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6 Ways to Rejuvenate Summer Skin and Beyond

Marisa Garten

Summer brings a lot of great things: the beach, barbecues, and summer skin struggles.

Too much fun in the sun, sand, and various water bodies can result in a variety of skin and scalp issues including: dry, flaky, oily, burnt-out skin, and clogged pores.

Below are a few simple tricks to help rejuvenate your summer skin.

  1. Use sunscreen, and LOTS of it!

We know, we know, you’ve heard this before but it’s a must!

Sunscreen is key to keeping your skin soft and protected from those rays! Dry skin is never fun skin, so keep that face and body hydrated at all times!

Look for a sunscreen with an SPF of 50 or more with a built-in moisturizer.

 

Pro Tip Product to Try:

Neutrogena’s Ultra Sheer® Dry-Touch Broad Spectrum Sunscreen: The great thing about this sunscreen is that it is Broad Spectrum, meaning that it protects from both UVA and UVB rays while being 100+ SPF.

Neutrogena has a variety of sunscreens to choose from including: Anti-aging, sensitive skin, hydration, and acne protection all without an oily residue

Available on Neutrogena.com (Click the link to learn more)
Always For Me Summer Must Have:
Always For Me Plus Size Convertible Tankini Top with Matching Bottoms 10 Ways to Style It (Click the link above to learn more) Style# 82331
  1. Protect your eyes and surrounding areas

The skin around your eyes is some of the most sensitive on your face or body, so taking care of it is essential.

A great way to look stylish AND protect your eyes is to rock a great pair of sunglasses. With so many options to choose from, don’t be afraid to try a few new looks.

For the sensitive skin around your eyes try using eye creams. There are many options for all skin types and most contain SPF, an added bonus. Use daily/nightly or apply as needed.

 

Pro Tip Product to Try:

Neutrogena® Hydro Boost Water Gel: This is a great option if you’re looking to hydrate under your eyes.

What makes this product unique is it’s a liquid gel instead of a cream so there’s a cooling sensation when applied.

Additionally, this gel boasts SPF 15 for added sun protection.

Available at Target (Click the link to learn more)
Always For Me Summer Must Have:
Always For Me Luxury Racerback Plus Size Tankini Set in Black (Click the link above to learn more) Style# 82312
  1. Cover up Your Tresses

It’s not just you skin and eyes that need a protection during the summer months, with all the sand, sun, and saltwater, your hair is bound to need some rejuvenation and protection this season.

Hats, especially those with a wide brim, can be a fun and functional way to protect your locks.

Pareo sarongs and wraps are some additional options when you’re looking to cover-up and protect your hair and body.

Hats and head wraps also make great accessories to rock with your favorite plus size bathing suit.

For hints on how to style a pareo sarong, check our blog post here.

 

Always For Me Summer Must Have:
Beach by Florabella Sun Hat (Click the link above to learn more) Style# 9104NN
Always For Me Plus Size Water Waves in Black and Blue Batik Pareo Sarong (Click the link above to learn more) Style# 9025
  1. Makeup that Protects

Wearing makeup during the summer is always a challenge and worrying about powdering or having oil-absorbing sheets on hand is never a fun experience.

If you’re looking for lightweight coverage that will hold up in the heat, try a BB or CC cream, or opt for a daily tinted moisturizer.

For those who prefer full coverage regardless of the weather, look for liquid foundations with SPF.

Regardless of your makeup choice, we suggest starting with a face-specific SPF sunblock.

 

Pro Tip Product to Try:

L’Oréal® Paris Magic BB Cream: This BB cream boasts Vitamin A & E, and a sheer tint for light coverage. With options to match your skin type like Anti-Redness and Anti-Fatigue, this BB has got you covered.

Available on MakeupAlley.com (Click the link above to learn more)
Always For Me Summer Must Have:
Always For Me Plus Size Festival Tankini Set (Click the link above to learn more) Style# AFM1080

 

  1. Lip Protection is key!

Many people tend to forget how damaging the sun, sand, and saltwater can be on the delicate skin of your lips.

To help combat and protect lips, reach for a lip balm with SPF. There are also lip lotions, scrubs, and moisturizers made specifically for your lips.

 

Pro Tip Product to Try:

 Sun Bum Lip Balm – SPF 30: This sun balm boasts SPF 30 to protect your lips from sun and wind damage. It also has Aloe Vera and cocoa butter to softens, soothe, and repair.

Available at Target (Click the link to learn more)
Always For Me Summer Must Have:
Always For Me Twist Front Bandeau Plus Size Swimsuit Black (Click the link above to learn more)
  1. Exfoliate, Exfoliate, Exfoliate!

An often-overlooked way to rejuvenate your skin is exfoliation. Exfoliating helps refresh your skin by sluffing off dead skin, prepare your skin to accept moisturizers, and reduce clogged pores.

There are many ways to exfoliate from head to toe, so reach for your favorite loofah, face/body wash, or foot scrub and rub rub rub!

 

Pro Tip Products to Try:

Clean and Clear® Deep Action Exfoliating Scrub: This exfoliating scrub uses microbeads instead of salts, which makes it a little gentler on your skin.

Check out the entire line, which has options to cover you from head to toe and everything in-between.

Available at Target (Click the link to learn more)
Always For Me Summer Must Have:
Always For Me Plus Size Rio Cheetah Tankini Set (Click the link above to learn more) Style# 9104NN

 

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5 Easy Yoga Moves You Can Do On The Beach

With its peaceful winds, salty air, and soft sands the beach can be the perfect place to unwind. So why not maximize your relaxation with a little beach yoga?

