Can one swimsuit really look great on all body types?
Of all types of clothing that are difficult to shop for, swimwear makes it to the top tier. And there’s nothing like swimsuit season that serve as a sometimes-frustrating reminder of that. Summer bod-ready or not, here it comes.
While there is a notion that one has to look a certain way (read: leggy and a size 2 or less) to look great in a suit, we beg to differ: all body types women come in are beautiful. This is precisely why the “one size fits all” hunt is overrated. It’s a well-meaning effort, sure, but underhandedly reinforces a need to conform to just another cookie-cutter ideal. “One style suits all” however? There’s an item worth hunting down. It now becomes a matter of figuring out what complements women in all shapes and sizes. And that perhaps is what it means to be truly summer bod-ready.
Chaley Tiu, founder and designer of homegrown swimwear brand Cesa, couldn't agree more. Having been in the swimwear game for almost six years now, she knows a thing or two about what looks not just good—but great!—on various body types. “Envisioning who will wear Cesa is such an integral part of the design process,” she says. “I create collections around themes rather than trends to make sure Cesa doesn’t just serve one type of girl.” The Palermo maillot is the piece that ended our (what seemed like forever) search for the universally flattering swimsuit.
The Palermo ruffled maillot as seen in the Cesa Resort 2018 lookbook. Photo Cesa Swimwear
“When I came up with the Palermo, I was specifically thinking about how to incorporate ruffles into the suit without making my clients uncomfortable with the volume of fabric,” shares Chaley. “The final design is something that creates shape but won’t make anyone look bulky. It’s [already a favorite of] one client of mine. And three ladies (one on the curvy side, the other with a petite frame and a young mom who wanted to de-emphasize her tummy area) that tried it on in the flagship studio loved it equally.”
As seeing is believing, Wonder invited seven ladies to check out and share their thoughts on Cesa’s Palermo maillot. Do they share the same sentiment? Scroll through to find out and see how this swimsuit looks on the petite, the tall, the well-endowed, the slender and the curvy.
“The fit of this is great; it's snug, works like second skin and doesn't cut me off in strange places. Personally, I'm not a fan of anything frilly on my swimsuits, but the neckline detail here is nice and simple enough. Wouldn't mind dancing in this or even wearing it with high-waist jeans in the city.”
“I really like the striped version of the swimsuit. It elongates the body, which is never a bad thing. [laughs]”
—Lana, hourglass body type[/one-half]
“What I really like is how the ruffles don’t overwhelm my petite frame.”
—Ahlyx, inverted triangle body type
“I think it totally complements me in terms of style and design…down to the color since navy is universally flattering. I particularly think the quality of the fabric is great, too, because it doesn't wrinkle. The suit doesn't ride up no matter how much I move around.”
—Nikki, rectangle body type[/one-half]
“When it comes to shopping for swimwear, I'm always on the lookout for something that's surf-friendly and hugs the body nicely. I really like the fit of this one.”
—Gayle, rectangle body type[/one-half-first] [one-half] [/one-half-first] [one-half]
“I love the shape the swimsuit creates and how it shows just enough skin and cleavage. The design is really cute but doesn't compromise comfort and movement.”
—Dani, hourglass body type[/one-half]
“I think the design of this suit is classy and feminine. This will still look stylish five, 10, 20 years from now, so that's a plus. I like the fit and how it hugs me in all the right places. It's very comfortable, too. There's no need suck my stomach in just to look cute. [laughs]”
—Tin, inverted triangle body type
We found that every element of the piece just works. The v-shaped neckline “breaks” the torso in such a way that it appears even more slender. It also helps elongate the neck and bares just the right amount of cleavage, while the ruffles that overlap at the front draw the eyes in. Meanwhile, the neckline's depth and width strategically balance out the bottom half of the body, creating the illusion of an hourglass figure. Lastly, the garterized waistband sits beautifully on the smallest part of the waist, smoothing out the wearer's outlines while accentuating her natural curves.
It may seem too good to be true, but (hallelujah!) a universally flattering swimsuit does exist. But do study your your body type first and ask yourself these three questions: Does the swimsuit fit like a glove? Does it create balance? Does it flatter my body proportions? If you answered yes to all as all seven ladies did when made to try the Palermo, then you have yourself a winner.
Shop the Palermo ruffled maillot (available in extra small, small, medium and large) for P2,580 at cesaph.com. Cesa also offers custom sizing for an additional fee. Prefer to fit swimwear IRL? Make arrangements to visit the Cesa flagship studio in Mother Ignacia, Quezon City via [email protected].
Photography Ara Custodio.
Art Direction Alexandra Lara.