We tried the $95 designer swimsuits that you're going to see at beaches everywhere this summer - here's what we thought
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- New swimsuit brand Summersalt sets itself apart from other swimwear companies with its under-$100 designer suits that are stylish, comfortable, and durable.
- It believes there's "life beyond the lounge chair," which is why its premium recycled fabrics have a UPF of 50+ to protect against many hours under the sun, have four times the compression of an average suit, and are five times stronger, too.
- We tried two different suits from the brand and were big fans of their style, support, and affordability at just $95 per bikini set or one-piece.
In the months leading up to summer, I'm always filled with many different emotions as I shop for swimsuits. There's a lot of excitement and anticipation for the fun, carefree times ahead, but equal parts trepidation and frustration because shopping for swimsuits is just so unnecessarily tricky.Most of the time, you can choose between a trendy suit that you have to adjust a few hundred times throughout the afternoon but you put up with because at least you look cute, and a comfortable but unflattering or plain style. Or, you're lusting after an especially stylish one, but upon turning the tag around to check the price, you decide, perhaps not.
That's why when new swimsuit brand Summersalt launched in May 2017, women breathed a sigh of relief and felt tempted to do a somersault of celebration themselves. This online company, founded by swimwear and direct-to-consumer veterans Lori Coulter and Reshma Chattaram Chamberlin, makes one-pieces and bikinis that look and feel good, using quality materials that don't translate into exorbitant prices.
All the one-pieces and bikini sets cost $95 and run the gamut from jewel-toned, color-blocked statement pieces to classic lifeguard suits. You have a good variety to choose from, yet all the styles and color options still feel thoughtful and curated instead of the result of a massive creative brain dump. What brings all the suits together are clean lines and familiar silhouettes made unique with just the right twist.
In her guide to the best women's swimsuits you can buy, Insider Picks contributor Lulu Chang hit the nail on the head when she said, "Getting a bikini body is easy - just put your body in a bikini. To that end, be sure that the suit that you've chosen is one that makes you feel confident and comfortable."
With their comfortable, durable fit and beautiful, sleek designs, Summersalt's suits succeed in meeting this requirement. The 1.5 million body measurements the company took from 10,000 women probably have something to do with the spot-on fit. It also employs a patented "TrueMeasure" process, which uses 3D body scanning, mass customization, and computer-aided design to make its suits and direct its supply chain.
Swimsuits are for lounging, but they're also for splashing in the water, swimming out into the waves, diving into the sand to return the volleyball, and a host of other summer beach activities. Summersalt suits can keep up with all your physical activities and the sweat, oils, chlorine, sunscreen, and debris that come with it. As long as you're out in the sun, they offer UPF protection of 50+, which means they'll block more than 98% of UV rays (just as SPF is used to measure sunscreen effectiveness, UPF is a measure of sun-protective fabric effectiveness).
They also stand up to the perils of harsh, chlorinated water. Having swam in my city league and high school swim teams, I've gone through my fair share of swimsuits that lost their shape and compression after hours of continuous use, so I'm all too familiar with the feeling of a loose, wrinkly suit. Summersalt's have four times the compression of the average swimsuit, and still retain their shape and compression after more than 100 hours of use in chlorinated water.
Furthermore, the suits are made from premium recycled materials, making them more technical, softer, and more durable than traditional fabrics.
In addition to the usual filters of size and suit type, Summersalt makes it easy to find your desired fit by categorizing pieces by "Great Boob Support" and "More Butt Coverage." Whatever your specific preference, it wants to make sure you feel secure.
Three women on the Insider Picks team tried suits from Summersalt and came to an overwhelming consensus about their great fit and style. Here's what we thought.
Sally Kaplan, Insider Picks editor:
My main consideration when buying a swimsuit is whether or not it has enough support to handle my chest. I have a DD cup size, so it can be a pretty significant challenge. In a bold move, I tried the one-shoulder Sidestroke suit in White Sand - which was risky for two obvious reasons. I have to say, I'm incredibly happy with how supportive the suit ended up being. There was no issue with lopsidedness or sagging, and the diagonal seaming on the front was super flattering.Since it's still not quite warm enough in the city for a trip to the beach or pool, I wore my bathing suit in the shower to see how opaque or translucent the white would be when wet. I plan to wear this one to my engagement party (which is a family pool party), so I needed to make sure there was no risk of my partner's aunts and uncles seeing something they shouldn't. Once it was drenched, the suit held up really well. There's an extra lining over the chest for added assurance that no one will be able to see through, and the backside was totally fine.
And just to tip the scale a little more, the suits are made from recycled materials and they're affordable - so you'll be doing both your wallet and the environment a favor.
Connie Chen, Insider Picks reporter:
The Sidestroke is one of Summersalt's most popular styles, and now I can see why. I love the one-shoulder look, and I possibly love the back cut-out even more. Whether you go for one of the solid, neutral color options or bright color-blocked options, the suit is flattering because the eye follows the line of the diagonal stripes, which parallel the one-shoulder strap and complement your curves. Worth noting after many a memory of struggling to wriggle in and out of a wet swimsuit, it was easy to put on and take off and very comfortable.
Like Sally, I was hesitant about the color. I usually stray away from white swimsuits because they don't always provide reliable coverage. However, I didn't feel self-conscious at all because the fabric was thick enough. White is a bold choice, but you can trust it's the right choice once you see how cute yet secure this style is.
Lulu Chang, Insider Picks contributor:
I'm particularly fond of the Causeway, one of Summersalt's many iconic one-piece suits. Its mesh detailing is just flirty enough to keep things interesting, while still offering enough coverage if you want to play things a bit coy. The criss-cross straps are fully adjustable, and the suit comes with built-in soft cups and shelf bra so you'll be fully supported all day long.
The high leg I found to be quite flattering, even on a shorter frame, but it's not so high that you'll be pulling the suit down all day. The fabric is, in fact, very soft and very durable - I certainly wasn't afraid to throw it in the wash after a day at the beach.
Whether you're looking for a sporty bikini or sexy plunge one-piece, Summersalt's designer swimsuits won't disappoint - and they won't break the bank, either.
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