We’ve compiled 5 easy yoga moves that even the most inexperienced yogis can master.

The below poses can be done in the order listed or flowed together however you see fit.

Go ahead, grab your favorite plus size swimsuit or plus size activewear and get your Namaste on!

 

  1. Modified Downward Facing Dog

Downward Facing Dog is a great position for stretching your calves and back.

Begin on all fours with hands shoulder width apart and feet hip-width apart.

Next, bend your knees and lift your hips up and back.

Then drop back down so you’re resting on your forearms.

Pro Tip: Try to sink your heels down when you exhale, but only as deeply as you personally feel comfortable with.

 Once you’re ready, try advancing to a standard downward dog (with arms straight).

Feel secure as you practice this move in your Always for Me Plus Size Sports Bra.
A Big Attitude Plus Size Ballet Back Sports Bra Black (Click the link above to learn more) Style# 9555
  1. Warrior 2

Warrior 2 will stretch your hips and legs. It will also help you to strengthen your abdominal muscles.

Begin standing straight with arms by your sides and feet hip distance apart. Then, step one foot forward and turn your back foot so it is perpendicular to your front foot.

Next, as you exhale sink down so your front knee is directly above your front ankle.

Finally, lift your arms and hold them straight above your center, pulling up through your whole body, then slowly lower right over right and leftover left to mimic picture below.

Pro Tip: Remember to keep your heels in line with each other, and don’t forget to breathe.
This is a perfect pose for our ¾ legging.
A Big Attitude Plus Size Capri Pant Navy (Click the link above to learn more) Style# 9553-Navy
  1. Child’s Pose

This pose is relatively easy to do and has been shown to reduce stress and help with back and shoulder pain.

Start on all fours, with your shoulders directly above your wrists, and your hips directly above your knees.

Next, move your feet so that your big toes touch and bring your knees out so that they are slightly farther apart.

Then, sit back on your heels, and lower your head down to touch your mat.

Pro Tip: You can keep your arms straight, reaching ahead of you OR move them back so that they are along your sides.
This move is ideal for clothing that moves with you. Try our biker short!
A Big Attitude Plus Size Bike Short Black (Click the link above to learn more) Style# 9557A
  1. Cobra Pose

Cobra pose is perfect to work your arms, shoulders, chest, and back. It will also help to stretch out your abdominal muscles.

Begin by laying on your stomach.

Next, place your hands underneath your shoulders and push into your mat (or towel) to lift your shoulders.

Pro Tip: Make sure that you are engaging your abdominal muscles, and lengthening your spine. This position is perfect to “sneak in” right before you head to the water.
Since you’re lower half is on the ground or sand, this move is perfect to practice in a plus size yoga pant.
A Big Attitude Plus Size Yoga Pant Black (Click the link above to learn more) Style# 9502
  1. Easy Pose

At the beginning or end of your practice, easy pose will help you relax your mind and body.

Simply sit with your legs crossed, forearms on knees and palms facing up.

Pro Tip: Elongate your spine, focus on your breathing, and let your body relax.

 

Remember yoga is all about knowing your limits and listening to your body.

Regardless of how long you hold each pose or how many you do, be proud of yourself for making an effort and taking the time to center your body and mind!

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8 Ways to Style a Pareo or a Sarong

 

Sarongs, pareos, and beach wraps, oh my! Chances are if you walked through a store, flipped through a magazine, or browsed your favorite swimwear site, you’ve seen a sarong, pareo, or beach wrap. But what exactly are they, what is the difference between them (if any), and for goodness sake, how do you style one?

The different names come from the types of fabrics, prints, wrapping techniques, and global regions from which each originated. Nowadays the three names are pretty interchangeable. Styled correctly, sarongs or pareos are an easy way to breathe life back into an old bathing suit, complete a new summer look, or use in place of a traditional plus size cover up. Bonus, they’re a great complement to your plus size bathing suits!

Fun and flirty, the sarong is the perfect swimwear accessory you never knew you needed until now. Below we’ll show you eight ways to rock your sarong(s) all summer long and beyond.

1. The Classic

This look is fast, easy, and perfect for the gal on the go. Simply wrap the long edge of the sarong around your waist or hips, wherever feels the most comfortable to you, and tie the two ends into a knot to secure. This is a great option if you’re looking to cover up a bit in the hip, thigh, and seat areas. It also works great when paired with your favorite plus size tankini or plus size t-shirt.

Always For Me Plus Size Plum Dream Pareo (Click the link above to learn more) Style# 9014

2. Greek Goddess

To help channel your inner goddess, go Greek! Similar to the classic, drape the long edge of the sarong diagonally across your body and tie the two ends at your shoulder. Another way is to double knot two corners and simply lift the knot so it rests on your shoulder. This look is perfect if you want to cover up a bit more, especially your tummy area. Rock your plus size cover-ups like the goddess you are!

Always For Me Plus Size Water Waves in Black and Blue Batik Pareo Sarong (Click the link above to learn more) Style# 9025

3. Strapless fly away

If you want to be a little more covered up, opt for the strapless fly-away “dress” option. To get this look, wrap the sarong around your bust, just under your arms, and tie the ends into a knot. A simple, yet effective way to rock your sarong wrap all summer long.

Always For Me Plus Size Diamond Burnout Pareo in Black (Click the link above to learn more) Style# 9024

4. Twisted Halter

If you love the idea of the strapless fly-away above but want to feel a bit more secure, the twisted halter is for you. Simply wrap the sarong around your back, like you would a towel. Next, bring the ends to the front and cross them (bring the left side to the right shoulder and vice versa). Finally, tie the ends behind your neck. The finished look should be a cross-over high-neck halter “dress” that offers style and coverage. This style is perfect for longer and wider sarongs. Finally, the perfect way to complement your plus size swimwear.

