Tuesday, August 7, 2012

Elements of Style: Bandeau Bikini

So, the style that I'm grappling with today is the bandeau.

J Crew

My upcoming annual getaway with my sister Calliope and her two boys is a cruise again. Since it's the end of the season, I hit the sale racks for some new swimwear this week. There were a ton of bandeau tops. This is not a look I've ever worn, but it's not one that I dislike inherently. Afterall, I love strapless tops and showing my shoulders! But not a single one worked out for me.

I don't think of myself as very busty - I'm just a little bigger than average and have a very healthy respect for gravity. But I had 2 major problems with all of the bandeaus. First, there was not enough vertical coverage. I'm small around the ribcage, and the size I needed around was not big enough over the bust. Second, not a single one I tried on felt either supportive or secure at all (I didn't even bother to do a bounce test).

So, I'm wondering who wears this style?  Is it another look that only works for the small busted woman or pretty young things who haven't fully developed or experienced the effects of gravity yet?  The ruffles on this one definitely would add volume to a small bust.

Ondademar

Or is it a bit more of a lifestyle situation? When I'm in a bathing suit, I'm generally being active - I sunburn too easily to ever enjoy tanning. And I can not imagine that any of the bandeaus I tried on would have stayed put if I were to jump off a boat or dock, go down a waterslide, or do any of the active things I normally do on beach vacations. Seriously, I want to avoid any scuba-related wardrobe malfunctions.

I also found that on my body, they made me look flat (a third problem, I suppose) and were not particularly flattering. I also think wearing a too-small size for the sake of cleavage is just silly.

Clearly looking teed off that she's in the wrong size bikini top. It can't be comfy.

Anyway, are you a fan or wearer of the bandeau bikini?  I have nothing against them, per se. I was just surprised that not a single one worked for me and am feeling turned off to the whole style now. Please share!

14 comments:

poppykettle said...

I definitely could not do a bandeau. If I'm going to feel comfy in a swim suit then I need support! I love the look of the style though - but I definitely think in general it's better suited for smaller busts. But if you can pull it off and you feel comfy wearing one - I say go for it!

Tanit-Isis Sews said...

Speaking for the smaller end of the spectrum, support may not be a big issue but staying up definitely is. I think the prevalence of bandeaus on the sale racks tells you that everyone else is as unthrilled by them as you are. There's no way I would wear one for---no, even lying around would get annoying as I would have to hike it up every time I moved. Of course, it's possible that I'm just crotchety, but I've never met a strapless top (that wasn't held up with bones, anyway) that didn't drive me nuts.

Lisette said...

I wore the style once, in my early twenties. I am small busted but even back then I knew it was a style for showing off and not for any real swimming.

Sandra said...

No. No no no no no. Doesn't look good on anyone. ANYONE.

K-Line said...

It's a rare one that doesn't rely on pushing breasts towards the chest to accomplish the aim. You might want to try a Freya or Fantasie swimsuit. They make bandeaus with cups in them. But not all chests and bodies really suit them. Gravity over a certain size (not such a big one) or certain age (not such and old one) is a real concern.

Carol Trendall said...

They're fine if you're sitting around doing nothing but I'm used to swimming in the surf. They don't last long when you get dumped by a wave.

Phyllis Craine said...

I agree!

Clio said...

Exactly! I'm active when at the beach and see all the potential for wardrobe malfunction!

Clio said...

I did ultimately get some swimsuits, just not bandeaus. I find that sticking with halter or bra-like tops works best for me.

Clio said...

LOL - I actually was pretty shocked at how unflattering they all were on me, which is why I had to post about it!

Clio said...

I had a sneaking suspicion that might be the case when there were so many on the sale rack... ;-)

The Slapdash Sewist said...

I'm flat and could never wear a bandeau, it would just make me look so much worse. I don't know that they really work for anyone other than toddlers!

T. Sedai said...

This seems like the most impractical style of bathing suit ever. Not to mention probably near the top of the list of unflattering styles. The only real benefit I could see would be tanning without straps and making tan lines, but otherwise I can't think of a reason to buy, make, or wear one.

bikini swimsuit said...

So beautiful!! :)