I’ve been enamored with neoprene swimwear since a gorgeous model in a neon suit appeared on Instagram’s long-lost “popular” page back in early 2013. The bright bikini trimmed with contrasting black edges stopped me in my tracks–I had to know more. What WERE these ‘kinis? Who made them? How could I get one?! Yes girls, I had discovered Triangl, and I wanted one of their bikinis…Bad. After popping on over to their website, however, I pretty much shuttered my neoprene-swim dreams. Not only did each suit cost $80+, but they shipped from Australia, which meant incurring further charges via international shipping. The suits were cute, yes, but I just wasn’t willing to take the time OR money to get my hands on a trendy swimsuit that I wasn’t even able to try on. Womp womp. Back to VS and Target for this girl! This summer, however, my neoprene dreams were answered when I discovered BRAKINIS.
The deal: BRAKINIS offers affordable, high-quality neoprene swimwear that’s virtually identical to the aforementioned brand. How affordable? Instead of spending a minimum of $80 for a bikini + a flat $20 for shipping, you’re looking at spending $30-50 for each suit and only $9.99 for standard international shipping. (Of course, if you need your ‘kini ASAP, BRAKINIS offers expedited shipping through DHL for an additional fee.) From bandeaus to bustiers to triangle tops, the styles, colors, and finishes are on trend and on point.
Rachel and Bella from the BRAKINIS team were kind enough to send me two suits: the classic triangle top ‘Chloe‘, and the zipper-bandeau ‘Winnie‘. I got both styles in what I (wrongly) assumed to be an identical minty hue so that if my sizing choices turned out to be off, I could mix and match my tops and bottoms seamlessly and still get the benefit of two suits. I chose DHL shipping and received my package–which came all the way from Hong Kong–in three days! And that’s including a day for a missed delivery. I ripped my mailer open ASAP to find each bikini packed into a cute BRAKINIS drawstring tote. Tops and bottoms were neatly separated into individual plastic bags, also baring the brand’s logo. So adorable. After snapping a few shots of my turquoise-tinted swimsuit haul, I did what any reasonable girl would do: try them on!
I started with the Chloe suit, which I had ordered in my regular swimsuit size–XS. It fit pretty perfectly, though the style of the top definitely offered minimal coverage. Fine for me since I clock in at a baby B-cup, but probably not the best for ladies who are more well-endowed! The bottoms were also cute and comfortable, though admittedly the neoprene felt bit “pinch-y” as the sides aren’t adjustable and the material lacks the familiar stretch found in typical swimwear fabrics. I still found the suit totally wearable and flattering–just something to be aware of 🙂
Next, I grabbed the Winnie suit, which I had sized up and ordered in small. As far as a difference between sizes, I didn’t notice much! The Winnie’s small bottoms offered slightly more back coverage than the Chloe’s XS, and they fit was a bit less snug on my booty, but the fit on the waist/hips (what really determines how a suit like this fits!) were nearly identical. The size small Winne zippered-bandeau top, however, offered significantly more coverage and room than the Chloe. If I were to order another BRAKINI, I would probably stick to my standard XS. This being said, if you’re between sizes and unsure of which way to go, it’s always recommended to size UP due to neoprene’s inherent lack of stretch.
…Speaking of neoprene, each of my BRAKINIS swimsuits came with the care sheet pictured above–who knew it was so temperamental?! The storing and washing of your suits will have a major impact on their appearance and longevity. Can you imagine messing up your $100 bikini because you accidentally folded it and put it away in a drawer? OMG. Just another reason to go with a more reasonably-priced suit, if you ask me!
So girls, in short, I’m obsessed with BRAKINIS. Their suits are cute, comfortable and super trendy. If you’re looking for an affordable alternative to the most popular neoprene bikinis on Instagram, look no further! You can shop BRAKINIS via their website at www.brakinis.com or check out their Instagram account–where they routinely post sales and specials!–@brakinis_swimwear.
Totally TSB approved.