PRO TIP: If your sarong in REALLY long and/or made from lighter weight material you can cross or twist the ends a few times before securing into a knot behind your neck.

Always For Me Plus Size Paisley Power Pareo Sarong (Click the link above to learn more) Style# 9021

5. The Draped Cape

This look is fast, fun, and super fashionable. It’s simple, just drape your sarong from behind your back, towards your front allowing the ends to hang free. This is perfect for the on-the-go woman looking to one-up her plus size swimwear game this season.

Always For Me Plus Size Water Waves in Black and Blue Batik Pareo Sarong (Click the link above to learn more) Style# 9025

6. Waterfall Vest

If you want to cover up your backside, while showing off your front, then the waterfall vest is for you. Drape your sarong loose around your waist from behind, like you would to start the classic. This time instead of tying the sarong around your waist, knot the ends at the very tip and then slip the knot over your head so it rests on the back of your neck. This style creates an open front with a scooped, yet covered back, the perfect touch to any plus size swimsuit.

Image Source: Sometimes Glam https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=wPy13jxkpSc

7. Long Tailed Headband

An often overlooked way to utilize your sarong, even after swim season is over, is to use it as a hair accessory. What’s great about this, is that it tends to work with almost any length sarong, even shorter ones. Simply fold, twist, or roll your sarong into the desired width for your “headband”, place where you want your headband to rest, secure at the back of your neck with a knot, and let the tails hang loose. The sarong wrap, not just for covering up.

Always For Me Plus Size Water Waves in Black and Blue Batik Pareo Sarong (Click the link above to learn more) Style# 9025

8. Beach Bandit Bandana

Sarongs can be used for more than a plus size cover up. Similar to how you would tie a square bandana, take the same approach here. Fold the bandana diagonally, drape folded edge across the forehead, tie at back of the head over hair. This is an easy fix for those bad hair moments after a day at the beach, or if you want your hair off your face.

PRO TIP: This style is easier with thinner fabrics and shorter sarongs. If you want to “shorten” yours, try folding it in half and then on diagonal so you’re working with more of a square shape for tying.

Image Source: Somtimes Glam https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=wPy13jxkpSc
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7 Stylish Cover Up Trends for 2018

Even the most confident woman likes to cover up from time to time, and the beach is no exception. Whether you’re looking for a simple beach wrap, or something to take you from day to night, we have you covered (no pun intended).

Below we show you some of the top plus size swimwear cover up trends of 2018 along with Pro Tips on how to make the most of your  cover up.

  1. Pareos and Sarongs

When styled correctly pareos and sarongs are an easy way to breathe life back into an old bathing suit, complete a new summer look, or to use in place of a traditional  cover up. With so many ways to style pareos and sarongs, it truly is a summer must have for 2018.

Pro Tip: Be sure to check out our fun and fashionable pareos and sarongs page for a pareo to match any of your favorite Always For Me swimsuits.

Always For Me Plus Size Polka Dot Black and White Pareo Sarong (Click the link above to learn more) Style# 9012
  1. Flowing Caftans

Caftans are a great way to elevate your favorite swimsuit. For the 2018 season, look for styles made of light-weight materials such as 100% polyester that create a flowing silhouette. The best part about the flowing caftan is that is looks great in both prints and solids. So go ahead, buy a few, and rock the beach or boardwalk this season like the goddess you are!

Pro Tip: Don’t be afraid to try this trend in bright prints like the option below.

Always For Me Plus Size Mystique Caftan Cover Up in Pink (Click the link above to learn more) Style# 2411XF
  1. Crochet

Crochet cover ups are the perfect complement this season for any bathing suit. If you’re looking for a sophisticated and sexy cover up, try a dress, tunic, or caftan in all over crochet. For something a bit more conservative with a twist, reach for styles that have crochet details such as inserts along with neckline and sleeves. Whether it’s used as an insert or all over, crochet is a must this cover up season.

Pro Tip: The texture of crochet can be a great way to update a solid.

Always For Me Hamptons Plus Size Crochet Cover Up in White
Always For Me Hamptons Plus Size Crochet Cover Up in White (Click the link above to learn more) Style# 8318X
Always For Me Crochet Lace Up Plus Size Cover Up Black (Click the link above to learn more) Style# 17031X-B
  1. Beach to Bar Dresses

Moving from beach to boardwalk to bar doesn’t have to be complicated. When searching for your 2018 plus size cover up, look for styles that perform double or triple duty. You want styles that are comfortable and easy to throw on right over your bathing suit. Dress styles, such as the plus size cover up pictured below, easily transition from the beach to the boardwalk or bar in an instant.

Pro Tip: Darker colors such as black, navy, or plum can elevate this look a step further.

Always For Me Sexy Surplice Plus Size Dress (Click the link above to learn more) Style# 7551
  1. Festival Chic

Whether you’re planning to hit the festival scene or not this summer, there’s no reason you can’t rock the festival look on the beach or boardwalk. To channel your inner bohemian goddess, look for styles with details such as embroidery, tassels, or pom-poms.

Pro Tip: Don’t be afraid to pair your festival chic cover up with your favorite shorts or denim and easily transition from beach to bar.

For additional beach to bar ideas, check out our Beach to Bar blog post.

