Summertime Swimsuit Blues?


Empreinte Swimwear on Lingerie BriefsEmpreinte

Election years are notoriously difficult for retail stores. This year’s unusual presidential race has been no exception. Combine this with the fact that most women feel far from their prettiest at the onset of bathing suit season, and swimwear retailers really have their work cut out for them in 2016. Fortunately, the swimwear industry has us covered! Their offerings this year include some gorgeous swimsuits to tempt even the most hesitant of shoppers.

It’s been a long winter of too many comfort foods and not enough sunshine. As always, women are searching for a suit that will flatter her pale skin, and camouflage her newest curves. First and foremost, in her swimsuit hunt, she is looking for practicality, comfort, support and confidence. The color palette this year offers a wide variety of shades not usually seen in swimwear. Usually dominated by Winter and Spring tones, Summer and Autumn colors are wide spread. Fantasie’s Kuranda combines many shades of muted greens and olives, and Freya’s Spirit Flame finally brings us an orange that many skin tones can wear. An improvement to the tried and true swim skirt arrived this year, in the form of a sporty skort. Complete with zipper pocket, Pembroke offers their skort in Navy and Black, while Beach House released their playful version in a rainbow of colors. Both brands offer this new addition in both missy and plus sizes, making it an appealing option for women of all body types.

Kuranda by Fantasie & Spirit Flame Swimwear by Freya on Lingerie BriefsKuranda by Fantasie & Spirit Flame by Freya

However, fulfilling these usual criteria are not enough in the present atmosphere of political uncertainty. Concern for the future demands another requirement of this elusive bathing suit. This year’s choice must be of such high quality, that it will last several seasons without need of replacement. Today’s woman needs reassurance that her investment will last should America’s future play out in the worst possible scenario. There’s no room for frivolous spending in 2016. As a result, my store, Lion’s Lair, has seen a drop in the number of items per transaction. But surprisingly, we have seen an increase in the price of the average item sold. Customers are more likely to buy one suit from a designer that is well known for its quality, than to buy multiple suits from brands that may not have a reputation of longevity. Prima Donna, Lise Charmel and Empreinte all offer lines of swimwear that have been hard to keep on the racks this year, despite an atmosphere of resistant spending. And Tara Grinna’s transition to using only fabric that resists snagging and pilling is another welcomed guarantee to the customer that her suit will last. Tara Grinna has expanded her size range to fit up to a 22 bottom, offering more quality options for the plus size customer.

Baia do Sancho by Tara Grinna & La Bomb Vichy by Antigel (Lise Charmel) on Lingerie BriefsBaia do Sancho by Tara Grinna & La Bomb Vichy by Antigel (Lise Charmel)

Starlet Black by Prima Donna on Lingerie BriefsStarlet Black by Prima Donna

And yet, today’s woman still wants more. “After all, last year’s suit is well worn and perhaps a little snug, but it kind of works… perhaps I should just wait for next season?” Our cautious consumer needs one last nudge to part with her hard earned dollars. She needs the “WOW’ factor. The suit that she chooses must appeal to her sense of fashion and individuality. It needs to make her feel beautiful and special. Only then will it become truly irresistible. And once again the Swim Gods can deliver! Unique body styles abound in the 2016 collections. Fashion forward designs are not only available in smaller, mainstream sizes but also for the voluptuous woman. Freya’s Remix collection introduces a high neck one piece that is destined to become a classic. Their newest crochet collection, “Sundance”, is due to release this summer, offering a bib top in both solid black and summery white. Guria is another designer offering exciting new styles that can easily accommodate larger bust sizes. Made in Brazil, Guria provides skimpier bottoms options that intermix well with their “Cut-out Halter top” and “Racerback Crop top” styles.

Remix Black & Sundance Swimsuits by Freya on Lingerie Briefs

Remix Black & Sundance by Freya

Black Sands & Aquatic Blue Swimsuits by Guria on Lingerie BriefsBlack Sands & Aquatic Blue by Guria

There are many exciting options to tempt and encourage our customers to buy this year. The 2016 swimwear collections are diverse in style and color. There are many brands that continually drop their price point, however in doing so they must drop their quality. The public is aware of this, and choosing quality over quantity is the latest trend. Our customers may be armed with a lot of reasons to forgo purchasing a new suit this year, but with the right product mix, we can provide them with all of the right reasons to buy. It is up to us to provide them with the products that allow them to treat themselves to the new suit that they want and need. And perhaps, in doing so, allow them to feel just a little bit prettier, and a lot more confident, as they step into the sunshine of summer.



Leave a Reply

Your email address will not be published. Required fields are marked *

This site uses Akismet to reduce spam. Learn how your comment data is processed.