Undressed to Impress

As Seen On Smaller-busted gals

on January 25, 2012

I recently ordered some bikinis from Asos in the sale as they had some real bargains and I need a new bikini or two for my holidays later this year. Asos have their own selection of ‘Fuller Bust’ bikinis with a very limited size range of 30-34 D-F. Kudos to Asos for including a 30 back in that size range, but since they’re clearly targeting the smaller end of the D+ market with that range it would have been nice to see some 28 backs. Since I’m not so fussed about a firm back on a bikini I decided to try my luck with a 30F and there were a surprising number of styles still available in this size.

I ordered four styles, all of which I was a bit dubious about as the same model is used for the regular bikini range as well as the fuller bust range, suggesting she is at the smallest end of the already small range and so you can’t get a good idea of how supportive they are from looking at the pictures. I really like the catwalk video with every item on the Asos website, and with a bikini it would be nice to see a full-busted model walking down the runway to see if the bikini is supporting her or if there’s a lot of movement as she walks. However, with worldwide free delivery (and free returns from the UK and France certainly, although I’m not sure about elsewhere) you’re not really losing out if your order doesn’t fit.

I was most suspicious about the first of the bikinis, the Cross Back Spot Halter Bikini, because the version from the standard range and the version from the fuller bust range both look rather skimpy. In fact, the only addition to the fuller bust range seems to be the addition of a band (rather than a string) and an underwire. To the credit of Asos, both are the same price. No M&S-style price discrimination here!

Standard string bikini style ‘Fuller bust’ version

It just looked ridiculous on me. The cups were far too small and cut away and from the side you could see it was giving no lift. I really like the design of the back, but it means the straps are not adjustable and since I usually need to shorten all straps significantly, these were too long for me.

The next bikini I tried was the Spot Print Halter Bikini, which looks a lot like the Freya Pier in Black, which I like but can’t really afford. The halterneck strap on the Asos version certainly looks less supportive than the Freya, but since they’re not producing particularly large cup sizes presumably Asos aren’t too bothered by that.

Freya Pier Lookalike

I was pleased to see a little more coverage with this one, but the fit issues were the same. In the last picture I’m actually glad for red marks for once, as you can see how much smaller the cup was on this than the bra I was wearing. The neck strap was, as I had expected, rather flimsy and I can envisage it digging in after just a short time wearing this top. The frill trim also felt a little cheap and I certainly couldn’t see it standing up to much more than sunbathing. The thing that annoyed me the most about the top was that the spots very obviously didn’t match up on the seams across the cups!

The final bikini I ordered was a bit bigger in the cup and fit much better. It still had the poor neck strap of the previous style, but at only £11 for the set I decided it would be OK for sunbathing. I should mention that the backs of all these bikinis had a standard clip fastening and felt like a 29″ back – tighter than some 30s and tight enough that I felt OK wearing them, but not really comparable to a 28. In all the styles I ordered my usual size 8 bottoms and found them to be a good fit. They were low cut but provided reasonable coverage and didn’t dig in to my hips.

Overall, I am not particularly impressed by the Asos ‘Fuller Bust’ range. I think the limited size range is down to Asos not putting much effort into designing for the larger bust, and I am dubious that it can support a 34F bust (the largest size available) when it struggled for me in a 30F. I certainly would not have paid full price for the one bikini I kept, but in the sale their bikinis are OK if you’re not expecting to do more than sunbathe in them. They also provide a fairly large and youthful selection, which is not always easy to find.

As ever, the whole ordering experience with Asos was smooth, with items being dispatched the day after I ordered and arriving in France 3 days after that. In fact, I find their free international delivery to France is almost always quicker than the UK Super Saver delivery, although that probably just reflects well on the French postal service. Paying for international delivery is the biggest thing that puts me off ordering for companies – especially when worldwide is a standard £6- 7 regardless of the country. I know it is probably like this so that European customers absorb some of the cost of postage for destinations further afield, but it still grates a little when you consider the distance.

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