Is the difference between $10 one-pieces and $300 designer bathing suits really big enough to warrant making the investment? Put simply, it may be.
Wearing a garment that fits right, looks great and is durable is important to many of us. It can be the difference between a summer spent awkwardly fixing wedgies and stopping your bikini from falling off, and a summer spent feeling relaxed and confident in your well-fitted designer bathing suits.
How it’s made
The materials the garment is made from makes a huge difference in the durability and quality of the piece. Sustainably-sourced materials are usually more expensive, for instance. However overall, pretty much all garments are made from similar fabrics with high spandex, elastane or Lycra content. A big factor in the price of a piece is how many stitches per inch were used to create it – the more stitches, the more expensive it will cost (because of the extra time and resources it takes). So cheaper outfits which don’t have as many stitches per inch are likely to be poorer in quality and won’t last as long as designer bathing suits. Stitching helps the seams stay together when the garment stretches, avoiding it from becoming loose the more you wear it.
Designer attire tends to come with better coverage and support so you don’t have to worry about things falling out or breaking. Not only do they have a higher stitch count, but they usually have strategic lining in the bust and crotch area. Of course, if you’re buying a style with extra ruffles or denser fabric, you’re likely going to have to pay more for the extra materials that were used in its creation.
It is often the case where you pay a premium for the brand name – and designer bathing suits often have a famous designer’s name attached to them. This can spike up costs because the brand may be working on a high-profit, low volume business model, a branding strategy used to make their products seem more distinguished.
And of course, there are a lot of middlemen to deal with. Large brands usually sell their licencing to some third party, who then hires another party to represent them, and so on. By increasing the length of the supply chain, the expenses widen. This is why you can often find designer brands at much cheaper prices at outlet stores or online.
What to do if you’re on a budget
If you can’t afford designer bathing suits right now, that’s okay. Cheaper attire can still do a good job, just make sure you’re savvy and get a friend to accompany you to the store so they can take photos and let you know what they think of the fit. When you’re trying on garments, make sure you’re getting complete coverage – you might also want to check the stitch count and get the highest one available. Another idea is to opt for a busy print; this will help distract attention away from the poorer quality design. And remember to try outlet stores – you can often find designer bathing suits for a great bargain here.
At the end of the day, as long as you feel comfortable in an outfit, it doesn’t matter too much if you’re wearing designer bathing suits or a cheapie. Of course, designer attire can be well worth the investment if you can afford it – they fit really well and last for years. If you want something more affordable, remember to check the stitch count and try on each garment to ensure it fits well and looks great.