Lifestyle

I tried the bathing suit with a 10,000-person waitlist—here's what happened

Summersalt bathing suits are ALL over Instagram, but are they actually worth the hype?

Summersalt Bathing Suit Review Credit: Samantha Matt

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As a grown human with curves, thighs, and a frame that screams, “I work out sometimes, but I also don’t work out sometimes,” wearing a bathing suit—a.k.a., the one thing that brings attention to all of this—is always an anxiety-inducing event for me.

Why? I don’t know. I know my body is a beach body. I know every body is a beach body. I love when people of every shape and size rock whatever apparel they want to rock. But for some reason when it comes to me—and only me—I can’t help but feel self-conscious. I go as far to take my cover-up off while lying down at the beach to avoid anyone seeing me sitting down in a suit. Then, I lie on my towel, motionless until it is time to put back on my cover-up and leave the beach. Okay, that is an exaggeration. I do not lie there motionless the entire time. I dabble in the ocean. I walk to the snack bar. And I always have to find a bathroom. Basically, I move when I have to—I just don’t love the act of moving in a swimsuit.

Cue: Summersalt—the brand that makes it easy to move again in a swimsuit, or so it claims on Instagram.

Advertisements for the trendy swimsuit brand have been consuming my Instagram feed for months. The posts, often by ‘influencers’ I already follow, feature women wearing their Summersalt swimsuits on vacation, at the beach, and in the pool. The suits are bright and colorful, and the people wearing them have no problem showcasing back fat and thick thighs. They’re living life, no swimsuit anxiety exhibited.

The women in these pictures are exactly what I aspired to look like in a swimsuit—carefree, confident, and stylish. Not to mention, some of the suits had rave reviews on Summersalt’s website, and a few popular styles were constantly selling out. This all made me wonder: Could a Summersalt bathing suit be the one thing that would change my summertime tune and make wearing swimsuits fun again? I longed to find out, so I set out on a quest to purchase three new swimsuits from Summersalt to help you figure out if they’re really worth it.

What makes Summersalt bathing suits different?

On its website, Summersalt lists a number of things that set them apart:

  • The price. One-piece swimsuits cost around $95 each, while bikini tops and bottoms are around $50 each. Summersalt says its bathing suits are “designer quality at the best price.” However, these prices are pretty normal for me. While I did pay $158 for a Miraclesuit (the bathing suit that claims to make you look 10 pounds lighter in 10 seconds—it works), I usually pay between $50 to $130 for swimsuits. Nothing out of the ordinary here.

  • The fit. Summersalt says it “took over 1.5 million body measurements from 10,000 women” to create a “data-backed fit.” Intriguing.

  • The material. Both fabrics and product packaging are made from recycled materials, meaning the suits are sustainable. Yay, environment!

  • The wear. The swimsuits were made to “wrinkle less, dry quickly, and keep you comfortably on the move.” (But do swimsuits really wrinkle?)

In addition to what Summersalt says sets its suits apart, the marketing campaign is unique, too. For someone who is neither tall nor stick thin, it’s refreshing to see real women of all different shapes and sizes modeling the suits on the website. This alone convinced me to purchase swimsuits from Summersalt more than the above.

Is it easy to order through Summersalt?

I only had two issues when ordering items through Summersalt. The first was the lack of items available. My size was (and still is) sold out in many patterns and colors that I wanted. The second came after I ordered things. One of the swimsuits I had ordered—and paid expedited shipping for—ended up never arriving. First, customer service told me it was not going to come right away and refunded me for shipping. Then, nearly a week later, I reached out asking where it was and they told me there had been an error and that suit was not actually available in that size when I ordered it. insert skeptical face emoji

Even though I was mad, I got over it and made another order. That one arrived as expected.

As of now, I own three Summersalt suits:

  • The Sidestroke ($95): This is the most famous Summersalt bathing suit. The one-shoulder one-piece sold out almost instantly when it launched in 2017 and has since made thousands of people sit on waiting lists for their size to become available.

  • The Sunbather ($95): This is one of Summersalt’s newer one-piece suits. I fell in love with the retro look at first glance, mostly because this swimsuit could help me channel my inner Midge Maisel at the Catskills. Although it had no reviews, I needed to give it a try.

  • The Marina ($95): Another newer Summersalt one-piece. The description said this was its “swimsuit take on a wrap dress” and that it would highlight the smallest part of the waist. That and the suit’s unique color blocking sold me.

I am still trying to get my hands on The High Leg High Rise bottoms and a bikini top, but right now my size is MIA in the colors I enjoy. When/if they become available again, I shall purchase and return to this article with an update, but until then...

How do the Summersalt swimsuits fit?

As promised, all three swimsuits were extremely comfortable. They had a barely-there feel to them, which was great, especially for The Sidestroke with its ‘superior’ compression.

