Ready for the beach!

Over the past few months, I’ve been on the hunt for good bikinis. I usually take a bit longer between blog posts, but with holiday-season pretty much underway, I thought I’d post a quick round up 😉


The first bikini I’ve got my paws on is the Panache Geneva balconette in a 30JJ. It’s definitely an old style (this is an eBay bargain), but it’s very similar to the newer Holly bikini. Like this season’s Holly, it is available in 28-40 D-K, and in both bikini and tankini styles. I was lucky to snag this a few months ago at £7, but it should be findable for under £15. I’ve matched it here with generic cheap bottoms, pretty much why I wanted a basic black bikini!


The cups run slightly small, but considering the stretchy material and stretch in water, I don’t think I’d size up. The back is (as with almost all bikinis) unadjustable, which is definitely a bit of an annoyance. I can see how most won’t want their swimwear to be too lingerie-esque, and I don’t know how well a hook-and-eye fastening would hold up in water, but when you’re paying the same as for a bra it’s a bit annoying to know it has a significantly shorter lifespan. The fastening also has an annoying habit of rotating (as does my CK bikini), but it should be easy enough to fix.


I find the shape and support pretty good – it’s definitely a very bra-like bikini. I’d say the construction is somewhat like the Cleo Lucy, but small in the cups and with a more true-to-size band. I’ve paired it above with high-waisted briefs. I’ve been hunting for high-waisted briefs for ages (I love that they’re both retro and modest!), but couldn’t really find any. So, I made my own from a swimming costume:

The costume was a magazine freebie which definitely did not have enough boob-space. I marked on the height I wanted them to be, cut off the excess and folded the top over.  I then sewed it with a stretch stitch, cut a small hole at the side and threaded through the “string” part from an old bikini to keep it from slipping down.


My second bikini for summer is the Curvy Kate Caribbean Curves bikini in a 30JJ. I really adore the pattern and colours of this, as I think it’s a gorgeous compromise between flirty leopard print and sophisticated dark colours. I’ve matched it here with (you guessed it) store-bought purple briefs, though I am definitely considering buying the matching set for this! I was once again lucky to get this bikini on sale, but I think the best price is currently roughly £22 at Amazon.


ck-cc-gappingIt is another very bra-like bikini, but it is also one of Curvy Kate’s few padded offerings up to a K cup. The shape is much better than I’ve gotten in any of Curvy Kate’s bras, it gives good support, and the band is nice and firm. However, it definitely comes huge in the cups: I normally have to size up to a 30K in Curvy Kate, and this is miles too big in a 30JJ. It’s okay standing, but when slouching or sitting you can see how much it gapes, and it will definitely loosen more in water. I think I would ideally need to size down to a 30HH (!), potentially making this a very good option for those who need KK/L cups. Aside from the size, I am so in love with this bikini! I think the padding and the construction of this are what we really need to see in Curvy Kate’s regular range. The fact that it can give me such great shape and support, even in a too big cup, is just incredible. I really hope this is the start of padded bras for higher cups!

sdh-fullLastly, the Slinky Dip polka dot halterneck bikini, by The Big Bra Bar, is one I wasn’t expecting to work. Though it isn’t underwired, it is made with significantly larger triangle sections to accommodate a larger bust. It comes in general sizes – you just choose your size in the dropdown and they send the best size for you. It is a truly gorgeous bikini – retro-inspired, polka-dots, the long ties…Both my sister and I ended up ordering it and received the same size (I believe this is meant for 28-32 F-G).

sdh-close-upConsidering it’s made for someone a fair bit smaller, I think this gives a surprising amount of coverage. It isn’t anywhere near as supportive as a proper underwired bikini, but I don’t think I’m in danger of falling out. I definitely wouldn’t do anything too active in it – it’s more one for lounging by the pool. Here I’m wearing it with the necktie not as tight as it could be for comfort, but if I want more impressive shape/cleavage I can tighten it more. Obviously someone smaller would have an easier time of getting a good shape/uplift!

sdh-frilly-fullFor spares, I’ve also paired it here with some Trinny and Susannah polka dot swim briefs. The bikini itself usually sells for £32 at The Big Bra Bar, but is currently out of stock. Also available in this style are the yellow polka dot version (£32, reviewed at thinandcurvy), and the zebra print version (£25.60).

That’s just about all from me for today – see you in the pool! 😀

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Founder and main author of Bras and Body Image. Anna is a lingerie lover, feminist and maths student based in the UK, who hopes to someday cuddle every cat in the world.

5 thoughts on “Ready for the beach!

  1. Girl, you need to squeeze yourself in a freya pier. I got it in a 34 G even though Im about your size cause i dont like my bikini bands too tight. Found it’s really easy to alter the bikini band if needed, and I didn’t do that with pier because the cups were soo supportive <3
    And they give a much much better shape than any of those you had on. The first one makes you look saggy (and i saw you in cleo so I know its the tops fault). the second one is better but a bit wide and the third one is a hit, but to walk is to jiggle and you can't want that all the time 😉

  2. Pingback: Diving In with Curvy Kate | Bras and Body Image

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