I’ve been thinking about a “bathing suit for us” for two or three years now. In my mind I would design all kinds of possible variations—but I’m not a designer and my designs would just be filed away in the won’t happen file. Then I met Germaine DeNigris of Arkins, a young designer with talent, a collaborative spirit, and an open mind.
Who, I thought, would want to design for women over fifty? Who would want to design edgy, slow and ethical fashion for us?
Germaine did! I was afraid maybe I’d overwhelmed her with my “enthusiasm” and detailed accounts of what was filed away in my won’t happen file, but we settled on that quintessential example of the kind of thing women our age want re-designed for us, the bathing suit.
Germaine took the challenge on and told me it could happen.
When I went for my first fitting I became almost silly with emotion. What Germaine had created was elegant and flattering. I went away feeling elated not just by the suit but also by the opportunity to work with Germaine. “Inter-generational collaboration” is a cold-sounding term, but that’s what Germaine and I engaged in, and it was a heart-warming experience!
I feel good, really good, about the possibilities for other young designers and women our age working together.
I love the beach and being semi-clothed, but I’ve never particularly liked wearing bathing suits. Even when I was young, I found them to be uncomfortable. Bathing suits seem to dig into soft and tender parts; they scratch and ride up, or they get wet and slip down. And don’t let’s talk about sitting on the sand, or recreating that famous scene in From Here to Eternity.
This suit is extremely comfortable. Germaine has built a formfitting under-suit to the suit, made of the same soft, Jersey material as the top layer.
It doesn’t bind, it hugs and supports, gently. (It’s not like wearing wet Spanks.)
After pulling the outdoor shower chain and getting wet for the wet test (cold water, you’re welcome), I found that nothing stretched out terribly and the suit dried very quickly. In minutes, I was able to slip on the skirt you see in the second picture above, and it didn’t get wet.
I don’t need to tell you that not having to take off a wet, scratchy bathing suit that’s scrunching you in all the wrong places, just to get lunch on the boardwalk, is a big plus. If I wore white pants, I could imagine the suit under white jeans. I think the laced top is sexy without being too revealing.
Ladies, we’ve covered your arms, belly, and thighs. You no longer have to settle for an improvised “suit” made up of shorts and sports bras or tank tops!
Just two other things about this suit that I love. First, it really can be worn by women of any age, absolutely. (To see how it looks on a younger woman go to the Arkins site.) Secondly, and most importantly, the suit is of recycled Italian-made fabric, sold through an Australian manufacturer: 100% regenerated nylon and polyester from post-consumer materials.
Germaine has made you a sexy, functional, and customizable bathing suit.
Please tell us what you think…