10 R29 Editors Review Youswim’s 12-Sizes-In-1 Swimwear Range

It isn’t often that one brand creates such a buzz in the Refinery29 office that the work G-Chat channel pops off. But when Youswim announced that it was expanding the size range of its seamless stretch swimsuits and bikinis, I was inundated with requests to try the line out.

For those new to the brand, British-based Youswim makes “swimwear that can adapt and change with your body through the many stages of your life”. The brand achieves this ambitious goal thanks to a magically malleable material — a super thick and flexible nylon yarn with a ribbed texture that stretches and moves with your body. Currently, the label offers four styles — Aplomb, Poise, Eva and Verve — each available as a one-piece swimsuit or as a set with high waist, standard waist, cheeky or swim shorts. There’s also a variety of ‘classic’ (earthy neutrals, black, lilac and saffron red) and seasonal (right now that’s hot pink, yellow or sea blue) shades to choose from. Even better, every Youswim suit is entirely produced in the UK, from weaving the fabric to cutting, dyeing and sewing, before packing it all up in Earth-friendly packaging. The brand is certified Plastic Negative with rePurpose Global — for every ounce of plastic used in the swimsuits, it collects twice as much in the form of nature-bound plastic waste.

All this goodness does come at a price: a whopping £126 for either a one-piece or a bikini. However, as Youswim reminds us, these are supposed to be “swimsuits for life”. Care for yours properly (the brand has a clear care guide on its website) and it will stretch to accommodate weight changes, age changes, puberty and pregnancy.

But the main reason we’re so excited is that Youswim has recently doubled its size range so that the majority of its suits fit UK sizes 6-18 (Stretch I) and 18-28 (Stretch II). To find out whether this wonder material really stretches and supports (and how comfortable it is), 10 R29ers tried out a range of one-pieces and bikinis. Could Youswim be the solution to all our swimwear woes? Read on for our verdicts…

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Sara Brown, Freelance Contributor

Testing: Aplomb High Waist Two-Piece in Fern

The verdict: “I want to take you back to a couple of months ago. I’ve booked a last-minute holiday and I’m searching through my swimwear drawer. As I wrestle bikini after bikini around my body, I realise I’ve grown out of all my swimwear. A frustrating feeling I’m sure I’m not alone in experiencing. Bodies fluctuate, whether you’ve gone up or down a few dress sizes, you’re pregnant or you’re dealing with period bloat. We need clothes to work around these changes, which is why I was so excited to try out Youswim’s swimwear, created to flex with your body. As a UK size 24-26, I’ve been testing out a range of its Stretch II shapes and styles to gauge fit, support and comfort.

Currently, just two of the brand’s bestselling styles are available in Stretch II: Aplomb (a square neck with medium width straps) and Eva (a V-neck with wider straps). You can choose between a one-piece swimsuit and a two-piece bikini, with the option of high- or standard-waist bottoms. As the Stretch II range matures and they learn what styles work, the Youswim team tell me they might expand to include more options. It’s important to Youswim to produce only stock that is wanted so as not to add to the textile waste problem.

My favourite thing about Youswim is the softness of its ribbed nylon fabric. It’s like silky, squishy butter. I’d wear the bikini bottoms as pants every day, they’re so comfy! I really appreciate the stretch and fit of the high-waisted bikini as it fully covers my stomach, the waist sitting just above my belly button. I’m an a H cup so finding bikinis that fit can be a struggle. Although the bikini tops don’t offer the same support as a wired bikini, I feel secure, lifted and comfortable. The one-pieces will fit whether you are long or short in the body, and you can raise or lower the leg depending on how high you want it to sit.

Besides the inclusive sizing, there should be a perfect colour for you too. The ever-expanding array of shades includes hot pink, sage, lilac, espresso and classic black. A little extra care is needed for them to stay at their best. You’re advised not to wash them in a washing machine, wring them out or wrap them up when wet. It’s taken a little getting used to but I’m willing to take more care and be rewarded with ultimate softness and years of wear.

Swimming is pure pleasure and floating in the sea is a sacred activity. Youswim’s swimwear reflects that happiness.”

Youswim Aplomb High Waist Two-Piece, $, available at Youswim

Chichi Offor, Associate Writer

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 — I’m plus-size, currently wearing a UK size 24 up top and a UK size 26 down below. Overall, I’m extremely surprised and incredibly pleased with the Aplomb! 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, I do wonder if the quality will hold up as well for me over time as it would for someone smaller. I chose Solar, a sunshine yellow shade, because I love a bright suit and yellow is one of my favourite colours. 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.”

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 sceptical 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 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 how small my suit looked at first. But lo and behold, it stretched perfectly to hug my curves. The colour — 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 with my favourite 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 favourite, both poolside and 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 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 colour and the texture; there is something so satisfying about the ribbing, which also gives the swimsuit its 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 are reminiscent of my favourite summer tanks so I can style it with most of my summer staples. For this review, I decided to do a day-to-night look in my satin black skirt and chunky Doc Martens 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 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: Poise Cheeky Two-Piece in Umber

The verdict: “I’ve tried most ‘hype’ bikinis that have circulated social media in the past. While 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 red but it was sold out. Instead I tried Umber and was not disappointed. The colour 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 Martens sandals — the perfect look for a summer stroll to the local market 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 colour, 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 favourite 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 (currently sold out; similar style comes without shorts, as the Verve High Waist Two-Piece in Espresso)

The verdict: “I cannot emphasise 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 promised stretchiness would actually deliver.

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 UK 14 and a 16 depending on my period and I found the fabric fairly taut on my thighs.”

Youswim Verve High Waist 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. 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 and 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 as a D cup I was sceptical (the suit has no underwiring or cups). However, I was pleasantly surprised at how supported I felt, especially while 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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