Does scrolling through your favourite shop’s swimwear section only to find yourself engulfed in waves of flouncy bandeaus leave you cold? Same here. Don’t get us wrong, we know beach devotees like Emily Ratajkowski and Kendall Jenner pull them off real good (and so can we. Maybe, sort of) — but when doing it for the ‘gram is taken out of your wet-dressing equation, low-key classics are your best bet.
Everyone should have at least one minimal, streamlined swimsuit in their balmy-weather collection. And scoring the perfect one is all about finding that sweet spot. You know, that elusive benchmark where a piece is cool but not over the top, sexy but not risqué, tight but not too clingy. On top of that, the timeless bathing suit should flaunt your curves right without cramping your style — which is why you’d relentlessly take a dip in them time and time again.
If that sounds too impossible to achieve, consider this your ultimate swimwear cheat sheet for the minimalist within you. Fall head over heels for Aussie’s leading labels Matteau and Her., and made-in-USA purists Ward Whillas and Sidway. No frills, no bows. Just straight up chic — and okay, we’ll admit, still as Insta-worthy.
(Main and featured images: Her.)
Newcomers to the scene, sisters Ilona Hamer and Peta Heinsen only launched luxury swimwear line Matteau barely a year ago. Yet, their simple, sleek designs skyrocketed to popular fame with the likes of Brit model Rosie Huntington-Whiteley as proclaimed fans.
“The Matteau woman isn’t really concerned with trends or what’s ‘in’,” Hamer said. “She is concerned with style, details and acquiring pieces that help her tell her story and make her feel confident.” With fit as the Sydney label’s top and foremost priority, Hamer’s words ring true. Their signature silhouettes — the triangle bikini and one-piece Maillot — are thoughtfully calculated to flatter women of all bust sizes.
Her. is anything but fussy. In 2014, Tuyen Nguyen and Michael Lim founded their Sydney-based label as an answer to impractical bathing suits. Their anti-embellishment, curve-complementing bikinis and one-pieces earned a cult following in no time.
What’s great about Her. is that its designs are constructed to suit city streets as much as tropical beaches. Clean low-back one-pieces and bandeau bikinis will make great athletic layering staples for bar hangs with the gang right after a poolside sesh. Another thing to take note of is Her.’s plan to introduce its ready-to-wear range this year. So be sure to keep tabs on this up-and-coming label.
“Nu means nude in a few languages,” founder Gina Esposito explained. “I wanted it to speak for the brand in a way that means no extras — no padding, no crazy strings or inauthentic looking details — nude in that way.” Birthed on the sun-soaked soil of Cali, Esposito’s Nu Swim line believes in sustainability and paring things down to the bare essentials.
Ethical manufacturing is done at two small family-owned production facilities, with a large percentage of fabrics sourced from equally ethical mills. The result? Gorgeous figure-boosting reliables in earthy tones that’ll have you eating your heart out for a beachy escape.
Similarly on the sustainable forefront is Baserange. The European swimwear specialists over at Baserange are all about that understated beach babe vibe, while staying eco-conscious. “We wanted to build a brand with as little retouching as possible, both humanly and production-wise,” founders Blandine Legait and Marie-Louise Mogensen said.
The brand first came bursting in a rule-breaker championing body positivity. It still does, but it has added swimwear into its growing list of modern basics. These are made with high quality, organic fabrics to minimise negative environmental impact. And if you think it is merely channeling Yeezy’s body suits, think again: Baserange has nailed second-skin coolness longer than Kanye West’s hyped street rangers.
Inspired by the seaside pieces worn by ’90s supermodels Kate Moss, Naomi Campbell and Linda Evangelista, Sidway aligns with the era’s signature femininity-edged minimalism. It’s masterminded by Sarah Sidway Goshaw, whose resume lists Puma, Nanette Lepore and Bikini Lab. She was also the designer who launched Nasty Gal’s bestselling in-house swim line.
Thanks to Goshaw’s deft know-how, everything from her namesake line is threaded in lustrous jersey knit with high spandex content — seamlessly moulding to the wearer’s body. Surprisingly, the designs come intact with a silky tactile hand-feel. Hems are filled with fullflex rubber in prevention of drooping which often occurs over time with swimsuits. And with no obvious inner lining, it’s beautiful on the inside as it is on the outside.
Ward Whillas doesn’t have your average bikinis. What it has are sculpted, stitch-free pool essentials that are forging ahead with its reversible designs. Made in quick-drying Italian fabrics equipped with chlorine and body lotion resistance, Ward Whillas’ creations bridge the gap between high-performance activewear and style-savvy swimwear.
Designers and founders Rosie Ward and Alicia Whillas understand how we, more often than not, can’t make up our minds on which colour to have our bathing suits in — thus providing us with their ingenious two-in-one solution of reversibles. It also doesn’t hurt that all their selections are incredibly on fleek.