This Boutique Has Put the Joy Back in Swimsuit Shopping

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Scouting Report: My Instagram feed wasn’t lying. Summersalt really does make superlative bathing suits.

Nobody—and I mean nobody—wants to walk into a retail space after a year-and-a-half of carbohydrate indulgence and try on a bathing suit in the glaring fluorescent light of a three-way mirror. I don’t care how pronounced your thigh gap is. The act of disrobing in public only to self-scrutinize is not an act of care. It is an act of terror.

Thankfully, you no longer have to. Falling prey to the recommendation of many other women I know who are, like me, of a certain age, I recently invested in the Sidestroke swimsuit from Summersalt (my color choice: Seaweed & Seaglass & White Sand). Consider me converted: both to the one-piece revolution and to online bathing suit shopping. This swimsuit had me at “comfortable in the butt.” The suit is flattering, a win for this former marathon runner. But beyond that, it’s actually functional. You can jump in the water without fear of losing a top. You can eat a meal at a beachy restaurant without your tush making an unwanted appearance. You can eat Dorito’s on a boat (I’m not saying I’ve done this, but I’m just saying, for argument’s sake, you could) without having to suck anything in.

The Sidestroke

And then there’s the whole business of shopping. Since Summersalt is an online-only bathing suit company, they deal with a multitude of shopping-related issues that pertain to bathing suits. They accept returns graciously and without question. You can try on suits from the privacy of your own home, send them back as you like, order a bunch of sizes and cuts, decide what you like, and then send them back. There’s no cost to you. It’s a more human (a more humane, really) way of doing the whole thing, especially after a year of… whatever that year was.

Don’t feel confined to my one-strap, marine-hued choice, though I do love it. Cuts come in every conceivable color combination, and, if you opt for a two-piece, you can mix-and-match cuts and colors (and, for goodness sake, sizes, which, for the large-busted among us, is the provision that very few bathing suit companies has afforded us over time). On a recent beach day, I found myself in a suit well into a sun-fading evening. I had forgotten it was on, it was so comfortable. My Summersalt suit’s utter invisibility—its fluidity—is perhaps its finest quality.

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