6 Things I learned about swimwear from designing my own swim line
If you guys have been following along on Instagram, you know that, after wearing bikinis and one-pieces 365 days a year, I decided to start my own Jetset Christina swimwear brand, Watercolors! It was one of the most exciting and challenging things I’ve ever decided to do (you can read more about how it all happened here), and I loved bringing you all along for the crazy ride from the conceptualization of the suits to where we are now! I wanted to share a little more insight into the process and give you all a peek into what designing a line was really like!
6 things I learned about swimwear from designing my own swim line
A perfect swimsuit is all about the fit
Okay so maybe I knew this going into deciding to make one-pieces, but when you’re trying on sample after sample at the factory, you realize just how much goes into making a one-piece swimsuit fit perfectly – and it’s not easy to get the exact fit you’re looking for. When we would tweak one thing about the suit, it would completely change the fit, and there were a LOT of tweaks that went into making this design perfect for each of our suits. Going into it, I knew the most important thing was that I wanted something that would feel super comfortable all day – whether you were at a pool party, on a boat, swimming around in the water, or playing beach volleyball. I wanted it to be FUNCTIONAL, but also look in-freaking-credible on the beach. I also wanted it to be, in the wise words of Ryan Gosling in Crazy Stupid Love, “the perfect combination of sexy and cute.”
The best swimwear fabrics are made in Colombia
Okay maybe I’m a bit biased here, since the factory and fabrics I work with for Watercolors is in Colombia, but seriously guys I felt about 10000 fabrics before choosing one for the line, and fell in love with every single Colombian one I found. You can feel the difference and you’d be surprised how many of the biggest names in swimwear get their fabrics from Colombia. Plus – If you’re going to create a swimwear line, you’re going to need to be on the ground there for months at a time making everything perfect – and I figured what better place to live and work than Colombia?
Colors are the hardest part of making swimwear
Once you have a design, it should be easy to get it on a suit, right? Wrong. Even when I had a design finalized on the computer, it was a completely different and treacherous process to get that design onto the swim fabric. Every color looks different once you put it on fabric, and the second you think you want some “coral” in your design, you realize you have to pick from about 100 corals. It’s a headache and a half, especially for a perfectionist like me.
Naming the swimsuits is the most fun part
I had so much fun naming each of the suits in our Jetset collection. I decided that they were all going to be named after beautiful destinations around the world (naturally), so that you all could wear them in beautiful destinations around the world! I loved matching each suit’s “personality” to a bunch of beautiful places around the world. From The Hamptons to the Rio, these suits will have you wanting to book a flight somewhere exotic, stat.
We’ve all been reading size charts all wrong.
Or at least I have!!! Did you know that you’re supposed to read ALL your measurements and take the largest one on the chart for your size? For example – on our size chart here, we have three measurements – waist, bust, and torsto. My waist is technically an XS, my bust a Small, but my torso a Medium – so I wear a Medium. I feel like my whole life I’ve just gone off of ONE of those measurements, which is probably why I always end up ordering the wrong size!
QUALITY COSTS $$$$
In other words, good swimwear isn’t cheap. And I don’t know about you guys, but I don’t want my swimwear to be cheap. Good fabric costs money, it’s as simple as that. And, when you’re buying a swimsuit that’s made by hand from an incredible upscale all-women-run factory in Colombia, it’s not going to be the same price as the suits you find at Target or Amazon that are made in sweatshops in China.
I was pretty shocked by how much it costs to make swimwear, but I chose quality over cost-cutting every step of the way with our swimsuits. Kenny laughed when I (of course) fell in love with the most expensive fabric – not knowing any of the prices. But quality was so important to me with these swimsuits because I want them to last you a long time – and many, many vacays!!
I loved that the fabric we chose is salt and chlorine resistant – so it lasts way longer than your average swimwear.
While most of us are pretty accustomed to paying over $100 for a swimsuit these days, if our pricing scares you – just remember that quality in the clothes we wear may cost more, but you feel better wearing them. I also personally love knowing the stories behind the work that went into the clothes and brands I choose to buy, so I’m not just buying from some anonymous company, but rather investing in a brand that I love. You guys can rest assured that if you buy a one-piece from Watercolors you’re not only supporting me and Kenny Flowers, you’re supporting a slew of wonderful women who have worked incredibly hard to make this line perfect for you.