Normally bathing suit shopping for me is a complete and utter NIGHTMARE!!! You see, not only am I plus size/full figured/curvy/*insert any positive adjective here, but I’m busty as well. Most plus size clothing really cater to the pear shape or the apple shape in my humble opinion. The more contemporary plus size stores will feature spaghetti strap, one shoulder, or even strapless **GASP** tops and dresses. One thing to note about having a large chest is that you often look bigger in your clothes than you really are!! This can be due to lack of proper support so your natural waist gets lost, or due to ill fitting clothes because your clothes are often times either too big or too small (a harsh dose of reality and a good tailor come in handy here). That does not work so well when you’re a size 40i like myself. Majority of shops don’t even carry my size when it comes to bras let alone swimwear. Just two bras for me is usually going to cost at least $100!!!!!!!…. anyway back to swimwear
A lot of traditional plus size swimwear that you will find looks like something my grandma would wear but thanks to designers such as Monif C http://monifc.com/swimwear.html and trail blaizing blogger/designer Gabi Fresh http://www.gabifresh.com/2013/04/gabifresh-x-swimsuitsforall-galaxy.html, you would find lots more young, contemporary, AND flattering options available. Monif C offers a plethora of swim options while Gabi has shut it down with her versions of what she has called the ‘fatkini’. While I’m extremely elated with the progress that has been made thus far, I feel like we still have a ways to go. Busty women like myself need support support SUPPORT!!! Style experts will often tell you that a halter style top is a busty girl’s best friend. Well sure it was my friend several cup sizes ago but now **caresses neck and shoulders**, a halter top will do nothing but KILL my neck from all the weight that it has to hold up. I have found it much better to go with a bra style top that goes by my cup size. I would have loved to purchase a piece from Gabi’s collection but the tops didn’t go up to my size although the corresponding bottoms available were bigger. For me, that will usually mean that I will have to look to European brands such as Fantasie because the European industry is way ahead of the game. Check out these options available at Bare Necessities http://www.barenecessities.com/DD%2B-Swimsuits-Swimwear_catalog_nxs,121,style,53671.htm.
I purchased the Belize Mesh swimsuit by Monif C back in 2011 while I was in NYC (her boutique is fabulous btw and her staff is awesome). While I got home and tried it on again and kept it on for almost an hour while walking around the house. I then realized it wasn’t enough support for me, not to mention the top really needed to be a bit larger although the bottom portion could have been a bit smaller. When shopping for a bathing suit, remember that a lot of the models are wearing strapless bras and shape wear including tights for the photo shoots so the bathing suits may not look so smooth and support you the same way in real life haha. I ended up selling the swimsuit on Craigslist and luckily I had a buyer within an hour of posting AND I got all my money back. Monif C’s brand is just that good.
Let’s fast forward to December of this past year, I needed a bathing suit for my upcoming birthday trip to Atlantic City which was a gift from my bff. I thank God for great friends!!!! The trip included a visit to the spa which had soaking tubs. I knew I would have to pay at least $100 for a good swimsuit but I didn’t have a $100 budget……. I had to buy other items for the weekend after all!! I ended up coming across the Malibu Scuba swimsuit by Monif C on Ebay (NWT of course). Buying anything online is tricky, ESPECIALLY swimwear!!!! After looking at pictures of the swimsuit on the beautiful plus size model Anita Marshall (who I had the pleasure of meeting at Curves Rock Fashion Weekend 2013), I decided to take the chance and purchase it. Although the last Monif C bathing suit wasn’t for me, I was sure that the scuba style would ensure that my twins would be in place and that it would be flattering. The swimsuit ended up costing me less than $45 with shipping and the original price was $175!!! I was so happy and then I was OVER THE MOON when I got it in the mail and it was HAWT on!!!! I could either be naughty (for just you and your significant other in a hot tub) or nice because the bathing suit has a zipper. When my bff saw me with the zipper down in the hotel room, she said ‘I know you’re not going down there like that’ haha giving me the side eye. HATER lol, but I digress…. I had a great time on my birthday and felt 110% comfortable and confident knowing I wouldn’t have some sort of wardrobe malfunction. I’m excited to see what 2014 brings in the world of plus size swimwear, I pray for even more options and I’m confident that we will get there so ladies don’t loose hope!!!!! Here’s to better over shoulder boulder holders!!!!!