I got emotional in Target today.
I was looking for a swim top and I came up with nothing. Of the four plus sized suits available in the store (hidden amongst dozens and dozens of “straight sized” suits) only two of them were two-pieces and among those, only one of them was almost my size. I didn’t mean to start crying. I didn’t want to start crying, but I did.
I couldn’t help but think of my friends who wear a larger size than I do. My body generally tops out at what’s available in most brick and mortar stores and it’s not like I have the largest body ever. I know a lot of people who wear a larger size than I do. And what’s available for them? If even I can’t find anything? What about them? I wasn’t crying because I felt like my body wasn’t good enough (those days are over). But I weep for my friends who are denied basic life-joys like swimming in a pool just because the world refuses to accommodate them.
So, Chefs, what I present to you today is a roundup of size 24+ swimwear for less than $50 (I wanted to make it under $30 but that was proving to be impossible). Please enjoy.
First of all, I feel like Lane Bryant has knocked it out of the park with swimwear this year. Everywhere else you look, you still have to wade through lots and lots of suits that have been sold, unchanged, since the 1990’s. Lots of ugly tropical prints and “flattering” ruffles, skirting, blouson… AKA: extra fabric. Lots and lots of extra fabric all in the name of “flattering”. But Lane Bryant is killing it!! I can’t believe that I lived to see the day that a suit like this one is available in size Fat! The only complaint that I have is that unless you grab something on super sale (right now, their clearance is buy one get one free), they’re far from an accessible budget. Also, they only carry up to a size 26. It’s 2018 and a plus-size staple like Lane Bryant should be the first in line to add more inclusive sizes but they’re getting left in the dust. So if you wear between a 14-26 and you’ve got the budget: get to Lane Bryant! But if you don’t fit into those narrow parameters, here’s what I’ve found for us:
This red triangle bikini top with string bikini bottoms totals at around $42. It goes up to a size 28 (though IMO most things in the ASOS Curve section runs a little large so may even fit a size 30).
This tie-shoulder, hot pink bikini top from Target is sooooo cute!! It goes up to 26 for $20. The bottoms, though, are kind of a gamble as the sizing is a weird 24/26 and $17. Still, though, a complete set for less than $40 is pretty hard to come by.
I really did love this burgundy one-piece at Target. It only goes up to a size 26 and it’s $32 but if it’s exactly what you’re looking for, go for it!
Simply Be Bespoke Fit Swimsuit in teal (also available in a tropical print). It’s around $20ish and goes up to a 28.
The next six are from Full Beauty, which has proven to be a bit of a gold mine as far as size-inclusivity goes: Chlorine Resistant Chase Purple Princess Seam Top (currently on clearance for less than $20). This one looks super sporty.
Aquabelle Xtra Life Lycra Bike Shorts–these are the bottoms that I have and they go up to a size 34. (Combined with the purple top above, that’s a whole suit for less than $50!)
I love the look of this black and white bikini top–would looks so good with those bike shorts mentioned above. This goes up to a size 28.
Here’s a black, v-neck, one-piece swimsuit that goes up to a size 34 and is available for around $32.
Full beauty has another sporty looking one-piece for $32, also goes up to a size 34.
I love the black version of this one-piece by Jessica London. It goes up to a size 34 and costs around $34.
This navy-printed one piece from Yours Clothing is only available in a few sizes right now but if you’re a size 32 or 34, you’re in luck! It’s $36 right now!
Yours Clothing also has this gorgeous, orange halter bikini top and while I try to stay away from halter tops (they put too much pressure on my neck), I can’t ignore this one. It’s too fun. It reminds me of what the teenagers would wear to the pool when I was a kid in the 90’s. And here’s a pair of board shorts to add which will land you just at the $50 budget.
The following don’t technically fit the parameters of a full suit for less then $50 but they’re close-ish:
Modcloth: These red-striped swim bottoms are available up to a size 34 for around $30 on Clearance. The top is also available for the same price and in the same sizes. So, the whole suit is more than $50.
This black and white scalloped “midkini” top that I love is $30 (goes up to a 30/ 6x) and there are plenty of bottoms available to the same size for around the same price. (I saw this suit on Mary Lambert on Instagram and was overwhelmed with feelings)
And here’s a swimsuit that I love from Venus that doesn’t follow any of the rules. It only goes up to a size 24 and it’s ~$70 but I love the sand and black color combo and the deep v so much. Feels v Fat Bond Girl to me.
In the end, after all of this research, I still haven’t found a swim-top that feels like my style, is my size, and doesn’t cost more than my budget will allow. So maybe I just might not go swimming this year… again… I don’t think the McPherson public pool will allow a skinny dip no matter how much I want it. But I hope that if you’ve been looking, this will help to point you in a direction.
(PS: none of these links are affiliate links, I just really wanted to do this work for you to help you out.)