If you’re a D+ cup, you’ll know the move: right before you pop up out of the water you reach up and do a quick scan, ensuring that everything is in place, covered and secured. We need that quick modesty check because most swimwear isn’t made for busty gals, and it doesn’t take much to bring a bikini’s best efforts undone.

Enter boutique Melbourne swimwear brand Form and Fold, which caters specifically to the small of back, large of bust among us. As two women who fall squarely into the D+ category, Form and Fold’s founders Carly Warson and Stephanie Korn knew from firsthand experience that there was a gap in the market that needed filling. “Your choices were either excessively sexy or had serious grandma vibes,” says Warson.

“We wear bras every day that are comfortable and supportive and then you go to the beach, where you’re nearly naked, and you have this flimsy thing with no wire that won’t hold you in when you swim.”

This is why Form and Fold’s sizing system mimics that of lingerie. “Women understand that they have two sizes, their back and their bust,” says Korn. Unlike many swimsuits that begin small and proportionally expand up from there to larger sizes, Form and Fold starts with a baseline size of 10E and grade systematically to ensure the structure is there to support an 8E or a 14FF equally.

The range is small and carefully curated. There’s “the base”, which has the simple underwire half-cup shape and contouring of your favourite T-shirt bra; and the “tri”, which scoops you up, but with enough fabric to prevent overspill, and crossed straps so you don’t get an ache in the back of your neck. The “sculpt” offers more texture in a dual layer balconette-style, while the “line” is a timeless plunging bikini that deserves its own slow-mo water exit.

But for its latest release, Form and Fold has tackled a style that typically has never been a friend to the D+ bracket: the crop. That glorious marker of ’90s beach fashion meant striking a devil’s bargain. In order to rock the sporty, square neckline, the price was a squashy, sweaty, uncomfortable phenomenon known in busty circles as the “uni-boob”. Three years of design work, 20 prototypes and three pattern makers later, you can pre-order a swimming two-piece that fulfills the perfect ’90s aesthetic brief, designed with a D+ cup in mind.

In order to test their claims, we put a body on the line: specifically my mid-30s frame with its post-breastfeeding bosom that no longer supports itself. From the outside the crop has the smooth lines and simple look of any sleek, athletic crop top – a gently square neckline tapers into slim, comfortable shoulder straps in one single, unbroken seam.

Inside, it’s lined in a single, continuous piece of the same smooth, Italian fabric made from recycled plastics, but hidden in between are cleverly concealed underwires that lift and, crucially, separate. It’s flattering, feminine and feels very secure without looking like you’re strapped into a utilitarian harness. The ultimate test: throwing myself into cold water where I flail and gasp, never once stopping to check I was still in place – just set and forget.

To pair with the “crop”, they’ve played with their high-rise bottoms, cutting the leg seam in tighter and higher to give that long leg look, but still with the super smooth finish that doesn’t have any elastic to dig in.

And it turns out that Warson and Korn weren’t the only ones pining for a style that had long felt out of reach from their frames. Pre-orders for the crop surged, with the burnt orange, sparkly clay colourway selling out in 24 hours, and a waitlist stretching into the hundreds. Stocks have been replenished and there’s also stone, textured olive and black.

With one unobtainable style conquered, Form and Fold’s next release, timed for the Northern Hemisphere summer and the jet-set heading for Europe, is a triangle bikini, created with underwire so the Double D club worldwide can finally get on board without our boobs going overboard.

formandfold.com