SWIMWEAR DESIGN: The Difference Between Compression and Support
Hands up how many of you have bought a swimsuit a size (or two) too small as a method of bust control? That old if it’s so tight that they literally can’t go anywhere, then I’m probably okay to swim in it trick. Don’t be embarrassed, it’s happened to the best of us.
At its best we’d call this compression – give it a technical name and it doesn’t sound quite so bad, does it? But let’s be honest, call it what you like – squeezing, squashing, constricting, it doesn’t feel good and you’d never do it outside of the water (we hope!) so why on earth should it be okay for your swim?
Looking for Something Different
When we first set up Deakin and Blue we looked at the way boobs are supported in a range of impact and non-impact sports and non-sports apparel – yoga kit, sports bras, corsetry, lingerie and more. We looked at the technical components of things we really liked and explored ways of recreating them in swim-friendly fabrics and structures.
We knew that for most women wearing anything bigger than a C cup, a wired bra is a daily no-brainer. However, as many of you will know, good swimwear designed for proper swimming shouldn’t have wires because of the risks of rubbing and wire distortion in water over time. Instead we looked at alternative materials, such as rubber, and how they could substitute for the role that a traditional wire plays in a bra or sports top.
Keeping Up the Good Work*
At Deakin and Blue we believe that your bust needs to be lifted and supported, rather than squashed. Why?
1) It's painful. Not just on your boobs themselves which are being squished into a piece of fabric which is likely too small for them. But what's more, typically in compression-based costumes you'll also experience the seams of fabric digging in under the arms and around the upper thigh where the costume just isn't the right size for you. This is not only uncomfortable it can leave marks on the skin that can scar over time.
2) It puts undue pressure on your bust. Having your boobs pulled in very tightly to your chest places unnecessary pressure on your bust and can restrict blood flow to your chest. You know that feeling when you've been wearing a bra for too long during the day and you can't wait to get it off? (We've all been there...) That feeling is accelerated by squashing your boobs tightly into the rest of your body and actually, there's no reason for it. Your boobs are just as secure when they are lifted and held up, rather than squeezed flat.
3) Your boob tissues need support to maintain their shape. Whatever size chest you are blessed with (and as you know we cater for the Hepburns to the Hendricks' alike) your boobs have support tissues that help define the shape of your bust. Just as you'll have read countless times about the importance of a good bra fitting to make sure your ladies are supported and held in the right shape, so too should your swimwear (especially if you're swimming regularly) support your bust tissues, rather than squishing them into your ribs.
4) IT LOOKS LOADS BETTER. We've all seen it and we've all politely averted our gaze.. the boobs that have been squashed into the chest and actually, sometimes, partly around the sides in order to flatten your front. Or the boobs that are a little bit lower than you might like them to be because they are too big to simply retreat into your ribs and so they are squeezed down, too. We personally wouldn't wander about in public without a bra on and so we expect a similar level of support from our cossies. What's more not only do we know we look lots better when are boobs are where they should be, we feel about a hundred times better - and actually that really is the most important thing.
So, How does it Work?
Very simple. Our swimwear uses a series of intelligent panels, underbust elastic, rubber based binding in seams (that you wont' even realise are there) and structured fabric to provide your bust with lift and support. Our goal - that you feel firm and supported, but not restricted in the water.
A recent Outdoor Swimming Society review of our kit described our activity factor rating as "High! In the bikini top you could probably also go trampolining without incidence." Now we wouldn't recommend that just yet... (the trampolining range coming soon...) but we are confident that your bust will be exactly where it should be on route to the water, in the water, and when you get out post-swim.