Until recently, swimwear for me involved one swimsuit – a black one piece with racerback.
As someone who spent their childhood swimming competitively this style of swimsuit was all I knew and in addition it was incredibly supportive when swimming in the ocean or pool.
Although functional and comfortable I never felt great in it. I’d look around the pool or beach and be envious of other girls/women – their swimwear was stylish and elegant and I wanted that for myself too.
I searched high and low in store – many stores simply did not carry sizes beyond a 14/16. When I did manage to come across plus size suits, I found more racerback styles or swimsuits that my Nanna would have worn – I was disheartened.
Then I discovered Togs Swimwear. Here I was met with an enormous range of swimsuits – one piece, bikini and tankini all in plus size (up to size 26)! What I loved the most though is they were exactly the same design as the regular sized swimsuits – here was a brand that catered for all body shapes!
I then took my search online and discovered Sequins and Sand. Here I was met with many different brands of swimsuits that catered for all body shapes (size 10-30) – I was excited! I reached out to Anita and popped in to their showroom at 60 Frasers Road, Ashgrove (appointment necessary) where I was able to be fitted for swimsuits that best suited my apple body shape. I’ll be blogging about my experience soon.
I also discovered Havana Sun Beachwear a small little start up that embraces body diversity (size 10 – 22). Again I was met with stylish options in plus size.
Discovering stylish plus size swimsuits got me thinking “I wonder if other curvy girls/women realise that they too can look trendy and elegant when in the water”. So I took the plunge (pardon the pun) and decided to do a feature on swimsuits and beach accessories that flattered my shape to show that it could be done.
I collaborated with Togs Swimwear, Sequins and Sand, Havana Sun Beachwear, White Haven Emporium and Kaftanista Au as well as stylist and photographer Jade Goulding (Style and Space) to produce a series of images (look book and everyday style) that were different to what we constantly see in the media and/or on the cover of magazines.
As confident as I felt in each item it was still an incredibly daunting experience!
My body shape dimensions are not model material or even plus size model material – I’m just a girl from Brisbane putting her legs, tummy and bottom on show for the world to see! I’m incredibly self conscious about the tops of my thighs but was determined to let go of my insecurities – just because I don’t have a thigh gap and have lots of lumps and bumps (hello cellulite) doesn’t mean I can’t feel good whilst at the beach or pool.
I’ve started to share this content and will continue to share this content over the next few weeks.
I do hope it inspires other brands to consider all body shapes when designing swimwear and beach accessories. I also hope that it helps you remember that everyday girls/women can look great too – just let go and embrace the body you have.