Fashion

9 R29 Editors Review Youswim’s “Seven-Sizes-In-One” Swimwear

It isn’t often that one brand creates such a buzz in the Refinery29 office that the work Slack channel pops off. But, when Youswim reached out to us, offering the chance to try out its innovative “seven-sizes-in-one” swimsuits and bikinis, we couldn’t say no. 

For those new to the brand, Youswim is a British label with the goal to “make swimwear that can adapt and change with your body through the many stages of your life.” The brand succeeds in doing so, thanks to a magically, malleable material — namely, a super-thick and flexible nylon yarn with a ribbed texture that stretches and moves with your body. Currently, the label offers four styles — the Aplomb, Poise, Eva, and Verve — which are each available as a one-piece swimsuit or as a set with high waist, standard waist, cheeky, or swim shorts, and in a variety of “classic” shades (earthy neutrals, black, or fan-favorite pops of lilac and red) or seasonal shades (right now, that’s a hot pink, yellow, or sea blue). Even better, every stage of making a Youswim suit is produced in the U.K. So, that’s weaving the fabric, cutting, dying, sewing, and packing the suits in earth-friendly packaging (100% plastic-free, recyclable, home-compostable, reusable, and made in the U.K. and E.U. using natural inks). Of course, there is a catch. All this goodness does come at a price — around $139 for either a one-piece or bikini. However, as Youswim also claims, these are supposed to be “swimsuits for life.” Care for them properly (the brand has a clear care guide on its website) and these suits will stretch to accommodate weight changes, age changes, puberty, and pregnancy.

Truthfully, Youswim suits don’t yet cater to all sizes. Currently, the brand’s suits fit U.K. sizes 6 to 18, but the brand is committed to extending its size range and is grappling with the technology to develop a second suit that fits a further seven or more sizes (U.K. 20 to 32+).

Until then though, we were keen to test out Youswim for ourselves. Is this finally the solution to all our summer woes? At $139 a pop, we had to be really sure that they are worth your hard-earned coin.

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Chichi Offor, Associate Writer


Testing:
Aplomb High Waist Two-Piece in Solar

The verdict: “While I’ve been aware of Youswim for a few years now, I never thought I’d be personally reviewing the brand’s swimwear. As a larger woman, I cannot say that I had high expectations for this suit to fit properly, let alone look good on — I’m a plus-size woman, currently wearing a U.K. size 24 up top and a U.K. size 26 down below, and as the brand advertises, its ‘seven-sizes-in-one’ suit caters to sizes 6-18. However, I’m extremely surprised and incredibly pleased with the Aplomb High Waist Two-Piece Bikini! Not only did it go on, but it covered all the right parts and fit better than I expected.

“I do have thicker thighs, so there was a little tightness near the leg openings, but this eased and got more comfortable the longer I wore my bikini. The high-waisted Aplomb cut also provided a bit of lift to my 42E breasts, which is impressive for such a comfortable material.

“Since I am larger than the suit is intended for, I do wonder if the quality will hold up as well for me over time as it would for someone who is in the promoted size range. I chose Solar, a sunshiny, yellow shade because I love a bright suit, and yellow is one of my favorite colors. On top of that, it complements my skin quite well. As far as style goes, this is my ideal bikini, so I’m super thrilled it worked out so well. I’m now eager to try their extended size option when that drops in the future. Perhaps with the new size I won’t have that tightness in the leg openings, but I’m happy knowing that at least for now I can shimmy into some of the brand’s current offerings.”

Youswim Aplomb High Waist Two-Piece, $, available at YouswimPhoto Courtesy of Chichi Offor.

Kristine Romano, Associate Editor, Photo & Design

Testing: Youswim Eva High Waist Two-Piece in Sage

The verdict: “Youswim has been on my radar for some time now. While I’m generally skeptical of ‘multiple-sizes-in-one’ items, I’ve only ever read good things about the brand. I also can’t help but love the idea of a swimsuit that adapts to my body — I’ve always found shopping for swimwear to be a difficult task where most things end up feeling too constricting or uncomfortable. I will say, I was a bit nervous about how small each of the pieces looked upon unboxing them, but the fabric really did stretch to fit me. I can wholeheartedly say this is the most comfortable swimwear I’ve ever worn!

