April 10, 2018 04:10 PM

 

There’s a sea — no, an ocean! — full of new swimwear brands that seem to have popped up in the past few years. Yes, that’s speaking hyperbolically, but if you go on Instagram, it’s hard not to feel that way, as you can’t help but spot an influencer hocking one of these up-and-coming labels while mindlessly scrolling through your feed.

However, I’ve found that it can be quite tough to figure out which ones are made for non-Coachella-going grown-ups who want to actually swim in their suits rather than wear it once just to take photos for the ‘gram. (Side tangent: Is it just me, or have bikini bottoms in general gotten pretty microscopic?!)

RELATED: The Cutest One-Pieces for Every Swimsuit Style

Alas, after scrolling — and scrolling and scrolling — I finally found Summersalt, a brand that delivers exactly what I’m looking for on all levels: Cute suits (mostly extremely flattering one-pieces, plus some sporty two-pieces) that come in an array of color-blocked hues and made with fabric that has built-in UPF 50+ protection. Plus, they’re designed for moving around, i.e. no slipping off or popping out while playing sports on the beach or diving into the pool. 

The Sidestroke by Summersalt.
Courtesy of Summersalt

I’ve already stocked up on two swimsuits — the Sidestroke and the Swan Dive — and put them to the test. And I’m happy I did, as they sold out pretty quickly. “We cannot keep the one-pieces in stock,” founder Reshma Chamberlin tells me. (They have since come back in stock.) “We really believe in women being sexy on their own terms and we hit a nerve with our customers by creating swimwear that is sexy but also very wearable.” 

Not the editor.
Courtesy of Summersalt

Not the editor.

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Here are a few reasons I’m obsessed: 

1. Flattering Color Combos

The color-blocked designs are surprisingly simple, yet completely unique. I love the red and pink mix named Lava & Dragon Fruit (so on trend) and the gold and navy named Deep Sea & Mango. “We really believe in taking a unique approach to color,” Chamberlin adds. “I grew up in India and I was surrounded by unexpected color everywhere. We love pairing colors you would not normally put together.” Plus, they don’t fade — I’ve washed mine and the vibrant colors remain.

The Swan Dive by Summersalt.
Courtesy of Summersalt

2. Details Like Built-in Compression Keep Everything Looking Smooth 

These have four layers of built-in compression, which I cannot stress enough is a win. Also, there’s no hardware that will heat up in the sun or leave weird marks on your skin. And beyond that, the UPF 50+ fabric gives me a little more peace of mind when the sun is beating down on me in the water. Plus, they are built to move: I ended up wearing my Sidestroke to dive off the side of a boat, hike to a beach and play with my high-energy little nephew. No wedgies occurred. 

3. The Price Is Worth the Investment

Summersalt is a direct-to-consumer brand, which basically means they don’t charge a big markup like a normal store would because they sell directly to you. That means their suits, which could easily sell for $200-plus, are $95 each. Yes, it’s still an investment compared to shopping at Target. But having bought suits at lower-price stores, I’ve noticed Summersalt’s simply last longer. (They also offer an At-Home-Try-On-Pack, where you order four suits and have a six-day window to try everything on at home for $15. You only pay what you end up keeping.)

Listen, the whole process of shopping for swimwear can be incredibly overwhelming, which is why we’re trying to help with all of our swimwear suggestions. But when it comes to finding a new brand that’s on the up-and-up and that will give you confidence to strut your stuff come summertime without being too out there or at risk of wardrobe malfunctions, Summersalt’s worth giving a second look.

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