Swimsuit season is rapidly approaching us here in the United States, and as all small band/larger bust ladies know, bikinis are the ultimate nemesis. I grew up insanely jealous of my girlfriends who could waltz into Target or wherever and pick up a cute triangle halter top bikini for $20. I tried and tried, but my chest wasn’t having it. I spent countless summers sad and deflated, falling out of my tops, tying them as tight as humanly possible and then lying perfectly still by the water, not daring to move and suffer a wardrobe malfunction. Once I learned that bra sized swim tops existed, my hopes soared! Then crashed and burned, as I realized most bra sized swim tops look like…. well, bras. Hello! If I wanted to wear my bra to the beach, I’d wear my freaking BRA to the BEACH! The ones that don’t look like bras are covered in kitschy prints or loud florals or neons, and even worse – they’re unlined. See a funny thing happens when a body gets wet – the nipples get wet too! And then a breeze hits and BAM. It’s a free show.
I’ve never understood why it’s so difficult for full bust manufacturers to produce a bikini that looks like a normal bikini, is offered in the full range of sizes, and is lightly padded. Just thin foam pads make a world of difference. I’ve got a list of requirements for my bikini tops and I’ve begun to think I’m searching for a unicorn: offered in a 28 band, halter ties, hidden or inconspicuous underwires, and lightly padded. That’s it. I’m not as picky about technical fit in a bikini top as I am a bra and yet, such a creature does not really exist. There are a few I can think of – some older Freya styles that are hard to find, and Pour Moi. Pour Moi starts at 32 bands, and their padding is more like PADDING and less like nipple coverage. From what I hear, they’re insufferably shallow. I had resigned myself to the fact that if I want a padded top, it will have to be somewhat shallow, but if the underwires float I know it will drive me bananas all day and who wants to deal with that when trying to relax? I’m willing to do some alterations like tightening the band, and I’m prepared to add padding to an unpadded top, I just can’t seem to find one that fits well enough to be even worth altering. I will report back in a couple of weeks though, as I do have a Miss Mandalay Bardot top on its way to me in the mail.
I digress slightly, as I came here to talk about Comexim. I knew Comexim had a limited bikini top selection, and I adored the print on Pin Up Girl. I don’t have polka dot bras, but I have an affinity for polka dotted bikini tops. All of Comexim’s bikini tops are offered in their plunge cut with standard straps, which is one thing I simply cannot do. Standard, over the shoulder straps scream “I’m a bra made of swimsuit material!!” Also, Comexim’s 3HC bras fit me worlds better than the plunge bras do. So I started wondering one day if they could customize the Pin Up Girl top for me. I was afraid I’d be asking too much of this very accommodating company, but finally I took the plunge and asked Anna if it was possible to order a Pin Up Girl bikini top in the 3HC pattern, with convertible straps. At the least, convertible straps would allow me the option to cross them in the back, and maybe even unhook them and tie them as a halter. To my surprise, Anna agreed! I ordered it in a 60J with the front of the straps moved in 2cm, partly because this reduces cup volume slightly and partly because if I did choose to tie them as a halter, I wouldn’t be pulling them from allll the way over by my armpits. I went up one size from my normal 60HH because (and I realize I’m in the minority here), cleavage is the last thing I want at the pool. I want to feel safe and secure, and not attract the wandering eyes of anyone who feels the need to stare blatantly at my chest.
It arrived a couple of weeks ago and not only did Anna do exactly what I asked her to do, she graciously provided me the entire set including bottoms. I simply cannot say enough about how truly fabulous Comexim is!! This a lot of talking with no pictures, so let’s get to it!
TA-DA!! Look at how cuuuute she is! In this picture I have the straps crossed in the back, and it gives the halter top appearance in the front. The underwires are black like the rest of the top so they don’t stand out, and the seams are incredibly well camouflaged. The gore tacks without stabbing, and I’m not putting on a cleavage parade!
From the side you can see the wires are narrow as usual, and the projection at the underwire is lovely. These wires stay where they belong. The band is TTS if not an inch long, and it remains to be seen if it stretches further when wet and compromises support. There is minor visible gapping on my smaller side as a result of sizing up. Oh well. Again, I’d rather have slight gapping than quadding in a bikini top.
I really do adore this top from all angles. The lift and shaping is very nice and round and I feel very secure without feeling too covered up or matronly.
The entire set together is adorable. You’ll have to excuse my flipped leg elastic, oops! I will note I had to lower the rise of the bottoms. Comexim’s knickers are notoriously higher rise than American brands, and I have a very short torso. The original rise of these bottoms came up closer to my belly button and cut in to my sides very noticeably and unattractively. On a longer torso with a more pronounced waist to hip curve, I doubt it would be a problem. I have an athletic build with very little natural hourglass to my shape and the problems I encountered with these bottoms are problems I’ve encountered with bikini bottoms, underwear, and jeans my entire life. For reference, these bottoms are a Comexim size M, which I imagine is roughly a UK 10/US 6.
Here you can see the crossed back straps. I appreciate the metal strap and band hardware because it is very sturdy, however I tried to tie the straps as a halter and it was pretty bulky and awkward. So I believe I will wear this top as a cross back. It’s a compromise I know I’ll have to make. The bottom coverage is wonderful for me. It may be fuller coverage than many beachgoers wear, but I prefer it. I don’t like half my butt cheeks hanging out for all the world to see! These bottoms strike the perfect compromise between “cheeky” and “swimming shorts.”
Clearly, I’m enamored. It’s far and away the best bikini I’ve ever owned. I feel excited for bikini season for the first time ever. The quality of the materials and manufacturing is top notch and I wouldn’t expect anything less from Anna and her team. I’m a curious cat by nature and will probably always be hunting for that perfect halter top, but I am resting easier now knowing I have something I love and can swim comfortably in.
Do you have any holy grail bikini tops, readers? Stop by and let me know in the comments! Thanks!