I’m Small-Chested and Tried on a Ton of Swimwear—These 6 Styles Fit the Best

Over here in sunny Los Angeles, it feels like summer may never end, which, for the record, I’m not the least bit mad about. Since I anticipate months more of beach days, I’m still shopping for some new bikinis to add to my rotation. But not just any bikinis—I’m looking for ones that best suit my smaller-sized chest.

While my cup size may fluctuate throughout the month (anyone else?), I’m usually a solid 34B. There are certain styles I’ve found that really don’t look the best on my smaller chest, like straight-across bandeau tops and high-neck swimsuits. I strongly stand by the statement “every body is a bikini body,” however, I personally feel most confident in a swimsuit when the fabric isn’t swallowing up my top half. There are six styles, in particular, I find best highlight my smaller boobs. Shop them, ranked from the most revealing styles to least, below.

It might be a stretch to say string bikinis are universally flattering, but they are beloved by many women with many body types. I find the string halter top to hug in all the right places and provide almost a boob-job effect. Yes, I said it.

Shop the matching Tia Bikini Bottoms ($70).

Shop the matching String Low-Rise Bikini Briefs ($135).

Shop the matching Broderie Hipster Bikini Bottom ($23).

Shop the matching Heidi High-Cut Bikini Bottom ($39). 

The classic triangle top is the slightly more modest version of the string halter top above. Because the cups don’t slide around, this style is definitely a safer bet for swimming and other activities that involve getting up from your towel. Look for one that has adjustable straps in the back—like this Monday Swimwear suit—to really hug everything in.

Shop the matching Liv Bikini Bottom ($38). 

Shop the matching Bikini Bottoms ($13).

Shop the matching Twisted String Bikini Bottoms ($75).

Shop the matching Olu Bottoms ($140). 

I’ve always found demi-cup bras and swimsuits to fit my friends with larger busts much better than they do me. My friend Lauren proved me wrong (once again, sigh!) when she suggested I try a top style dubbed as the mermaid bikini. The difference is subtle but important: There’s a separation between the two cups that creates a slightly more angled effect—perfect for showing just a touch of cleavage without going overboard.

Shop the matching Shimmer Rib Bikini Bottom ($95).

Shop the matching Tie Bikini Bottoms ($30). 

Shop the matching Majorelle Bikini Bottoms ($19).

Standard bandeau tops that are essentially a rectangle shape always make me feel like an adolescent boy. I’m sorry, but it’s true. I can’t really fill them out, so they end up looking more like a strapless top. Instead, I’ve found bandeaus that sort of pinch in at the center, with either a ring or a tie, provide a little bit more of a shape. Bonus points if you find one that also comes with removable straps!

Shop the matching High Rise Bikini Bottoms ($92).

Shop the matching Palmero Bikini Bottoms ($95). 

Shop the matching Aubrey Bottoms ($75).

Shop the matching Cindy Provenza Bikini Bottoms ($79).

Shop the matching Echo Printed Bikini Bottom ($106).

When I want something with a little more coverage, I like to wear a crop top–style bikini. Now I’ll admit, this style is ideal for my dream life, in which I’m hanging out on a yacht every weekend as opposed to my apartment’s tiny pool. It’s definitely really good at being pretty and not so good at being practical, and I am 100% okay with that.

Shop the matching Amber Bottom ($110).

Shop the matching Lennox Bikini Bottom ($62).

Shop the matching High-Waisted Bikini Bottoms ($70).

Shop the matching Alicia Bikini Bottoms ($80). 

All summer I’ve been really into one-shoulder tops, regularly wearing them with jeans and linen shorts. I can’t believe it took me so long to discover one-shoulder bikini tops because I am now their number one fan. The style offers fuller coverage but looks more flattering, in my opinion, than a straight-across top. This one, in particular, is made with a sustainable fabric, which I am equally as excited about.

Shop the matching Brazilian Bikini Bottoms ($13).

Shop the matching The Scene Bottoms ($80).

Shop the matching Hubert Bikini Bottoms ($77). 

Shop the matching Feeling Salty Bikini Bottoms ($66).

This post was published at an earlier date and has since been updated.

Up next, this revealing swimsuit trend will be everywhere come summer.

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