Review: Boux Avenue Santa Barbara Spot Bikini (and Commentary on DD+ Swimwear)

Hi, everyone! With summer right around the corner, I thought a DD+ swimwear review might be in order. Today, I will be reviewing the Santa Barbara Spot bikini top & side tie briefs, the impossibly cute itsy bitsy teeny teeny [red] polka dot bikini.

My lingerie shopping trip in the UK was actually the first time I had ever tried bra-sized swimwear and I was very pleased with the selection I found at Boux Avenue. I loved all of the colors and patterns that I saw in the store - the swimsuit line was a great mix of fun, cute and sexy, all geared towards younger women (think British Victoria's Secret, with a wider size range.) It felt wonderful to try on tops with sturdy underwires that lifted and supported my breasts, instead of the usual flimsy string bikinis or bra-matrix sized tops I find in most US stores.

Puerto Rico Frill Bikini

What I liked most about the Boux Avenue designs was that very few of these swim tops reminded me of bras, despite being bra-sized and underwired. While I absolutely love lingerie, that doesn't mean I necessarily want my bikinis to have the same cuts and structures as my bras. This is why I prefer the Boux Avenue swimwear line to the swimwear offerings of brands like Curvy Kate and Freya.

Curvy Kate Seashell Sorbet Bikini

Of course, Freya, Curvy Kate, and other established full-bust brand swimwear lines are superior to Boux Avenue in many dimensions. The first and most obvious parameter is the size range - Boux Avenue only carries up to F or G cups, depending on the style, and they do not make 28 bands at all, which immediately sizes many women out of their designs. Additionally, I suspect that the bra-like bikini tops provide much more support for women with breasts larger than myself, so it's silly to assume anyone can wear a halter or string bikini, even if it does have underwires. And, of course, sometimes these brands do release absolutely adorable designs that I can't help but admire, but I still have to admit that I vastly prefer the majority of Boux Avenue styles over those produced by most of the incumbent full bust lingerie brands out there.

Enough of my commentary, let's get into the review part of my post: meet the Santa Barbara Spot bikini!

The Santa Barbara top features push-up padded underwire cups, sturdy straps that tie around the neck, and a single clasp in the back. The band is firm but comfortable - about 29" stretched. The top is very supportive, even though it does not provide a ton of coverage. As you may know, I am right in between cup sizes, so I opted for a 30E in the top even though it is ever so slightly too small in the cups. However, this size gives me wonderful lift and cleavage, whereas the 30F came up too high under my arms due to my short roots. Even when I was walking around in a t-shirt with this top underneath after sunbathing, I found that it provided nearly as much support as a regular bra, even though it does not resemble one in the least.

The bottoms are cute and very comfortable, offering just the right amount of coverage. The ties on the sides are thick and did not come loose even once during the entire day I spent outside rolling around in the grass and playing in the sunshine. The bottoms are flattering, both in the front and in the back, without revealing too much.

My only complaint about this set is that the top is a tad too shallow for me, so the underwires slide down below my breast root with extended wear. However, this does not bother me too much, because the top is structured enough to prevent collapsing, nor does it cause any discomfort.

Overall, for just £43 (about $73), I am extremely pleased with this suit and will definitely be returning to check out Boux Avenue's collections next time I am in the UK. 

Have you tried Boux Avenue? What do you think of the current DD+ swimwear options out there?