Even though spring seems to be dragging its heels about actually arriving, I promise that it's actually coming, and after spring comes, duh, it's summer. Even with all of the reminders that the best way to get a bikini body is to put a bikini on your body, it can still be stressful for some folks to find swimwear that they like, that makes them feel like themselves, and that is going to be comfortable and actually functional if they choose to partake in some water-based activities: Enter Nettle's Tale swimwear, handmade in the more northern part of the Pacific Northwest: Vancouver, British Columbia.
Offering sizes XS to 2X, their suits don't just fit a variety of bodies; they're also styled and named after the inspirational women who inspired the designs, with each suit as unique as its namesake — meaning you're not going to find any cookie-cutter suits here. From the multi-colored, polka-dotted cutout one-piece, Misty, to the versatile and practical Kimberly top that you can actually move in, these are pretty special.
One of Nettle's Tale's newest suits is a three-piece inspired by their friend Stacey, who they say plays with cross-gender clothing. A copper bandeau, plain low-rise bottoms, and a cute cloud-print lined romper, offer a more modest and gender-neutral swimming option whilst functioning as a cover-up chic enough to wear out or just to and from the beach. Their famous Magic Bottoms have a soft, waistband-less top so they can be scrunched up or down for a higher or lower rise, and also stretch enough that the brand is billing them as a good option for a maternity suit!
Seriously, if you're looking for your dream suit and haven't been able to find it anywhere else, the chances are that this company makes something to your liking. Oh, and the suits' namesakes get to choose a charity, to which 10 percent of the profits from the sales of the suits will get donated to. Good suits for all that do good — I can get into it.
Most importantly, I can appreciate that they're not just making your average cute suits and having them modeled by "real women" to show that they're body positive. By seeking to solve actual fit problems or gaps in what's currently available, and trying to make each piece as versatile, customizable and adjustable as possible, Nettle's Tale is actually making suits that are practical and encourage people who might have had a hard time finding swimwear to get into something they love.
As a large-busted babe, their Julia top with molded cups, underwire, and an adjustable tie-back band has been nothing less than life-changing. And as a growing company, they don't claim to have the perfect suit for every single body just yet. They are, however, increasing the diversity of their line as they go along and are launching each design with care and attention to make sure that they do each one justice.
Due to the premium materials, the extensive design process, and small production nature of the pieces, the price will obviously make these suits inaccessible for some (prices range from $50-200) — even though, by bespoke clothing standards, they're very reasonable.
It's unfortunate, in some ways, that this company's existence is so groundbreaking and necessary. If a small fashion startup in Canada can figure out that people's bodies are so diverse and make allowances for that, then why can't (or won't) mass manufacturers? I want companies like Nettle's Tale to thrive and innovate, but I also want the perfect suit to be available to everyone. Until then, praise inventive, body-positive women who are filling the gaps and meeting the needs in style.
Images: Nettle's Tale