Summer’s Bustin’ Out All Over

 

Ah, the first day of summer. And, if you’re a larger-busted woman, the first day of a season not really designed with you in mind. Even if you’re not big-busted, just older, or physically odd in some way, finding attractive but modest summer clothing whose modesty doesn’t draw too much attention to itself can be tough.

High-riding bands and pit-cleavage.

There are many causes of bustiness. One is just being heavier. Others are busty even at lower BMIs, and may spend most of their lives trying to wrangle themselves into normal-size clothing, which, especially during sleeveless season can lead to unfortunate spillover effects. Many women already wear the wrong size bra, causing not only discomfort, but needless dowdiness. At least during colder seasons, a dowdy bustline is more covered up. Not so in summer, when high-riding bands and pit-cleavage can escape the confines of clothing for the world to see.

The solution may be as easy as checking to see whether you’re wearing the right size bra. Even clerks at boutique bra stores who really should know better may lowball cup size and highball band size on bustier women just to match what they have in stock. Fortunately, it’s not so hard to measure yourself at home. Bustier women who have some sewing skills may even be able to alter more commonly-available bra sizes to fit, and save some dough. I’ve done this alteration, and it works, though my seams don’t lie completely flat (the secret of the alteration is going wayyyy up in band size to give yourself room to take in).

If bra shopping is an exquisite feminine hell, swimsuit shopping may be even worse. Many of us have reasons to look for more modest swimwear, especially as we age. Not everyone is comfortable showing off their cellulite, stretch marks, or sagging flesh; nor is merely staying thin a guarantee of avoiding these blemishes: thin or fat, our body’s collagen weakens as we age (or, like me, you could just be born with congenitally weak cartilage).

Olympic-style swimsuits

Olympic athletes wear fairly full-coverage swimsuits – at a fairly full-coverage price (hundreds of dollars)! The coverage and compression of those suits can be simulated at less cost by pairing a legless racing swimsuit (I use Tyr) with a pair of men’s knee-length Speedos. For those who wish to cover their arms as well, knee-to-elbow one-pieces sold as “sun protection” swimwear, often for “surfing and snorkeling”, work well, too (there are also models that cover wrist to ankle). These solutions are highly functional, but not particularly “girly”, especially if you’d rather not turn your potatoes into pancakes, if you know what I mean.

L: elbow to knee suit; R: legless suit & Speedo

Swimwear with built-in bras is supposed to do better than squashing your chest flat. But even this is subject to pitfalls for bustier women – sometimes literal “pitfall”, if bustage escapes confinement to give you that lovely pit-cleavage. Sometimes, you get lucky, and find bra-sized swimwear that indeed matches the bra size it claims to match. Other times, there’s nothing for it but to take matters into your own hands – and I don’t mean spending your day at the beach uplifting your mammaries manually. Rather, I mean, sewing a bra that actually fits you into your swimsuit. The good news for small-banded, large-cupped women is that band size doesn’t matter for these projects, meaning you can use whichever size bra (be the band ever so huge) whose cups alone fit.

Theoretically beautiful swimdress. Frowny face indeed!

Right after I had my first kid, I wasn’t just larger-busted than I’d ever been, but also considerably heftier. That’s when I bought my first knee-to-elbow swimsuit. I also, in a sort of forlorn hope, ordered an inexpensive swimdress that at least looked good in theory. When the swimdress arrived, though, it gave me quite a frowny face. The built-in bra contained maybe a quarter of what it should have. I don’t even want to describe what it looked like: it wasn’t pretty. I was able to cut the built-in bra out and substitute one of my own – or rather, substitute a cheap bra whose band (which I didn’t need) was way too big, but whose cups actually fit. Here are some pictures of the project:

Oh, look! A halter top!

I’ve mentioned pit-cleavage a fair few times by now. One thing I’ve noticed in my various fashion misadventures is that, if you’re a woman prone to pit-cleavage, a halter top, which applies force along a strap going up and in toward the neck, rather than up and out toward the armpit, is sometimes all you need to de-cleavify those pits. Another thing: Plus-size models are still… models.

Even more robust halter top.

They might be zaftig, but they’re perky. And whatever perk nature hasn’t supplied, Photoshop can. As a sag-sack myself, even when I was a skinny teen, fuller-figured women with antigrav adipose strangely fascinate me. I remember encountering one Rubenesque young thing in a string bikini at a swimming hole once – completely flawless skin. Not a striation or dimple to be seen. It was a wonder of nature, I tell you!

But most of us will not be so blessed. As shown in the photo of my postpartum swimdress project, leggings extending below the knee are fine to swim in, too. They make special leggings for swimming, but non-swimming leggings will work if you’re OK with them wearing out fast. If you’re a swimdress sort of lady, or would be, if swimdresses covered your legs better, leggings go about as well with swimdresses as tights go with real dresses.

These days, it seems there are more options than every for less-skimpy swimwear. This is great news for those of us who love to swim, but who don’t love showing all we’ve got to all and sundry. After all, for many of us, modesty and vanity aren’t exactly opposites. What are your favorite tips for keeping cool in the summer heat without revealing too much?

