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

Michaela Bushkin

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 into my rotation. But not just any bikinis—I'm looking for ones that best flatter my smaller size 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 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 that I find best highlight my smaller boobs. Shop them below, ranked from the most revealing styles to least.


String Halter Top


Styling: Oséree Swimwear Lumiere Two Piece ($209).

It might be a stretch to say that 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.

Oséree Lumière Metallic Triangle Bikini ($164)

Peixoto Fifi Top ($66)

Shop the matching Peixoto Toni Bottoms ($66).

Hunza G Orange Carmen Bikini ($150)

Mango Floral Triangle Bikini ($40)

Shop the matching Floral Bikini Bottom ($30).


Classic Triangle Top


Styling: Monday Swimwear Barbados Top ($84), Barbados Bottom ($77), and St. Tropez Sarong ($55).

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 or 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.

Monday Swimwear Barbados Top in Tangerine Rib ($84)

Shop the matching Barbados Bottom ($77).

H&M Padded Bikini Top ($20)

Shop the matching Brazilian Bikini Bottoms ($18).

Topshop High Apex Crinkle Triangle Bikini Top ($20)

Shop the matching Twisted String Bikini Bottoms ($48).

Gnash Swim Teardrop Triangle Bikini Top ($54)

Shop the matching Finelines Brief Bikini Bottoms ($54).


Mermaid Top


Styling: Onia Johana Ribbed Bikini Top ($95) and Susana Rib Bottom ($95).

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 affect, perfect for showing just a touch of cleavage without going overboard.

Onia Johana Ribbed Bikini Top ($95)

Shop the matching Susana Rib Bottom ($90).

Fisch Grenadins Leopard-Print Bikini Top ($118)

Shop the matching Toiny Leopard-Print High-Rise Bikini Briefs ($90).

Lovers + Friends Ander Top ($88)

Shop the matching Ander Bottom ($80).

Ganni Tie-Strap Graphic-Print Underwired Bikini Top ($105)

Shop the matching Graphic-Print High-Rise Bikini Briefs ($85).


Pinched Bandeau Top


Styling: Montce Tori Bandeau Bikini Top ($85) and High Rise Bikini Bottoms ($64).

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!

Montce Tori Bandeau Bikini Top ($85)

Shop the matching High Rise Bikini Bottoms ($64).

Patbo Grace Embellished Floral-Print Bandeau Bikini Top ($135)

Shop the matching Grace Belted Floral-Print Bikini Briefs ($150).

Marysia Antibes Scalloped Stretch-Crepe Bandeau Bikini Top ($144)

Shop the matching Antibes Scalloped Stretch-Crepe Bikini Briefs ($144).

Acacia Baker Printed Bikini Top ($115)

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


Crop Top


Styling: WeWoreWhat Lily Bikini Top ($120) and Amber Bottom ($110).

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 where 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.

WeWoreWhat Lily Bikini Top ($122)

Shop the matching Amber Bottom ($110).

LPA Drizella Top ($108)

Shop the matching Sweetie Pie Bottom ($78).

Beach Riot Marlee Bikini Top ($118)

Shop the matching Chelsea Bikini Bottoms ($78).

Majorelle Laila Top ($100)

Shop the matching Laila High Waist Bottom ($100).


One-Shoulder Top


Styling: Frankies Bikinis Taylor Top ($90) and Monica Bottom ($90).

I've been really into one-shoulder tops all summer, wearing them with jeans and linen shorts regularly. 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.

Frankies Bikinis Taylor Top ($90)

Shop the matching Monica Bottom ($90).

Mikoh Moni One Shoulder Top ($112)

Shop the matching Papara Low Rise Cheeky Bottom ($90).

Vitamin A Claire One Shoulder Top ($102)

Shop the matching Luciana Full Coverage Bottom ($90).

Zimmerman Amelie Bow Bikini Set ($330)

Up next, shop the accessory that makes bikinis look ten times more stylish.

This article originally appeared on Who What Wear

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