PlusbyDesign lives up to its name, offering a series of clothing designs cut for the fuller figure. The swimwear line by Carol Wior is very contemporary but nicely conservative, providing a selection of skirtinis and strategically spliced tank suits. I like this one for plus women with a slightly smaller bust than waist (but who still have a somewhat generous bust). It allows the wearer to play up cleavage assets while disguising the thighs and accentuating the better curves. I would like to see this in other options besides chocolate – brown is a dark color, and that absorbs heat, and it’s also a color I’m prone to wearing when suffering from self-confidence issues. That said, brown is almost as classically flattering as black. It’s a nice basic choice.
Pacifiplex is chock full of zippy juniors pieces with sizing up to 3x – their interpretation of 3x being 20-22, and thus emphasizing the point that plus size retailers need to figure out a consistent sizing standard – but as far as their swimwear goes, they offer one choice only. It’s cute, and a good luau look. The cut and pattern, particularly the skirt over the bottoms and surplice cut is fairly figure flattering for those with bellies, and age appropriate for the 15-21 set.
Old Navy is the subject of a lot of controversy now that they’re taking the plus line out of stores. The party line seems to be that they’re being extremely short-sighted, with the growing numbers of plus people in the United States. I’ve always thought that Gap Inc. stuff was cute, but overly trendy – for the longest time I had conspiracy fantasies where Gap Inc. and Walmart were attempting to take over the world, and the only form of rebellion left would be to join a naturist colony.
Their swimline is standard fare – about two years behind what I would consider cutting edge of plus size design, and just fine “off the rack” or “off the web” as it may now be. This particular suit is the best of their plus swim designs:
Although the brevity of the bottom part of the suit is problematic for women with larger thighs and hips, the shirring through the torso gives a flattering line to the belly area – definitely a suit or the active.
Newport News sells cheap fantasy, as do many of the plus size clothiers who insist upon near-anorexic models. While I don’t buy into the fantasy, I would buy some of these suits under $50.
Beware of linking on MXM fashions website: the loud drum music might scare you or anyone around you when you log on (Could you find some other way to seem hip, MXM? you know, like offering great clothes?) In sizing of 16-24, shoppers can take a gander at a horizontally striped one piece, or sarong style skirt two pieces.
Maximum Woman is like the clearinghouse of plus fashion. If you want to go straight to the best picks, visit them. Also true of their swimwear – take a look at this narrow, but very on-the-pulse, section.
Love Your Peaches has some almost lingerie-like styles, and offers a custom adjustment service. According to their site, “Love Your Peaches swimwear is custom-made with fabric and color choices found nowhere else in Plus Sizes. Choose your favorite style and your favorite color(s). Since our swimwear is sold as separates, this allows our customers to mix and match sizes, too! Our swimwear fabric is 82 % Nylon / 18% Lycra. See swatches for current available colors.”
Custom fitting for a really low price – definitely worth taking a look!
LL Bean has a guide for women looking for a
swimsuit that fits their body type. The types remind vaguely of those IQ tests given to children: shapes are qualified as triangle, rectangle, circle, and star. The designs and color choices are OK, but I’m half expecting to see a “square peg round hole” branding campaign.
Laraine’s is a strange collection of oddments that happens to include swimsuits. Brands include Delta Burke, Roxanne, and Miraclesuit among others. The navigation is amateurish and difficult, and the suits aren’t groundbreaking. I’m thinking this might be one of those wholesale fronts.
There was a day when I held my breath in anticipation waiting for the Lane Bryant page to load. Now, in fear. The trend continues with the swimwear: while the maillots are okay, the print pieces are very poorly executed. It’s plus women and prints – the prints must be just so, or they just make all our problems worse by adding a fabric layer of stereotype.