Is Kim Kardashian's loungewear line a waste of money?
Here's what you should get—and skip—from Skims
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Most of the time, it’s easy to tell what Kim Kardashian West is up to. The media personality/tech mogul/former professional closet organizer stars in a TV show about her day to day, and anything else that doesn't make the cut shows up on her Instagram. Over the past few months, Kardashian West’s Instagram feed (and, presumably, life) seemed to be consumed by three things: documentation of her multitudinous refrigerator collection, the release of body makeup through her cosmetics line, and the launch of her undergarment and loungewear brand, Skims.
At first, Skims’ media coverage was dominated by the controversy that erupted over its original name, “Kimono,” then by its shapewear called “Solutionwear,” which come in some unique designs and a wide range of skin-matching shades. But the brand subsequently launched a non-compressive cotton line that seems to have done pretty well for itself—most of its items sold out as soon as the brand went live, and many of items on the site are still out of stock or have a warning label saying they’re running low. (I was lucky that Skims' PR team offered to hook me up with loans.) To find out more about the comfier side of the brand, I tried the cotton briefs, a tank top, leggings, and two bras. Here’s my experience with each item, ranked in order of how much I liked them.
Skims Cotton Molded Bra review
This bra is everything I’ve ever hoped a bra might be. It fits true to size, unlike some other bras I’ve tried before. It has underwire, but it’s so comfortable that I often forget I’m wearing it. It has a thin padding, but it’s light enough to look and feel natural, and a slight push-up that gives me some extra umph without being over the top. The bra is also so supportive that, were I in a pinch, I feel like I could wear to a workout class without causing myself too much pain. (I have not tested this, to be clear. I just feel like I could.)
The design is different from a typical bra: It’s not separated into two different cups, looking something like a sturdier-than-usual bandeau bra. To me, this is great—I like the aesthetic on its own and the way it looks under tops—but its unusual appearance may not be for everyone, especially if you’re partial to tops with V necklines. Also, at $56, it’s a little more expensive than bras I usually buy. All the same, for the comfort, style, and support, I’d buy it again in a heartbeat. The Skims Cotton Molded Bra comes in sizes 32A to 44D and in five colors.
Skims Cotton Rib Brief review
This pair of underwear extends higher than any pair of underwear I have ever worn—above my belly button, which makes me feel like the titular character from the Avril Lavine song "Sk8r Boi" when I wear them with lower-rise jeans. The fabric is also very, very thick. This means I can only wear these undies with high-waist pants or loose skirts (which, yes, I do wear a lot), unless I want to make a statement about showing VPL (visible panty line).
That said, they feel heavenly to wear. This is partially due to the high waist, which seem to hug rather than constrict my midsection, and partially due to the underwear’s near-total cotton composition: 95 percent cotton and 5 percent spandex, which allows for breathability and subtle stretch. On the downside, I was surprised to read in manufacturer’s instructions that they must be washed by hand. This is not something I would ever do with a regular pair of cotton underwear, so I threw them in my washing machine, put it on the delicate cycle, and let them air dry. They turned out just fine.
The price of $28 is also expensive for a single pair of cotton underwear. (Fruit of the Loom sells a six-pack of what is aesthetically very similar to Skims—minus the spandex—for less than 10 bucks.) But Skims’ version is sturdy and has some Kardashian clout, so if you’re looking for some luxury high-waist cotton briefs, these are a good option. The Skims Cotton Rib Brief comes in sizes XXS to 4X and in five colors.
Skims Cotton Rib Tank review
This is just a cropped cotton tank, with inch-wide straps and a length that ends just above my belly button. If you're in search of a cropped cotton and spandex (95 percent cotton and 5 percent spandex, to be exact) tank, and don’t mind spending $34 on it, this is a fine one to get. The fit is flattering in that it curves where I want it to and lays flat where I want it to. It's also so comfortable—I like wearing it under sweaters, as a pajama top on warm nights, and to low-impact workout classes like barre and yoga.
Like the rest of the line, Skims recommends washing the tank by hand. I did not do this. I laundered it on a delicate cycle and air-dried it, which was the right call.
I’m ranking the tank top below the panties only because I think it should cost at least $15 less. But it’s a great multi-purpose tank that, after the initial sticker shock, proves its worth. The Skims Cotton Rib Tank comes in sizes XXS to 4X and in five colors.
Skims Cotton Underwire Bra review
Like the molded cotton style, this bra fit me well. It comes in a wide range of colors, and the color I got—Mineral—is a soothing light green. Other than that, it’s nothing special. It has underwire but no padding, which makes it feel both restrictive (in that the underwire digs into my chest) and revealing (in that my nipples poke through the fabric when it’s cold). I never felt the urge to wear it instead of other bras I own, as the days when I need to wear a bra that brings me minor pain and kind of makes it look like I’m not wearing a bra at all are, shockingly, not all that frequent. For $48, you can do better.
The Skims Cotton Underwire Bra comes in sizes 32A to 44DD and in five colors.
Skims Cotton Leggings review
When I received these leggings, I was surprised to find that they are not so much leggings as they are something that I can only describe as “sexy long johns.” They are waffle-knit thermal pants that pull tight around the ankle, hang loose around the knees, cinch snuggly at the waist, and have a weird V-shaped seam down the front that emphasizes the crotch. Leggings are something I work out in or lounge around in (or both). There is no way I would ever wear them to work out—first, I would have to leave the house in them and, second, it seems to me the material would trap heat, not release it. I tried to wear them on a lazy afternoon and as pajamas, but the waistband was so tight, it proved uncomfortable. I got these in white, so they were also so sheer they showed every pair of underwear I tried to wear with them, even in nude colors.
I tried very hard to think about who the target consumer for these oddly sexualized, not-at-all-comfortable thermal underthings might be, and came up at a loss. Someone up in Skims corporate must agree with me—as of now, they are no longer available on Skims’ website.
Is Skims cotton loungewear worth it?
In my opinion, everything on Skims’ site is too expensive, and not everything lives up to the cost. Still, there are some high-quality items—the molded bra in particular—that, though on the pricier side, I don’t think of as a regretful purchase.
Whether or not you should buy from the cotton line depends on the money you're willing to spend, and how you feel about using your clothing budget to support the Kardashian-West family’s lifestyle. If you’re cool with that, you’ll be cool with Skims.
Prices were accurate at the time this article was published but may change over time.