Since Spring is around the corner, I thought I would write a bit about the swimsuit, the plus-girl's most dreaded nemesis! Shopping for a swimsuit after months of wearing less-fitted winter wear can send anyone screaming out of the changeroom, but with a few tips and tricks, the experience doesn't have to be so harrowing! A number of manufacturers have discovered that the plus swimsuit doesn't need to have an attached knee length skirt (thank god) so there are a number of options available now that won't make you look like you're 70. So lose those hideous beach wraps and swim skirts in favour of these more fashionable options!
A suit with ruching/shirring down the sides will usually be very flattering for most women because (as opposed to a smooth, tight fabric) it helps to hide any bumps or bulges around the tummy aread that you don't want to highlight. One good example of a suit like this is Lane Bryant's Retro Polka Dot Shirred Swimsuit:
This suit comes in black, passion flower (purple), and polka dot (shown above). The black and purple colours are $99.95 and the polka dot pattern suit is $119.95. Another example of a ruched suit is Addition Elle's One Piece Control With Ruching:
For those who have larger hips (like myself) it can help to choose a suit that draws attention upwards (no, not like that! The right sort of attention...) So picking a suit that has most of its detail at the top will flatter you. One example of this is this stunning swimwear piece by Monif C.
The exposed shoulder and the ruffle draws the attention upwards and the adjustable ties with gold beads at the leg allow you to control how much coverage you get. This suit also has a removable strap for the left shoulder in case you fear a wardrobe malfunction while in the water! This suit also comes in black. Either colour costs $118.00
If you're looking for a bit of youthful flair in the form of cool patterns with a good fit, look no further than Torrid's swim collection. Ranging from $34 (for swimwear bottoms) to $78 (for their most expensive one-piece) their swimwear pieces are more affordable than the other options I've featured above. Their collection this season seems to feature a lot of halters. Here are a couple of their best suits:
Zebra One Piece Halter with Skirt - $68
Paisley One Piece Halter - $68
A very under-represented swimsuit in the Plus Size fashion world is the bikini. Yes, you read that correctly - the bikini. The bikini can be worn by the plus size woman, and worn well - you just need to find the right one! There are a number of retro inspired bikinis out there available in plus sizes for the more daring consumer - and they are designed to flatter. Here's one I found that can be made to measure. The bottoms are high waisted so you get more coverage, but still get to show off some skin!
This one's a little pricier than the others I've posted at $150, but since it can be made to order, you know the fit will be perfect and it's a beautiful choice! This suit is available to order online from Revamp.
Retro (1950s-ish) swimsuits are often a good option for plus size women because they provide plenty of coverage (if you want it) and they make a bold fashion statement. The website Etsy has so many beautiful plus size vintage inspired suits, because all of their items are handmade and some can even be custom-ordered. Here are a couple of my favourites:
Available at Etsy for $85
Available at Etsy for $150
I can't wait for the weather to get warmer so I can get out there in the sun! Happy swimsuit shopping!
UPDATE: Monif C. has a new line of plus size swimsuits that has just come out. Lola and Gigi in Toronto are planning on carrying a selection of them. I just love the hot pink one! ASOS Curve also has a small selection of suits that are very reasonably priced. (Please remember that ASOS Curve is a UK retailer - and they offer FREE shipping to Canada, which is awesome, but you have to order 4 sizes larger than you would at a North American retailer, as a Canadian size 16 is a British 20). Their sale section is also fantabulous. Check these out!