You normally expect bikini reviews in the summer months and those leading up to it, right? I know my last bikini review didn’t quite hit in time for summer, but then again, I was in Florida and temperatures are pretty much bikini weather all year round there – plus I’m going to argue that September is the best time to visit for low Disney crowd levels…but that’s not what this blog is about!
The photos for this bikini review were taken in what should be a solidly autumnal month; they were taken in late September in upstate New York on part 2 of our honeymoon. The part we’d booked specifically for cooler temperatures and changing fall leaves. As it happens, the area had a mini heatwave and we arrived to temperatures on par with Florida, meaning the bikini was back out again, even in fall!
RAQ specialise in bikinis for “the big rack pack”. Their goal is to provide busty women with a bikini that actually fits in all the right places – something large busted ladies will know is quite a feat! The collection is designed for every type of bikini-needing activity, from looking good lounging poolside to dips in the ocean. They want women to feel comfortable and supported in bikinis designed to fit their body type.
RAQ Apparel sent me their Halterneck Bikini Top in black ($79 AUD/ ~£43) in an 8G/30G and their Classic Bikini Brief ($39 AUD/ ~£21) in a size 12. It’s also worth noting you can get the whole set at a discounted price of $140 AUD (~£76) too.
Shape & Appearance
A good basic bikini that actually fits me while looking good is something I’m still struggling with. I want one that looks like a normal bikini, not just a bra in swimwear fabric! I feel like RAQ has hit the nail on the head with their simple but tried-and-tested triangle design.
The little triangle bikini is a bit of a mystery to me – I’ve bought several different incarnations of triangle bikinis in various sizes in the hope that one might just fit me. All of these have been high street designs though and, as such, are made in standard S/M/L or generic numeric sizing such as 8/10/12 etc. Not a single one has been able to provide me with the coverage and support I need as a fuller cup. They looked too “inappropriate” to wear on family holidays, and the tiniest bit of movement or wave in the sea would have me grabbing and pulling at these tops in fear.
RAQ’s triangle shaped bikini comes still has that lightweight, almost-triangle shape (as close as you can get with a fuller bust, I’d say!), but with the added benefit of an underwire for the additional support and shaping that’s crucial for many bustier women. Having the option to make the choice of a modern but well-fitting style is absolutely important for me.
The RAQ bikini top cups are made up of two parts with a vertical seam running from the strap down the centre of the cup. This is quite common in triangle bralette styles so gives that relaxed look to the bikini. In addition to underwires, the bikini has a sturdy gore which acts to keep the cups separate and supported – something you don’t usually find in a string, triangle bikini.
I also love that the bikini has double halterneck straps which are both functional – they provide more support – and look on trend. So in terms of appearance, this bikini gets a thumbs up from me. You could call it the LBD for bikinis – it’s simple but versatile.
In terms of shape, I’d noticed a lot of the product images show women with a more pushed together and upwards look than I’m getting in this bikini. To be honest, my experience is that it’s a lot more of a natural, but still well-supported, shape. I honestly like this look as it’s more comparable to the generic triangle bikini shape that I’m looking for in something like this.
Size, fit & comfort
At the time of receiving this bikini, I was comfortably wearing a 28GG/30G, so I opted for the 8G which equates to the 30G in UK sizing. RAQ’s sizing is a little limited at present – 8-12 (30-34) E-G is their current size range, but bear in mind that they are a new, small company.
Fortunately, I can confidently say that their sizing is a little more versatile than you might find other bikinis or bras to be. By the time I wore the bikini for this trip and these photos, I was more regularly wearing a 30H or 32GG due to pregnancy (did you spot that 17 weeks pregnant bump there?!), but as you can see, it looks to fit very well. I believe the fabric used in the cups and band is fairly stretchy, meaning you’ve got a bit of leeway if you’re worried their G cup size might be too small for you.
The band is, in fact, adjustable, which is unusual to see in a bikini that fastens with a standard (but sturdy) plastic clasp at the back. The band has been sewn that it has 3 “loops” of band fabric that the clasp can be hooked through. Here I’m wearing it on the loosest option, but when I received it, the option to have a tighter band was somewhat needed for me.
I wore this 2 or 3 times in the pool at Disney, then multiple other times for sunbathing (like here) and even once underneath a top. I can confidently say that it felt comfortable and supportive enough thanks to the underwire and shape – no slippage or accidental reveals as I used to fear in a triangle bikini! It was also good to wear when I wanted to go from pool to restaurant – we did this a couple of times where I had to throw a top over bikini. One day I was wearing a padded bikini top and all the water that had absorbed into the padding soaked through my top which doesn’t look all that great! The thinner material of this bikini meant it was much easier to dry off and didn’t soak through at all, which was a big positive!
The only minor complaint I have with this set is that the bottoms to match the bikini top feel kind of tiny! Maybe that’s just because I’m a granny, but I felt myself pulling them up at the top or down at the sides fairly often to make sure I had enough coverage. I’m not sure whether going up a size would help this (and the little pregnancy bump may also have contributed to that feeling too!), but it’s worth noting that RAQ do now offer a new style of bikini brief with a strap at the side, which looks like higher coverage at the front and back, but less at the sides, so it might be worth trying if you prefer something different to the classic bikini brief.