fashion

ROADTEST: I'm a size 24, and went searching for the perfect affordable swimsuit.

Close your eyes and picture this: glorious rays of sunlight warming your skin, the smell of SPF 50+ mixed with salt filling your nostrils, the sound of the waves crashing in the distance...

Yep, summer is almost here! Which means I'm back with another plus size roadtest, and this season we're talking bathers.

Swimmers, togs, cossies, bathers - whatever you call them, I challenge you to find an item of clothing that makes women feel more self-conscious.

Watch: How to get a beach body. Post continues below.


Video via Mamamia

The revealing of bare skin can be an intimidating prospect, one that I’m sure has stopped many women from celebrating summer in style. That stops today. Your arms, your belly and your thighs are perfect the way they are and together we're going to find the perfect swimwear for your body.

Can you tell I’m in a good mood? Freedom has finally been granted to those of us living in Melbourne so I am extra chipper! Mostly because I got to go hunting IN THE SHOPS - so we have a mix of pieces I got online and a few I found in some of your favourite stores.

As always I’ve ditched the number on the tag and relied on the size guide on the website and in store to help me choose what’s right for me. But in case you’re wondering, I’m usually a size 24-ish.

I’ve rated the cost of these bathers using dollar signs, so ranging from $ for cheap, to $$$ for exy.

Target.

Kicking it off with an Australian favourite, I hit up Target. I don’t know about you but I rarely have a lot of luck finding swimwear in store that fits me, so when I found this one-piece I was stoked!

I also found some shorts and a bikini bottom in a cute palm print. And when I had a look on the website I was so excited to see a few patterned two-piece options that go up to a size 26! Bravo Target! 

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I asked the shop assistant and she said they’d sold out of all of the cute plus size swimwear (not surprised).

This one-piece is pretty cute though. I’m wearing the size 24 in both the bathers and the shorts and they fit like a dream. 

The one-piece hugged my curves but not so tight that my back fat spilled over and was quite flattering in the bust.

The shorts are not my thing, but if you like to wear shorts with your bathers I 100 per cent recommend them. 

The fit was great, they’re elastic waisted and covered the tops of my thighs. The one-piece was also on sale for $10, so if that’s not a reason to buy it I don’t know what is.

Target swimsuit and shorts. 

Target one piece swimsuit. 

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Cost: $

Size: 24

Fit: Perfection!

Capriosca Swimwear.

I've been wearing Capriosca Swimwear for years. They go up to a size 30 and have some amazing patterns (which is what I’m all about really). So if you’re looking to add a little life to your bather collection, Capriosca is where it’s at.

I chose the tankini (yes, they're back!) because I love this off-the-shoulder look. 

I hate tan lines so I'll be flicking those straps down ASAP. The body of the tankini did move up a little bit while I was walking around my apartment, but with the black bottoms I didn't mind. 

Capricossa Swimwear 

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Cost: $$

Size: 22

Fit: Snug

Kmart.

I couldn’t tell you the last time I bought swimwear from Kmart, which has a lot to do with the website only having six options in a size 24 or above listed. The ever-present lack of plus size choices that Kmart offers aside, I did find something cute.

I went with a khaki tankini (ordered pre the lifting of lockdown) and I love it! 

Not only do I love the knot front, which accentuates my cleavage beautifully (*chef’s kiss*), the ribbed fabric gives a great textured finish that is very comfortable and provides a little reinforcement. 

Kmart one piece swimwear 

Cost: $

Size: 24

Fit: General fit is great. 

Big W.

Walking into the plus size swimwear section of Big W was depressing a) because it wasn’t a section so much as it was the end of a rack and b) because everything except the tankini I’m wearing (below) was black. Everything. 

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When I looked on the Big W website, six of the nine plus size bather options were black. Black is slimming which is why we see it so often in plus size ranges, but I’m a gal who loves her colours.

This tankini is so cute and comes with matching bottoms. I loved the fit because it went over my tummy and curves without an issue and didn’t roll up. Tick!

It also came up high under my arms, a feature that I am a fan of because it stops that overhang.

Big W one piece swimwear 

Cost: $

Size: 24

Fit: Generous and comfortable.

City Chic.

I saved the best till last! The best because it’s BRIGHT FUSCHIA and because it’s a bikini, and I know the thought of a bikini might make a few people feel a little uncomfortable but stay with me...

City Chic is a brand that is familiar to most plus size people. They stock trendy clothes for all sorts of fat babes, but my favourite thing that City Chic sell are bathers and lingerie.

Case in point: this fuschia bikini (which also comes as a one piece and in a variety of colours).

Why do I love this bikini so much? It’s cupped and has a wide band so your ladies are going to sit pert and you wont get any overhang. I also love the ‘not a halter’ halter neck.

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But the bottoms are the unsung hero of this set. They are high waisted (comfortably so), have a cute lace-up detail on the sides and they provide structural support while being cute as hell

Did I mention I love them?

City Chic plus-size bikini. 

Cost: $$

Size: 22

Fit: City Chic use vanity sizing so check the size chart or try on in store. 

Summer brings up a lot of negative feelings about body image for so many people, but I’m here to tell you that you already have a bikini body. You just need to put a bikini on your body.

And if bikinis aren’t your thing, then I hope you’ve found some inspiration in the other bathers that I’ve featured.

Before you head to the beach in your cute new bathers and cover them up in a kaftan or sarong, remember that everyone has thighs, arms and belies and your size does not diminish your worth - nor your right to flaunt them.

So have fun, splash around and celebrate 2020 almost being over, because you’re perfect the way you are.

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