Sunday, March 22, 2015

SwimSpot: Stylish, Comfortable Swimwear

I suspect I'm not alone when I say I don't enjoy swimsuit shopping in department stores. I'm usually shopping for a new bathing suit at this time of year, when my body, particularly my skin, has yet to recover from the cold, moisture-zapping winter months. Needless to say, the fluorescent lights in the store fitting rooms aren't friendly to chalky, wrinkly skin. As a result, I'm a huge fan of buying swimwear online. I love trying on swimwear at my leisure under the softer, more forgiving lights at home. So when the folks at SwimSpot recently contacted me to see if I'd like to review a swimpiece from their online site, I jumped at the offer.

SwimSpot features a wide range of swimwear, including tankinis, one-piece suits, swimdresses and cover ups.Tankinis have become my go-to swimwear since turning 50. The style is flattering and comfortable. Swimspot, which ships internationally, offers a large collection of stylish tankinis made by brands specializing in high-quality and moderately-priced swimwear, including Nautica, Athena and Splendid. Unlike some swimsuit sites that offer a few styles in different colors and prints, SwimSpot has lots of design variety. So many choices!

For my review, I picked the Festival Stripe Slimming Halterkini Top ($68). Flattering50 readers often ask me to show women over 50 in swuimsuits, so I bit the bullet and took the snapshot above. Gulp! I was drawn to the top's black-and-bright blue color scheme (a favorite combo), and the word "Slimming." The halterkini top's slimming effect comes from its Slim-Power lining. (In general, lining, which hides those little lumps and bumps, is this over 50 woman's friend.) I also appreciate the fabric's ever-so-slight gathering in the side seams along the torso. The tiny bit of ruching plays down the tummy area. And last, but not least, the top is made in the USA. Go USA manufacturers!

My new swim top arrived within a week of ordering and I'm completely satisfied. It is well-made and very comfortable. I love the halter style (it suits my narrow shoulders) and the natural wood rings.

In this day and age, I lose patience pretty quickly with shopping sites that are slow to respond to my clicking on the different categories and products. The SwimSpot site operates smoothly; it's a breeze to navigate. I also love the site's product videos. Despite the fact I do not and never have looked like a swimsuit model, seeing how a garment behaves in action helps my decision-making process. SwimSpot also has a section that makes swimwear suggestions according to body shape, which I always find helpful.

A site's Customer Service is super important to me. While a product's description, video and size information are all helpful, they usually don't answer all my questions. For example, most of the swimwear on SwimSpot come in sizes 4-16. However, when I consulted the site's Size Chart, I found my measurements actually fell between two sizes. I contacted the site's Customer Care center to ask which sizes I should go with. The Customer Care rep I spoke with was very helpful and friendly. She also helped me determine which of the tankini styles was the most supporter.

Here's a Moon Glow Slimming Tankini Top ($74) I thought was great with its trendy sheer overlay...

If like me, you do most of your online shopping on the weekend, you might be disappoint to find that SwimSpot's Customer Care is only available Monday-Friday, 9:00-5:00 Pacific Time. This was mildly inconvenient, but since I'm on the East Coast, there was time for me to call after work during the week. SwimSpot also encourages shoppers to email questions. I had such a good experience with the Customer Care rep that waiting for a weekday to talk to someone no longer bothered me.

The last thing I'd like to point out, again, because it's super important to me: SwimSpot has a Free Returns and Exchange policy. When shopping for garments online, I don't bother with sites that charge for returns and exchanges. There is no way a woman can know whether a dress or swimsuit is going to fit or be comfortable without she actually tries it on. Yes, Customer Service can be a big help, but it's still no guarantee. By the way, there is also Free Shipping on purchases of $75 or more | Designer Swimwear at It should be noted that SwimSpot's free service is only available to places where the United States Postal Service operates.

I went to SwimSpot because I was looking for a new tankini. However, after my very positive experience, both in terms of product quality and Customer Care support, I plan to return to the site for a cover up.  There are mini and maxi cover up dresses as well as feminine and sporty tunics, shorts and pants. Right now, you can Save 10% and get free ground shipping to the continental US orders of $99 or more! Valid with code SP10%OFF through 3/31.