Like many people, my relationship with swimwear over my lifetime has been a tempestuous one. My teen years were marked by hulking great padded numbers which attempted to hoist up my non-existent cleavage (uncomfortable and not very flattering), then in my early twenties, I finally learnt to embrace the perks of having a small bust with itsy-bitsy teeny-weeny string bikinis. And while there's still a place in my heart for these classic triangle styles, they were never ideal for jumping in pools or splashing around in waves…
It was only earlier this year that I stumbled across what I now call the holy grail of swimwear for small boobs, and that's the underwired, unpadded bikini. Of course, it all started when I spotted Lucy Williams in a tangerine-coloured two-piece from Peony. Considering that underwiring had long been mentally filed away under "do not touch with a barge pole," I couldn't get over how flattering it looked—it felt like an altogether chicer, natural-shape enhancing and functional option within the bikini world.
Yep, I was well and truly influenced. I nabbed the same style in the Net-a-Porter sale and haven't looked back since. Also, it's worth noting that many of this summer's underwire bikini tops come with either '80s-inspired high-cut bottoms (which can look intimidating but are great for lengthening the legs) or '50s-style high-waisted bottoms (which can help whittle the waist). Proof that it's always good to experiment with designs that are usually out of our comfort zone.
Obviously, I don't want to be prescriptive, and my general motto is "wear whatever makes you feel good, regardless of what others think," but if you're petite in the chest area and looking for a bit of inspiration for your park-based sunbathing, scroll down to check out my dream swimwear edit.
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