Always For Me Plus Size Absolutely Amagansett Embroidered Cover Up in Black (Click the link above to learn more) Style# 5411X
Always For Me Plus Size Fiesta Cover Up (Click the link above to learn more) Style# 5424X
  1. Shoulder Baring

Off the shoulder and cold shoulder styles are all the rage in ready to wear and lucky for us, they easily translate into plus size cover ups. What’s great about this trend is that it lends itself to many different fabric qualities and silhouettes. You can show a little with a cold shoulder or a lot with an off the shoulder, the choice is entirely yours.

Pro Tip: Cold shoulder cover ups can easily double as layering pieces or tops to be paired with your favorite short or denim.

Always For Me Plus Size Off The Shoulder Flair Sleeve Cover Up in Black (Click the link above to learn more) Style# 5035X
Always For Me Open Shoulder Plus Size Tunic Red (Click the link above to learn more) Style# 2109XR
  1. Pull on Pant

If you’re someone who wants a little more coverage in the thigh, hip, and seat areas, the pull on pant is the cover up style for you. Styles range from short to long, open lace to solid knits, and elastic waistbands to draw cord so there’s sure to be a style perfect for you.

Pro Tip: Try pairing your favorite bikini or one piece with pants to create a look that easily transitions from beach to bar in a breeze.

Always For Me Lattice Plus Size Beach Pants Black (Click the link above to learn more) Style# 16186DC
Always For Me Solid Lounge Plus Size Pants Navy (Click the link above to learn more) Style# 16186SPN

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Super Model and Supermom: Nicole LeBris on Being the Face of Always For Me, the Swimsuits that Bear her Name, and Being a Mother

Nicole LeBris and her daughter in the Always For Me Plus Size Nicole Underwire Swimdress (Click the image above to learn more) Style# AFM1237

Always for Me sat down with plus size model and industry influencer Nicole LeBris to discuss what it’s like being a model, the body positivity movement, her thoughts on the two Always for Me styles that bear her name, and the joys of motherhood.

Always for Me
How did you get started as a plus size model?

Nicole LeBris
I got into modeling about 15 years ago. Prior to modeling, I had worked in the hair and makeup industry, sometimes working on photoshoots.

There were several people throughout my early life that suggested I try modeling including Emme, who is credited as one of the trailblazers for plus size modeling.

At the time, 15 years ago, social media didn’t really exist. There weren’t these huge plus size platforms or groups.

There was a website called Plusmodels, where I took my own headshots and put them on their site. That’s how I first met Susan Barone, the founder of Always for Me, and was contacted by my first agency, Ikon.

The rest, as they say, is history!

Nicole LeBris in the Always For Me Plus Size Nicole Underwire Swimdress (Click the image to learn more) Style# AFM1237

Always for Me
What is your favorite thing about plus size modeling?

Nicole LeBris
The travel is always fun, but what I really love about my job is meeting other women and men in the plus industry. I have some great friendships that developed from being in the industry.

The plus size modeling world is very inclusive, friendly, and supportive. Especially in the beginning, it was great to go to a photoshoot and see confident plus size women.
It was, and still is, very empowering.

Always for Me
Have you experienced any downsides about plus size modeling?

Nicole LeBris
Overall, it’s been a great experience, however, there have been times when I’m asked what I do, and if I say “model,” I sometimes get a weird look feel them scan my body over. I know they’re thinking, “She’s a model, how?!” It’s a completely different reaction if I answer that I’m a plus model.

Always For Me
Do you feel the words “plus” and “plus size” are still valid in today’s world?

Nicole LeBris
Yes, I feel the words “plus” and “plus size” are valid because it’s a distinguishing category that plus size women can recognize and use to help shop.

What I mean is, I would never go into the children’s or men’s section to look for clothes since those areas won’t have my size. Departments that are clearly called out as plus make it easier for me to go directly to the department that I KNOW will have clothes in my size(s) without picking through a section for 20 minutes before realizing they don’t carry anything over a size 12.

I do think it’s a shame that the media and world have attached negativity to the word “plus size”, especially since statistically plus sizes are more in line with the average woman than straight sizes.

Always for Me
What are the most important features that you look for when buying plus size swimwear?

Nicole LeBris
I want to buy from a brand I trust, a company that I know has good quality and a fit that works well for my body. This is especially true with online retailers.

A good fit that offers both support and comfort is a must. Especially since a having a baby, I really want my swimsuit to be comfortable. I look for styles with a supportive bra, either a shelf bra or construction similar to a bra. For me, the more support, the better.

Always for Me
What do you love most about the Always for Me plus size swimsuits that bear your name?

Nicole LeBris
I love that they are fun, flirty, and flattering. It’s a sexy style that is also curvy conscience, which can be hard to find.

I really think this suit is an instant classic because it works well on a wide variety of shapes and sizes. The skirt offers a little more coverage without going too matronly and the overall lines of the suit are very flattering.

The best part is this suit is really comfortable and supportive. I’m really happy with this suit and excited for it to be bearing my name.

Nicole LeBris in Always for Me “Nicole” Always For Me Plus Size Nicole Underwire Swimdress in Green (Click the image above to learn more) Style# AFM1236

Always for Me
What would you tell a young woman or any woman who is being bullied or body shamed?

Nicole LeBris
I immediately think of my nieces, and I can see how the world has changed since when I was their ages.

On one hand there’s so much social media attention and so much hate in the online community that it’s got to be hard for kids growing now.

On the other hand, there’s been a change towards body positivity and embracing your curves. There’s a whole community of curvy, plus size women to look up to that was never there when I was growing up.

Young men and women today can find people who are happy and healthy and look like them! It’s really exciting!

I’d remind anyone who is being shamed or bullied that bullies often suffer from their own issues such as jealousy and insecurity. I’d want them to remember that their body is theirs and not let others put them down – that they should focus on being healthy and happy instead of on what others are saying to them.

