fashion

ROADTEST: I tried 7 size 14 black swimmers from Aussie retailers. This is what I found.

I’m just an average young woman really; I’m not overly tall or short, I’m a size 14-16 with size DD cup, and I have the “you look so familiar” face.

For someone who fits comfortably in the average, I wondered how easy it would be to find a pair of black swimmers to wear on the beach this summer. Considering lots of Aussie women are around my size, it shouldn’t be that hard to find a good fit…right?

Wrong.

I decided to head to my local shopping centre and check out some of the places that stock a decent size range. One thing I don’t enjoy is having to spend hours getting dressed and undressed in tiny change rooms while sweating it out like Kramer in the sauna in that Seinfeld episode.

For the sake of my search, I stuck to trying on size 14 bathers the whole time to see how vast the difference was between stores. Behold, my findings.

Surf Dive N’ Ski.

My journey began at Surf, Dive N’ Ski; you’d hope a shop based on water itself would have a range of sizes to suit ALL beach bodies, but alas, they only stock up to 14.

In their Seafolly bikini my boobs were about to concave on me it was so tight. Also what is this one piece low-back trend? Do people want to see my crack? My ass is already on display as it is.

size 14 black swimwear
Surf Dive N' Ski swimwear. Image: Supplied

Cost: $$$

Variety: Not much for 14+

Fit: Small

Bra's N' Things.

Next was Bras N’ Things. I felt confident going in as I knew their swimwear would reflect their accuracy in the bra department, but why does everything have push up in it?

Their range was vast in colour and style and I like that I was approached right away by staff.

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These styles were cute but I knew tan lines would be odd in the bikini set, and the one-piece wasn’t my cup of tea. Both fit well as a 14 and the change room lighting was decent.

size 14 black swimwear
Bra's N' Things swimwear. Image: Supplied

Cost: $$.

Variety: Good for 14+

Fit: True to size

Myer.

My oh Myer.

I had to approach a staff member to find the tiny swimwear section and that was my only encounter with a salesperson there.

I grabbed another Seafolly bikini which to my surprise fit really well, and I fell in love with this Piper one piece that looks like it belongs on the Amalfi Coast.

Prices were a little steep and the customer service was non-existent, so I left without a trace. P.S: Myer, please add locks to your change room doors.

size 14 black swimwear
Myer swimwear. ImageL Supplied
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Cost: $$$

Variety: Good style variety for 14+.

Fit: True.

Cotton On.

Cotton On, just bring the Curve range in-store already.

I managed to ruffle through hundreds of bathers to find only one black pair in size XL – fit like a glove but again with the low back?

The cupping wasn’t fantastic as it felt a bit flimsy, so I tried on a strapless one-piece in L and it was too big at the top. The sizing inconsistency was surprising and annoying but sales staff were attentive.

size 14 black swimwear
Cotton on swimwear. Image: Supplied

Cost: $

Variety: mainly online for 14+

Fit: Inconsistent

Target.

Ah Target, you had the BEST change room lighting of the day but your shelves were harder to control than my hair after a night out.

I managed to scrounge through and find two bikinis, the first pair fit alright but the top was slightly tight, while the second top basically turned my boobs into what resembled a roll of cookie dough.

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size 14 black swimwear
Target swimwear. Image: Supplied

Cost: $$

Variety: Okay for 14+ if you have time to find it.

Fit: Small

City Chic.

City Chic, I was disappointed at the small range of sizes in your store compared to online.

There were only two styles in black, so I tried the XS (14) one-piece which fit well in the body but my DD boobs didn’t fill it in. The bikini wasn’t doing things for me and I didn’t want another weird tan line.

Change rooms had the worst lighting of the day as you can tell.

size 14 black swimwear
City Chic swimwear. Image: Supplied
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Cost: $$$.

Variety: Great for sizes 14+ online.

Fit: Generous.

Kmart.

And finally, old faithful Kmart. I wanted to end my day on a high whether I walked away with bathers or unnecessary Christmas decorations...I knew I’d be leaving in a good mood.

Much like Target, the swim area was a mess, but their range of styles, colour and sizing was vast. I had plenty to choose from in black bathers, the one-piece was the most comfortable of the day with nice coverage, while the bikini set was comfortable. A little sexy but not too revealing – exactly what I had been looking for.

Their sizing was consistent and good quality for the price.

size 14 black swimwear
Kmart swimwear. Image: Supplied

Cost: $

Variety: Good for sizes 14+, just a little messy to navigate.

Fit: True

If you’re more of an online shopper like me, I have found brands such as Artesands and Youswim offer a lovely variety of styles and colours with a great true-to-size fit.

At the end of my shopping day, I walked away with two Kmart bikini sets for just $42, a kilo lost in sweat alone and a couple of thousand steps on my watch ticked off for the day.

I hope this series of unfortunate shopping events doubles as a guide for any women who hate retail shopping as much as I do, but need swimmers for the hotter days ahead!

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