Seeking Summer Savings & Style: Swimwear

You wouldn’t know it by the bone-chilling gale in the Market Street wind-tunnel yesterday, but I hear from fellow IBCers Page, Michael and Leo that it’s about to be summer!

That means time for Bay Area people to make plans to travel someplace where it’s hot so we can go swimming! Yours Truly is on a Cheap or Free budget this year, and I bet a ton of you are too, so I’m going to bring you some Cheap or Free Swimwear ideas.

The place I always go for cheap swimwear is Target, who has a very tight grip on their photos and won’t let me steal them. So believe me when I say it not out of vanity that I share with you this awesome photo of myself in a purposely mis-matched Target bathingsuit:

Also, H&M has swimsuits that are even cheaper than Target suits. Most of the time you can get a top and bottoms for around $15 total. Total! A while back H&M did a collaboration with famous Finnish textile designers Marrimeko that resulted in some fun swimwear:

If you know how to sew, have a machine, and like me, have a shit-ton of discarded shiny, stretchy garments available for re-purposing, you can buy a pattern and make your own swimming outfit. Vintage swim patterns are cheap and widely available.

The seventies are big on runways right now, which makes me happy because the seventies are my favorite fashion decade. Here are some great patterns from the time of big floppy hats and hip-slung everything:

I love swimwear from before the 70s too, because back then swimwear was basically treated like a regular outfit but smaller, meaning it was tailored and had details like darts and closures. Probably less comfortable but definitely more flattering. Also a lot classier than over-exposed modern bikinis designed for tweens.  That is not a judgement on the latter btw, for beer-drinking on the beach with good friends a cheeky, casual look is A-Okay. But what if the company or occasion calls for a little more discretion?

A 60s pattern featured in a previous post


A 50s pattern that I am suspicious might look a little "loaded diaper" from the back, but what a great hour-glass silhouette!


Is there a word that means Classy and Sexy? This 40s suit is the definition.

A totally FREE option is NAKED. I am not advocating spring-break style innappropriate public nudity.  I am just saying if you don’t have a bathing costume, and you want to go for a swim, get yourself out to a beautiful, remote body of water, strip down and get in.

If you do happen to have the $100 – $300 bucks that a higher-end swimsuit usually costs, and you are very girly, head over to Anthropologie, who I think has the best curated swimwear in that genre.

If you are a less precious lady, and have about $80 to drop, go get a suit from Black Milk, an Australian label that doesn’t make a single thing I wouldn’t wear. The designer has a great presence in social media through her blog and is really friendly & relatable, which would make me feel good about buying stuff from her.

Pulp Sesame! What!


Call me corny, but I love the cheesy-moonlit-wolf trend. It’s funny, but also a little magical. Like Harry Anderson of Night Court.


It is unsettling in the best way that the spine ends in the vag area. This swimsuit is creepy. I like it.

Omg. Someone designed a something with a brand-name printed all over it that actually looks good! It helps that the brand name itself looks good because it is two words of similar length both ending with a tall consonant that balances out the height of the capital first letter. It even sounds good since they are both one-syllable words ending in the same sound.   Also the simple, identical cut of all the swimsuits reflects her choice of fonts on this signature print. (Yes I have seen the Helvetica movie twice and am now obsessed. If you are too check out these Black Milk leggings).

Ok, sorry for GEEKING OUT hardcore on little design details.

Have fun getting ready for swim season, no matter what your budget!






About Carrie Leilam Love

i love words, babies, and shoes better than everything.


  1. clare

    that wolf shirt swimsuit is pretty boss.

  2. michaelvonbraithwaite

    HOLD. THE. PHONE. I am WAY into that spine suit! Want.

  3. Pingback: Tis the Season « The Fuzz

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