When it comes to summer, the ideal tends to beat out the reality. Beaches are overcrowded, pools in adulthood are somehow impossible to come by and air conditioning — while the perfect escape from heat waves — forces you indoors (which is not conducive to all the outdoor activities we promised ourselves in the dead of winter).
Granted, many women do venture out, be it beachside or poolside, but that can be hard to do when you don't have the luxury of simply shedding layers. For women of many faiths, adhering to specific standards of modesty is important regardless of season, and the lack of swimsuit options can make an especially hot day that much more of an obstacle.
Luckily, with fashion expanding to create space for all women, it's becoming easier than ever to find modest swimwear that doesn't force you to choose between your personal style and your lifestyle.
Read on for the six labels making swimwear more accessible (and affordable) in the process.
Tired of repeatedly wearing oversized tees and retired leggings to the pool, Ikram founded Lyra in 2016, and with it, a brand reflective of the countless women who shared her frustrations. Stemming from various faiths, they all echoed the same sentiment — there simply were not options for modest swimwear. The brand has since taken design influence from all over the world, marrying Hollywood's classic elegance and Morocco's beachside culture in the process. The result is a collection derived from richness, featuring minimal silhouettes that experiment with bold colors and patterns. Customers can purchase swimsuits as sets or separates, with the option to add turban-style swim caps that keep the head covered while still looking current and fresh.
Prices: $99 for swimsuits; $106 for full four-piece swimsuit options; $20 for caps
Available: LYRA Swimwear
Madamme BK Paris
Vanessa Lourenco is not new to the world of design by any means. Having studied at the School of Chambre Syndicale de la Couture Parisienne, she recognized a lack in the marketplace for modest swimwear and decided to apply her fashion education to good use. Lourenco founded Madamme BK Paris in 2012, and with it, the creation of what she refers to as haute couture coverage. Designed to balance luxury with practicality, the swimwear label refuses to compromise comfort, ensuring that each style allows women the freedom of movement. Each swimsuit includes a dress over slim fit leggings and a matching head cover, and while black dominates the collection, there is enough subtle attention to detail woven throughout and delivered in the form of bright printed accents.
Prices: $63-$115 for swimsuits; $24 for caps
Available: Madamme BK Paris
The Muslim counterpart to Net-a-Porter, Modanisa represents the endless possibilities that can occur when you merge modesty with contemporary design. At first glance, you might not even be able to differentiate its swimwear from its ready-to-wear — and that's precisely the point. Housing 300 brands and over 30,000 products, Modanisa isn't just known for its swimwear, though that's arguably the initial appeal for many women. Not only does the site allow you to shop swimwear based on coverage, but with designs ranging from standard bikinis to full-coverage burkinis, they ensure that there's something for everyone — and that includes an inclusive range of sizes.
Prices: $53-$131 for semi-coverage swimsuits; $62-$178 for full-coverage swimsuits
Mykiny Brand was founded in 2015 by Laila el Kaderi and a team of co-founders. Based in Amsterdam, the label balances current athleisure trends with an understated femininity that keeps the swimsuits timeless. Available in monochromatic colors from black to bright purple, the label errs on the side of minimalism, with vertical lines incorporated throughout their designs contributing an unexpected detail. With two cap options, including a turban and a hijab with a brim, it's easy to make their looks feel like your own.
Prices: $58-$112 for swimsuits; $16-$24 for caps
Nasira Marbella isn't just focused on creating modest swimwear, but investment pieces as well. Made in Spain, the label possesses clear influence from its surroundings, exhibiting a level of sophistication juxtaposed by playfulness. The slightly higher price point than its competitors is not without reason — the label, which boasts exclusiveness, is intent on making a gradual return to slow fashion, another tell of the label's Spanish roots. Featuring hand-stitched details and embellishments, each swimsuit is truly one-of-a-kind. Whether you opt for black or a swimsuit in one of their signature saturated colors, one thing's for sure: These swimsuits make a statement.
Prices: $175-$350 for swimsuits
Available: Nasira Marbella
Based in Montreal, Maya Square was launched in 2016 by founder Mariem Mezlini. The brand as a whole reads unapologetically feminine, featuring flowing silhouettes decorated with floral patterns. Dedicated to creating affordable options, the label's swimsuits are priced under $100 and come in hues of blue, green and maroon for those seeking a pop of color, as well as a variety of options in black. Ranging from three to four pieces, each suit comes with a top, bottom and cap — and because the label swears by versatility, most designs also include swimwear cover ups that can be thrown on for an additional layer or removed before getting in the pool.
Prices: $50-$80 for swimsuits
Available: Maya Square
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