I promised this review a while ago. Actually I feel quite ashamed getting to it by the end of September when summer is over and most of you are probably packing your swimwear away to the back drawer. Well, I prepared a defence on it, learnt it by heart, rehearsed and now I can write it here almost without blushing – sales are coming (here goes GOT theme song) so it’s right the time to work on your bikini wish list. And my super late review of american brand Boys+Arrows is supposed to help you out in case if you had your eyes once or twice on their fun designs.
I was going to buy some of their pieces for months (well, almost for a year) but stumbled on style and size choice. First of all, they have too many tempting designs (well, it’s all a question of personal taste for sure but if you don’t like their designs you can stop reading right here) and I never was good at choosing one of several options all of which I liked.
Second thing, is that they have several style options for both the top and bottoms in each print. Let’s say you decided on print – now you only need to choose from 3-6 models of bras available in this print and 3-6 models of briefs. Which is definitely awesome (especially for ones who like myself have not standard body proportions) but doesn’t make the choice any easier. And the last but not the least in my list of hesitations is a pretty inconvenient fit guide.
It refers to bra and pant sizes for swimwear fitting with the only hip measurement available for additional reference. It gave me pause as my clothes sizes may differ significantly between different brands, and I don’t have that much clothes from US brands to narrow down this choice.
I hoped to try some styles at offline stores as they have quite lot of stockists in places which I visit sometimes, and here is a warning comes – don’t repeat my mistake of chasing them fruitlessly, call first.
Unfortunately many locations listed on the website don’t carry their products in-stock (based on the fact that half of shop assistants didn’t even know this brand name, I suspect that the list gets updated not often at all). After wasting my time on visits to three or four stores and then on calls to a bunch more I gave up and ordered my swimsuit online at Black Friday sale.
I was lucky enough but not 100% precise with my fitting. I wear 32A for bras and my cup is definitely not B (bust 31.5’’, band 29’’) so picking XS for a top was an easy part. My pants mostly have tags with letter indication S or XS instead of numbers so it was a bit trickier with briefs. Fortunately for me I liked low-rise styles so I made my choice based on my hip measurement of 35’’ and ordered S. Results: Briefs are perfect, top is a little bit tight, not drastically but S would be more comfortable (and less revealing).
Fruits of all the hard work
So what I ended up with is an awesome two-piece in Cats design. They have a new version of this pattern available now under a name Frisky but sorry, I consider it only half as awesome as an original one.
For a top I picked a lace back bralette Jackson. Actually this lace-up back is probably what saved me, I loosened it fully and this way I can wear the bra, and it doesn’t feel too tight.
For a bottom I went with Charlie Pant, seamless full coverage bikini (because I wanted it to fit as many tigers as possible!).
Quality of materials and seams is really good. Fabric is nice to touch, has a good quality printing and I didn’t notice it to fade after quite a prolonged use in the sun and salty water. By the way the colour differs a bit from how it looked on the website – it looked quite bright yellow there, and it’s more mustard in real life which doesn’t bother me but keep it in mind if the exact shade matters to you.
Bikini is sewn as a two-sided one, you can tell the inside from the outside only by the stamp with size indication and fittings.
Labels are attached so that it’s easy to cut them off – the one on the top is sewn to the fabric by a separate seam, and the second is fixed to the pant with a cord.
I also bought a beach button dress It’s Not You It’s Me to match the swimsuit. They aren’t currently available so let’s not linger on it, the only thing to note here is again a colour – clothes are obviously made of fabrics different from swimwear so their colours don’t match 100% accurately. I’m fine with it but ask for advice from the support team before the purchase if it’s important for you.
Summary of my order:
Jackson Top – $128 full price / $75 at sale
Charlie Pant – $106 full price / $53 at sale
It’s Not You It’s Me Button Dress – $99 full price / $70 at sale
Additional discount for the first order: : -$19.80
Shipping : $0
TOTAL : : $178.20
Looking for more
I managed to find an offline stockist which had some of Boys+Arrows styles after all – The Beach in Whistler, Canada. So here are some results from their fitting room.
I tried Jackson and Dylan soft tops in S and they both fitted me perfectly despite the brand’s size guide definitely referring me to XS. Swift top in S though was too big while XS was just right. Looks like bralettes run a size small while tee-like tops are true to size. S for briefs worked again just fine in Clairee and Kiki the Killer styles.
I warned you not to read it if you don’t love Boys+Arrows designs. I did my best to be objective when providing details but at the end of the day I’m now a hopeless fan of the brand and drooling all over their website waiting for the next Black Friday. And if you’re ready to come to my dark side of shopping… good hunting to you too!
Photo: Vlad Sofronov