Always for Me
Do you see any downsides to the body positivity movement?

Nicole LeBris
No, I think it’s great. It’s amazing to see these communities of like-minded individuals pull together.

The word “plus” is slowly evolving. Health is really important to me overall. I love that people are finally seeing that you can be plus size and healthy.

Always for Me
What would you like to see more or less of in the plus size fashion industry?

Nicole LeBris
I miss the glamour of being a model. As great as the ad campaigns are that show plus size women, I feel they are looking for untouched and women with rolls.

It would be really nice to see a high-end fashion editorial where the models are all decked out in hair and makeup – just like a “regular” fashion editorial, but it just happens to be with plus models.

Less focus on “hey it’s a plus model with rolls”, and more along the lines of “here’s a great fashion editorial and the model just happens to be plus model”.

Nicole LeBris in Always for Me “Nicole” Always For Me Plus Size Nicole Underwire Swimdress in Green (Click the image above to learn more) Style# AFM1237

Always for Me
How has becoming a mother changed you? Does having a girl change your point of view and outlook on the world?

Nicole LeBris
Originally, I was nervous to have a girl. I remembered how hard it was for me.

I matured very young and it was difficult. I didn’t want my child to experience any of that awkwardness.

Now that I have a little girl, I’m very aware of how I act in front of her. I don’t ever want to negate my own looks and have her translate that to herself.

For her sake, I’m hopeful the body positivity movement keeps moving forward.

Nicole LeBris in Always for Me “Nicole” Always For Me Plus Size Nicole Underwire Swimdress in Green (Click the picture above to learn more) Style# AFM1236

 

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Always for Me Interview with Stephanie Cohen – Head Designer at Anne Cole Swimwear

Anne Cole

Always for Me recently sat down with Stephanie Cohen, the Head Designer at Anne Cole Swimwear, to learn more about her experience in the design world, how she stays inspired, and the Anne Cole plus size swimwear collection.

Stephanie Cohen
Stephanie Cohen – Head Designer at Anne Cole.

Always for Me:
How did you get started in the fashion industry?

Stephanie:
I went to Parsons School of Design and majored in fashion design. My first internship was with Stephen Burrows, an amazing designer from the 60s-70s Halston era. I was fortunate to experience a lot of the ins and outs of the industry working with his team because it was small (only 3 people including him).

I had a couple other internships during school and my internship at Ann Taylor loft made me focus my career towards more corporate design jobs out of school. My first job was at Free People as a Design Assistant for their intimate’s team.

When I moved to Aerie, that was where I discovered my love for designing swimwear. And the rest is history!

Anne Cole Black Mesh & Floral Plus Size Swimsuit
Anne Cole Black Mesh & Floral Plus Size Swimsuit
(Click the link above to learn more)
Style# 61050

Always for Me:
How would you describe your creative process?

Stephanie:
I start by establishing our seasonal brand concept/concepts. This is very much something that happens organically.

I don’t like to force anything and will often be exploring color/prints/design elements with my team while establishing big ideas for the season as they tend to go hand in hand.

My associate designer Rachel and I built an incredible color library when we first joined the company and we re-fresh it every season based on the seasonal POV.

Once I’ve established our brand concept we move into creating our color and print distortion, which probably takes the most time.

We do not have a print/cad artist in house so Rachel, Kelly, and I often spend hours tweaking artwork and color positions- moving the pieces around until we establish our strongest story.

Stephanie Cohen and team developing the color story for the new season.
Stephanie Cohen and team developing the color story for the new season.

Always for Me:
Where do you typically look to find inspiration online and in real life?

Stephanie:
I am most inspired by vintage clothing, accessories, and textiles. I have a few go-to vendors who travel around the world curating amazing vintage collections, but I also love going to local vintage shops, and I’ve discovered some great finds on Etsy as well.

Outside of my vintage obsession, I love for my team to keep current with what’s happening on the runway each season.

Looking at ready to wear is a great way to get inspired by trends happening outside of the world of swim but also a good way to establish seasonal color and it pushes us to think outside of the box regarding design details.

Always for Me:
What do you do if you find yourself creatively stuck?

Stephanie:
It’s important to know when to step away from something and give your mind the space it needs to reset.

My team works on a lot of different brands, so when we are in the office, we are going a mile a minute and we definitely get stuck from time to time.

I try to make sure we get out when we can to get inspired by everything amazing that is around us in New York City.

Maintaining a balance between work and life is also important to preserve creativity and is something I am trying to get better at.

Always for Me:
Tell us about the current plus size swimwear collection.

Stephanie:
Our 2019 collection was inspired by the “It Girls” of the 60s-70s. Our Anne Cole muses were Audrey Hepburn and Patti Boyd.

We wanted to capture the spirit of their iconic style and pay homage to that transformative time in fashion.

We have some really stunning prints, fun fashion colors, and unexpected details I think our Anne Cole lady will really love!

Color story and initial design concepts.
Color story and initial design concepts.

Always for Me:
What is your favorite part about your job?

Stephanie:
I have an amazing team and we have a lot of fun in the studio.

The most exciting time is when we get to see things come to life.

We put a lot of work into fitting and developing each individual style in house, so it’s really exciting when it all comes together as a line and we get to share it with everyone.

Stephanie and her team

Always for Me:
Who has inspired you most throughout your career as a designer?

Stephanie:
My dad is my biggest inspiration even though his career is so different from mine.

He started as an engineer and worked his way up to the executive level. He worked and traveled a lot when I was growing up, but that gave me the drive to follow my passion and work as hard he did.

