The core of Deakin & Blue’s ethos is the same as what’s underneath our swimwear – women’s amazing bodies. We don’t expect your body to fit our designs – we design our swimwear to fit your body, whatever shape and forms that it may take. It’s a subtle difference between us and other brands, but it’s important.
What’s also important is to understand our bodies beyond their aesthetic. How do we feel in our swimwear? How do we feel when we move? What makes us tick? How do we feel about our bodies now and how has our past shaped us?
The answers to these questions shape our designs and approach to business.
Answering these questions also opens up important, relatable - and sometimes uncomfortable - conversations about our relationship with our bodies, with the beauty, fashion and diet industries, about fatphobia, racism, sexism - and how swimming and being outdoors and active makes us feel.
In the outdoor swimming world, there's a problem with lack of diversity. While community groups and individuals in outdoor spaces are starting to include more and more people of colour, brands and governing bodies still don’t reflect that diversity.
Here at Deakin & Blue, we’ve always shown women of all skin colours in our photography. But it’s simply not enough.
Our Body Stories given swimming women the space to share their experiences. And, our Diversity Outdoors Body Stories give the floor to people of colour who have a relationship with the great outdoors. They talk about their experiences good and bad, the magic of being on and in the water, forming a bond with nature and finding a desire to protect it.
History, her-story, our-story…
October’s Black History month is all about raising awareness of many different, previously untold perspectives in history. Because listening to stories from all different perspectives helps improve our understanding and connection with others it also helps break down barriers.
For example, in the outdoor sector, women of colour leading hikes and guided swims have been asked if they’re lost and given advice by well-meaning passers by (one of our Body Stories will explore this further). This isn’t usually done out of malice, but by making assumptions.
It is evidence of racism (and also sexism… women of colour deal with at least two -isms at once) in the outdoor sector. And that’s because the countryside is perceived as the domain of white people. According to a 2017 survey by Natural England, only 1% of climbing and hike leaders were people of colour.
Research by Sport England identified six barriers to participation in outdoor activities for people of colour: language, awareness, safety, culture, confidence and perception of middle-class stigma. And a diversity review commissioned by the Department for Environment, Food and Rural Affairs (Defra) showed people from non-white backgrounds valued the natural environment but felt excluded and conspicuous.
What we can do
The important thing is that it’s not up to people of colour to affect change – it’s up to everyone. And that’s why hearing stories from as many different perspectives as possible will benefit us all. Story-telling isn’t just for brands, it’s an age-old human experience. Hearing relatable stories like our Body Stories creates connections, increases equality and builds stronger communities.
Over the next few weeks, we’ll hear as five wonderful humans – Kelly, Minreet, Pritpal, Abigail and Adya – tell their stories about their relationships with their bodies, with swimming and with the outdoor world.
As always, we’re very grateful to the women who take part our Body Stories for their openness and honesty. We hope you enjoy reading them as much as we enjoyed hearing them.
We've developed our unique Muse Measurement sizing system to offer a comfortable, sleek and sculpting fit, whatever your shape or size.
We know that no two “size 12” bodies are the same, so our sizing is tailored to three different body shapes:
Step One: Pick your usual UK dress size from 8-20.
Step Two: Pick your bust size based on our Muse Measurements system:
|BRA CUP SIZE||AA - B||C - E||F - HH|
So if you typically wear a UK size 14 and wear a 34A bra, you’d order a 14 Hepburn. Likewise if you’re a UK size 10 and wear a 30F bra, you’d order a 10 Hendricks.
All our pieces are designed to offer stretch. However, if you’re in between sizes we recommend sizing up.
If you are very long in the body, we also recommend going up a dress size to offer additional length.
Our Swimbras & Swim Crops are designed to fit snugly so that you feel 100% secure as you move. We have developed a precise Bikini Sizing System to help you identify your correct size.
|BIKINI TOP SIZING||Cup Size|
Band Size (inches)
|26-28||8 Hepburn||8 Monroe||8 Hendricks|
|28-30||10 Hepburn||10 Monroe||10 Hendricks|
|30-32||12 Hepburn||12 Monroe||12 Hendricks|
|34-36||14 Hepburn||14 Monroe||14 Hendricks|
|38-40||16 Hepburn||16 Monroe||16 Hendricks|
|42-44||18 Hepburn||18 Monroe||18 Hendricks|
All our knickers come in standard UK dress sizes from size 8 - 18.
We currently offer all bikinis in sizes 8-18 and all swimsuits in sizes 8-20.
We are very aware that our size range is still relatively limited. We’re a small independent brand, and have focused initially on offering a highly comprehensive and effective set of products to women who wear dress sizes 8-20.
However we are very responsive to demand. If you would like to see more sizes in different types of products please get in touch at email@example.com - we'd love to hear from you.
For example, when we first launched back in June 2017 we tested customer demand for our products in sizes 8-16. So many of you got in touch to say that you were interested in our swimwear but needed larger sizes that within six months we expanded our size range up to UK size 20. We're really listening to you.
Any questions or want to check your size in more detail? Get in touch via firstname.lastname@example.org.