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The Marysia Antibes bikini was the suit that ignited a curious, surprising bout of bandeau envy for me. I didn't even realize that I was coveting one until all of a sudden this beautifully simple scalloped number was everywhere I turned. Insanely flattering and riotously modern, it had it all: a feminine silhouette and intriguing style that truly set it apart. A shame, I told myself, because I simply couldn't wear bandeau tops. This inner narrative was one I think I'd believed my whole life: I'd literally never, ever owned a suit in this strapless style before. I'd been made to believe (by whom, I'm not sure) that the style was difficult to wear for a fuller-busted body. You had to be flat-chested to wear a bandeau, and my 36C bust ruled me out of that class. 

Cut to the summer of 2017, when I was caught in Washington, D.C. with my family at a hotel with a rooftop pool. Somehow I'd managed to pack swimsuits for everyone but myself (classic mom move), and I needed to locate one, quick. A jaunt to the pretty shopping row on M Street in Georgetown had me in prime retail heaven, save for one detail: Every single suit in virtually every shop was a bandeau style. Maybe because it was mid-season all the sensible, strap-style suits had flown off the racks? I don't know. But my pickings were slim (literally) and I had to swim, so I bought the cheapest swimsuit I could find, a pretty emerald green bandeau top with a center knot and a high-waisted bottom, and hoofed back to the hotel. Dear reader, when I pulled it on I felt ... amazing. It turns out the strapless effect is insanely flattering to the shoulders and collarbone (why had no one told me this) and, in fact, modern fabrics make it totally possible for boobs to deal without straps. It actually had a sort of bust-minimizing effect that I really adored and stayed put while swimming and walking around, defying all my expectations. The moral of this story? Hmm. Maybe if you like something, try it? Hardly revolutionary, but worth a reminder every once in a while. 

Seeking a bandeau revelation of your own? Here are top picks from our extensive selection

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Rosa Cha Anel Elisa bandeau bikini top in Beetroot, $169

 

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Pilyq Knot bandeau bikini top in Monroe White, $79

 

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Boys + Arrows Hezeus bandeau bikini top in hood fish, $109

 

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Solid and Striped The Leslie ruffle bandeau bikini top in navy seersucker, $89