Swim by Skims: Just Another Money Grab?

Summer is right around the corner. In what is shaping up to be one of the first ”normal” summers since before Covid began, everyone is eager to get outside. Skims, shapewear brand founded by Kim Kardashian, has chosen this summer to launch a swimwear collection. Launched in 2019, Skims has thus far only focused on shapewear and loungewear. The former being hailed for being both size and skin tone inclusive. Most of Skims’ products are available in sizes XXS-4X. They also carry a nude for almost everyone with 8 different colorways. In true Kardashian fashion, most of the pieces sold out quickly. They have made a business model out of limited quantities and selling out fast to create buzz. Most items were unavailable mere minutes into the launch. I was not able to get my hands on any of the pieces. However, I still had a lot of first impressions. 

Pros

Quality

Skims is known for impeccable quality on all of their other products. Swimwear is no different. They use a high performance recycled nylon/spandex blend fabric for the collection. This allows the fabric to be comfortable, but also gives the same body shaping support that has made Skims famous. They also did not shy away from using appropriate trims and accessories to make the swimwear adjustable. A rookie mistake a lot of swimwear collections make is not making straps and fastenings adjustable to accommodate different sizes. This means that while the customer may have ordered the correct size, they still can’t fit the piece. Also, as swimwear ages, the stretch loses its recovery. As a result, it gets looser after time. Adjustability allows for the wearer to offset some of the recovery loss. It’s a key element for swimwear to make sure that the consumer is getting their money’s worth.  

Sizing

Like the other Skims products, everything comes in a size run of XXS to 4X. What is particularly commendable is how everything is identical. Typically a brand that sells that large of a size run has a straight size and plus size version of the same garment. The issue is that the straight size version is sexy and cutting edge while the plus size version is matronly and ugly. Plus size shoppers do not want the “plus size version” of the cute clothing. Skims listened to plus size customers and gave them the exact same style as the straight sizes. The size run is also pretty significant as a lot of shapewear and swimwear brands have not expanded their size ranges. In a stark contrast, Kim’s sister Kylie released a swimwear line whose size range was a disappointing XS-XL. Skims definitely won this round and scored an A+ in range.   

Cons

Price

The swimwear collection ranges from $32 to $108 per piece. The pricing is appropriate for the quality. Each piece is priced separately to allow the wearer to mix and match both the sizes and the styles. However, people typically do not spend $100 on swimwear anymore. Fast fashion brands like Shein and Fashion Nova have built empires on creating knockoff versions of more expensive garments. As a result, consumers spend less on investment pieces that will last longer. Instead, they get a $30 bikini that will last for the season and simply toss it once summer ends. Given the current economy, it may not be feasible to spend $100 on a bathing suit. Especially if you don’t plan to wear it regularly. Quality swimwear is seen as a luxury to a lot of people now. Hopefully, Skims and specifically Kim Kardashian can keep generating enough buzz to keep people shopping. 

Styles

The styles, in true Skims fashion, are basics. Each piece can be mixed and matched with each other, creating a custom swimwear experience for all consumers. Colors vary from their signature skin tone hues with the addition of periwinkle and cobalt blue. All of the colors favor each other. Women of all skin tones will be able to find their shade of nude. I went back and forth about whether or not the styles and colorways were helpful or hurtful to the launch. I landed on it being a bit dismal. The best part about swimwear is how fun and colorful everything typically is. Skims created the trend where everything is plain. They let the silhouette be the star. While that’s ideal for shapewear, it doesn’t quite land as swim. As a result, it reads as boring. Even adding one matte print, or textured piece could have made the difference.   

Overall, anyone looking to invest in swimwear basics should absolutely purchase Skims swimwear when it restocks. Unless you are an influencer or a Kim Kardashian fan, it is not necessary to purchase to only wear once. These bathing suits appear to be constructed well enough to last a while. The pieces are wearable both inside and out of the pool. Since the styles and colors are so basic, they transition well from day to night. No matter how they are worn, they are guaranteed to have the wearer photo ready. Hopefully, Skims will add some additional colors and styles as the brand continues to expand. 

 

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