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I Was a J.Crew-Obsessed High Schooler—Here’s the Swimsuit I’m Buying Now

I Was a J.Crew-Obsessed High Schooler—Here’s the Swimsuit I’m Buying Now Image
  • Posted on 11th Jul, 2022 20:15 PM
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This might be the most perfect material ever.

For millennials (and Gen Xers) of a certain age, there’s nothing novel about saying J.Crew’s swim assortment holds a special place in our hearts. Those were the catalog pages I studied most closely in high school, aspiring to move up from the department store suits my mom would buy for me. I still remember the first wrap-style bikini I convinced her to purchase: green, with spaghetti-thin straps and an asymmetrical white flower design. I wore it to my senior week picnic—an age-defining event steeped with importance—and felt sophisticated, sartorially destined for more than most students in my graduating class.

From there on out, every warm-weather season has necessitated a flip through J.Crew’s glossy catalog pages and a scroll on the site. Whether stocking up for undergraduate summers spent at home in Florida or shopping for a particular vacation once I entered adulthood, J.Crew has been my go-to destination for swim. I’ve flirted with outsiders, sure, but this is a love and loyalty that’s never faded.

My latest buys have been from the brand’s wide range of ruched styles, a fabric treatment so forgiving, I don’t know why anyone would wear anything else. Seriously.

I wouldn’t hesitate to call it the perfect swim situation.

Ruching, for the uninitiated, is when fabric is gathered together horizontally, providing a bit of extra stretch and a lot of flattery.

Ruched V-Neck One-Piece
J.Crew
$84.50

To be real, the folds of a ruched suit allow for fabric movement, helping to mask any areas that you don’t want tightly bound and highlighted. In a similar manner, it basically makes a simple maillot look like it was custom-cut for your torso—the same size and suit will look different depending on who’s wearing it.

Whatever your vibe and ideal swimsuit situation, I almost guarantee there’s a ruched suit you’ll like.

This season, my ruched pick was all about filling a very specific need. I’m expecting a baby at the end of the summer, and the collection of swimsuits I’ve been amassing for years is basically worthless at the moment. I need a much bigger top than normal, but beyond that, something that makes me feel comfortable and, as importantly, confident.

Ruched Sweetheart One-PIece
J.Crew
$79.99

Maternity swimsuits aren’t really my thing, but there’s no denying that my relationship with my body has changed during pregnancy (this go-around, and once before). I’m just not as into cheeky cuts or things that show off too much. The classic maillots and elegant one-shoulder styles that make up much of the current J.Crew swim collection are silhouettes I love always, while the forgiving aspect of the ruching is clutch at a time when I could look or feel differently while putting on a suit.

Plus, with J.Crew, you know what you’re gonna get.

Perhaps that’s a bad thing in certain life situations, but when shopping for a swimsuit, it’s pretty phenomenal. My high school self and my future mom-of-two self know what to expect when ordering a J.Crew suit. From the size to the cut to the lines, there are never any massive surprises or deviations from the norm—in the very best way.

Ruched bandeau one-piece
J. Crew
$118.00

In fact, when this year’s swim catalog landed on my kitchen counter, I turned the pages slowly, savoring every moment. From the suits and the styling to the healthy, flushed-cheek, athletic look and inclusive size range, I could have been looking through something I saved from the early aughts. The fact that it wasn’t, that it was the just-shot and just-mailed version from today, is perhaps the best piece of evidence that my assessment has been correct all along: You can’t go wrong with J.Crew.

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