Let’s be honest, buying bathing suits can be painful. It can be disheartening and a shop’s lighting is usually anything but flattering. And as women, we face the daily struggle of fighting against beauty ideals and what society has deemed as beautiful.
Now as I mentioned in February’s “Learning to Love with Aerie,” body image issues and confidence have always been a struggle for me. I grew up teased for my body and bullied by my peers so shopping for bathing suits is rarely a pleasant experience. With age and over time, however, I’ve slowly become more confident, learning to love myself and growing to appreciate my body and everything it offers.
But that’s not to say that I don’t still struggle with the dreadful process of buying a bathing suit. I want to not only look great but feel great, and as I continue to learn to love my body for what it is and not what I want it to be, I have to find a suit that makes me feel confident. Maybe that means it needs to cover my tummy, but just because I want a bit of coverage on areas I’m working to accept, doesn’t mean I don’t also want to feel sexy and flaunt the areas of my body I love.
And this struggle to find the perfect bathing suit is where I stumbled upon The Cheeky Bikini. A Hamilton, Ontario local small business operating off of Etsy, Erin, the founder, created the Canadian brand as a result of lack of variety when shopping for her university grad trip to the Dominican. She found that she didn’t “like the low rise look because my little tummy pooch always hung over the top, but the only midrise bottoms I could find covered my entire bum and looked like a diaper!” So, she found a local seamstress and began designing her own suits meant to flatter the female body at any size.
The line started out with the midrise cheeky designed to hide what you don’t like and flaunt what you got, and from there grew to include the regular rise cheeky bottom, and tops like the plunge and bandeau and recently the high-rise bottom.
So, for my recent vacation, I knew I had to get my hands on a few of the styles, and The Cheeky Bikini did not disappoint.
What Erin has done with The Cheeky Bikini is create a brand that allows women of every size to know they can rock a bikini. She uses social media (Instagram: @thecheekybikini) and her meticulously crafted designs to promote The Cheeky Bikini as a body positive brand. Using real women and customer’s user generated content, reviews and more to market her product allows for women to see not only how the suits fit on a variety of body types but also get real life feedback on why they love the brand so much. She made it her mission to spread confidence noting that the moments that make her feel like her business is on the right path is when she receives feedback from women telling her how great they felt in the suits, with one customer recently telling her she cried (happy tears) when she tried on the suit because she felt so amazing in it.
She even works with each and every customer to ensure they get the best fit. When ordering my bathing suits, I got a choice of bottoms (low, mid or high-rise) and tops (bandeau or plunge) and could mix and match prints and colours. From there, Erin will then reach out to you to confirm your measurements for the sizes (a quick measure around your booty, and your bra size) helps her confirm that the size your ordered is just the right fit.
And I have never felt more confident in a bathing suit for an entire week than I have in my cheekies. Usually when I hit an all-inclusive you’ll find me wandering around in a bathing suit top and high-waisted jean shorts but this time around all I wanted to wear was my cheekies. No shorts in sight. Well they were there, just pushed to the bottom of my beach bag without a thought to wearing them.
The tops have adjustable ties and the bottoms were snug but not pinching. With such a long torso, I find it hard sometimes to get a suit that doesn’t make me look super disproportionate, but the bottoms, even the mid-rise, managed to give me the perfect coverage and I could hike them up on the sides for a bit of a vintage feel and elongate the look of my legs. Overall, if you’re looking a great fitting suit, a local brand or even swimwear that isn’t too pricy, The Cheeky Bikini is most definitely the place to go. And the brand dedicated to making sure you feel great in it too.