As someone whose weight regularly fluctuates, I’ve found it difficult to invest in clothing. I love shopping (hi, shopping writer here!) but tend to reach for more budget-friendly items, partially because I never know what my size will be a few months down the road. So I want to know that my money is going toward pieces that will grow with me. That’s why I was so intrigued by the mission and motto behind Youswim. Until recently, the swimwear brand made bikinis and one-pieces in just one size — Stretch I, which actually encompasses six sizes — that stretches and adapts to our bodies. But now, Youswim has a second size, allowing it to enter the plus-size swimwear market.
The original Stretch I comfortably fits sizes 6 to 18 and the new Stretch II fits sizes 18 to 28. That’s more stretchy greatness for more bodies! The flexible sizing is thanks to ribbed nylon fabric, which moulds to your body without stretching out to a loosey-goosey mess after one wear. Inclusivity and durability? Check.
Now, as we wrap up Earth Month, let’s not forget the importance of shopping sustainably. Youswim uses premium local nylon yarn, which reduces material transportation emissions and is made so that your swimsuit won’t hit a landfill sooner than it needs to. While nylon is not the most sustainable fabric, (the brand is searching for an alternative material), Youswim continues to focus on environmental responsibility — manufacturing products ethically and locally in England, using eco-friendly packaging, and committing to being plastic-negative. Being plastic-negative means Youswim collects twice as much plastic waste as it uses for its nylon swimsuits through its partnership with rePurpose Global. Sustainability? Check.
I was able to try one of Youswim’s one-size-fits-most bikinis to see just how stretchy, adaptable, and comfortable it really is.
The new Stretch II size range includes the brand’s best-selling styles: Eva and Aplomb, across six different cuts. This includes one-piece swimsuits along with standard bikinis and high-waisted bikinis. And as of right now, four colourways are available — Black, Cosmic pink, Aster purple, and the newest addition Juniper green. Youswim’s swimsuits across all styles, colours and sizes retail for £126.
I can fluctuate anywhere between a size 12 and 18 within a year, so I opted for the Eva High Waist Two-Piece in size Stretch I and the Umber colourway (to match my hair, of course). After it arrived in some sleek, sustainable cardboard packaging, I was shocked by how tiny it was. But as I gave the fabric a tug, I realized just how stretchy the material actually is.
It was easy to slip into the bikini as the fabric effortlessly moulded to my curves. Even after stretching it out like one of those Y2K spiky popcorn shirts, the thick, ribbed nylon remained fully opaque. But since it is so stretchy, there’s not a lot of compression, which I do usually look for in my swimwear. However, that does mean that it’s extremely comfortable and easy to move around in.
Now, I haven’t recently been on a tropical vacation nor have I had access to a hot tub, so I haven’t tested how comfortable the bikini is to swim in or how the material feels or looks when wet. But I did wear it around the house and can confirm that it’s comfy for all-day wear.
The Eva bikini top has a low scoop neckline in the front and back, which I really like because it’s a piece I can wear when tanning. Sans cups, padding, or lining, the material managed to stretch without giving a droopy effect, cradling my chest with light support. Youswim recommends that if you want more coverage and support, the soft square-neck cut from the Aplomb style is best.
I also think the high-waisted bottoms were really flattering. I’m self-conscious about my lower stomach, and although the material isn’t super-compressive for an ultra-smooth appearance, the unique ribbing helped disguise my insecurity. The bikini bottom also has good coverage and isn’t too cheeky in the back (but there are cheeky Stretch I options if that’s something you’re looking for).
Not your typical silky swimsuit feel, Youswim’s ribbed material is super soft, like a knitted sweater. The somewhat seamless seams also kept the bikini set in place all day without digging into my chest, stomach, or thighs, which I was grateful for. And while I haven’t yet been able to take a dip in my Youswim bikini, the brand’s Care page tells you how to wash and care for its swimsuits to maintain their shape.
From my first impression, I was very sceptical about how the bikini would fit. But I was happily surprised to see that the flexible fabric stretched to my body shape without compromising its intended style, opaqueness, or quality. While I’ve never spent £126 on a swimsuit before, I have peace of mind knowing that this is a solid investment piece. So if you’re between a size 6 and 28 and want a soft, stretchy bathing suit that will last, I highly recommend Youswim swimsuits.
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