The REAL Difference Between Cheap & Expensive Bikinis

The REAL Difference Between Cheap & Expensive Bikinis

We understand that some may people wonder- why is such a small piece of fabric so expensive?! What's the difference between a $30 and $130 bikini anyway?

Good quality swimwear is complicated to make, and so much hard work goes into each and every piece. You may be surprised to learn that buying that cheap bikini can actually end up costing you more in the long run. 

1. It's a lot of work to make sure your swimsuit fits just right!

“Constructing even a simple swimsuit is every bit as complex as constructing a dress,” says Nancy Stanforth, a professor of fashion merchandising at Kent State University. Designers must push the latest trends, while carefully considering fit: A survey by the NPD Group showed that fit outranked comfort, style, quality, and price for women when purchasing a swimsuit.

Ideally a swimsuit will compress some places while revealing others. It won’t ride up and won’t come undone with the first wave or jump off the diving board—all while making the wearer feel comfortable and confident. “Because the customers are wearing less, they’re more critical of their bodies. We’re working on a small canvas, so it’s more challenging to create a suit that feels good and … is innovative and fashion-forward,” says swimwear designer Karla Colletto.

2. The fabric is complex.

They’re stretchy. Stretchable fabrics, which revolutionized women’s swimwear in the 1960s, are more expensive than many other materials (including, for example, the sturdy nylon or cotton used in men’s swimwear). In addition, manufacturers need special machines to handle the spandex, Lycra, and similar fabrics typically used in women’s swimwear. 

Good quality swimsuit material is also expensive because much is required of it. These fabrics and other swimsuit components, such as underwires, must stand up to a wide variety of elements—water, chlorine, sand, salt, sun—and activities. “It is just as important that the style looks great as it is that the item is technically stable and able to withstand swimming, sunbathing, etc.,” says Samara Fetto, who manages the swimsuit division for the online retailer ModCloth.

3. Sweatshop Free.

The SS17 Isla Bohemia bikini collection is entirely made in the USA. Isla Bohemia Bikinis are handcrafted in a safe and comfortable work environment, without cutting corners through low quality sweatshops. We encourage everyone to be a conscious consumers and ALWAYS check the standards for where the products you're buying are being made.

For example, that $14 Victoria's Secret bikini may seem cheap to you, but comes at a huge cost for those who made it. "Workers are allowed just 3.3 minutes to sew each piece, for which they are paid four cents. The workers’ wages amount to less than 3/10ths of one percent of the $14 retail price of the Victoria’s Secret bikini. Workers who fall behind on their production goals, or who make even a minor error, can be slapped and beaten," says Huffington Post.

4. Reversibility.

Isla Bohemia bikinis are all reversible. So even though at first glance the cost of one piece may seem expensive, when you buy 1 bikini set (top and bottom), you actually have 4 bikinis in 1 because of all the ways you can mix and match it! Reversibility also means that there is no cheap polyester lining that many swimsuits have- it's entirely made of durable, soft and smooth, high-quality fabric. 

So what does it all mean?

When you're buying that low cost bikini (Walmart, Forever 21, H&Mt...) you're endorsing sweatshops or poor labor laws, and you might actually end up spending more in the long run- as you'd have to buy more bikinis to get the same amount of looks as our reversible pieces, and you'd most likely have to replace it more often due to flimsy fabrics and low quality control!

Buying from Isla Bohemia means you're not only getting better quality and more quantity for every dollar you spend, but you're also supporting the local economy and humane working conditions. Plus, our bikinis will make you feel beautiful, wild and free- just like the sea.

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Here at Isla Bohemia we understand how tricky it can be buying swimwear online. We want to ensure that you feel confident choosing your bohemian suits and receive the perfect fit! If you require further sizing assistance please email us at: hello@islabohemiabikinis.com

size chart boho soul

I'm in between sizes! What should I do?

Tops: "Soulshine" style size up. For "Wanderlove" and "Gypsea", if you prefer regular/fuller coverage, size up. If you prefer a revealing fit, size down.

Bottoms: We run a snug, active-use fit. Please size up. If you normally can wear an XS or an S, order a size Small. If you usually can wear an S or an M, order a size Medium. If you usually can wear an M or an L, order a size Large.

*Please note- bottoms should fit very snug when you first try them on. This does NOT mean you should exchange for a bigger size. Swimwear fabric has the tendency to conform to the body after a few wears. If bottoms are not snug, you run the risk of getting that "diaper" sag over time. Sadly, we see way too much of this look at the beach because many girls don't realize that swimwear fabric will relax over time.

Bottom coverage- Dreamer vs Luna

*Note that coverage is also dependent on booty size! Model shown has a very round/full booty, girls with smaller or flatter bums will have more coverage.

cheeky moderate coverage reversible bikini bottoms



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