Why is Swimwear So Expensive? - a peek into the fashion industry
Every body is a bikini body – but not every bikini is deserving of your body.
Let me explain.
With summer right around the corner you might be in the market for a new swimsuit, and you’ve probably noticed the price differences between affordable swimsuits and pricier suits and wondered, why so expensive for such a tiny piece of fabric?
I have always thought this same thing too, until I started making swimsuits myself. I quickly learned that there is a lot more that goes into a quality swimsuit than what may appear. Everything from the fabric, elastic, stitches, and labor can equate to the price of your swim wear. Here are a couple reasons why swimsuits cost so much and if they are worth buying.
Fabric is everything and accounts for a huge chunk of the total swimsuit cost. The fabric made for the suit and the lining can vary in terms of support, opacity, elasticity, and color. An inexpensive bathing suit may hold up for a wear or two, and heck if you are only planning on wearing your suit a couple times, then that may be a better option. But more often than not, if the swimsuit is on the pricier side, its most likely because it is made with a better-quality fabric that is not going to fade, pull, pill, and/or look see-through when wet.
Stitching and Elastic
This is another variable that I never really paid attention to until I started making swimwear. The stitching of any garment is important, especially swimwear because it has to withstand stretch, sun, water, and chlorine. Higher quality swimsuits will have more stitches per inch, with a better quality thread that helps the garment last. Better thread + more stitching = more expensive suit.
Not only are the stiches important, but the elastic that is sewn into the fabric is crucial as well. There are many different kinds of elastic, but swimsuits require a higher-grade rubber elastic that need to withstand UV, chlorine, continuous stretch, support, and water. Most inexpensive swimwear may be made with a cheaper, braided elastic to help drive down costs, but will reduce the longevity of the suit over time.
Without naming any names, I am sure there are a couple huge online retailers that you can think of that sell cheap/affordable swimsuits. A lot of these suits are made overseas which sometimes means that the workers creating those garments are not being paid fair living wages. More people today are much more informed about the harmful side affects of fast fashion and there are so many ups and downs when it comes to fast fashion and the swimwear category is no different. So, if you ever look at the price-tag of a swimsuit and think “what the hell??” it is probably because the person who made it is being paid a higher living wage for their labor.
I definitely think there is a time and a place for both affordable swimsuits and expensive suits. When shopping for swimwear I recommend identifying the key elements you want your suit to have. Way out the pros and cons of each option to help make your decision and once you purchase your suit, do the best you can to uphold the longevity of your suit when it comes to things like washing/drying, sun exposure, and contact with chlorine. For Body by Tori, I wanted each swimsuit to be made of high-quality fabric, elastic, and stitching, but also be realistically affordable for the average consumer while also honoring the labor that I put into each piece.
I hope this post helps give you a little insight into the fashion world and no matter where you are buying your swimwear, always remember that every body is a bikini body, and that you deserve to feel incredible in everything you wear, especially swimsuits!