A Guide to Shopping for the Perfect Swimsuit Top | Lands' End

A Guide to Shopping for the Perfect Swimsuit Top

Ask anyone who has ever shopped for swimsuits: There’s a lot that goes into the process! Although it’s easy to judge the merits of a suit on appearances alone, it’s important to focus on the integrity and structure of the piece more than anything else. Yes, looks matter, but ultimately that suit needs to look as amazing on you as it does on the rack.

And that starts with what’s going on at the top. Finding a suit with a flattering top can make a big difference in how you feel about the suit and how it looks on you. It’s the area that requires the greatest support and comfort, but there are so many different varieties available that it might be tough to narrow it down to the right style. What’s the right move? Here’s what you need to know.

Swimsuit Top Styles

It’s all about style. If you prefer something classic and uncomplicated, you might opt for a traditional women’s bikini top. But if you want something that offers more significant coverage, a tankini top might be a more sensible choice. Even one-piece suits offer the same type of support; you just need to look for something that’s designed specifically for your body type.

Support Where You Need It

In addition to the style of your top, take some time to closely examine the features that help make the top comfortable and supportive. Those who require more reinforcement on top should always look for styles that are built with some sort of bra support, like traditional underwire or molded cups.

Underwire swim tops can be constructed of anything from actual wire to molded plastic to metal, so take that into account as you shop. Plastic may feel more comfortable if you’re sensitive to other materials. Concealed underwires are preferable in swimsuits, since they help contribute to a more seamless appearance. Details like reinforced stitching help lock in your fit so that the suit won’t budge and you don’t feel any discomfort. If you decide to wear a strapless suit or a bandeau-style top, then it should contain boning or other structural elements that hold you up and create definition.

Choose Your Cup

You also have options when it comes to your suit’s cup style. If you’re shopping for mastectomy swimsuits, for example, you’ll find flattering styles constructed with soft, built-in cups to comfortably support prostheses. This contributes to a smooth, refined appearance. Underwire suits may also have removable soft cups, which provide the support you need and are ideal if you want to have the option of detaching the insert to customize your look. If you don’t require as much upper body support, a top with a shelf bra is a great choice. It offers just enough hold to keep you comfortable, along with flexible elastic for a secure fit.

Know Your Body

Although that high-neck tankini top might look amazing on the hanger, you need to make sure that it works in your favor. Always prioritize what your body needs first. If you don’t require too much support on top, for example, then you have a couple of factors to consider. You can create the illusion of a larger upper body by wearing a padded suit or something with some sort of embellishment, such as strategically positioned ruffles.

By contrast, if you require substantial support, it’s best to avoid tops that have light straps that don’t allow you to feel your best, whether you’re swimming laps or lounging by the water. Features like additional stitching on the straps and bands, along with thicker straps overall, will help you feel more secure. Halter styles are great for bustier figures, as are suits with bra sizes and underwire.

Feel Cool and Confident

You know your body best, and you know exactly what will help you feel most confident and comfortable while you’re at the pool or the beach. But do you know your bathing suit top styles? Understanding how they differ from one another is key to simplifying the search!

The halter is a fresh, contemporary option that has either a clasp or a self-tie option that fastens at the nape of your neck. It’s ideal for anyone who requires more support. If you like the idea of fastening something behind your neck but don’t need the extra reinforcement, consider a triangle top, which you can typically adjust with a discreet string at the bust.

A plus size tankini is a phenomenal choice if you want a little more coverage without sacrificing a hint of style. It falls to the belly button, so it lends you the look of a traditional one-piece suit, yet it is easy to mix and match because it’s actually separate from the bottom.

Shopping Made Easy

It’s all about support—and a great fit! Once you lock that down, you can delve into the hundreds of beautiful styles, prints, and solid colors that appeal to you and create a diverse swim wardrobe that you’ll look forward to wearing for years to come.


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