If you need a suit in a hurry, don’t discount department stores. As I discovered on Monday, we’re not always limited to specialty boutiques or online ordering.

Find #1: Next by Athena

Yesterday I mentioned how nice it would be for the Shoshanna rash guard to have princess seams and a front zipper. Then I found this zipped one-piece from Next!

next one piece small front

Following last year’s failed experiment of trying to wear my Elomi swim bra under tankinis from other brands, this suit could definitely cover a swim bra, although the seams would probably show through. This suit has absolutely no padding or support, and I’m wearing my ordinary size 34G Fantasie 4520 under a size Small swimsuit. The zipper is about ready to explode, so if I wore this in real life, I’d want to put some sort of lock in place. A medium would have been perfect, but there was none, so I tried the turquoise and navy in size Large next.

next one piece large aqua front
The fabric is not thick so this lighter color tends to show off every bump. The Shoshanna rash guard was made of a much higher quality fabric.
next one piece front navy
Zipped all the way up.
next navy front unzipped
Unzipped to a more flattering neckline–and no danger of an exploding zipper in this size. Also, seams from a swim bra are likely to be less obvious in this darker color.

You can find this suit on several websites, although it was on sale for just $45 at Lord & Taylor. Don’t you love this striped version? It was NOT at Lord & Taylor, but it’s available through Zappos for $65.

striped next by athena zip one piece

I’m also curious about their wrap tankini for a D up. Sizes 34D and 36D are available at 6PM for $47. Since we know soooo many women wear 34D and 36D before discovering their true size, I’m pretty sure this top could accommodate higher cups. If anything, it looks wearable for simply hanging out at home if it isn’t supportive enough for swimming in public.

next by athena wrap tankini d cup

Find #2: Coco Reef

This 36DD tankini from Coco Reef actually fit very well and was on sale for $55.

Coco Reef 36DD front
Plenty of room beneath the cups so there’s no boob bifurcation going on.
inside Coco Reef
The straps are adjustable (and you can see the clever drawstring element at the sides of the cups). The band isn’t adjustable, but you can see from this picture that it extends around the body.

Coco Reef is one of several bra-sized brands owned by Swimwear Anywhere. The others are Beach House (which I reported on last year with my swim bra experiment), Coco Rave (targets a younger market and has an adorable longline bikini top), Gabor, and Roxanne. Swimwear Anywhere may only have been around since 1998, but Roxanne has been around for much longer–I owned a 36C suit from them in high school and loved it! If you run into any of these brands, it’s worth giving them a try. (For an idea of how this company (mis)understands bra fit and why their suits can fit larger cup sizes, check out their recent ads for fit models.)

One last note–I wasn’t a fan of the profile that the molded cup style gave me, and I felt very squished into it.  I did like the tie back feature, however.

coco reef 36DD molded fail side

Find #3: Nautica Zip Front Tankini

Take this one with a giant grain of salt, but I couldn’t resist trying it on.

First in size 12, which was too loose, thereby depriving me of any benefit of compression support!

Nautica zip up tankini size 12

Next in size 8. I had to hoist my boobs up to where I wanted them, but they stayed in place after that.

nautica size 8 zip tankini front

This top would get an F by bra-fit standards because it doesn’t really encompass all of my side tissue and the lift is negligible, but it’s so cute!

nautica three qtrs size 8

You can see the pathetic little cup space below. PLEASE, full-bust companies, give us something cute like this that fits and supports!!!! I’ll take it in a tankini top, lounge top, and workout top version please!!!! By the way, the fabric for this top was fabulous–almost like neoprene.

nautica molded cup

What successes have you had recently with department store swimwear?