By Nikki H. Huang
We feel it, and we see it, readers, both in real life and online: Summer has come to the Philippines. As we all know, an essential aspect to summer fashion is swimwear.
As a self-proclaimed water baby, avid boater (is that the word?), and dedicated beach lover, I have had my fair share of experience with swimwear brands of both local and international origin. After attending one to many middle school swim parties where Triangl was all to be seen back in the day, I dedicated myself to finding bikinis and one pieces that were chic, unique, beautifully, and ethically made. I wanted swim that could take me from the deck of a yacht to the depths of the ocean, pieces fit for piña colada afternoons, suits sturdy enough for dives. I wanted everything from tiny tanning bikinis, to sexy black numbers I could also wear to the club come rainy season, to modest suits I’d feel comfortable in after indulging at a sandbar dinner the night before.
And so, I’ve taken it upon myself to share with you a list and short description of my absolute favorite brands. Check them out this summer, and consider spicing up your aquatic wardrobe. After all, is a good bikini not essential to every true Filipina?
At the opposite end of the spectrum from Minimale Animale, Float Swim is a locally owned and made brand of affordable, classy, cute swimwear. Once I stumbled upon a rack of Float Swim at Adora PH, I knew I had struck gold. The plain color palette of this brand ensures you’ll be able to mix and match everything you buy. Additionally, Float’s cuts err on the conservative side—perfect for anytime you want to be more covered up.
Another local brand, this one recently launched, Catalan’s first collection includes the chicest one piece: The Carrington suit. Featuring a deep v, short sleeves, and slight collar, this unique number works as both swimwear and outerwear.
I discovered VIXSWIM while living in El Nido, Palawan in the beginning of my gap year. Upon realizing I hadn’t packed nearly enough swimwear for two months of island life, I ventured over to Salt and Sun, a boutique at Lio Tourism Estate. There, I treated myself to the cutest Vix Swimwear bikinis, whose luxurious material, stylish prints, and sensual cuts make you feel straight out of a five-star resort… even when in the middle of typhoon season, hiding from the elements in a muddy cave (trust me, I would know).
Ever wanted swimwear that feels like shapewear? Gooseberry Seaside’s bestselling SoChic are true to their name. Coming in an array of colors, from metallics to pastels, this low neck, spaghetti strap, high leg one piece is compressive. It hugs in all the right ways: Watch it magically shrink your waist, lift your cleavage, glide over your hips, and elongate your legs.
After attending one to many middle school swim parties where Triangl was all to be seen back in the day, I dedicated myself to finding bikinis and one pieces that were chic, unique, beautifully, and ethically made.
Thankfully sold locally at Rustan’s department stores, Seafolly is a brand I turn to time and time again for fun, sporty, durable suits. The prices are undeniably high, but the quality of the pieces is likewise the best I have seen. Seafolly is likewise perfect for those preferring more modest cuts, daring colors, patterns, and prints.
Arguably the best and coolest swimwear brand I’ve discovered so far, Myraswim has been taking Hollywood and instagram by storm. This minimalist, chic, Australian brand has something for everyone. I find myself wearing my Myra suits over and over again. Visit the online store for everything, from high waisted, full coverage bottoms to low cut thongs, tiny triangle tops, to padded, underwired bras. Myraswim has likewise nailed sexy, flattering one pieces that double as fashionable bodysuits. Another plus? The wide color range of this brand ensures that you can mix and match to your heart’s desire.
I hesitate sharing the ONIAxWEWOREWHAT collection because of how special a brand I believe it to be. Onia swimwear has collaborated with my personal favorite blogger, Danielle Bernstein (@weworewhat) on an incredibly chic line of swim. Her patterned, printed, figure flattering pieces are the swimwear of a fashion lover’s dreams. My sister Bellee and I are eagerly anticipating her Italy collection launch, and are already arguing about who gets what! Her belted one pieces and bottoms are a favorite of mine.
Minimale Animale’s style is exactly as the brand name suggests… extremely minimale. These suits are the smallest, sexiest, and skimpiest ones I have found available, with fantastic quality to boot. Minimale Animale’s string bikinis and monokinis are perfect for girls (and boys) with a penchant for showing skin, lots of it. Perhaps not best suited for a family vacation, a Minimale Animale suit will keep you toeing the line between simply ‘daring’ and might-as-well-be-naked in the best way.
There you have it, readers. I hope you enjoyed this quick list of swimwear brands I have tried, tested, and loved. Despite our country’s strong beach culture, I have found that many great brands have not infiltrated our resort and swimwear scene. And so I encourage you to try pieces from the list above! Stand out wherever your vacation plans take you this summer. Whatever your wants and needs may be, I am certain you will find the swimsuit that suits you best. Given that most of what I listed involves shipping internationally, I encourage you to start ordering away! Though your wait will be longer, don’t let overseas shipping deter you (provided you have the budget). I promise: You won’t regret it!