Stylish Plus Size Dresses and Separates

Hydro Chic Active Wear Review

The past few weeks I have had the good fortune to be able to test drive two pieces from the Hydro Chic swim and sport line. They contacted me to review what they have to offer from the plus size division which fits up to 4x. They sent me the Plus Size Rash Guard Swim Shirt ($78) and the Plus Size Swim Ruched Skirt ($76)

plus size swim active wear from Hydro Chic

Hydro Chic has a unique niche providing modest swimwear and active wear. According to their website, their mix and match pieces provide sun protection in the water but the same pieces can also be used as active wear out of the water. The comfortable high quality swim material is light weight, quick drying and has a UPF rating of 50+ (colors, stretching, age, washing can reduce this number). All of their pieces are designed for in and out of the water. Hydro Chic ships throughout the US and internationally at an additional cost.

My Hydro Chic swim/active wear came individually wrapped in plastic with the Hydro Chic logo. Each piece was tagged with garment instructions (very small print) to prolong the life of the fabric. As expected, like swimwear there are instructions to hand wash, not leave in plastic bags wet, dry flat, no bleach, avoid contact with lotions etc.

plus size modest swimwear active wear from Hyrdo Chic

Both pieces have cute details; like the stitching and mini arm pocket on the top:

plus size active wear swim top from Hydro Chic

And the adjustable ruching on the skirt:

plus size swim skirt from Hydro Chic

At the time of this review I have worn the top three times and the pants twice. The first time I wore the top was for a walk on the waterfront. It is still winter here so I had to put on a winter coat, scarf etc over top. It was surprisingly warm in the cool weather which was great. Near the end of the walk I felt a bit chilly and damp. The other times I wore both pieces while working out at home (treadmill, heavy bag, step). I found both pieces to be reasonably comfortable for my workouts but I have divided further thoughts into pros and cons for each item.

Pros for Top

The top is comfortable to wear. The v-neck does not restrict or bind. I love the 3/4 length sleeves, the mixture of bright colors with neutral navy, and how soft the fabric is. It is light weight, does not bunch, and appears to be well made — it is well stitched inside and out with no picking or raised areas.

garment stitching on Hydro Chic top

Hydro Chic tops come with a padded sport bra that you can wear underneath for water sports or wear your own sport bra. I wore the bra once on my walk and will probably just save it for water activities because I do not like the added warmth (the padding makes sense for water activities).

plus size swim bra from Hydro Chic

Cons for Top

I would have loved to have had at least four more inches in length on the top. It kept riding up and I constantly felt like I had to pull it down because my abdomen was exposed. I will add however that I am almost 5’9″ so this may not be an issue for a shorter woman.

plus size swim top from Hydro Chic

When the pads get wet in the bra they are noticeably wet — definitely could not not go from one event to another without changing the bra.

As someone who is incredibly fair even in the summer I appreciate the added sun protection for outdoor activities although I found the literature that this is decreased 50% depending on color of fabric and how much it is stretched over skin a bit confusing.

Pros for Skirt

The skirt with attached capri pants is easy to slip into and comfortable to move in. The built in capri pants provide extra comfort, modesty and support. These light weight bottoms are incredibly cute and I love the side string ruching.

plus size ruched swim skirt from Hydro Chic

The skirt is well stitched with no frays or picking parts or lumps. There is a little key/coin pocket on the inside.

coin pocket on swim skirt

Cons for Skirt

The waist band is pretty miniscule and is not really strong enough to keep the pants firmly in place. They are not falling off by any means but there is not enough tension to keep them at the waist while doing regular activities which gives me some concern for water sports like aqua fit where there is the upward and downward motions of the water pulling at the material. I would like to see a thicker band.

waist band of swim skirt

There is no added reinforcement at the thighs to combat thigh rub, especially in the larger sizes, both for heat production and fabric wear. While I think they would be awesome for water sports. I think at this price they would wear out too quickly in the thighs during land activities.

crotch of swim pants from Hydro Chic

The price is a mild con. For these two pieces it would cost $150 which in my opinion is a bit steep for one active / swim outfit.

The biggest con for both pieces is that they are hand wash. For an active life style having to hand wash anything these days, especially active wear is annoying. While this is fine for a tiny one piece bathing suit that may be worn occasionally it is a bit cumbersome for plus size active wear. I washed both pieces by hand and it took longer than I thought it would to handle, rinse and squeeze out excess water. The suits were completely dried within eight hours which would make them ready for the next day if need be but it is still cumbersome and for the price I would want something more conducive. Now I understand many of you will probably have no problem with hand washing but I mention it for those who like me dread it.

Overall Impression

Hydro Chic offers a comfortable and functional option for plus size women who want to be active in and out of the water. Instead of buying a swimsuit and wearing a t-shirt over top of it these do seem like the next logical choice for looking fashionable and functional in the sun while providing protection and modesty. I am glad I had the opportunity to give them a try.

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* Get your modest swim and sport wear from Hydro Chic

Resort Swimwear

Heading to the resort? On a cruise? Monif C has released their plus size swimwear for this season and it is ideal for the resort or pretty much any pool side gorgeousness.

First, the good news is the fringe bathing suit is back. It is available in Teal, Fuchsia, or Black for $165 (sizes 14 to 24):

plus size fringe swimsuit from Monif C

The other good news is she has more styles to choose from. Like the High Waisted Bikini in black or leopard print. Or you can get a full body print with mesh. The bikinis are $148 and the one piece is $158 (sizes 14 to 24):

plus size bikini from Monif C

Also making a return is the Ruffle one piece in navy or red for $148 (sizes 14 to 24):

plus size off the shoulder swimsuit with ruffle from Monif C

New this year and I am guessing they are going to be favorites are the Ruched swimdress in red or black for $188 and the Crisscross swimsuit in navy or electric purple for $148 (sizes 14 to 24):

plus size resort swimsuits from Monif C

And do not forget to pack one of the new colors of the convertible maxi dress!

