Simply Beach are the ultimate one-stop-shop for designer beachwear and all accessories. The website was launched in the summer of 2006 after the success of their original sister site which opened in 1995.
The whole team at Simply Beach are passionate about bringing you a wide, eclectic selection of the very best designer beachwear and accessories – making looking good on the beach that little bit easier. Some of the brands include Seafolly, Melissa Odabash and Jets but keep checking back as they are always introducing new designers to their already vast range.
The website is clean and crisp with a light summer feel and instantly shows you some of their newest additions as well as a scrolling banner of all the brands they sell. Navigation is simple and quick with everything easily found; and if you are looking for a specific brand just click on the “Brands” tab to take a gander.
As I head to the ladies swimwear section the page loads quickly with full navigation on the left hand side so I can easily sort through what I do and do not want. I can easily pick what size, colour, price range and style I am looking for to save me hours of trawling through pages – although when visiting Simply Beach it is hard not to just sit and look through each page at the stylish and sexy beach attire.
I click away and choose the price range I am looking for – be aware the page will refresh after each change as it sieves out what you are not looking for. As I have changed my price range I now see that I can no longer choose a size or cup size, which I have to admit is rather annoying as I now have to go through each item I see to find out if it can be purchased in my size. A lot of the items I like are either out of stock or I find, the two piece sets do not have the right mix of sizes – I am a size 16 and a C cup; I can find lots of size 16′s however few in a C cup, plenty in a B cup though. Looking through the various images for each item, some of them are not easy to see all the details of as the model’s hair is in the way (e.g. trying to see if a bikini top is tied or hook and eye).
I give up on price range and decide to just shop by size instead – the items only go up to a size 16 with most items only going up to a size 14, so this may be a little hit and miss for me as I like to be comfortable and tend to choose a 16 to 18. When the page refreshes I see there is only one item at a size 16 and it is way above my price range which leaves me more than disappointed, I am feeling even worse as I look at the size guide and see that a size 16 is classed as an XXL – all normal shops class a 16 as average and “Large”, the size guide also features a size 18 (XXXL) and I am still trying to find something in the ladies swimwear that is a size 18 – I am feeling more than just a little self conscious as the models before me have flat stomachs and very little body fat, along with their perfect tans I feel they are far superior to me in the body department.
What am I looking for? Something for a photo shoot – your intrepid writer is a freelance model and I am always looking for new things to wear, being as summer is upon us (apparently) I am thinking a beach or water-side photo shoot would be perfect. I need something flattering and sexy but a little bit edgy. I am a size 16 and will openly admit to having love handles and a belly.
Most, if not all, the items that are scrolling on my screen are designed to sit low on the hips and high on the leg. You can now instantly see my problem – especially as I have never liked full swimsuits.
After a full hour or refining my search, refreshing, scrolling and clicking I am dismayed. There is plenty of gorgeous swim items on the website however none that I can comfortably fit in to – just as I am about to give up completely I find the “Plus Size Swimwear” tab and click it. I hold my breath only to find that it is mostly one piece swimsuits that are completely out of my price range (I refuse, point blank, to spend excess amounts of money on something I will probably only wear a handful of times) or are simply ugly – patterns are OK but for a fuller figure some of them are unflattering while other swimsuits are simply a plain colour. Plus size does not need to be frumpy or boring; we like to show off some skin too and yes we do like to wear bikinis!
Scrolling through the pages I am also wondering how some of these models are classed as plus size when they barely have any curves….
I leave the site feeling dismayed, disappointed and more than just a little annoyed that there are companies out there who think that A) a size 16 is an XXL (yes that has me gobsmacked) and B) that plus size instantly means a one-piece is the only item suitable. I found two bikini’s (not tankini’s, I am not comfortable in them) but it was for much larger breasted women than I (cup size started at a 32D and went up to a 38K) – and the tankini two pieces, even if I was comfortable in them, are simply out of my price range.
Website ease of use:10/10 I cannot fault it at all. They may have a wide selection of swimwear items however they are not in a wide enough range of sizes.