Wearing Bandeau Swimsuits

Red, white and blue bandeau bakini

Bandeau bathing suits are certainly attractive, but they aren't the best choice for every figure. Get tips about choosing the right bandeau top for your bust, as well as whether you should skip this particular style altogether.

About Bandeau Bathing Suits

What's a Bandeau?

You've probably seen bandeau bathing suits before, even if the name doesn't ring a bell. The word bandeau refers strictly to the top of the swimsuit. While most bathing suits have some style of shoulder straps, the traditional bandeau does not. Imagine a skinny tube top, tie a cord around the front from top to bottom to gather it in the center and you have a working image of a bandeau. Some designs use a center ring or keyhole to achieve the same effect.

One Piece or Two?

Bandeau swimsuits are most often found in two piece bikini styles. However, there are one piece swimsuits with bandeau tops. In a one piece design, there is typically either an inner elastic band or an adjustable drawstring to hold the top in place.

The bikini bandeau seems to have a comfort and confidence advantage over the one piece version. A bandeau bikini top is more likely to stay in place, while a one-piece swimsuit is subject to pulling from the lower half of the suit. This can result in some embarrassment if you aren't careful with your movements.

Top Variations

For women who aren't totally confident that a traditional bandeau will really stay put, there are some variations that should provide most wearers with the confidence needed to carry off this swimsuit look in style.

To that end, some bandeau tops do come with straps, although this defeats the design's original purpose of providing a great swimsuit to tan in without developing unattractive tan lines beneath the straps. You'll find center straps that form a V in the middle of your chest and tie behind the neck. Some styles use a U-shape center drawstring while others have spaghetti straps attached just outside the bust line. All three styles are certainly sexy, so choose the one you like the best.

To Wear or Not to Wear

As mentioned above, bandeau tops look great, they just don't look great on everyone.

Who Should

This minimalist design really seems best suited for women with boyish shapes and smaller busts. The less support needed from the bandeau, the better since the traditional top basically doesn't offer any.

Women with reasonably trim figures can also wear this design, but it's advisable to choose a bandeau with straps to add a little more security against experiencing slippage or a complete roll down at an inopportune moment. Women who need more support should consider the outer shoulder strap design instead of center straps. These tend to keep the bust line neat rather than allowing it to sag outward. Sag is always a no-no regardless of any swimsuit's design.

Who Shouldn't

Since bandeau tops can only provide minimal support at best, they really aren't suitable for more voluptuous figures. The bandeau is at its best when it's just snug against the bust line, not when it looks like it's on crowd control duty. The swimsuit should never look strained or it immediately looses its charm and unique appeal. Although you will find bandeau swimwear for fuller figures, it's advisable to try a suit on before you purchase it to make sure it creates the look you want.

Where to Shop for Bandeau Bathing Suits

Now that who should or shouldn't opt for this swimsuit style has been established, it's time to do a little window shopping Internet-style. The following websites have a great selection of bandeau swimwear to browse through, and you will most likely find a swimsuit you love.

  • Venus: View page after page of bandeau swimwear in gorgeous patterns. You'll find bikinis, one-pieces and even skirted bottoms.
  • Victoria's Secret: Victoria's never disappoints, and their bandeau selection is no exception. You'll even find an incredible bandeau monokini.
  • Kohl's: You can choose from several options at prices ranging between $14 and $125. Kohl's carries bandeau swimsuits, bandeau tops and also regular and plus sizes.
  • Lands' End: This retailer carries bandeau one-piece suits in regular and plus sizing. Some models come with tummy control as well for a slimming effect.

Remember, rule number one in swimsuits is about identifying your body type, and then choosing the right swimsuit style to accentuate your best features. So, don't choose a bandeau because you love the look. Choose it only if it can enhance your look.

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Wearing Bandeau Swimsuits