There are 114 comments.

  1. 1
  2. 2
  3. 3
  4. 4
  1. Arahant Member

    Where’s the burkini?

    • #1
    • June 21, 2017, at 8:11 PM PDT
    • 8 likes
  2. Jimmy Carter Member

    Midget Faded Rattlesnake: Fortunately, it’s not so hard to measure yourself at home.

    Do Ladies lie to Themselves about the size of their bust as much as They do about Their shoe size?

    • #2
    • June 21, 2017, at 8:13 PM PDT
    • 3 likes
  3. AUMom Member

    Jimmy Carter (View Comment):

    Midget Faded Rattlesnake: Fortunately, it’s not so hard to measure yourself at home.

    Do Ladies lie to Themselves about the size of their bust as much as They do about Their shoe size?

    GLDIII had the best response to this over in the Heretic thread. As I am lady, I cannot say it but I really mean it.

    • #3
    • June 21, 2017, at 8:19 PM PDT
    • 2 likes
  4. Midget Faded Rattlesnake Contributor

    Jimmy Carter (View Comment):

    Midget Faded Rattlesnake: Fortunately, it’s not so hard to measure yourself at home.

    Do Ladies lie to Themselves about the size of their bust as much as They do about Their shoe size?

    No. Ladies tend to “lie” to themselves about their bust size in the opposite direction. If women were merely being vain, they’d opt for the smallest band size and biggest cup size they could fit into. In reality, women usually are wearing a band size too big and a cup size too small.

    • #4
    • June 21, 2017, at 8:20 PM PDT
    • 8 likes
  5. Arahant Member

    AUMom (View Comment):
    GLDIII had the best response to this over in the Heretic thread. As I am lady, I cannot say it but I really mean it.

    Sounds like an invitation to me. :twisted:

    • #5
    • June 21, 2017, at 8:20 PM PDT
    • 1 like
  6. AUMom Member

    Arahant (View Comment):

    AUMom (View Comment):
    GLDIII had the best response to this over in the Heretic thread. As I am lady, I cannot say it but I really mean it.

    Sounds like an invitation to me. ?

    Nope. Nope. and I can’t believe you went there.

    • #6
    • June 21, 2017, at 8:21 PM PDT
    • 2 likes
  7. Arahant Member

    AUMom (View Comment):
    Nope. Nope. and I can’t believe you went there.

    It’s a breast thread to all intents and purposes. What did you expect. :D

    • #7
    • June 21, 2017, at 8:23 PM PDT
    • 4 likes
  8. Jimmy Carter Member

    Midget Faded Rattlesnake (View Comment):
    Ladies tend to “lie” to themselves about their bust size in the opposite direction.

    I didn’t inquire about which direction, but “as much as,” or as often.

    Thank You for answering, though.

    • #8
    • June 21, 2017, at 8:26 PM PDT
    • 1 like
  9. SkipSul Moderator

    Arahant (View Comment):
    Where’s the burkini?

    • #9
    • June 21, 2017, at 8:34 PM PDT
    • 3 likes
  10. Midget Faded Rattlesnake Contributor

    Arahant (View Comment):
    Where’s the burkini?

    Funny you should mention it. The only gal I’ve ever known to wear a burkini was an ultra-conservative Christian woman. She also covered her hair in front of men. It is the only time I’ve ever seen a burkini in person. The Muslim bathing beauties I know tend to be OK with the “sun protection” swimwear for “surfing and snorkeling” – and that’s if their dress isn’t completely Westernized.

    • #10
    • June 21, 2017, at 8:43 PM PDT
    • 2 likes
  11. Arahant Member

    Midget Faded Rattlesnake (View Comment):
    Funny you should mention it. The only gal I’ve ever known to wear a burkini was an ultra-conservative Christian woman.

    Given what you were speaking of, that just seemed the next step.

    • #11
    • June 21, 2017, at 8:46 PM PDT
    • Like
  12. RightAngles Member

    Arahant (View Comment): Where’s the burkini?

    Image result for burkini

    • #12
    • June 21, 2017, at 8:47 PM PDT
    • 1 like
  13. Arahant Member

    RightAngles (View Comment):

    Arahant (View Comment):
    What are your favorite tips for keeping cool in the summer heat without revealing too much?

    Image result for burkini

    There you go again, misattributing quotes.

    • #13
    • June 21, 2017, at 8:48 PM PDT
    • 2 likes
  14. Midget Faded Rattlesnake Contributor

    AUMom (View Comment):

    Jimmy Carter (View Comment):

    Midget Faded Rattlesnake: Fortunately, it’s not so hard to measure yourself at home.

    Do Ladies lie to Themselves about the size of their bust as much as They do about Their shoe size?

    GLDIII had the best response to this over in the Heretic thread.

    Wait – there’s a Heretic thread? And I wasn’t invited? Where?!

    • #14
    • June 21, 2017, at 8:52 PM PDT
    • 8 likes
  15. Midget Faded Rattlesnake Contributor

    Jimmy Carter (View Comment):

    Midget Faded Rattlesnake (View Comment):
    Ladies tend to “lie” to themselves about their bust size in the opposite direction.

