This Project Wants To Take The Trauma Out Of Swimwear Shopping

Photo: Courtesy of X Swimwear.
"I just can't wait to go shopping for a bathing suit," said no one, ever. Sarah Krasley of consultancy company Unreasonable Women wants to radically change the apprehension (translation: straight-up torture) that swimwear shopping typically entails with X Swimwear.

Currently in fundraising mode on Kickstarter (through Wednesday), X Swimwear aims to bring mass customization to the swimwear industry. The company has a trio of base silhouettes (triangle bikini, high-waisted, and a classic tank style) that can be tinkered with, based on customers' fit desires.

"I think it’s unacceptable that for decades, women dread the experience of trying on bathing suits every year; I’ve heard stories of women leaving the dressing room in tears, and many order multiple suits online and return those that don’t fit," Krasley says. "This does so much to feed the negative body image epidemic. And from a business perspective, it’s wasteful and deeply disrespectful to customers."
Photo: Courtesy of X Swimwear.
Although Krasley had adequate contacts in the design, manufacturing, and tech fields, she didn't know anyone with technical apparel design chops. So she started taking night classes in swimwear and bra design, construction, and manufacturing at FIT a year and a half ago.

The process behind X Swimwear "relies heavily on math," Krasley told Refinery29. The name itself might take you all the way back to algebra class circa middle school: the "X" refers to "the idea that we’re not numerical sizes; we’re variables and should be treated that way," Krasley says. "The pattern size should adjust for us; we shouldn’t feel badly that we don’t fit into a generalized size."

If X Swimwear hits its fundraising goal of $55,000, Krasley will host women for appointments (which will involve taking measurements and asking a set of questions about what customers want out of their swimsuits) at the company's studio at the Brooklyn Fashion + Design Accelerator. "We’ll spend some time listening to what went wrong in past experiences and we’ll learn about what our customer needs to feel sexy and confident when they wear their swimsuit. We’ll then look at our base of suit designs and make adjustments with a body map in their body shape based on the customers’ needs."
Photo: Courtesy of X Swimwear.
After that, X Swimwear plans to open a pop-up shop in NYC's Chelsea neighborhood. The bigger plan is to launch e-comm — utilizing data collected from X Swimwear's appointments and pop-up shop. Krasley also hopes to launch pop-up shops in Los Angeles, San Francisco, and London.

"It’s a pretty common practice to get business suits custom-made or tailored, but unusual for bathing suits," Krasley explains. "I think the reverse should be true: why do we suffer from the least amount of tailoring when we are wearing the least amount of clothes in public?"

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