SwimSpot & Swim Shapers

Recently I was asked to browse through the new SwimSpot website and order a bikini to wear and review.
I review a lot of websites on the side. I help companies think about what is user friendly, search engine friendly, easy to read, easy to follow, etc. Some companies are so focused on how “pretty” their site is, that they forget it has to fulfill a sales or marketing goal. People have to enjoy shopping on the site, and find it easy to shop on the site.

One of the best features on the SwimSpot website is the ability to alter image sizes of products. With one click at the top of the site you can decide how large or small you want the photos to appear on the page – with 3 sizes ranging from about 1 inch to about 4 inches. Once you click on an item, you also see photos of additional views. I think seeing the back of a swimsuit is very important.

I find the buttons on SwimSpot easy to read and easy to use, but I wish I could search by item type – bikinis, coverups, etc. Instead you have to view by brand name. There is a small arrow at the top left that says “Filter By:” and here you can filter by collection or item within a brand.

SwimSpot also offers a fun bikini builder function. With a model’s photo in the middle of the screen, and images of swimsuit tops on the left and bottoms on the right you can mix and match pieces within each brand to build your favorite suit. You can not, however, mix brand names. This is on purpose, so color and hardware variations (like 2 different shades of red) don’t surprise unsuspecting customers. If you happen to be in Orange County, CA, you can go to their pop-up shop and easily do this in person. And, with free shipping BOTH ways, you can take a stab at buying different pieces you think will mix and match nicely, and if it doesn’t, you can return what you don’t want at no cost.

Their lines are high-end brand names you’ll recognize that span many age ranges. I love all of the youthful junior-sized Reef collections! The Ella Moss tunics make pretty cruisewear and coverups. I’ve also worn tankinis from the Tommy Hilfiger collection and they are high quality fabrics and stitching that don’t fade, stretch out or run easily.

reefbikiniThis summer I tried a Reef reversible string bikini. After checking the Reef size chart and using the bikini builder, the 2 pieces I ended up with are pictured here. Reef’s Roca Loca Reversible Banded Halter Top retails for $49.00. It has the signature tulip stitched small on the striped side of the bikini, or the reversible brown side features a large tulip sewn on almost like a patch from the striped fabric. The soft cups have tiny pads inside, not enough to add a cup size, just enough for modesty. The top ties around the back and around the neck so it is easy to adjust to suit your body. The thick brown band under the cups adds a bit of support and shape so the top is not flimsy. The Roca Loca patterned bikini bottom ties on the side to size the swimsuit to your tush, with cute plastic and wooden beads on the ties. It is a very low rise bottom, but stays in place well when tied tightly. The inside fabric of the bottom has bright orange and green palm leaves, and though it does not say it is reversible I think it can be worn inside out if you remove the tag. Then you can put the top on the mostly-brown side with the leaf-print bottom, or the striped side with the striped bottom and it looks like 2 completely different bikinis. Great for travel!

Cover up with the matching Reef 9 inch board shorts or the cute, brown Belize me Sylvia dress made from light gauzy fabric.

swimshapersIf you need an extra bit of Oomph with your swimsuit, Braza offers Foam Swim Shapers to sneak into your top. They provide fullness, lift, cleavage, shaping and in some cases, added support. All foam pads are covered with a comfortable nylon fabric that will prevent the pads from becoming saturated with water. Pads can be either placed in the top of a two piece style or sewn in if needed. These pads live up to their responsibility! Some of the pads are silicone, so they never get water damaged. You can use them to replace pads that came in your swimsuit that have become misshapen and out of place. Say goodbye to crumbly moldy pads that crease and don’t hold their shape.

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