The Best Bikini Tops and One-Pieces For a Small Bust

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After I published our article on the best bikinis for a large bust, I received emails from a couple of mamas with the opposite problem: a post-nursing, non-existant bust.

Lindsey, from the blog SistersToSons, wrote:

I have 3 kids and nursed them all and they literally sucked the life out of me. No really. I am barely even an A anymore (used to be a C). It’s tough finding suits that fit without making me look like a 12 year old.

Sing it, Sister.  I have many (many!!) friends who warned me about the post-nursing deflation (one referred to her boobs as “tube socks” that she could just “roll right up into my bra”), and judging by the frequency of this reader question, Lindsey’s hardly alone.

Combining a few reader recommendations with a few thoughts of my own, here’s what we came up with:

1. Enhance What You’ve Got With a Wrap Bikini Top

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L-Space Chloe Wrap Top | Sundry Gauze Beach Pants (similar) | Gap fedora

Lindsey swears by this L-Space Chloe Wrap Top.  She wrote: “I’m wearing a small – the extra small had barely any material.  It’s not lined, but since it’s a wrap, I can adjust the tightness to create illusion of cleavage. (Or at least something!)”

She’s right – a wrap top is a great choice to pull whatcha got together.  It’s the bikini equivalent of that old Paula Abdul video, where she’s smooshing her girls together and rolling around in the field.

 

2. RUFFLES

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Zinke Reese Bandeau Top | Urban Outfitters Oversized Nubby Panama Hat

 

These pictures speak for themselves.  Ruffles add volume to a post-nursing, flattened chest, and they’ll also help disguise some sag.  Lindsey says, “Ruffles are a small-chested girl’s best friend!”   And Kim, another brave Mama who sent in pics, also swears by ruffles to “add volume to my non-existent chest.”

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3. A High Neck Shows Off Gorgeous Shoulders

Lindsey swears by this Zimmerman suit (sadly, no longer available), but it totally works for a small chest.  Why?  The high neck shows off your shoulders, drawing the eye up and away from the chest.  And small-busted Mamas don’t need to worry about uniboob (my main concern with suits like these).

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You can also get this shoulder-sculpting, chest-distracting power in a bikini, too.

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J.Crew Cropped Halter Bikini Top

 

4. Find the Right Stripes

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Vitamin A Triangle Stripe Bikini | Solid and Striped Bikini Top | Solid and Striped Morgan Bikini Top

 

Stripes can be used to a small-busted Mama’s advantage.  I’d look for diagonal lines or a slight curve – these type of stripes will trick the eye into seeing a a little hint of something-something if even there’s nada-nada.

 

5. Flaunt Your, Um, Elegant Lines In Something Only You Can Pull Off

These tops certainly won’t make a small-busted Mama look well endowed…but…so what?  I’m all about rocking whatcha got.   And there are several styles that only look good on a very small bust.  For example….

A Photo-Realistic Rashguard

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BP Cropped Rashguard

Just imagine how unrecognizable that ferris wheel would be stretched across a big bust.

Something All Strappy and Sexy

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Vitamin A Olivia Bralette

This top is dead sexy.  I mean seriously WOW.  But imagine, for a moment, if you had two giant breasts peeking through?  Like missiles off a launch pad?  Terrible.  It would be terrible.  (Mike disagrees.  Whatever.)

Anyway, strappy, cut-out tops like this are gorgeous on a flat chest.

 

Lastly, Lindsey offered up this genius tip:

Since these tops are expensive, I just buy a basic black or white bottom from Target so I can mix and match without totally breaking the bank!

 

Ok, small-busted Mamas, what do you think?  Have you had any success with these tips, or others?  Share, spill, send in pics – we love it all.  And a HUGE thank-you to Lindsey and Kim for helping mamas out!

You can see all of my favorite bikini tops, perfect for a small bust in our 2015 Swim Shop (just updated – scroll to the bottom!)

xo,

S

 

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About Author

Shana founded The Mom Edit in 2008. She lives with the love of her life (his name's Mike) and their two crazy boys in downtown Philadelphia. She loves a good styling challenge (her engineering side shows eventually), appreciates kindness, and usually picks scotch over wine, sneakers over stilettos, and shorts known as denim-underwear, always.

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18 Comments

  1. I just got the Tamarindo bikini top by Carve–the straps cross in the back and tie, so it is totally adjustable. Very flattering and it stays put!

  2. L, you look fantastic girl!!! I totally get where you’re coming from too. After nursing two kiddos, my gals are, well, I don’t know where they there are, but it isn’t on my chest. For years bikini tops were my nemesis till the Plunge Halter from Victoria’s Secret. OMG! This top has (removable) padding that creates boobs where there are none. I have two, one white and one black, to mix and match with random bottoms. What a life saver! I actually feel pretty great in my bikini with this top on. Small victories, right. Oh, and you can’t tell there’s padding even after swimming. I was worried about that, but its not noticeable at all. https://www.victoriassecret.com//swimwear/beach-sexy/the-plunge-halter-beach-sexy?ProductID=247829&CatalogueType=OLS&origin=search

    • Thanks!! and I actually love VS too for swim! Their padding is great and helps me to remember what I once had pre-kids haha!! Glad to hear Im not alone!

  3. SO GLAD you did this!!!! Thank you Shana!!! I’ll send my small busted bikini photos once I get a spray tan- lol!!

  4. What’s interesting is the halter crop bikini top….I think it works for both! I’m the large breasted one, and I feel like that style works really well for me and My Girls. I feel super supported and actually minimized. I can run around the beach or pool and not worry about my Cleaver falling out. I’m glad that style works for both the big and the small and probably all the in-between! ;D

    Shana, if it wasn’t for you, I don’t think I would have had the guts to post my own version of THE Bikini for Over 40. Thanks for inspiring me–ALWAYS!

    Love,

    Ann from Kremb de la Kremb

  5. Yessssss! Thank you, thank you from the bottom of my (flat as a surfboard!) chest! These are awesome. 🙂

  6. Ok, it’s cheating, but it works. Buy a padded sports bra and wear under the J Crew sleeveless rash guard (currently 30% off). Voila! Perfection!

  7. I have the deflated boobs too. For me the key is foam lined cups, and underwire. Not push up pads but just the structure foam cup. Makes me look shapely :). I adore J.Crew’s swimsuits.

  8. I am loving the swimsuit guide. Would like your thoughts on my issue, which is idiosyncratic, but this seems like the right place to ask. I have an implant reconstruction post-mastectomy on one side, and a natural, somewhat smaller and droopier breast on the other. The match is imperfect, and this is my first post-mastectomy swimsuit season. So I need something with shaped cups and/or with a structured enough cup so I can slip a little silicone falsie in to boost the natural side. Ideas?

  9. I’m doing it, just ordered the ferris wheel top! Thanks for pushing it on me y’all & Ann (kremb de la kremb) although I firmly fall into the small chested catagory. I want that wrap top but it seems impractical for the amount I’m at the beach and my shoulders always are the first to burn… maybe when I have leisure beach time I’ll go that route.
    And, Lindsey, you are kicking some ass in that suit! Seriously, it looks like you could kick anyone’s ass…

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