I finally found a sporty bikini that actually looks cute, too
Athleta swimwear FTW.
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There are people who think the perfect beach day consists of lounging on a chaise for hours on end, doing little more than sipping White Claws and catching up on their must-read list. Then there are people like me. I can lay out for approximately three minutes before I'm sweaty, bored out of my mind, and irritable. (A lovely combo!) Thus my perfect beach day involves swimming in the ocean, playing an intense game of cornhole or volleyball, and taking a few trips in the ocean kayak.
Unfortunately, many of the swimsuits designed for women right now aren't exactly made for said activities (or any activity at all). Flimsy tops and cheeky bottoms might look cute but they aren't practical for running, jumping, and swimming. What’s an athletic girl to do?
Order an Athleta swimsuit, obviously. I love the popular activewear brand for its leggings but I've recently heard some whispers about how great its swimwear is, too. Athleta sells one-pieces and a variety of mix-and-match bikini and tankini tops and bottoms, all in women's sizes XXS to XL.
Curious—and desperate for something that would keep me appropriately covered on my next beach trip—I ordered one for myself. As a big fan of bikinis, I opted for the Scoop Bikini Top for $49 and matching Clean Medium Bottom for $44.
How do Athleta swimsuits fit?
I ordered both the bikini top and bottom in my usual size small.
Let's start with the top. It fit true to size and I like that it has adjustable shoulder straps, similar to those on a regular bra. I also appreciate that the front dips low enough to show a little bit of cleavage without being too much. It's very supportive and I can run and jump with little bounce (I'm a 34B, for reference).
The only thing I don't like is that the band around the ribcage isn't adjustable. I have a wider upper back thanks to years of lifting weights, and I found that the band cuts into my skin a little bit on the sides. But I acknowledge that this tighter fit is part of what provides the support I love—it's almost like a sports-bra fit.
Moving onto the bikini bottoms. I tend to prefer string-tie bottoms because you can adjust them to fit your body—I usually find pull-on bottoms to either be too tight or too loose. These Athleta ones fit comfortably around my waist but they weren't quite as supportive as I'd like. However, I'd rather the waistband be slightly looser than digging into my sides. The back provides plenty of coverage, which is hard to find in women's bikini bottoms these days.
That said, I'm not a huge fan of the mid-rise fit. If you're someone who prefers high-rise or low-rise (me!), be aware that these ain't either. I'm 5-foot-5 and they hit about an inch below my navel, which I think is an awkward spot on my frame—i.e., I didn't find them as flattering as other bikini bottoms I own.
Are Athleta swimsuits worth buying?
I am someone who loves cheap bathing suits. Whether it's from Shein, Zaful, or Amazon, 95% of my swimwear costs less than $25 a suit. So shelling out $93 for this Athleta bikini gave me some serious anxiety. Do I regret it? No. Would I buy it again? Probably not.
To be fair, my hesitation about purchasing another Athleta bikini is solely based on my obsession with inexpensive swimsuits. If you're comfortable spending a little extra on an athletic swimsuit that's supportive, comfortable, and cute, I absolutely recommend you check out Athleta. I have yet to test it out on the sand—stay tuned!—so I can't speak to its durability or lasting power, but I have high hopes for it this summer and beyond.
Prices were accurate at the time this article was published but may change over time.