The Best Bikinis for Broad Shoulders
Our in-house expert, the Bikini Whisperer, is here to guide readers through their trickiest swimwear questions. Got a question of your own? Drop us a line!
Dear Bikini Whisperer,
This was my first time trying on bikinis, and I thought for sure that halter tops look the best on me because I have wide shoulders. However, I have a relatively small chest that's in between sizes, and I cannot find a top that has a right cup size. What can I do? I am already trying on sizes that will fit me like a bra, but none of them seem to work. Is it because of the halter neckline? And if so, what can I do about it?
Halter Top Girl
We totally get what a challenge a small bosom-and-broad shoulder combo can be. We hope you'll keep this in mind: Broad shoulders, or a defined athletic physique, should be celebrated — and we say, shown off!
That said, if you'd prefer not to draw attention to your upper body, though, you're right — halters may not be your top choice. Tons of other options will flatter your form without sacrificing a perfect fit. The key is sizing right for your shoulders while playing with proportion and details to show off your chest — or in any case, to figure out a way to accommodate both a chest on the smaller side and shoulders on the broader side.
One thing you'll want to do is stay away from wire cups or non-adjustable bands. As long as you choose adjustable ties both at back and neck, you should be able to size down. Do allow more slack around the width of your body and neck for a comfortable all-over fit that snugs at braline.
Extra points for a top with a peek-a-boo cleavage cutout that draws the eye away from angular shoulders.
Take a look at other bikini tops with a wrap-around feature, which gives the illustion of an hour-glass shape by drawing the eye to the smallest point. This winning silhouette hugs your curves but also offers as much of an allowance for the width of your shape as needed.
Triangle tops also flatter small-breasted gals. Opt for ones with an adjustable base — meaning they slide along the bottom base of the triangle.
Asymmetrical tops with linear motifs break up the neckline — and downplay broader shoulders.
Playing with color blocking and prints (especially with raglan seam lines) are the best way to fake a halter neckline. Keep in mind that lighter hues soften sharp shoulders.
If you like the idea of softening the physique, florals and ruffles are a great way to add a feminine edge. Plus, the wide scoop cut of this bikini top draws attention to the cleavage, which is a flattering neckline for smaller breasts.
If you're set on halters, look for those that gather around the high neck, like the option below. When matching to a smaller cup size to a larger back is the problem, the ruching detail disguises a top you've sized up to accommodate your shoulders.