“The high-waisted bottoms provide the perfect amount of coverage, and I love the V-neck cut on the top. I’ve spent far too long trying to fit into my swimsuits, so it’s genuinely refreshing that I finally own one that fits me no matter where my body is at. With proper care, I’m certain this is a piece I’ll wear year after year.”

Youswim Eva High Waist Two-Piece, $, available at YouswimPhoto Courtesy of Kristine Romano.

Esther Newman, Affiliate Writer

Testing: Poise One-Piece in Garnet

The verdict: “Just like everyone else I was surprised by just how small my suit looked at first. But lo and behold, it stretched perfectly to hug my curves. The color — a deep wine red — is gorgeous, and I can already see it working as a chic bodysuit all summer long. I’ll wear it with shorts for sunbathing in the park or even with my favorite jeans, a blazer, and ballet flats for the office.

“Comfort-wise I have no complaints. I didn’t just swim in my Youswim piece — I lunged, jumped, ran for the Tube (twice), sweated it out on the Tube (twice), and played a game of tipsy rounders with friends. The ‘girls’ stayed nice and snug. The ribbed material is surprisingly soft to touch, and there was no chafing or rubbing anywhere (for context, I’m a 36D). I can already see this becoming my go-to summer favorite, both poolside and for day-to-day in the city.”

Youswim Poise One-Piece, $, available at YouswimPhoto Courtesy of Esther Newman.

Elli Weir, Senior Social Editor 

Testing: Poise One-Piece in Fern

The verdict: “There is nothing more frustrating than ordering swimwear that doesn’t fit. I was hyped to try Youswim’s ‘seven-sizes-in-one’ one-piece, as I honestly don’t have the mental resilience to go swimsuit shopping IRL anymore. My first impressions out of the box were about the color and the texture; there is something so satisfying about the ribbing, which also gives it its infamous stretch. Slipping it on was not a humiliating jump-up-and-down jiggle-jiggle situ. It was completely painless — you feel a bit like a sausage but in a comfortable way! The shape and stretch of the Poise One-Piece mean that you can alternate your fit: on your hip for maximum coverage or, as I did here, higher on the waist for a high-leg fit. It’s the same for the neckline, which can be adapted depending on your situation — higher on your chest when you’re swimming with the grandmas at your local lido or pulled down for catching some rays on La Playa.

“The thin straps and square neckline is reminiscent of my favorite summer tanks, so I can style it with most of my summer staples. But for this review, I decided to do a day-to-night look in my satin black skirt and chunky Doc Martin sandals.”

Youswim Poise One-Piece, $, available at YouswimPhoto Courtesy of Elli Weir.

Alexandra Polk, Lifestyle Writer

Testing: Poise Cheeky Two-Piece in Sage

The verdict: “My swimsuit is snug as a bug. It reminds me of those tube dresses that are an inch wide when they arrive in the mail but suddenly come alive on your body and look swanky. I also love this muted, sage green hue and the scrunchy texture of the suit — I’d definitely wear the top as a comfy bra under a sweatshirt. The support could have been better as my breasts just drooped over the bottom hem, but I found the bottoms to be quite flattering and secure. I declare it the perfect bathing suit for lazy beach days and for those who enjoy a more modest bikini top.”

Youswim Poise Cheeky Two-Piece, $, available at YouswimPhoto Courtesy of Alexandra Polk.

Kelly Washington, Associate Social Editor

Testing: Posie Cheeky Two-Piece in Umber

The verdict: “I’ve tried most ‘hype’ bikinis that have circulated social media in the past. Whilst some have been super flattering in shape, they’ve not actually been that comfortable and sometimes very restrictive. Everyone wants to look great but also feel confident on a beach and in public when wearing a bikini. There’s nothing worse than getting red marks on your shoulders or under-breast area. 