Summersalt's The Sidestroke swimsuit
Credit: Samantha Matt & Instagram - @sincerelyjules

Am I an influencer now?

When I put this suit on, it was immediately clear why the suit has a cult following. It really was the perfect fit—and this is coming from someone who usually doesn’t like the one-shoulder look on herself. I have never been able to wear one-shoulder shirts and dresses and have actively avoided things like this while shopping. This is why I was skeptical of The Sidestroke, but it really does look good on everyone.

The compression provided almost as much ‘tummy control’ as my Miraclesuit. I should add, my Miraclesuit is black. My Sidestroke is pink, orange, and white. Usually I feel most confident in black, but my colorful one-shoulder Summersalt suit made me feel just as good as I do in darker colors.

Miraclesuit vs Summersalt
Credit: Summersalt

The only issue for fit that I had with The Sidestroke was the lack of boob support. It says on the website that there are no cups in this suit, so I knew what I was getting my 36D chest into (literally), but I still wanted to try it. Even though it’s risky not having cups, I love the suit so much that I kept it. The newer Sidestroke patterns (like the always sold out Limoncello color from Guiliana Rancic’s collection) do have built in cups, so hopefully they’ll be added to all of them soon!

The Sunbather and The Marina swimsuits both fit similarly.

Here's The Marina:

Summersalt's The Marina swimsuit
Credit: Samantha Matt & Summersalt

Here's The Sunbather:

Summersalt's The Sunbather swimsuit
Credit: Samantha Matt & Summersalt

There’s not as much tummy support as The Sidestroke, but I still felt good in the suits—more so in The Marina than The Sunbather. The Marina really does accentuate the smallest part of your waist with its ‘wrap dress’ look, as claimed in the product description, and I felt more confident in that style for sure.

The other great thing about these two suits is that they both have built-in soft cups. No, the cups don’t provide a lot of much support for us full-chested ladies, but they at least cover and hide the chilliest of nipples. The only weird thing that kept happening with these two suits is that the lining of the soft cups kept pushing up and out of the top of the suit. Not a big deal and not very noticeable—just annoying to have to fuss with.

Are Summersalt swimsuits good for beach days and tanning?

While the fit was great, not all of the styles are ideal for tanning. More specifically, The Sidestroke. While it is truly an amazing suit and fit, the famous one-piece is not ideal for lying out. That’s no surprise here, as Summersalt’s mission is to make it easy to move in a swimsuit—not lie motionless on a towel catching UV rays. But if you’re being active at the beach or pool, you’re bound to get some color, right? And no one wants a one-shoulder tan line. Not in the front or in the back.

The Sunbather and The Marina are much better equipped for days when you’re banking on acquiring tan lines.

Are Summersalt swimsuits good quality?

I have only owned these swimsuits for one month, so I can’t speak to long-term ownership, but I can tell you that compared to my other bathing suits, these are great quality.

Summersalt’s claim that its suits dry quickly is true. However, it’s been insanely hot this summer where I live in New England, so I can’t tell you if the reason for them drying quickly is the heat or the swimsuit material. I’m going to go out on a limb here and say it’s a bit of both.

The other claim is that the swimsuits wrinkle less. I have packed away these swimsuits in bags for weekend trips, and even though I have crumbled them up in balls, they did not wrinkle when released from the depths of my luggage. Nor did they wrinkle after wearing and drying.

The most important thing about the swimsuits are that they really are comfortable. Is it life-changing quality compared to my other similarly priced swimsuits from Everything But Water and Nordstrom? No, not that I, a regular human, have noticed. But the styles are unique and fashionable, and that’s something my other quality swimsuits do not have.

So, are Summersalt bathing suits worth it?

Yes. I am so happy with the three Summersalt swimsuits I purchased, and I cannot wait to buy more. I do hope the company adds more inventory soon, but I guess now that I’m telling you all to buy them, even if it does increase inventory, the added suits will be gone soon.

Overall, Summersalt sells bathing suits that are fashionable, comfortable, and well-made. I have not seen bathing suits like these anywhere, aside from the cheap knock-offs that are now all over my Instagram feed alongside Summersalt.

Summersalt's The Marina front & back
Credit: Samantha Matt

The best part about Summersalt is it really did change my attitude about swimsuits. Never did I ever think I would be able to rock a bright colored attention-grabbing swimsuit without panicking about what others would think. But Summersalt came through with its flattering patterns and adequate compression, and that has made me feel confident and carefree while wearing its swimsuits. Now, I just need more of them. Who knew I would one day go from having swimsuit anxiety to a swimsuit obsession? Thank you, Summersalt! (That thank you is from me, by the way. Not my bank account.)

Shop all of Summersalt's swimsuits on their website

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Prices are accurate at the time this article was published, but may change over time.

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