Always for Me:
What is your favorite beach town?

Stephanie:
There is a little town in Maui called Paia that I love. They have a bunch of really cute shops and an amazing restaurant called Mamas fish house. When I was there last It was pouring rain, but we still had so much fun.

Always for Me:
Where is the next place you would like to travel and why?

Stephanie:
I would love to go to Australia. I’ve never been, but it looks stunning, and it’s a perfect destination for anyone who loves swimwear and the beach 🙂

Always for Me:
What is your favorite beach must-have?

Stephanie:
An Anne Cole plus size bikini of course!

Shop the entire Anne Cole Plus Size Swimwear collection at Always for Me including Plus Size Bikinis, Plus Size Cover Ups and more. Click here.

 

Navy & White Paisley Plus Size Twist Front Bikini Top
Navy & White Paisley Plus Size Twist Front Bikini Top
(Click the link above to learn more)
Style# 10558
PAIRED WITH
Anne Cole Navy & White Paisley Plus Size Convertible Swim Brief
(Click the link above to learn more)
Style# 36058
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Top 5 Plus Size Swimwear Styles that go from Beach to Bar

Trying to find the perfect Plus Size Swimsuit can test even the most patient shopper. This is why it’s great when you can find a swimsuit that can perform double duty. Moving from a day at the beach to the bar on the boardwalk doesn’t have to require a complete wardrobe change. Below we show you several styles that easily make the transition from Beach to Bar.

1. Off the Shoulder One Piece

Cold shoulder and off the shoulder styles are really hot right now in everything from dresses to tops, and your swimsuit is no exception. To rock this look, simply pair with your favorite shorts or skirt. You can dress this style up even more by pairing with a pareo or lightweight cover-up. We love the below option that features wide off the shoulder straps and an under bust keyhole.

Jessica Simpson Off The Shoulder 1 Pc Plus Size Swimsuit
Jessica Simpson Off The Shoulder 1 Pc Plus Size Swimsuit
(Click the link above to learn more)
Style# 189829

2. Metallic Details

Jewelry can be hard to wear to the beach or pool, instead try metallic details on your plus size swimsuits to achieve a similar “goddess” look. Metallic details are also great when transitioning from pool to party. The below swimsuit offers a plunging neckline complimented with metallic macramé knotting detail. Pair this sexy one piece with shorts, a skirt, or use in place of a bodysuit under a sheer maxi cover-up. The options are endless!

Bleu Plus Size Oh So Knotty One Piece in Black
Bleu Plus Size Oh So Knotty One Piece in Black
(Click the link above to learn more)
Style# 18232RG

3. See Through Mesh

In swimwear, see through mesh can be a sexy way to flaunt your curves without baring it all. The below plus size swimsuit easily moves from “day at the beach” to “night on the boardwalk”. To achieve an after the beach look, wear this plus size one piece under a long sheer maxi skirt or layer under a blazer and with your favorite denim. The perfect combination of sexy and sweet, the beach to bar options are endless.

Anne Cole Black Mesh & Floral Plus Size Swimsuit
Anne Cole Black Mesh & Floral Plus Size Swimsuit
(Click the link above to learn more)
Style# 61050

4. High Neck Tankini

Tankini’s offer great ways to maximize your summer wardrobe since they can easily double as tank tops. Look for swimsuits, like the one below, that offer unique ready to wear details such latticing, macramé knotting, or cutouts. The below style can easily be paired with shorts, a skirt, or denim. High neck swimsuits also offer extra support = so this cut can be great for larger busts.

Raisins Curve Lattice Neck Plus Size Tankini Top in Tribal Print
Raisins Curve Lattice Neck Plus Size Tankini Top in Tribal Print
(Click the link above to learn more)
Style# 840136

5. Fit and Flare Tankini

Peplums are great to define your waistline and highlight your curves. Fit and flare swimsuit styles, like the one below, create a similar peplum look that slims and cinches your midsection. The below style combines a hint of metallic, which as you know, is one of the must have details in a beach to bar swimsuit. Pair the below tankini with your favorite high waist shorts or pant to maximize curves in all the right places.

Always for Me Sand Dune Tankini Top Black
Always for Me Sand Dune Tankini Top Black
(Click the link above to learn more)
Style# 70014
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Best Plus Size Swimsuits For Your Body Shape

Knowing your body shape is one of the most helpful things to know when shopping for plus size bathing suits and curvy cover-ups. Here is an overview of the 5 most common shapes:

1. Hourglass

Kenneth Cole Plus Size Peek-a-Boo One Piece in Black Style # 8VC10W
Kenneth Cole Plus Size Peek-a-Boo One Piece in Black Style # 8VC10W

The hourglass is probably the most commonly known and recognized plus size body shape. Women with this curvy shape will have a full bust, equally proportioned shoulders and hips, and a narrow waist. Since much of swimwear is designed with this body type in mind, it can be easier for you to find swimwear, so take this opportunity to play up your curves. Look for styles with creative cutouts, mesh inserts, or plunging necklines.

2. Apple

La Blanca Black & White Plus Size Halter Swimsuit Style # 8GL26W
La Blanca Black & White Plus Size Halter Swimsuit Style # 8GL26W

For women with an apple shape, your waistline is your widest measurement with both your bust and hips narrower in comparison. For this body type, elongation is key. Look for plus size bathing suit styles that have keyholes, plunge, or deep V-necklines that can draw the eye downwards. If you’re busty, look for styles with zippers or adjustable ties that allow you to control how much you show off.

