This summer I’ve been on a quest for the perfect full-bust bikini. Today’s entry is the Miss Mandalay Boudoir Beach bikini set. My idea bikini would be: a halter top, lightly lined, low coverage, comfortable, underwired, and not crazy tan-line giving. While to me this seems like quite a reasonable list, I’ve been unable to find a single suit that meets all of these requirements! There are tragically few lined bikinis available in full bust sizes, and altogether too many suits that look like waterproof bras. So when I saw this suit on clearance, I had to try it. It is unlined (which I’ll get to why I hate later) but otherwise the style is refreshingly normal. Also, I’m in love with the blue <3 I’ll never have enough turquoise things! 🙂
I got the Boudoir beach halter top in 30E and the contrasting Twiga hipster brief in XS. Any of the Miss Mandalay halter bikinis with a non-cutout gore (i.e. Paradiso, Royale and Kailani) should be the same cut (and fit) as this one.
So lets start with the top, which you can see is obviously cutting in on me. This pattern is fairly closed on the edges, but overall I think it just runs small. I’d definitely recommend sizing up in this one, because I’m a smaller 30E and would still need to size up. I do love how normal the top looks, and I wouldn’t feel out of place at the pool in it. So many full bust swim tops are just so bra-like that they’d make me feel self-conscious. But real talk here: why do full bust bra-makers insist on making so many completely unlined bikini tops???? I can literally see my nipples through this top, and I’m not even cold yet. Do they forget we have nipples? Are women in the UK okay with having their nips show through swimwear? Honestly, at this price it wouldn’t be hard for Miss Mandalay to throw in a cheap pair of removable thin pads.
The underwires on my left side are floating in this top, because the cups are just too small with too little bottom projection (also the gore is slightly too wide). If I bought from Miss Mandalay again, I would try a 30F or 28FF. The wires on these cups are nice and narrow at 4.7 inches (11.9 cm) wide. The cups run quite small at only 8.25 inches (20.9 cm) deep. Narrow-wired swim tops are incredibly rare, so score for Miss Mandalay! 🙂 Overall, the pattern is slightly full on bottom and quite minimizing. There’s not a ton of immediate projection. It’s closed enough on the edges that I wouldn’t recommend this suit for center-full or full on top women. I’ve got some significant quad boob going on from my center fullness trying to escape!
From the side you can see just how minimizing the Boudoir Beach top is! Really, I’m not sure my boobs have ever looked this small from the side 😮 I’m sure that there are plenty of full-busted women who would like their breasts minimized at the pool, but I’m not one of them. I prefer swimwear that “puts them out there” so to speak. I do think part of the minimizing effect is coming from the too-small size, but I think the 2 part pattern of the cup overall is quite flattening. You can also see that the cups are too shallow for me at the bottom, and the underwire is beneath my IMF. I do think this would be a perfect bikini for someone who wants a minimized bustline at the pool without having wide wires or a bra-like style!
The Twiga bottoms in a size XS (UK 8) fit like a dream. They’re exactly the same as the Hamptons and Chica ring bottoms, just in an older pattern. The matching ring boudoir beach bottoms are sold out, but they are available in a tie-side if you don’t like patterned bottoms. This is pretty much my ideal cut of bikini bottom, and I appreciate that they’re low coverage. So many full-bust brands match their bikini tops with full-coverage bottoms, so I’m glad to see that Miss Mandalay escaped that trap. For my US ladies, choose your size based on your UK size not your US size. These fit way smaller than a US 4 (I’d say they’re around a 0).
So I’m a really big fan on bikinis with hardware/interesting crap on the hips. I think the skin that shows through makes the body less cut off, and helps lengthen the leg line. Totally worth the awkward tan lines :p As I mentioned above, I think the bottoms (like the top) do run a bit small. My full hip measurement is around 36 inches right now, and I’d typically wear a UK 6 not 8. Another bone to pick with full-bust bikini makers: WHY DON’T YOU MAKE X-SMALL BOTTOMS? So many of them start at a UK 10, which I have no hope of fitting.
Sorry for the awkward cage bra marks #sensitiveskinprobs.
So, the band on this fits me perfectly dry, which means it will be tiny on anyone who actually wears a 30 band. It stretches to only 26.5 inches (67.3 cm). So size up in the band on this one (possibly up to two sizes). It will stretch in the water of course, but I doubt it will stretch 4 inches. One thing I love is how cheeky the bottoms are! Yay for butt-cheek freedom! I always feel like full coverage bottoms look like diapers on me (and they tend to give me quad-butt) so I’m happy to see a skimpier cut here. These would probably be fuller coverage on someone with less butt than me, so YMMV here.
Overall, I’m super excited about the sporty/classic aesthetic of Miss Mandalay (seriously, how cute is their Kailani bikini). I didn’t have the correct size in the top this time, but I’d be open to trying the brand again. The biggest deal-breaker for me is just the lack of nipple-concealment. Please hear my pleas for lined bikini tops oh full-bust gods.
If you’re looking for a bargain, ASOS has the black Boudoir Beach top in black for only $33 and Everything but Water has the white Boudoir Beach top for only $20. Bare Necessities also has a variety of discounted Miss Mandalay swim. You can also typically find Miss Mandalay pieces discounted on Ebay! 🙂