert it to a racerback style.
The style comes in sizes from a 6E to a 16FF, with a cute matching brief featuring a fun ruffle along the top. You can also get a brief style without the ruffle if you’d prefer something simpler.
Shop the Freya Check In High Apex Bikini Top, $79.95, from Brava.
Another fun pick from Freya, this style is all about making a simple, supportive style feel young and new with a trendy, bright print. After all, who doesn’t want to slip into something colourful for the summer? The top is available from a size 6G to a 14HH.
Shop the Freya Bassline High Apex Bikini Top, $79.95, from Brava.
If you’re shopping for a bikini for a bigger bust but you’re trying to stick to a budget, look no further than this edgy style you can order from ASOS. With a chic metallic finish, scoop neck, and sturdy clasp closure, the top is designed to fit cup sizes DD-G.
Shop the Wolf & Whistle Fuller Bust crop bikini, $78, from ASOS.