Curvy Kate Maya Red Print Balconette Bikini

I’m breaking away from my marathon of reviewing Forever 21+ swimwear for a moment to bring you something bra-sized for a change in celebration of National Bikini Day. I have been asked quite a few times if I would be reviewing anything from Curvy Kate‘s 2018 collection and although I can’t afford to buy anything myself at the moment I decided to order a bikini, take some pictures for a review, and send it back. So that’s exactly what I did! I opted for the Curvy Kate Maya balconette bikini top and high waist briefs in red print.

Curvy Kate Maya

Image courtesy of Curvy Kate

Isn’t it lovely? I have to say my first choice of colour for swimwear is almost always turquoise as it looks SO GOOD against a tan, but my numerous recent reviews of Forever 21+’s swimwear have shown me that many different colours can look good, too. And this bikini is no exception – the red print is really unusual and the black piping makes it a real head-turner.

I ordered the Curvy Kate Maya bikini top in 34K and the briefs in 18 (my usual Curvy Kate bikini sizes).

Curvy Kate Maya

If you’ve been following my F21+ reviews recently, you’ll notice the difference that bra-sized swimwear as opposed to clothing-sized swimwear makes. Both are great, but when you’re busty you really can’t beat wearing a bikini or swimsuit that’s akin to wearing an actual bra.

Curvy Kate Maya

The Curvy Kate Maya bikini felt incredible on. SO COMFORTABLE! And of course I felt very well supported.

Curvy Kate Maya

My favourite things about this set are the cut-away central gore – inspired! – and the laddered cutout detail along the sides of the front panel. They take a perfectly lovely but fairly normal-looking bikini to a truly WOWEEE level. I’ve said before that as busty and/or plus-sized women it’s a shame we have to choose between cool fast fashion pieces and better fitting but often less inspiring bra-sized options, but this bikini dismisses that with an effortlessly trendy wave of its hand. Well done, Curvy Kate!

Curvy Kate Maya

You can probably tell from my pictures that the 34K bikini top wasn’t a perfect fit for me. The band is fine, but the cups could do with being bigger. Unfortunately K is the biggest cup made by Curvy Kate so I can’t size up any further than this. I say ‘unfortunately’, but this is perhaps a little unfair as so many other brands don’t go anywhere near this end of the cup spectrum, so serious kudos to CK for doing so. But as someone who requires two, possibly three cup sizes larger (I wear a 32M/34LL in Ewa Michalak bras), I can’t help but wish there were more options available to me. I am always hopeful that their cup size range will be extended, and in the meantime I can make do with this slightly imperfect fit for swimwear.

Curvy Kate Maya

The straps are fully adjustable, and the band fastens with a single large plastic clasp (the usual kind you find on a bikini). All good stuff. I do find the cups a little too tall, shallow and wide for me, but I think this is an issue only with the largest of cup sizes. I have found this to be the case with CK bras, too, but I see plenty of pictures of women in smaller cupped bras and bikinis where it looks like this isn’t an issue so it seems to be a grading thing. I am splitting hairs, though, as I will wear Curvy Kate bikinis regardless because they are gorgeous and one of my very limited options in bra-sized swimwear.

Curvy Kate Maya

The size 18 briefs were perfect on me, giving good coverage and comfort. I was a little disappointed that the back was black instead of the lovely red print fabric, but seeing as I spend much of my time on holiday either lying on a sunlounger or swimming in the sea, both of which mean my backside is concealed, I suppose it doesn’t matter too much 😉

Curvy Kate Maya

I already own a number of Curvy Kate bikinis from previous seasons and the Curvy Kate Maya is every bit as lovely.

Curvy Kate Maya

I am very disappointed that I couldn’t keep this bikini as it’s such a beauty, but limited funds at the moment mean I am pretty much on a spending ban for all but absolute essentials. And given that I already own a number of bra-sized bikinis that fit me I could not justify the cost of this one, sadly. But if you are looking for a stylish and comfortable bikini for your holidays, you won’t go far wrong with this one. Hurrah!

Curvy Kate Maya

You can buy the Curvy Kate Maya bikini top here and high waist briefs here. They also do a halterneck swimsuit, a bandeau bikini top, and low waisted fold over bikini briefs.

And if you’re looking for a cover-up that works well with this bikini, a great option is this Simply Yours Embroidered Kaftan from Simply Be.