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* Get your plus size swimwear from Monif C

Solid Plus Size Swimsuits

Recently the Always For Me Chic Isabella plus size tankini was featured in the May issue of Seventeen magazine as a flattering swimsuit for plus size figures. Its key feature was the all over ruching which Always For Me has on a number of their swimsuits. But I do not like just because it is flattering, it is also damn pretty to look at. The top has the bandeau twist with sweet heart neckline which is another popular feature that Always for Me has used for a couple of years and gives their suits a sophisticated retro look. This swim top has a removable strap. There are seven colors to choose from: brown, black, rose, turquoise, lilac, red, and plum for $89.

plus size tankini from Always for Me

If you are not into two pieces Always for Me has many more one-pieces with a similar style that range from $69 to $89:

colorful one piece swimwear from Always for Me

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Topic Links
* Get your plus size ruched swimsuit from Always For Me

Lane Bryant Week – Swimwear

I really do not mention Lane Bryant as often as I should when it comes to swimwear. Especially at this time of year when they offer such a lovely selection. They have lots of mix and match two pieces which is excellent if you are a different size on top and on the bottom. But overall it does seem a bit over priced. Tops are about $55 to $90 and bottoms are $50 to $70. Good thing they have a 40% off sale this week.

plus size swimsuits from Lane Bryant

  1. 1. I love giraffe prints and the one on this Miraclesuit® Oceanus Swimsuit is fabulous. With the a word like miracle comes a hefty price — $146.
  2. Black and white prints not only look great on dresses but on swimsuits too. The Ruched Plunge Swim Tank ($60) is sized by bra sizes, 42B to 44DD.
  3. You cannot  look at swimsuits without considering the traditional polka dots. I love the minute dots of the Miraclesuit® Polka Dot Oceanus Swimsuit ($146).
  4. The Retro Shirred Swimsuit ($120) is probably my favorite. It comes in five other colors/patterns besides the red shown here. It is described as a one piece but looks like a two piece.
  5. The Bow Front Plunge Swim Tank ($55) is a pretty color. The bow and ruching are a nice accent for water.

I guess I couldn’t mention swimwear without at least mentioning cover-ups. And Lane Bryant has a lovely (I do realized that this word has become my descriptive term for this month) selection. My favorites range in price from $40 to $60.

plus size swimsuit cover-ups from Lane Bryant

Prices listed with each item above do not take into account the 40% off promotion (coupon code is on their website) that Lane Bryant has on this week.

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* Visit Lane Bryant for plus size clothing
* Other favorites from Lane Bryant this week

Plus Size Ruched Swimsuit

Ruched fabric (the mini pleats at the waist) are a wonderful design feature on plus size swimwear as well as other clothing. Ruching offers texture, extra fabric for movement as well as camouflage.

plus size ruched swimsuit

Regular and plus size clothing provider Old Navy has this Women’s Plus Side-Ruched Swimsuit on sale for $29.99 in bright coral, $23.99 in chocolate or $19.99 in black. I guess you can guess which color is the most popular! Their plus size swimsuit sizes range from 1x to 4x.

So dig out your cover-up, flip flops and sunscreen because it’s time to dip your toes.

Swimsuit Sale at Always for Me

Tis the season for summer swimsuits sales. Always for Me has 20% to 50% off their plus size swimsuits. There are over 40 swimsuits to choose from. Like:

The Catarina Halter Tankini in teal or berry. It comes in sizes 16 to 26 for $59 (regular $79).

plus size one piece pattern swimsuit

The Always For Me Chic Hera Two Piece Tankini in black or red. It comes in sizes 16 to 26 for $39 (regular $79).

plus size swimsuit from Always for Me

The Two Piece Goddess Skirtini in red, chocolate or black. It comes in sizes 16 to 26 for $59 (regular $89).

plus size red ruched swimsuit

Don’t forget your sunscreen!

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Topic Links
* Get your own plus size swimwear from Always for Me

Swimwear Interlude

A friend of mine sent her kids back to school which is a huge signal that swim season is almost over. Well, in some parts of the continent. One of my favorite shops for swimwear this year has been Always for Me. They’ve grown so much since they first opened up shop three years ago. They even have their own line. I could not just pick one so here are three:

Manzanillo Two Piece Skirtini – comes in sizes 14 to 26 for $59.25

plus size zebra swimsuit

Two Piece Goddess Skirtini – comes in sizes 14 to 26 for $89

sexy ruched swimsuit from Always for Me

Santa Cruz Two Piece Jogger – comes in sizes 14 to 26 for $89

plus size summer print swimsuit from Always for Me
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* Get your plus size swimwear from Always for Me

Hot Swimwear for Cool Days

Or is that the other way around (Cool Swimwear for Hot Days). Either way, here are a few hot suits from Swimsuits for All:

plus size print swimsuits for women

  • Shore Shapes’s Beach Babe Floral One Piece Plus Size Ruched Bandeau Swimdress Swimsuit (Regular $70 on for $49) in sizes 18 to 26.
  • Liz Claiborne’s Beadwork Two Piece Plus Size Halter Tankini Swimsuit ($116) in sizes 18 to 24.
  • Beach Goddess One Piece Plus Size Halter Bandeau Swimdress Swimsuit ($48.99) in sizes 16 to 24.
  • Liz Claiborne’s Op Art Floral Two Piece Plus Size Halter Tankini Swimsuit ($112) in sizes 16 to 24.

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Topic Links
* Get your plus size swimwear from Swimsuits for All