3. Rectangle

Always For Me Selene Plus Size Swimdress Style # 70707
Always For Me Selene Plus Size Swimdress Style # 70707

Women with a rectangle body shape tend to be straight from top to bottom. Rectangle shapes have little difference between shoulder, waist, and hip measurements. To help bring out your curves choose plus size swimsuit styles that highlight one area such as a belted style that nips in the waist. Color blocking and seaming can also help to create curves for rectangular body types.

4. Inverted Triangle

Always For Me Twist Front Bandeau Plus Size One Piece Swimsuit Coral Style # 67164W-CORAL (available in other colors)
Always For Me Twist Front Bandeau Plus Size One Piece Swimsuit Coral Style # 67164W-CORAL (available in other colors)

Women who have an inverted triangle body shape are broadest in theirshoulders and get slimmer the further down you go. To help balance the shoulder to hip ratio, choose styles that have ruffles, peplums, or skirts. Now that’s what you call fun and functional.

Check out what our customers had to say about our Always for Me Twist Front Bandeau:

Fit absolutely amazing and hid every bad spot! Seriously! I could walk down the mall in this suit! I carry my weight in my belly. Size 20/2x in regular clothes. Ordered 22. Fits perfectly! Love!

I just received this suit and it is the best swimsuit I have ever had! I was very nervous about buying a swimsuit online and I have never spent $98 on a suit, but I am so glad I did! I have a vacation in a week and wanted something I wouldn’t dread wearing, since I haven’t worn a swimsuit in years. The ruching on the bust and stomach area really hide anything you may not want seen. I carry my weight in my lower tummy and in my bust. I was so surprised at how much cup support this suit has, even without underwire. It really is super slimming and is not frumpy at all! Best part is that it arrived four days after I ordered it! I ordered the royal blue and it is so pretty. I am a customer for life!

5. Pear

Raisins Curve Tortuga Plus Size One Piece Ruffle Style # 840081
Raisins Curve Tortuga Plus Size One Piece Ruffle Style # 840081

The pear body shape is the opposite of the inverted triangle. Women who are pear shaped are widest at their hips, narrow through the shoulders, and have a smaller bust. Pear shaped woman should look for styles that highlight the delicate upper body and create balance with the curvier lower half such as strapless styles or an off the shoulder ruffle. If you’re not comfortable with your fuller hips, try a skirted one piece or swimdress when choosing your plus size swimwear.

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Top 5 Mistakes to Avoid when Shopping for a Plus Size Bathing Suit

Shopping for the perfect swimsuit can be difficult and stressful. If you’re a lady with curves, this can be especially true. To help guide your journey to the perfect bathing suit, we’ve compiled a list of the Top 5 Mistakes to Avoid when Buying a Plus Size Bathing Suit. All of the plus size swim styles featured below

  1. Not knowing your body shape and what feature(s) to flaunt

We all have curves, and carry them in different ways.  When you’re shopping for a plus size bathing suit, it’s crucial to know how you carry yours.  Just like when you shop for ready-to-wear, knowing your body type will help you to select the most flattering styles. It’s important to pick at least one feature about yourself that you love so you can flaunt it. If you’re uncomfortable with your tummy but like your hips, look for styles with power-mesh tummy tamers, or a higher cut leg. If you like your arm, shoulders, or neckline, choose a swimsuit that is off the shoulder or strapless.

Raisins Curve Off-the-Shoulder Ruffle Plus Size One Piece in Black Floral

Picture1

Available in sizes 14W-24W

Style# 840581

2. Not choosing a style with enough support

A common mistake made by women of any size, is not having enough support.  This can be especially true when you have curves so it’s important to choose styles that are flattering as well as functional. If you have a larger bust, try styles with supportive straps and underwires. For tummy control, look for styles with power-mesh lining at the torso. We all need a little support in life, and a swim suit should be no exception.

Susie had this to say about our Fatale Underwire Plus Size Swimdress:

“Just received this suit and tried it on – cutest suit I have ever owned. Fits really well and will be great for my upcoming trip to Cuba. True to size and underwire is perfect”

Always For Me Control Femme Fatale Underwire Plus Size Swimdress

Always For Me Control Femme Fatale Underwire Plus Size Swimdress

Style# 82304

3. Not buying tops and bottoms separately

It’s rare to be the same size on top as you are bottom, if you’re one of the lucky few, congrats!  For many of us, this just isn’t the case so why do we still shop as if were? Whether you’re busty with narrow hips or curvy on the bottom with a smaller chest, it’s important to know your size(s). Trying on different sized tops and bottoms will ensure you feel and look your very best this swim season.

Anne Cole Navy & White Paisley Plus Size Twist Front Bikini Top

Anne Cole Navy & White Paisley Plus Size Twist Front Bikini Top

Style# 10558

Anne Cole Navy & White Paisley Plus Size Convertible Swim Brief

Style# 36058

4. Not looking at product ratings or reading product reviews

There’s a reason so many online sites, including ours, allow guests to leave reviews and comments. It allows customers a chance to share their experiences and retailers almost instant feedback for products. While friends are great to give you an honest opinion, reviews from fellow shoppers can be a close second. It’s important, especially when shopping online, to look at ratings and reviews. Check out what some of our customers are saying about one of our best sellers below.

“This is probably my 5th suit in this style over several years…it is just an awesome suit! I like being able to wear it with no straps and all one piece…yet still hides the upper thigh area.”

“Love this suit. Bought it for our first family vacation and hardly ever took it off. I am a size 18 jeans, I ordered the size 18 after measuring myself and it fit true to size. Will definitely order in more colors!”

“Love it! Hangs just right in all the right places. Very slimming. It’s perfect for what I need.”