    I didn’t inquire about which direction, but “as much as,” or as often.

    Thank You for answering, though.

    In terms of frequency, I bet ladies more often wear the wrong bra size than they wear the wrong shoe size.

    • #15
    • June 21, 2017, at 8:56 PM PDT
    • 6 likes
  16. RightAngles Member

    Arahant (View Comment):

    RightAngles (View Comment):

    Arahant (View Comment):
    What are your favorite tips for keeping cool in the summer heat without revealing too much?

    Image result for burkini

    There you go again, misattributing quotes.

    I edited it before you even commented!

    • #16
    • June 21, 2017, at 8:57 PM PDT
    • 1 like
  17. RightAngles Member

    Midget Faded Rattlesnake (View Comment):

    Jimmy Carter (View Comment):

    Midget Faded Rattlesnake (View Comment):
    Ladies tend to “lie” to themselves about their bust size in the opposite direction.

    I didn’t inquire about which direction, but “as much as,” or as often.

    Thank You for answering, though.

    In terms of frequency, I bet ladies more often wear the wrong bra size than they wear the wrong shoe size.

    We do.

    • #17
    • June 21, 2017, at 8:58 PM PDT
    • 5 likes
  18. RightAngles Member

    Midget Faded Rattlesnake (View Comment):

    Jimmy Carter (View Comment):

    Midget Faded Rattlesnake (View Comment):
    Ladies tend to “lie” to themselves about their bust size in the opposite direction.

    I didn’t inquire about which direction, but “as much as,” or as often.

    Thank You for answering, though.

    In terms of frequency, I bet ladies more often wear the wrong bra size than they wear the wrong shoe size.

    And bikinis are a problem because the bottom might fit but the top is too small or too big. Some places are now letting you buy the top in one size and the bottom in another.

    • #18
    • June 21, 2017, at 9:01 PM PDT
    • 7 likes
  19. Arahant Member

    Midget Faded Rattlesnake (View Comment):
    Wait – there’s a Heretic thread? And I wasn’t invited? Where?!

    https://ricochet.com/438750/your-friend-the-heretic/

    • #19
    • June 21, 2017, at 9:03 PM PDT
    • 3 likes
  20. Midget Faded Rattlesnake Contributor

    Arahant (View Comment):

    Midget Faded Rattlesnake (View Comment):
    Wait – there’s a Heretic thread? And I wasn’t invited? Where?!

    https://ricochet.com/438750/your-friend-the-heretic/

    Thanks, good sir.

    • #20
    • June 21, 2017, at 9:09 PM PDT
    • 5 likes
  21. Lash LaRoche Inactive

    Very interesting…

    • #21
    • June 21, 2017, at 9:10 PM PDT
    • 5 likes
  22. Gary McVey Contributor

    Some people claim that men aren’t interested in learning about women’s problems. And yet, I didn’t hesitate to click on this thread.

    Supportive, that’s what we are.

    • #22
    • June 21, 2017, at 9:36 PM PDT
    • 29 likes
  23. Johnnie Alum 13 Coolidge

    I think that I’ll have to do more research into the matter. After I’ve spoken to busty women at the pool and/or beach, I’ll report back with my findings.

    • #23
    • June 21, 2017, at 10:00 PM PDT
    • 16 likes
  24. RightAngles Member

    • #24
    • June 21, 2017, at 10:10 PM PDT
    • 25 likes
  25. Gary McVey Contributor

    RightAngles, you post the finest birthday cards on Ricochet, so if you ever want to post pictures of yourself in your birthday suit, we’re a ready audience!

    • #25
    • June 21, 2017, at 10:13 PM PDT
    • 11 likes
  26. RightAngles Member

    Gary McVey (View Comment):
    RightAngles, you post the finest birthday cards on Ricochet, so if you ever want to post pictures of yourself in your birthday suit, we’re a ready audience!

    You have a very naughty side. I like that in a person.

    • #26
    • June 21, 2017, at 10:43 PM PDT
    • 8 likes
  27. Randy Webster Member

    Being a woman sounds complicated.

    • #27
    • June 22, 2017, at 3:37 AM PDT
    • 5 likes
  28. Lash LaRoche Inactive

    Randy Webster (View Comment):
    Being a woman sounds complicated.

    • #28
    • June 22, 2017, at 3:45 AM PDT
    • 3 likes
  29. Randy Webster Member

    Or maybe

    • #29
    • June 22, 2017, at 4:31 AM PDT
    • 2 likes
  30. Profile Photo Member

    Midget Faded Rattlesnake (View Comment):

    AUMom (View Comment):

    Jimmy Carter (View Comment):

    Midget Faded Rattlesnake: Fortunately, it’s not so hard to measure yourself at home.

    Do Ladies lie to Themselves about the size of their bust as much as They do about Their shoe size?

    GLDIII had the best response to this over in the Heretic thread.

    Wait – there’s a Heretic thread? And I wasn’t invited? Where?!

    The title is a little misleading. It’s political heresy.

    • #30
    • June 22, 2017, at 6:07 AM PDT
    • Like
  1. 1
  2. 2
  3. 3
  4. 4