I have sold over 5000 VS bikini's and I am an expert on all Victoria's Secret styles old and new. I will be explaining the Pros and Cons of each top individually below and pairing them up when the styles that are cut from the same pattern.
Bandeau Top (Includes any bandeau top with a central decoration)
This bandeau bikini with hardware detailing is by far the best selling piece. 95% of them are white and feature a central decoration, such as a hardware flower with rhinestone jewels, or hardware built into the centre - e.g. a metal heart.
Maya (2008-2010 Named Twist Top)This is a fun top - great for smaller busts - it is a bandeau top that has literally been 'twisted' creating a natural middle, with both sides fully lined and reinforced.
Pros1. The cups are fully molded, and double-lined - it is never see-thru even when wet when the removable pads are in place.
2. The pads and the boning on the each side shapes the bust very nicely, pushing you up and out in a balconette style.
3. Most come with a removable halter strap, and have a graduated back clasp (3 back loops to hook the back hook into, so you can tailor it to your band size)
Cons1. As 95% of them are white, marks come up easily - and the central jewel can snag the material a little. It is important to look after them and only handwash them to ensure that the centrals jewels stay in place and do not fall out over time.
2. They are designed for smaller busted ladies. I would not recommend this for a lady over a 34D (12D)
3. Except the white and black tops, this style usually has a specific pattern - so you would have to buy the set, not just the top by itself to match.
Halter Bikini Tops (any top with non-removable halter ties)
Liya Halter Top (2008-2010 Named Miracle Bra)This top is such a sexy and supportive piece, without the wires! The molded cups give a fantastic shape to your bust, lifting you up and out. The supportive ties are adjustable for a tailored fit. This top is the corner-stone of the VS swimwear collection and every year it is a great seller and I receive many compliments on it. The versatility factor is big as the thicker halter and back strings are fully adjustable, and it is constructed really well, so it is ideal for larger busts
Pros1. Really well made - with thick halter and back straps that are 100% adjustable
2. Removable pads that will not effect the molding of the top
3. Excellent for all bust sizes - including larger busts up to a 36DD (14DD)
Cons1. Straps are not removable and may create tan lines
2. Removable pads are not very big and do not make that much of a difference to the fullness look in the top.
Daisy Halter TopThis style is very similar to the Liya style above, the only differences are that this Daisy top is skimpier all over, less coverage on the front, and the ties are single strings, not thicker stings. When I first saw this top I was not impressed - however when I actually tried one on and saw how well it fits my bikini models - it is not my personal favourite. The padding inside has been cut in a curved design so there is a plunge effect - combine that with the halter style that naturally draws your bust up out and together, and you will find this top to be a real winner.
Pros1. Best of both worlds - support and plunge
2. Fully adjustable halter and back strings for a 100% tailored fit
Cons1. Straps are not removable
2. Although the padding is removable - it is an integral part to the top and it will be see-thru if you remove the pads.
Triangle topFun, and skimpy - VS's string bikini tops are the basic triangles -and they do a very nice job with the patterns on the front - incorporating feminine designs and raised rhinestone. Most tops have removable pads - this top is not a push-up - it creates a natural shape.
Pros1. Skimpy and Sexy - ideal for smaller busts and implants
2. Fully adjustable halter and neck ties
Cons1. Not good for larger bust
2. Removable pads but if they removed the top may become see-thru
Under-wired Bra Specific Bikini Tops - Style Name ZoeThis top does everything you would expect - its a good solid, safe choice. As it is bra-sized, it is much less of a gamble fit wise. Most of removable pads, and create more of a balconette effect.
Pros1. Bra-sized much less of a gamble to order
2. Push -Up - does give you a gently plunge shape
3. Graduated back clasp so you adjust it to your band size
Cons1. Under-wiring can poke throw over time
2. Some Halter Straps are not detachable
3. Less choice of patterns
Finally.... The Plunge / Miraculous Top -Style Name - MaldiveFor the OOMMPPHHH Factor! This top is very cleverly designed, sporting non removable padding along the sides and the belly of top that gently punches into the bottom of your bust pushing you way up and together for truly the biggest and best poolside cleavage.
The miraculous top has been made exactly the same way and has additional padding on the outside as well making you 2 cups larger in appearance.
Pros1. Provides the greatest plunge VS offers makes
2. Adjustable halter ties
3. Graduated back clasp
Cons1. Halter Straps are not detachable
2. Miraculous tops look a little comical past a 36C - they give you too much bust and can look a little fake.
3. Must be hand washed.
Shot me an email if you have any questions - even if you do not plan on buying from me - I would be happy to help you find the prefect bikini :-)