“When I opened my Youswim parcel I was instantly impressed by the quality of the soft material, and I can confidently say this is the comfiest bikini I’ve ever tried on! I wanted to try out the Poise Cheeky Two-Piece in a red shade, but it was sold out. So, instead, I tried Umber and was not disappointed. The color matched my skin tone perfectly, and I can’t wait to wear it on my holiday in Spain this August. 

“I paired it with some beige denim shorts, a linen blouse, and my Doc Martin sandals — the perfect look for a summer stroll to the local markets before heading to the beach for some serious (but safe!) tanning.”

Youswim Poise Cheeky Two-Piece, $, available at YouswimPhoto Courtesy of Kelly Washington.

Karina Hoshikawa, Beauty & Wellness Market Writer

Testing: Poise One-Piece in Forest

The verdict: “Out of the box, my Youswim suit looked so small! However, I quickly learned that this stuff is made from the stretchiest fabric possibly ever. I loved the ribbed texture and emerald green color, and couldn’t wait to try it on. It felt like a super-soft bodysuit more than swimwear, which inspired me to style it with my favorite pair of high-waisted denim shorts. The straight neckline felt modern and cool, and I loved that the straps were adjustable. My one complaint is that it didn’t offer a lot of support for the ‘girls,’ but other than that, it passes the summer vibe check for sure.”

Youswim Poise One-Piece, $, available at YouswimPhoto Courtesy of Karina Hoshikawa.

Sadhbh O’Sullivan, Health & Living Editor

Testing: Verve Shorts Two-Piece in Espresso

The verdict: “I cannot emphasize how funny it was opening this package. It’s like when someone brags about a great deal they got on eBay for their new desk and when it arrives it can be held in the palm of their hand. The shorts, in particular, remind me of when you’d microwave an empty bag of Walkers at school to make your dad a shitty key ring. They look like they’re designed for the Wii you, not the you-you.

“But I can’t say that put me off. If anything it made me hopeful that the stretchiness promised would actually be delivered.

“I went for the Verve two-piece as I wanted something that I could share with my wife and is a bit more relaxed than an up-your-arse Love Island moment. Happily, the two-piece comfortably fit us both (!) despite our significant size differences and builds. The material is machine knit with double bed machines, a technique that gives incredible stretch and bounce back, and is wonderfully soft. I do wonder how well it fits larger bodies than mine though — I shift between a U.K. 14 and a 16 depending on my period, and I found the fabric fairly taught on my thighs. I’ll have to be proven wrong that this actually fits the upper end of plus sizes because I’m not currently convinced. But I am open to being proven wrong!”

Youswim Verve Shorts Two-Piece, $, available at YouswimPhoto Courtesy of Sadhbh O’Sullivan.

Hannah Shaw, Associate Director, Audience Development

Testing: Poise One-Piece in Garnet

The verdict: “To say I actively avoid the ‘one-size-fits-multiple’ market would be an understatement. As someone who wears wildly different sizes on my top and bottom half, swimsuit shopping has often proved to be a struggle. So, I was super excited to try Youswim’s Poise One-Piece, which is described as fitting ‘seven-sizes-in-one.’ I’ll admit that upon receiving my swimsuit I wondered how I’d ever get into it, but it fit like a glove. The material is luxurious but comforting, and it adapted to my body in all the right places. It’s stretchy but stable, and the high leg and square neckline allow you to play around with the cut to suit your body shape.

“The best thing about this swimsuit is its versatility. I put it to the test with a swim at my local lido as well as a night out at the pub. As styled here, the gorgeous ribbed material means it doubles up easily as a bodysuit. Youswim describes this suit as comfortably fitting an A to D cup, and admittedly as a D-cup wearer, I was skeptical (the suit has no underwiring or cups). However, I was pleasantly surprised at how supported I felt, especially whilst swimming. I am obsessed with this swimsuit, and I’m already eyeing up the Youswim Poise Cheeky Two Piece as my next holiday purchase.”

Youswim Poise One-Piece, $, available at YouswimPhoto Courtesy of Hannah Shaw.

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