DD-plus swimwear: our pick of this season’s best bikinis, tankinis and swimsuits
How big is big?
When glamour models like Katie Price reportedly claim to have DD boobs, it’s not surprising that many women baulk at the “surely I’m not that huge?” comparison.
Irrespective of what Jordan’s cup size really is (an impressive JJ, one source suggests), the reality is that Britain’s breasts have been on the move for years – and DD just ain’t that big any more.
A survey earlier this year found that the average UK bra size is now 34D (up from 34C in 2011), and that in some parts of the country – including Leeds and Scotland – 34DD is actually the norm. It’s a finding echoed by Durham-based bra expert Annette Keelty – owner of designer lingerie store Lingerie by Annette – who says that her customers are split roughly 50/50 between the very small (A/B) and the DD+.
Getting the size right
Of course, cup size is always proportional to the band size – meaning that a 34DD bra actually has bigger cups than a 32DD – a complexity that may account for the two-thirds of women who are apparently wearing the wrong size of bra.
Annette, who provides a personal professional fitting service for those ladies who are unsure of their size, agrees: “Most women who come to see me have never been fitted properly and are wearing the wrong size and style for the shape of their breasts”, she says.
So, the message is clear – know your correct bra size, and you’ll be comfortable, supported and confident! And if there’s one place this summer where you want to be all those things, it’s surely by the pool or on the beach.
The upside of more and more women embracing (and knowing the size of) their fuller busts is that big-name stores’ choice of DD-plus swimwear – from bikinis to tankinis and all-in-one swimsuits – has never been better, with many retailers now offering swimwear in DD-G cup sizes (or sometimes even bigger).
So, always looking to help our readers, we’ve done the hard work for you and chosen our favourite DD swimwear – from the bargain end to the somewhat fancier – from six of the best-known online retailers.
Just scroll through the gallery at the top of the page to see all our choices in their full glory.
George Animal Bikini at Asda – £8
For fast, affordable fashion, you can never go wrong with George at Asda, and this animal-print bikini top in plum – featuring a pretty twist design – is a snip at just £8.
Some sizes have sold out, but it’s available in 34DD and 36DD, among others – so snap it up while you can!
Team it with the matching bikini bottoms (just £4) and you’ve got yourself a complete ‘walk on the wild side’ look for the pool or beach.
Valentine Bikini Top by Freya at Bravissimo – £38
We couldn’t not include Bravissimo in this feature, given that it’s one of the biggest champions of fuller-busted women, providing a wide choice of gorgeous lingerie and swimwear in D-L cups.
This pretty floral Valentine Bikini Top by Freya (£38) is one of our favourites at Bravissimo this season, and has multi-way straps that mean it can be worn as a halterneck or crossover back. Even better, it’s underwired for support and comes in a wide range of sizes right up to a J cup.
For the complete look, pair up the bikini top with the matching swim brief in your choice of floral print or blue – for ease of shopping, all the accessory options are featured on the same page.
Orchid Underwired Control Swimsuit at John Lewis – £39
John Lewis has some fabulous own-label fashions these days, and this Orchid Underwired Control Swimsuit is bright, stylish, and great value at just £39.
The blue floral pattern is just stunning, and we love the cute details with a sweetheart-style curve to the cups and halter tie fastening to the nape of the neck. Cut with a flattering high leg, the piece is designed with underwired cups for confidence and control, and is perfect for ensuring that you take to the sunshine in style!
Specially tailored for women with a more generous bust, this lovely swimsuit comes in a range of DD, E and F-cup sizes.
Panache Balconette Swimsuit at Simply Be – £40 (usually £50)
Simply Be has quickly built a reputation as the stylish fashion store for ladies size 12-32, and its swimwear ranges live up to that billing.
We love this Panache Balconette Swimsuit – currently just £40 – featuring a vibrant, catwalk-inspired feather print. We also like that it’s designed with comfort in mind, with wide front straps, powermesh-lined cups and wings, and underwiring for support. Meanwhile, the bright digital print with solid black side panels gives the flattering illusion of an hourglass shape.
Again, customers have been snapping up this bold swimsuit in their droves, but it’s still available in popular sizes such as 32DD and 34DD.
Fantasie Java Plunge Tankini Top at Debenhams – £43.40 (usually £62)
Offering the convenience of a two-piece but the modesty of a swimsuit, there’s no wonder that flattering, figure-sculpting tankinis are all the rage.
This Fantasie Java Plunge Tankini Top from Debenhams is in a gorgeous two-tone blue spot print – with adjustable side detail for minimum or maximum coverage – and currently has 30% off the usual price of £62, making it an even more affordable £43.40. Specially designed for the fuller bust, the tankini is available in sizes from 34F to 38G.
For the full look, combine it with the matching short in the same pattern, or this mid-rise brief.
Jets Lustre D/DD Gathered Empire One Piece at Simply Beach – £147
As one of the best-known swimwear and beachwear specialists, Simply Beach doesn’t disappoint – its store offers hundreds of glamorous and flattering bikinis, swimsuits and tankinis, including a section dedicated to D+ swimwear.
Depending on your mood and pocket, options range from sub-£25 bargains to slightly more eyewatering £250+ swimsuits; at £147, our choice of this Jets Lustre D/DD Gathered Empire One Piece – specially designed for a D or DD cup – is somewhere in the middle!
In a gorgeous, shimmering pink, this one piece features soft removable cups and a removable halter strap to make sure that you get the perfect fit and support. It’s usually available in sizes 10 to 16, but hurry, though, as some sizes have already sold out!
Which is your favourite from our swimwear choices? Tell us below!
All prices quoted were correct as of 12 July 2014.