9 Of The Best Plus Size Swimwear Things To Buy For Summer
The Debrief: Shopping for plus-sized swimwear on the high street has never been more chic
Beach body chat begins earlier and earlier every year, complete with grim advertising for juice cleanses, murderously intense workouts and women’s mag features brimming with fatphobia. Whether you’re that ‘aspirational’ slim-and-toned-yet-curvy combo or not, you’re going to need swimwear if you plan to hit the beach.
As a fat girl who is very chilled out about showing off my body, I don’t lose much sleep over swimwear, but that doesn’t mean shopping for it is easy.
This has actually been the item I’ve found hardest to source. Of all five pieces in this series, it’s been the swimwear edition that has truly got me down in terms of assortment for plus sizes and availability in a range of plus sizes. I found the whole process frustrating and disheartening, so I can expect to find actually shopping for swimwear even worse.
Even specifically plus size retailers like Simply Be appear to stock a large amount of swimwear (11 pages of 36 products per page!) but there are nearly 100 more styles available for a size 14 than a size 26. Someone who’s a size 14 can shop anywhere, but a size 26 relies on specifically plus size retailers to have their back. What’s the point? It also disturbed me that the models used for swimwear are often even smaller than those used to model standard plus size clothes. One retailer used a model widely known to be a size 12-14. So with a disappointing lack of product, and a disappointing lack of plus size bodies representing that product in retailers’ artwork, what’s good?
I’m relieved to say I found some faves, whether you’re in the market for a one-piece or a bikini.
Lowkey brilliant Danish retailer Junarose was the surprise star of the show. They had several two-piece sets and a few swimsuits I would wear in a heartbeat. Their largest size is suitable for a European size 54 which means they’re more accessible than several brands.
Despite my misgivings with Simply Be’s assortment, I’m extremely taken with the mesh one-piece from their own range. Its sporty, it’s cool, it’s not retro-feminine (which a lot of plus size swimwear tends to be).
A sneaky tip: I think some of the best plus size swimwear I’ve seen in recent times was the Big Guns for ASOS collaboration last summer. It’s magically still on the site, heavily reduced (you could get a whole set for a tenner), and of the 12 pieces available, 11 are still in stock in a size 28. It says something about the scarcity of decent swimwear around at the moment that I’m advising you to buy old stock, but that’s on plus size retailers, not me. I really like the styles from Curvy Kate, but given they stop at a 38-inch back, it’s only useful for people on the smaller end of plus size. The bottoms come in bigger sizes, but if you want a matching set, it’s possibly not going to be the one for you. It’s a company I wish was more sincerely plus-friendly, rather than limiting it to ‘curvy’.
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