For years, bathing suit shopping felt like a chore, complete with poorly lit dressing rooms and unflattering trends. Recently, though, I've felt like bathing suits have come into their prime, with a wide range of flattering silhouettes, sizes, supportive cups, and colors. It's hard to believe just a few years ago I was hard-pressed to find a single cute one-piece option, or bikini tops and bottoms sold as separates. To celebrate summer, our team rounded up our favorite bathing suits right now:
I discovered L*Space bikinis last year while researching swimsuits for our family trip to Hawaii. They quickly became my favorite brand. The bust size goes up to a double-D, with adjustable straps that offer an impressive amount of support. I also find the silhouettes of their suits to be incredible flattering. I love that so many of their tops come down to the top of your rib cage, giving the illusion of an hourglass figure, while offering support in the water. As if that weren't enough, I love the colors they come in, like the café au lait shade I selected to muted rust, that are a fun departure from basic black.
On a beach day, I'm spending more time in the water than I am on the sand—paddle boarding, surfing, just romping in the waves... so I want something that's cute, but also won't result in a wardrobe malfunction the minute I dive under a wave. As a result, I'm much more likely to purchase a one-piece than anything else (although if you love a bikini, I've found this shape to be the most flattering and functional). Instead, I go for simple one-pieces with details that look great in just a pair of cut-offs, a hat (how do we feel about visors? I love this one.), and some cute slides.
My Picks: Tularosa Lucie One Piece ($83) and Tavik Swimwear Scarlett One Piece ($168), I also love the youthfulness of this J.Crew rash-guard ($88). It looks like it was made for a kid, but it makes me happy! (Don't forget the high-waisted bottoms.)
I wrote about my newfound love for my ASOS bathing suits back in April, but for the most part I'm not wearing bikinis when I spend any time in the sun. I've almost converted to be a full-time one-piece gal (something I never thought I'd say), but obviously I take my sun exposure a bit more seriously after having skin cancer. I also stay far away from white bathings suits as I had a relatively traumatizing first period experience in one of them (...yup). You can find me under an umbrella, wearing SPF 50, a men's Uniqlo button-down, a fun hat, and a more reserved yet chic one piece.
Bathing suit shopping is easily my least-favorite thing to do. In fact, I won't even do it in store. I exclusively order online and like to shop from places where I know the sizes remain consistent. My go-to suits are '90s inspired, with a high leg and neutral colors, though I'll make an exception for a pop of pink or yellow. If I'm in a bathing suit, I'm probably on vacation so I want it to be cute, comfortable for tanning, and go well with a coverup and slides.
Like most of my clothing purchases, I like my swimsuits to be multi-tasking: disguising all of my problem areas (aka all the places I ignore at the gym, which is more than I pay attention to) with a little character mixed in for good measure. Why wear a simple bikini when I can get a rash guard and make people question if I am a surfing teacher grabbing a cocktail between classes (I am not)? Why have two straps on my swimsuit, when one does the job and gives me the early aughts vibes that would do a Hadid sister proud? Or, just make it easy: wear a Dalmatian inspired print and be the Cruella de Vil of the public pool during free swim.
Did anyone else want to scream/cry/protest when Victoria's Secret stopped selling swimwear a few years ago?? As a person who does marketing for a living, I thought it was SUCH a weird decision for a company that exists solely to sell scantily clad items (like swimwear...), and a very sad day for my swimsuit collection indeed. Well, surprise, it's back for 2019, but alas–I've already moved on. These days I'm all J.Crew, all online (wait for the sales; they happen all the time). I probably buy at least 2 swimsuits a year, and I'm one of those rebels who doesn't like to match her bottoms to her top. Find me in a leopard print bottom and a cherry red top, or a neon yellow top with jungle print bottoms. I'm also a major fan of the high-waisted bottom and underwire top combo because it makes me feel kind of 50's glam (cat-eye sunglasses optional). Life is just too short for boring swimsuits, even if I'm just sitting at the pool reading a science fiction book.
A few years ago, I started my own tradition where I buy a new swimsuit either before or during a summer vacation to commemorate my trip. I love the idea of having a practical souvenir from each destination, which reminds me of sunny beach days each time I wear it. Consistent with my personal style, I stick with matching sets which are either a solid color or a subtle pattern. Right now, I'm loving this Vitamin A top that would transition beautifully from the beach to happy hour with the addition of a flowy skirt and a pretty tortoise-handled bucket bag.
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