Saturday, September 20, 2014

Bathing Suits Revisited

So another year of swimwear battles have come and gone, and I found myself in the same old routine of saying, "you know what, it MUST be a man who creates swimwear for women! These bathing suits are just plain awful for my amazingly asymmetric breasts!"  That's right.  Amazingly Asymmetric.  I have had multiple breast reconstructions, and in January of 2013 I had my breast implant replaced due to a rupture.  However, this implant isn't playing as nice as the last one did due to my connective tissue disorder.  I'm left very asymmetric still, but it's nothing I can't handle.  In fact, no asymmetry is too much to handle.  But, let's get back to swimwear.

I noticed in the Spring 2014 when all the new swim attire began to hit store shelves that a weird trend has happened; none of the swimwear was going to be "easy" to work with.  After having gained about 5 pounds at my new, chaotic-scheduled job, I wasn't entirely comfortable with wearing a bikini, and the swimsuit I had from last year was wearing a little thin in the butt.  I had gone to multiple stores to find a swimsuit that fit my needs, and I resorted to doing the big asymmetric no-no and bought ONLINE without trying anything on! *GASP!*  Here's what I discovered about this new swimwear trend...

As of right now, it's almost guaranteed whatever swimsuit you purchase will have padding.  Thank goodness for that, because padding is an asymmetry must-have.  However, many of the new swimsuits don't afford the wearer the opportunity to adjust the top.  I'm a FIRM believer that if you're asymmetric, you absolutely must either purchase a halter-style top, or a top that's like a bra and has a huge ability to adjust WITHOUT the material being too elastic and allowing for too much "give" (which will allow one breast to sag a little lower, due to how much heavier it is).

However, this year was really the year for a mix of swimwear.  I'm 100% about that vintage, pinup girl, throwback look.  That's my thing.  I'll be totally honest with you, it's attractive, it's sexy, and many of those vintage looks will hide your asymmetry like crazy.  Let me explain.  You see, many of the vintage styles will hide asymmetry because they're halter types.  The only problem comes with WHERE the straps are placed on the top itself.  Let me show you what I mean.

While all of these swimsuits and models are beautiful in their own right, let me point out a few things that won't fly with asymmetric women who try to don these bathing suits.  Notice how the halter straps are sewn far off to the lateral (outside) areas of the top?  They're almost attached at the armpits.  This provides a different type of "lift" than a traditional style of halter.  It will depend greatly on how the swimsuit is structured on how much "lift' or "play" you'll be able to have with each side.  Truth be told, the swimsuit pictured in the black is likely the best due to the nice "infinity" type pattern (with the swoosh almost) and the deep V cut in the cleavage between cups.    Each model's breasts are just being covered by the swim tops, and aren't actually being lifted.  Now, one could argue that it's because they didn't pull the straps tight to tie them, and that they were simply just tied loosely.  Sure, I'll believe that.  However, the two red swimsuits are going to be a little more challenging for some with more extreme asymmetry.  It's not impossible to hide, but it will pose a little bit more of a challenge.  I actually purchased a swimsuit this year that is nearly identical to these, and as my fiance can testify, I spent about 20 minutes (and often requiring his help to "hold this strap as tight as you can while I adjust this side, then we'll tie them up while I've got these bad boys hoisted up in the air!") adjusting the straps each time I went to put it on, as the material "gave" a little each time I wore it.  
That's my swimsuit from this year!  I loved it.  It hid my asymmetry well,  and I like to show off a little cleavage.  Here's why.  My breasts are asymmetrical in a very, very strange way.  You see, my left breast is natural and doesn't have a whole lot of "lift" to it on it's own (you can actually tell that in the picture), however my right breast is an implant and sits significantly higher than my left breast.  Also, my left breast is a little fuller in the cup than my right breast is, so I'm not perfectly asymmetric across the lateral sides (meaning, my breasts don't give me that even "hourglass" top).  So, to distract from the upper fullness of my breasts, and distract from the SIDES of my breast, I draw attention to the MIDLINE of my breasts where my symmetry is a little better off.  For those of you who are visual, let me show you in a different way.  
Ok, so the purple lines show how high the breasts sit "up" on my chest wall.  my right breast (pink arrow) sits higher due to where the implant decided to call "home" when it was put in under my muscle.  My left breast (blue arrow) is natural, and sits much lower on my chest wall, so I need to distract away from that lack of fullness.  Now, the green arrows show where my left breast (blue arrow) actually fills out a little more than my right breast (pink arrow) does, as that's mostly just the shape of the cup filling the line out.  So, I need to distract from these breast flaws.  So I go ahead and show a little cleavage to distract the eye.  Works every time for me.  For some women, that's not the case.  If you're a B on one side and a D on the other, your cleavage line might be a giveaway that you're asymmetric.  If that's the case, purchase a halter style more like the red bathing suits featured on top where there is a straight line cut to the cups, and not this deep V.  Adjust your larger cup to be tighter and sit just as high as your smaller cup breast, and make them equal from appearance in terms of where they sit on your chest wall.  Then pad the smaller breast cup appropriately, making sure to focus not only on the FRONT fullness of the breast (the distance it actually sticks out from your chest), but the SIDE fullness of the breast (how far the breasts come out to each side).  Women often forget to pad the sides of the breast for equal fullness.  Allowing for the fullness factor and a nice pattern and ruching (or scrunching) of the material to help "confuse" the eye, you will detract from the actual midline of your breasts and hide your asymmetry perfectly.  If you have a nice cleavage line that doesn't give away your asymmetry, but your side fullness is a giveaway, show some cleavage to distract the eye.  It's all about distractions and illusions, ladies.  Every magician does it, and so can we.  

