When it comes to swimsuits, most of us gravitate towards cheap, trendy pieces we can wear once or twice throughout the summer before they snap, fade, or just fall apart. Spending money on a bathing suit might seem like a waste because of how short summer actually is (especially in Canada), but if you think about how much you wear bathing suits during those two glorious months – and how much time and money you waste on crappy suits — you’ll realize it might actually be worth it to invest in a high-quality bather.
Shannon Savage and Laura Low Ah Kee started their swimsuit brand, Left on Friday, after suffering through their own bad swimsuit experiences. I’m talking beach-day wardrobe malfunctions, ill-fitting suits, and disappointing wear and tear. They design the swimwear in Vancouver and manufacture the pieces in California with fabric from Italy. The two women know the meaning of high-quality, having met at Lululemon where they both worked for over 10 years. Several years ago, Savage and Low Ah Kee were catching up after some time apart and the conversation naturally gravitated towards swimsuits and “how they continually let us down,” Low Ah Kee said.
Left on Friday founders, Shannon and Laura
One of the main issues they found was that they always had to change their suits depending on their activities. They had to have one bathing suit for sports and another for lounging. “We could never be active and look chic,” said Low Ah Kee. Fast-forward to 2017: Savage and Low Ah Kee were no longer working at Lululemon and still saw a gap in the market for a suit that could truly do it all. Left on Friday embodies the spirit of the weekend and spontaneity. Imagine your friends call you up desperate for adventure. You grab your trusty swimsuit (just one, because that’s all you need) and you’re off.
Left on Friday makes beautiful, functional, practical bathing suits that will last you far longer than a whole drawer of those $10 fast fashion sets you’ll find online. If you do nothing else ~adulty~ this summer, at least invest in just ONE high-quality, well-made bathing suit that will make it through more than one rinse cycle in the washing machine.
Keep reading for the top 7 reasons why spending some extra cash on one bathing suit this summer is better than buying a dozen cheap ones.
You’ll Have a Better Shopping Experience
The biggest downside to online shopping is the online vs. IRL comparison. It sucks to see a super cute bathing suit on the model online only to have it come and look nothing like you imagined. Cheaper sites tend to be a bit confusing and inconsistent with their sizing so it’s hard to find the right fit. Although Left on Friday is an online site (which isn’t ideal for bathing suits) their detailed sizing chart and images make bathing suit shopping a positive experience, which was important to them when starting the company.
Before they designed the brand, Low Ah Kee and Savage laid out all the problems with other swimwear. Fading, scratchy elastics, sagging, and threads falling out were all top contenders. They did the same with the site. They wanted to help women find the right size and style to make them feel sexy, confident, and comfortable in their suits. Most low-cost trendy bathing suits you see online today are quite cheeky, which isn’t everyone’s vibe. Left on Friday has a guide for just how much your bum will show in each suit because every body is different and sometimes the images online don’t tell the whole story.
No More Wardrobe Mishaps
Let’s be honest, the cheaper the bathing suit is the less you can trust it to keep you covered. Low Ah Kee said she encountered this unfortunate issue when backpacking through France. While her friend was rubbing sunscreen on her back, the plastic clasp on her cheap bathing suit snapped and her top went flying. As a woman with a larger bust, she didn’t want to have to wear a sports bra just to feel safe lying on the beach. But she couldn’t find anything cute and practical. Another common issue is the see-through suit. When you cut costs, you often end up with bathing suits that go completely transparent when they’re wet, and you won’t know until it’s too late. That extra money you spend on your bathing suit is going towards the fabric and the hardware so these malfunctions don’t occur.
It Lasts Longer
A cheap suit might seem like it’s saving your bank account, but in the long run you’re not doing yourself any favours. You’d be lucky if your cheap online swimsuit lasts you through the summer, let alone until next year. Investing in a well-made bathing suit means purchasing something that will stay in your closet for two or three years. Low Ah Kee and Savage said you still have to care for your suit, but Left on Friday products are made to go through the washing machine and dryer. They’re not delicate by any means. If you put a tiny bit of extra effort into caring for your swimsuit, like washing out the chemicals if you swim in a pool, you should be able to get a few years out of it.
In the fast-paced world of fast fashion, it’s hard to find classic pieces. The point of these cheap online stores is to get the trendiest pieces in your closet and then when they inevitably break, it’s no biggie because they’re probably out of style anyway. But bathing suits shouldn’t go out of style. All of Left on Friday’s designs are classic, flattering, and timeless. So, you’ll actually want them to last for the next few summers. When they were designing, Savage said they wanted to “do it in such a beautiful way that when it does come to that question of a price point — what you can invest in a suit — it’s almost negligible.” You know you’ll want to wear these suits again and again, so it only makes sense to invest.
You Deserve To Feel Good
Savage said when you think about those things in your closet that you wear all the time and actually invested some money into, they all have something in common: “it’s that thing that you can wear with anything and makes you feel amazing.” Going back to their days at Lululemon, Savage said to think of those black Lululemon pants that everyone had. They hug your body and you can count on them for the way they make you feel. That didn’t exist in swimwear, and it certainly doesn’t exist on those low-quality, bathing suit sites. “If you’re going to invest in something, you should invest in something that makes you look and feel incredible,” Savage said. Low Ah Kee also said we’re the most exposed in bathing suits, and it’s important to feel your best self. “People are most attractive when they’re confident,” she said. Truer words were never spoken.
It’ll Be More Than Just a Swimsuit
Living in California, Low Ah Kee wears her Left on Friday bathing suit top as a bra at least once a week, and in the summer, she also wear it as a swimsuit twice a week. “And it’s going strong,” she added. Athletes and beach goers alike rely on Left of Friday swimsuits for everything from surfing to tanning. And then you can keep wearing it when you go out for dinner later that night. That’s something you’d never get with a $10 swimsuit.
Every time you buy any cheap clothing item you contribute to fast fashion and the excessive amount of waste produced by the fashion industry. Savage said this was something she thought about when starting the brand. She said when people spend their money on these suits that aren’t made to last, they ultimately end up in the garbage. “To be able to make something that is intentionally very durable and long lasting, that is our stance on quality and sustainability,” she said. “Make a product that feels incredible, lasts forever, and you can cherish it.”
(Story by Contributing Editor, Jordana Colomby)