Tuesday, December 13, 2011
Let's have a talk about swimwear with asymmetric breasts. For those of you with this problem, you know how difficult shopping for a bathing suit can be. I'm here to tell you it doesn't HAVE to be as bad as it may have been before. I'm not going to tell you that these tips will solve all of your problems, but I'm going to give you some ideas and tips that might make shopping a little easier. Now, I'm NOT going to be biased and insensitive toward any body type, so please don't dismiss what I'm going to say automatically if one suggestion doesn't apply to you.
When I was younger, I always went shopping with my mom for clothes. Swimwear was especially hard for us to shop for, because I was really struggling with breast asymmetry and incredibly low self-esteem. I can vividly remember one evening when my mom had taken me to the mall to shop for a new bathing suit. We had gone to EVERY store in there, except Pacific Sunwear, and in a last-ditch attempt to make this trip a successful one, we stopped in to see what they had. They were pricey, to say the least, but my mom didn't want to see me continue to hurt the way I did, so we shopped around. We told the woman who was working about my situation, and she was SO helpful. For the rest of my life, I'll always remember the blonde haired girl who brought every bathing suit in the store to my dressing room, and refused to give up until we found two swimsuits that made me feel comfortable and confident. That was one of the first times I'd ever cried tears of joy with respect to my breast asymmetry.
One-piece bathing suits are somewhat harder to shop for, but so many advancements have been made in the lining and construction of swimwear these days, that they have become so much more asymmetry-friendly! When it comes to a one-piece, the big thing is making sure that YOU have the ability to control how tight (or loose) you are adjusting the "straps" to be. One-piece suits that look like the type the Olympic swimmers wear are not good for asymmetry. Those types of bathing suits almost highlight asymmetry, and that's not what we're going for. Try to find a one-piece that has straps like a bra. This gives you the freedom to be able to adjust the straps so that your larger breast can be lifted more than the other. Another thing to look into is bathing suits that tie around the back of the neck like a halter top. I currently am doing physical therapy in a one-piece that is like this. Another thing to look for is a one-piece that is structured inside like a bra. Some have padding inside them, and others actually adjust in the back. Fabric patterns/designs across the breast also help distract from asymmetry, so that may also be useful. Many, now, create almost a wave from one breast to another (I'll show you a picture of a TRAGIC two piece I put together that has this pattern later on). If you're insecure about your weight, mid-section, or thighs/hips, you might try looking into a one-piece with a skirt on it. Also, try to find one with some ruching around the tummy, as this will help create a slimmer mid-section. There are TONS of one-piece bathing suits out there that have side supports in the breast area as well as along the mid-section. This is incredibly helpful for getting an hourglass figure!
When it comes to two-piece bathing suits, there's a little more selection for tops that allow you to adjust them to your own liking. Bikini tops that are padded and look almost identical to a bra are very useful for hiding asymmetry. It's already structured like a bra, and that's something you're accustomed to adjusting to hide your breast issues, so the exact same concept translates over into your bathing suit. This is also available in a tankini type. Again, you're going to want to look for things that are padded, or give you room to adjust yourself, or both. I, actually, prefer to get padded bikinis that I can tie on my own. Just your standard, good old-fashioned triangle bikini tops with tons of padding give me the ability to tighten one side up more, thus lifting my larger/natural breast. I also have the ability to adjust how tight it is around my ribs. This, to me, is crucial. If this part is too loose, the entire bathing suit will fall down, thus any difference in your neck adjustments will be useless. You want to make sure your bikini is snug to your rib cage. I've long gotten past people looking at my scars on my chest, so it doesn't bother me to wear something like this. I definitely don't have the figure to pull it off by ANY means, but I've come to terms with who I am, and if someone doesn't like it, they can look the other way. Bikini tops that are the bandeau type are also helpful for creating the illusion of a symmetric chest-line, however, the greater the difference you have in the size of your breasts, the less helpful this style will be unless you incorporate the strap that goes with it. Usually bandeau bikini tops have a pack of straps that come with them to either hook on like a bra, or use one to go around your neck (similar to a halter top). Again, it will depend upon the severity of your asymmetry if that style is comfortable for you.
As I had mentioned earlier, I'll include a picture of me taken by my boyfriend when we went to Kentucky this past October. There was a swimming pool and hot tub in the hotel, and I was so excited to go for a swim. However, I walked off and left my bathing suit at my house. So, we had to go to Wal-Mart that evening and hunt their heavily picked over clearance racks for a swimsuit to wear. Unfortunately there was not a single matching bathing suit anywhere in the store, and the two pieces of a bikini that I could piece together looked like the Miami Sound Machine had exploded in front of me. The reason I'm sharing this picture is to show you the style of top that best works for me. I'm able to adjust the tightness around my ribs, I'm able to adjust my larger/natural breast more by tightening the strap around the neck, and the pattern across the chest (a wave almost) helps distract from my asymmetry. I know I don't have the figure to be wearing this swimsuit, but I'm comfortable in my own skin, and I think every woman should be, too! My right breast is an implant, and my left breast is natural. You can see the skin graft on my right thigh (the larger spot) that was used to recreate my nipple, and there are subsequently 6 other scars in that same area (some really red) from my recent hip surgeries. Please ignore the crutches in the background, and the obvious look of humiliation and disgust on my face. That swimsuit was a monstrosity. LOL