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Refinery29 | Swimwear Solutions

Jessica Petersen

Posted on March 04 2015

We loved that Refinery29 featured Sorella Swim in one of their latest articles! We thought that it would be a great idea to further elaborate on some swimwear facts and hints! Below Owner/Designer Jessica recaps on some key points in swimwear.

Large Bust - I think this is one of the number one concerns I hear from women when shopping for swimwear. They tell me that their bust is very large and that they cannot find a swimsuit that they feel comfortable in or that supports them well. This can be very frustrating, but there are solutions. I suggest looking for swimsuits that offer the following, molded cups, underwire, adjustable over-the-shoulder straps and material that has a high percentage of spandex or Xtra Life Lycra.

Molded cups will give your bust shape and will aid in comfortable support. Underwire at the bust will help support the weight of a large bust. Adjustable, over-the-shoulder straps will give you comfort rather than a tie halter strap that will pull and tug on the skin and the adjustability feature gives you the ability to make the straps as tight or as loose as is comfortable for you. Lastly, the high percentage of spandex or Xtra Life Lycra helps because the fabric is the number one feature that will affect support. You need the strength and quality in the fabric to support the weight of a larger bust and to conform to your shape.

Disproportionate – Many women call me and tell me that they are small busted, but have a very full frame everywhere else and that all the swimsuits they try are too big in the bust. This can also be difficult for women that are larger busted, but small in the waist and hip area. For these women I recommend shopping for a two-piece swimsuit that is sold as separates. If you are disproportionate than you need the flexibility to buy tops and bottoms in different sizes. At Sorella Swim we sell all our two-piece suits as separates so that if you need a size 8 in the top and a size 16 in the bottom you have the flexibility to purchase that way.

Coverage – It can be very frustrating when shopping in the world of skimpy swimwear when you are a woman with curves! Many women with curves still want to feel sexy and young, but be comforted knowing that their swimsuit covers them and holds them in where necessary. Many of my customers are mommy’s and want to know that they aren’t spilling out of their swimsuit while chasing their kids or running from task to task. Sorella Swim focuses on coverage specifically in the bust area and butt area. The two places you tend to need it the most. I suggest women look for swimsuits that have adjustability features like halter necklines, removable modesty cups at the bust, ruched fabric that can be spread out or scrunched-up to show less or more skin, areas that have adjustable ties like in bottoms that have a skirt so you can adjust the height of the skirt. Adjustability is the key!

Support – Most women with curves only feel comfortable in a swimsuit if it provides them with adequate support. Look for features like underwire cups, cups with molding, adjustable straps, tummy-tuck panels, fabric with a high percentage of spandex and/or special features like Xtra Life Lycra. All these features will help with support depending on your specific area of concern.

Quality/Durability – When you shop the categories of “plus-size” or swimwear for women with curves you tend to find a lot of swimwear that just doesn’t make the grade. The quality and make is just poor! Yet, in these categories you are asked to pay more money than women shopping for smaller sizes. I believe all women deserve quality swimwear that will last them season after season. I know once you find the perfect suit you are not going to be thrilled if it falls apart and you have to start the search for the perfect suit all over again. Ugh!!
Much of the quality and make of a swimsuit is something you notice when it is right in front of you and you can look at it closely, however, here are some things to look for if you are shopping online that may indicate higher quality. Look for specialty or trademarked features in the fabric content like Xtra Life Lycra or S Resist Lycra, and Shaping Lycra. These additions to the fabric content cost money and many brands don’t feel it is important in selling their product. Look for branding or little extras like little decorative stitches, extra tags, and branded hardware. If a company is willing to put the extra dollars into features like this than chances are the overall quality will be high too!

Inaccurate Sizing – Sizing is one of the biggest issues when you start getting into products over a size 10 or 12. There is no grade rule on how sizes are determined above a size 12. Therefore, you have a lot of brands that make up their own rule and a size 14 in one brand can vary by 1-2 inches compared to another brand. Look for sites that offer free shipping and free returns so that you can try sizes on in the comfort of your own home without the expense of shipping back and forth trying to find the size that works best for you. Find a brand that fits you well and stick with it! Most brands do not vary their sizing from season to season. Also, look for brands that offer slashed sizing or swimsuits that expand over a broader range of sizes. For example, Sorella Swim sizes with slashed sizing. We offer sizes 6/8, 10/12, 14/16, 18/20 and 22/24. Our philosophy is that if you are usually in between sizes than this type of size scale gives you comfort knowing which size is right for you. We are able to offer this type of sizing because of the quality, stretch and retention of swimwear fabric.

Prints/Color – So often I hear things like, “if you are over a size 12 you should only wear black…no prints and no bright colors!” These types of comments make me cringe because this is not the case and many times a specific print or the way color is used can camouflage or flatter areas of the body. Look for prints that don’t have any focal points, cut-off areas or an extremely large scale. Busier prints can help camouflage areas of the body in the same way ruching or shirring can camouflage. Color works in the same way! Swimwear that has color blocking or specific areas of color can help draw your eye towards areas you are comfortable with or draw your eye away from problem areas.