Swimsuit shopping is generally not on the top of anyone's "fun things to do" list. Yes, we've come a long way from the long-sleeved wool bathing dresses women used to wear, but it's still difficult to find the best swimsuit brands that are both stylish and supportive. The founders of Stylest, a body sculpting swimwear line, are looking to change all that.
The brand was founded by fashion industry veterans Alia Yahia-Bosworth, Joyann King Michael, and Chrissy McCurdy. “We joke that we are three fashion junkies who walked into a pool party and walked out with a business plan," King says. At the pool party in question, McCurdy wore a bra under her swimsuit—a styling trick she'd been doing for more than 10 years. (First of all, genius.) "Mid-party, Alia and I overheard someone tell Chrissy her bra was showing, and it stopped us mid-convo. We said, 'Wait, what are you wearing under your swimsuit?'” King Michael says. "It was a light-bulb moment for us: how does a swim bra not exist?"
That moment led them to develop Aqualingerie, a collection of supportive swimwear, but they didn't stop there. "Women don’t have time to buy a swimsuit, then shop somewhere else for a cover-up that completes the look," King Michael says. "They need a plan, not pieces, so they feel fully styled."
Thus, the Stylest Swim System was born. "The system will work hard for you if you let it," Yahia-Bosworth says. "Aqualingerie sets your base, then you add a sculpting swimsuit that fits your personal style, and choose a cover-up that solves your lifestyle needs." These are broken down into three easy-to-navigate categories: sculpt, swim, and style. People can try their swim pieces at home for seven days before committing to buying, and they only pay for what they keep.
Aka Aqualingerie. These are the supportive pieces designed to be worn under your swimsuit, and include a six way convertible bra, high-rise smoothing panty, and sculpting bodysuit. "Those styles are the innovation that gives you the freedom to build the swim look of your dreams without worrying about support or shaping issues," McCurdy says.
P.S.—the bras aren't just for women with larger chests so they can be used with both swimsuits for large busts and swimsuits for small busts, too. "Our B and C cups are almost sold out in our first run because those women want the shape and fullness that the bra gives them," Yahia-Bosworth says.
The sculpting swimwear is designed to be worn over the Aqualingerie, and they took the time and care to get the fit and feel just right. "We tried it on so many women of different shapes and sizes to make sure it delivers our body-boosting promise," King Michael says.
The fabric is "woven to deliver body-sculpting compression without the sausage feeling," McCurdy says. "It’s designed for the water and has the most luxurious lotion-like hand feel. It gives you that comfortable, held-in feeling you love from your favorite leggings—but in a swimsuit.”
These are the finishing touches: sarongs, swim cardigans, and headbands. Yahia-Bosworth is particularly enamored with the easy-tie sarong ($98). "It dries as fast as your swimsuit and can be styled in so many different ways," she says. "It’s my kiddie pool essential."
Feedback has been overwhelmingly positive. The brand recently hosted its first pop-up shop in Charleston, South Carolina, and it was a sell-out success. "We weren’t sure what to expect, as women and their bodies in a swimsuit is very personal," King Michael says. "They all kept saying that shopping for a swimsuit had never been so fun and confidence-building, and they loved that the collection delivers the whole look they crave. Most of them left with an entire Swim System and were spotted the next day at the pool showing off their new look."
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