I Tried to Find the Perfect Plus-Size Swimsuit With Subscription Boxes

How it works: Adore Me is mostly known for its lingerie sets, but it also offers size-inclusive swimwear. There are multiple ways to shop on the site. You can pick whatever you want, whenever, like a traditional e-commerce store. Or, you can sign up for VIP and have a “showroom” curated for you every month, with lingerie and swimsuit options based on the style quiz you take. (With that, you get $10 off every set you buy, and the sixth set is free, but if you don’t go to the showroom before the 5th of the month to select or skip, you’re charged a $39.95 fee that can be used as a credit towards a future purchase.) But wait, there’s more: VIP Elite is a free styling subscription service in which someone curates three sets (in lingerie and swim) for you; you have one week to try on or mail back, and you get VIP $10 off pricing for every set. The latter two are curated based on your style quiz and items that you favorite in a closet on the website. If you forget to mail things back, you’re charged in full after 30 days, so best to try them on as soon as you receive, since you’re only given a week with the items.

What I asked for: My “favorited” suits were mostly underwire two-pieces with high-waisted bottoms. I let my stylist know that I wanted my chest to look good, first and foremost. I liked that with Adore Me, I could select a bra size and bottom size separately, so it was more likely that I’d find that perfect fit. I ended up “favoriting” a lot more than three swimsuits, so it would still be a surprise what I ended up with. I was a little stressed by the hold on my credit card and confusion between VIP and VIP Elite and whether I’d be locked into this membership, but excited by the mix of styles the site offered.

Did I find my perfect suit? The first box I got from Adore Me was actually lingerie, by accident. They sent me two swimsuit boxes to choose from after, and out of the lot, I loved two one-pieces, even though I was pretty gung-ho about getting a two-piece. Having a long torso, one-pieces often hit me awkwardly, especially with an underwire. One plunging neckline suit with absolutely no support somehow made me look and feel great: I wasn’t pushed up and properly held in, but I felt secure enough that I could jump into a pool and not make a bigger splash than I meant to. Another had a cold shoulder made of a lacy mesh situation and more of a shelf bra than an underwire, which was more comfortable and covered my upper arms.

I found sizing up to 3X rather than 2X worked for one-pieces, but sticking to 2X was okay for bottoms on two-pieces. I loved how high-waisted the latter were, and might keep the bottoms and return the tops, which, again, even at bra sizes didn’t hold me in or support me as much as I wanted. None that I received were longline either, and I was uncomfortable with the amount of skin showing. (Maybe one day I’ll be a bikini girl, but not this summer.) I think if I used Adore Me again, I’d go for VIP and not the curated Elite boxes—I didn’t have an incredible enough experience with a stylist to want someone to work with me every month, and I definitely don’t need new lingerie or swimsuits monthly. But the idea of a showroom being curated for me to choose from at my leisure (and with an alarm set for the 5th of the month to remind me to skip if I don’t!), I could see myself picking out pieces, whether for the pool or just to feel good about myself. Because we could all use a little confidence boost once in a while.

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