Again, I'm a huge fan of the vintage look, but it's not for everyone, and I know that.  Some girls are younger and like the new youthful look.  Some like the more sexy look.  I tried those on, too.  Here's what I've discovered in terms of those.  My conclusion: Victoria's Secret is REALLY doing some work with women who are stellar and have PERFECT breasts, but little did they know, people with perfectly imperfect breasts are taking their ideas and making them better.  
Victoria's Secret came up with this new line of push-up swimwear.  I have two beefs with this, but I do like where they're going.  First off, of the tops shown on this picture, only the purple actually provides any support (proof again that a man is designing swimwear).  The others have such weak straps that they couldn't possibly do much in terms of pushing anything up. However, these are highly padded and can be adjusted around the neck to provide support.  Again, these bras are only acceptable for those who can bare a little cleavage and feel comfortable with it.  These are likely to be more for those who are just slightly asymmetric.  However, that doesn't mean those of you who are more drastically asymmetric have to stay away from swimwear like this.  I love a good challenge, and asymmetry is a really good challenge.  If you're drastically asymmetric and just have to go this route with a push-up, because this is your DREAM swimsuit, then let's do this.  Firs, you would start with padding.  You would add a little more padding to the inside of the swimsuit.  Now, you cannot just "stick a pad in there" because when you get in the water, the pad might come floating right on out between your boob and your cup.  You're going to need to sew this into the lining of the swimsuit.  Listen, I know it is unpleasant to think about spending $100 on a swimsuit that you have to have tailored, but if it's your dream swimsuit, you do what you have to.  You'd pad from the bottom and the sides of the smaller cup , adding to the natural curve of the breast and the lift of the breast.  You'll need to be sure to follow the cup's shape, too.  Again, always buy a swimsuit to fit your larger breast and work backward to fill up the other side.  Never buy to fit the smaller breast.

Victoria's Secret does well with halters, though.  Their halters are shaped right with padding inside.  Not all are well-padded, so you need to find a store near you to FEEL the padding inside and try them on first.  

Now, I don't want anyone to feel like I'm just catering to crowds of skinny girls or average sized girls.  That's not the case.  I'm quite chunky myself, so finding swimwear isn't easy to do when you're asymmetric and thicker.  So, let's take the time to discuss plus-sized swimwear.  Sometimes you wanna hide some belly, a little thigh, and some asymmetry.  I do.  I've been there.  This year, though, I stopped caring about my thighs and scars.  Last year one of my scars on my thigh caused my muscle to become paralyzed, and my thigh looked really fat.  It made me self-conscious.  This year, I just didn't care anymore.  Frankly, I didn't care much about people noticing my asymmetry this year, either.  I almost wanted people to ask so I could tell them and spread the awareness.  However, when it comes right down to it, most people don't ask, they stare, and stares are more awkward than questions... so I hid my asymmetry as always.  Let's get back to plus sized swimwear before I go on another tangent.  Lane Bryant does a STELLAR job with swimwear, but it can often look a little for "older people" or sometimes like it was "for heavy people."  However, this last few years, they've really kicked it up a notch.  
That picture is a link to the swimsuit on the Lane Bryant website.  I'm so in love with this swimsuit.  It's a halter.  It has an UNDER WIRE CUP.  And it's SHAPELY! Can I just tell you that I really want this? Because I do!  Lane Bryant has stepped up their game, and really has pulled out all stops. They're appealing to younger, full-figured women.  AlwaysForMe is another company who seems to be making their name in the plus size world.  Again, be cautious about buying online without being able to try anything on.  Lane Bryant has locations all across the country, but I'm unaware of AlwaysForMe or their return policy.  

I hope this helps out for this year's swimwear changes.

I hope everyone had a great swim year!

Remember, you and your asymmetry are perfectly imperfect and absolutely beautiful! 

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