Swimming in Suits

 

The advice we’d always heard was to go shopping for swimsuits in knee-highs and under fluorescent lights, the logic being that if you felt like you looked okay in those circumstances, it was probably a decent swimsuit. We want to push back on that for a couple reasons:

  • No one wears knee highs anymore

  • Fluorescent lighting was declared illegal in all fitting rooms in 2004*

  • We can do better than “I don’t hate myself in this”

A ton of the suits you see on the rack at department stores are not meant for, well, your rack. Let’s be real: shopping for a swimwear is designed to prey on your insecurities until you part with your money for the first thing that isn’t terrible. What if we didn’t do that?

Most people don’t even realize that there are more options available to the average swimsuit shopper than an unsupportive string bikini, a Speedo one-piece, and a swimskirt with strategically placed hibiscuses. Don’t despair, friend: cup-and-band swimsuits are here for you. Designed with the same level of shaping and support as a bra, many lingerie companies like Panache and Curvy Kate have started making bikini tops and one-pieces in the last few years. So often, things designed for full-figured or plus-size people are an afterthought, but the new generation of lingerie-inspired swim is not a consolation prize. A range of fashion-forward and fun pieces are available to people of all shapes and sizes, so all you have to worry about is whether or not it’s a look you’re feeling.

When you come in to Underpinnings, let your fitter know you’d be interested in seeing some swimwear, too. The sizing is usually similar to that of your everyday bra; in some cases, the style may even be almost identical. Tell your fitter a little about what you’re looking for (lounging poolside? swimming laps? splashing around in the surf?) and we’ll find a level of support and coverage to get you into the right thing. Some tops come with a wire, and some without. Some have a little bit of push-up or padding, and some favor a more natural look. Regardless of your preferences, you can walk out with something that fits your body perfectly.

In an ideal world, we want you to love your suit and feel amazing in it, but we know it’s really hard to go out in public in your underwear. Our promise to you is the same affirming, thoughtful fitting experience that pairs you up with a garment that fits. We want you to be able to focus on having fun at the beach, enjoying your water aerobics, and playing Marco Polo. Let’s leave dowdy behind and skip the constant strap adjustments this year.

Kirsten Schofield