If you're small on top, choosing the right bathing suit can mean the difference between a flattering look or a look that's just plain flat. Reach for styles and silhouettes that enhance your chest. Whether you prefer a full suit or a bikini, you can create the illusion of a fuller bust.
If you have a smaller chest, avoid bathing suits without support, as they make your bust look smaller than its natural shape and size. Look for molded, lightly-padded cups to create the appearance of a larger bust. Whether you choose a push-up cup or prefer a more natural shape, choose tops with boning and underwire for added support. When it comes padding, stick to lightly lined cups as your minimum so that the visual doesn't diminish any of your natural size.
Create the appearance of a larger bustline by literally adding bulk to your upper half. Whether you're looking at a full suit or a two-piece, consider options that make the most of extra fabric. If you're a girly girl, try tops with layered ruffles, which gently add contour. Lightly padded bandeau tops with center ruching also help increase your bustline.
One trick for a particular area of the body is wearing bold, busy prints. If you prefer a classic look, reach for polka dots. A one-piece with a polka-dot top portion and solid black bottom half can work wonders. Or look for funky or bold patterns, such as tie-dye or swirls. Note that combining a brighter, bolder pattern on top and a subdued, solid bottom is the best approach to enhancing your bustline while still achieving a balanced effect.
Take the Plunge
While a traditional triangle top may not look so hot -- they don't offer much support and can minimize your bust -- a plunging neckline can make a big difference. For example, a one-piece with a wide V neckline that drops beneath your sternum shows off cleavage that is usually hidden. Similarly, a halter top with light to medium padding adds support from the outer portions of your chest while providing lift and a bit of inner cleavage exposure. The plunging neckline and full support create the look of a larger bust.