Thursday, 28 July 2011

La Senza: Can the highstreet 'do' DD+ swimwear?

When I was a smaller bra size, bikini shopping was easy on the highstreet. I could walk into almost any shop and buy swimwear - from H&M to Topshop to La Senza or even Primark! When I found out that I was a 28FF, I began to buy swimwear online from brands such as Freya, who cater specifically for larger busts. Although I continue to love the quality and fit that these larger bust brands offer, I began to wonder if it was possible for a DD+ girl to buy a good bikini on the cheap from a highstreet retailer!

Years ago, La Senza was my number one bikini shopping destination, so I decided to put to the test their DD+ bikini range. The advantage of La Senza swimwear is that their bikinis come in bra sizes, so it is easier to pick a bikini that fits, rather than mixing and matching with your clothing sizes. With high hopes and my mind buzzing with excitement for my fast-approaching summer get-away, I set off for my local La Senza.

On entering, I was impressed to see racks of colourful bikinis, arranged in size order. The problem is that La Senza (like most other highstreet retailers) do not stock 28 backs, so I avidly looked around for a 30, to no avail! I decided that my only option was to go for a 32E, which is the size equivalent to my real bra size (28FF-30F-32E are the same cup volume).

The first two bikinis that I tried were the butterfly print halterneck bikini  (£22) and 'Sailor girl' bikini (£22), which both gave great uplifted cleavage, but felt a little too small in the cups.

 The next bikini that I tried was the stunning 'Monochrome dots' bikini (£22), which I fell in love with. Sadly there was no 32F available, but the 32E was a pretty good fit in this balconette style.

Part of the allure of the 'Monochrome dots' bikini is its classic look and sophisticated polka dot pattern. It is ruched at the centre, creating subtle pleats on the cups, whilst the adorning white and black detailed buttons prevent it from looking plain. The shape of the cups is very flattering, drawing emphasis to an amazing rounded and uplifted cleavage that the balconette style enhances. It feels comfortable and secure to wear, due to the clip clasp at the back and I love the way that the bikini looks on! Obviously the 32E sizing is not spot on for me (being slightly too big in the back and a bit too small in the cups), but I am willing to be slightly more lenient, as it is not something I will wear very often or for any long length of time! I ended up buying this set, along with the briefs (£12), which have matching polka dots and button detailing. This set is perfect for any pin-up girl that loves to look classic yet sexy on the beach!

Next, I tried the 'Hula Girl Hibiscus' bikini (£18), which has a stunning tropical flower print design. Again, there was no 32F available, so I settled for the 32E. 

Much to my surprise, the bikini actually fit perfectly in the cups - probably due to being more of a triangle style, rather than a moulded cup (like the 'Monochrome dots' bikini). The 'Hula Girl Hibiscus' is a more sophisticated and cup-specific take on the standard triangle bikini. Pretty ruffles run all the way along the edges of the cups and up the halterneck straps, which tie at the neck as tight or loose as you wish. The back fastens with a clip, so there is no worry that it will undo itself whilst you swim! The bikini is very slightly padded, enhancing your bust, without giving cleavage overkill. I fell head over heels in love with this bikini, due to its bright and eye-catching hibiscus print, girly ruffles and the great cleavage that it gives. I also bought the matching ruffle briefs (£14). One thing is for sure..this bikini is sure to turn heads on the beach!

With two highstreet bikini purchases, I called my DD+ bikini search to a close..or so I thought! I was so keen on the designs of the bikinis that I had bought, that I decided to have a quick look on ebay, to see if I could grab a La Senza bikini for cheap. To my delight, I managed to buy a brand new and tagged La Senza silver buckle navy bikini in a 32E - A 32F would have been better, but for £10.50 instead of £28, I wasn't going to complain! (The picture below is the white version of the blue bikini that I bought..)

The bikini I have is navy blue in colour, with a silver glitter design that will sparkle when it catches the sun-light. The bikini has a knotted tie and silver buckle at the centre of the cups and the plunge style is very flattering. One gripe that I have is that I would prefer for it not to have any graduated padding on the inner cups. The style alone lends itself to great cleavage for DD+ girls, without the aid of any extra 'help'! The shorts also have the same glitter design and boast a sexy belt and buckle design, giving the bikini a 'bond girl' finish! Although I love the design of the bikini, I feel that the colour and sparkles are a little bit garish for my liking. Nevertheless, for such a cheap price, I am willing to overlook its shortcomings and enjoy the va-va voom!

All in all, I am surprised and delighted by my La Senza bikini success. The 'Monochrome dots' and 'Hula Girl Hibiscus' are really gorgeous bikinis that lend themselves to great support and cleavage..even if you are DD+! The main disadvantage that I can see, in comparison to a brand like Freya, is that La Senza falls short in terms of the 'perfect fit' and its sizing range. Although many of the La Senza bikinis go up to cup sizes G and GG, sadly 28 backs are not stocked and there were not enough 30s readily available. I am, however, very impressed with their attention to design and detailing. Every piece in their swimwear collection is very fashion-conscious, with up-to-date patterns and appealing prints for a wide range of tastes. La Senza's swimwear is perfect for any girl who wants to look good on the beach and by the pool, so grab your beach towel and big sunnies and melt some ice creams!

Kitty xo


  1. I love the hibiscus bikini! Wow! I'll have to see if they have a 32F for me.

  2. Hi Becky,

    The hibiscus bikini was definitely my favourite. Do have a look for it in store! They seem to have literally just sold out on their website, as it was online in DD+ when I posted this blog! Let me know if you come across it - it's a real beauty!

    Kitty xo

  3. Sadly after a good start a few years ago La Senza seem to have cut down on 30 backs in store, but they still do them online.

  4. Hi Penny,

    Thanks for your comment.

    It is indeed a shame that La Senza have cut down on their 30 backs in store. I'm always really surprised when I come across 30 backs in cup sizes above a DD in La Senza shops!

    Luckily, 30s are available online, but I would much prefer to try them on in store, instead of paying for postage and then have to return items.

    I just hope that they don't completely phase out 30 backs, as an increasing number of women need them, but are in the wrong bra size!

    Kitty xo


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