Curvy Kate Maya

It’s lightweight and cool, and it has a waist tie if you choose to fasten it for security or increased coverage. The embroidery detail is so pretty, too, and the sleeves are useful to keep upper arms and shoulders covered from the sun.

Curvy Kate Maya

So, having reviewed one Curvy Kate bikini from their 2018 collection, I have of course been looking at their other pieces. I am now hankering over the Curvy Kate Hi Voltage Bikini in white…available only at Bravissimo!

Curvy Kate Maya

Image courtesy of Bravissimo

I mean, SERIOUSLY!!!! I need this so badly! Anyone want to donate it to me?!



  1. Anonymous
    6 July 2018 / 14:40

    Thank you for such a comprehensive review – it’s so useful! I’m going to buy this for my holiday now, I had been in two minds but you have convinced me. You look great!Amy x

    • curvywordy
      13 July 2018 / 11:16

      Thanks Amy! I bet it will look amazing on you – the colours are so lovely x

  2. Gemma
    7 July 2018 / 13:18

    I have seen this bikini on lots of thin women but never before on a plus sized woman so thank you for this. It gives me a really good idea of what it might look like on me even though I’ve got a much bigger belly than you!! You’ve included lots of useful info in your review too. I’ll be buying this come payday 👍🏻

    • curvywordy
      13 July 2018 / 11:18

      Aww thanks Gemma! One of the reasons I started my blog was to show how things look on my body as it’s so different to what’s seen in stock photos and in the media. I’m so glad you’ve found it helpful 😊

  3. Frances Browne
    7 July 2018 / 15:30

    I’ve been a follower of your blog and social media for many years and love your informative and helpful reviews. Your posts have convinced me to buy many an item I might not have usually considered. Thank you for all the hard work you put into what you do, it is appreciated by me and many others. As for this bikini…I might’ve just bought it 😉

    • curvywordy
      13 July 2018 / 11:20

      Thank you so much – I really appreciate your kind words. I’m so glad you’ve found my blog useful, I know things don’t always work on me but I hope readers find my reviews helpful anyway.
      Enjoy your new bikini 😊

  4. Ellie
    8 July 2018 / 21:30

    Great post! The bikini looks fantastic on you. I bought it after reading your review and I absolutely love it, thank you for the sizing info especially

    • curvywordy
      13 July 2018 / 11:21

      Thanks Ellie – enjoy your new bikini! So glad you found all the info so helpful 😊

  5. Anonymous
    10 July 2018 / 07:56

    What a shame you couldn’t afford to keep it! I hope some retailer like Brastop or Bravissimo will gift it to you and the white one as well. You look banging in this one and I can’t even begin to imagine how well that white one would suit you. I’ve bought both off the back of your review so it’s only fair lol xxxx

    • curvywordy
      13 July 2018 / 11:26

      Sometimes I get things gifted to me and even on the odd occasion I might get a sponsored post where I’m paid to review something. I’ll always state in my post what the case is. I’ll have to keep my fingers crossed for Bravissimo, though – that white bikini must be mine!

  6. Sarah
    10 July 2018 / 10:37

    I just want to say thank you. It can’t be easy to put yourself out there but I’m so grateful for all that you do to empower women and show us how to love ourselves. Your fun attitude is infectious and I for one feel braver and more confident after finding your blog and trying some of the clothes you have reviewed. This bikini is definitely on my shopping list – it’s gorgeous! Keep up the inspiring work <3

    • curvywordy
      13 July 2018 / 11:28

      Thanks Sarah – your comment is absolutely lovely and your support means so much to me! It’s not always easy to do this but I love what I do and that’s why I keep going even when times are tough. Don’t worry – I’m not going anywhere 😊

  7. Unknown
    12 July 2018 / 17:07

    oh my goodness they should be paying you to review these!!! you should def reach out to them to partner!

    • curvywordy
      13 July 2018 / 11:32

      Thank you for your support – brands aren’t usually keen on paying bloggers, sadly. It’s a shame because the work we do is valuable and I assume they pay other places for promotion, like magazine features and ads, newspapers, websites etc. Sometimes they offer us free items in exchange for a review, which is lovely but sadly free things don’t pay my bills! It takes many hours of work to put together a decent blog post and I don’t think it’s unreasonable to expect payment for my time. Hopefully things will improve going forward… 🙏🏻

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