Always For Me Twist Front Bandeau Plus Size One Piece Swimsuit Coral

Always For Me Twist Front Bandeau Plus Size One Piece Swimsuit Coral

Style# 67164W-CORAL (Note: This style comes in additional colors)

5. Not buying a bathing suit out of fear

Yes, the struggle is real. We know finding a bathing suit for a fuller bust or plus size bodies is not always fun or easy, but that’s no reason to forgo the swim season all together. There are a growing number of stores and sites, including Always for Me, offering functional and fashionable swimwear options in plus sizes. Go ahead, embrace the warm weather and enjoy flaunting your curves this season! You’ve earned it!

La Blanca Black & White Plus Size Halter Swimsuit

La Blanca Black & White Plus Size Halter Swimsuit

Style # PP40X8D

Look what Lori had to say about our Bettie Fringe Plus Size One Piece:

“Just received my bathing suit today..Love it !! Best bathing suit I’ve had in years !! Fits perfectly and looks Great !! Thank you !!”

 

 

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6 Design Details that Make the Perfect Plus Size Bathing Suit

6 essential swimsuit details_Instagram_800x800

Buying a swimsuit is never easy, and we know it can be even harder when you are plus sized. There is a great deal of engineering that goes into creating a plus size bathing suit to ensure that everything fits the way it should and supports where you want it to.

To help navigate the options, we have put together a list of the top 6 design details to keep in mind when choosing the perfect bathing suit that works best with your gorgeous curves.

  1. Tummy Tamer. Look for styles with tummy taming features like power mesh. Power mesh is a supportive and comfortable lining that helps hold you in while also smoothing you out. Think of it as having a hold somewhere between panty hose and Spanx, but far more breathable. The good news is that power mesh won’t make you feel warmer. Hotter and sexier for sure, but not warmer.

Our customer Tammy says this of our Daphne suit with tummy tamer:

“Best suit ever made! This suit is amazing. I’m a size 16W and it makes me look a size 14W. Totally holds and controls my tummy. It’s figure flattering and has renewed my confidence in appearing out in public in swim wear!”

Gottex_797800557 copy

Always For Me Daphne Plus Size Swimdress Black & White

Style #79780

  1. Boning. Boning was first developed for corsets in the 16th century to mold women’s torsos into the styles of the time. True to its name, whalebone was often used during this period, although today’s boning is made from plastic.

Here at Always for Me, we have taken the support that boning can offer and added it to the side panels of our tops to give your girls additional lift. By placing the boning at the side seam of your plus size top, we ensure it lays flat against and is comfortable without bending, folding or twisting. It is a little trick we’ve learned designing our bathing suits since 2001.

Our customer Lynn writes of our Isabella suit with side boning:

“I never thought I would say this but I LOVE this swimsuit. The fit is just right – slimming but not too tight. Nice bust support even without the straps. Great quality fabric and is even lined – you get what you pay for. The turquoise color is beautiful – brings out the blue in my eyes and will look great with tan.”

gottex_67164w_aqua_d_0436_1

Always For Me Isabella Plus Size Tankini Set Turquoise

Style #79363

  1. Underwire. Underwire construction gives your girls a natural, round shape while also slightly lifting them. This feature is great if you are looking for extra support beyond what a shelf bra can offer. We ensure that our underwire is encased and stitched for extra support, so that it doesn’t poke through its casing during normal wear and tear.

Our customer Christina writes of our Macrame suit with underwire:

“Love this style and fit…I get so many compliments. I’m big busted, and it really supports me!”

Always-For-Me-Macrame-Plus-Size-2pc-Tankini-AFM493-Black_2

Always For Me Macrame Underwire Plus Size Tankini Set

Style #AFM493

  1. Straps. The right strap on a bathing suit makes all the difference. For a smaller bust, try a halter strap. For a fuller bust, look for styles with straps that are wider and offer adjustable, over the shoulder fit. If you prefer to go strapless, look for styles that offer a removable strap and/or a wide top band along the neckline. Often with removable straps you have a variety of ways to attach them to give different styling options.

Our customer Cara Coleman writes of our Twist Front Bandeau suit with adjustable and removable straps:

“I love this suit! Two years ago, I bought the plum and red suits. I loved them so much this year I bought the rose and black suits. I just love the way it fits my body. It hugs in all the right places and covers my imperfections. I also like the fact that I can use the strap if I need extra support for my top. The skirt keeps it fashionable and allows me to feel comfortable about my tummy. I’m so excited to wear these on vacation soon!”

_67164w

Always For Me Twist Front Bandeau Plus Size One Piece Swimsuit Black

Style #67164W

  1. Adjustable Lengths for Thigh Coverage. We’ve all been there, one day you like your thighs, and the next day you want to hide them. If you want flexibility and control over how much you want to show off, look for styles that have drawstrings that you can use to adjust length.

Our customer Lynn writes of our Retro Halter Swimdress with adjustable length for thigh coverage:

“Comfortable and great price! Absolutely love this suit! I ordered my regular size and the suit fits perfectly. It appears long but there is the ability to wear it long or pull it up for a ruching effect.”

gotex_79373wa_turq_front_v2

Always For Me Control Retro Halter Plus Size Swimdress Turquoise

Style #79373WA-TURQ

  1. The Fit-and-Flare Silhouette. If you are looking for more coverage and a style that isn’t as form fitting, then we recommend the fit-and-flare silhouette. This design creates a wonderful slimming effect and offers coverage around the stomach and hips while drawing attention to your face and bust.

penbrooke_70014_blackgold_f_0009_1

Always for Me Sand Dune Plus Size Tankini Top

Style #70014