One thing I have noticed going swimwear shopping this year, is that the best time to buy a bikini is actually Fall/Winter. You might not get the latest collection, but the prices will definitely be more budget friendly.
I have been willing to try Andrea Iyamah‘s work for quite a long time now, and when I decided to visit my family in the Caribbean last month, I thought it might be a good time to pick something from them. It also helped that their 24h shipping option is only 14 USD. 🙂
[I bought this set with my own money. All thoughts and opinions are my own.]
The Toronto luxury brand, created by Nigerian designer Dumebi Iyamah, is making some of the most exciting designs I have come across this year. At least, for me.
Their prints are amazing and their unusual cuts always give me styling ideas.
Andrea Iyamah isn’t a full bust brand but I have to say that I have got a bit bored by the full bust swimwear offer. Plus, I have been wanting to try mono-wired garments since I discovered La fille d’O designs a couple of years ago.
[Look at the subtle cross-over detail on the brief!]
The fact that their sizing was in a S-XL system always prevented me from ordering their swimwear in the past. However, I found the Fiji set from their SS18 collection for more than -50% off in her clearance section and thought it was the right time to take the plunge. At this price, even if I couldn’t return it, it would still be worth a try.
I might have a thing with blue lately and I got really into that specific print. The combination of brown and blue makes it very nice against the skin and the wrap around design paired with the mono-wire makes it quite sophisticated.
I actually asked their customer service to help me finding the right size and they’ve been very helpful. They initially put me in a size M for the bottom and L for the top. Sadly, the size Large was way too big around the shoulder and underbust.
Since they helped me find my sizes, the customer service accepted to exchange the Large for a Medium, which turned out to fit me much better.
So I received the top and bottom in a size Medium, and even a nice and big branded swimwear bag.
The top features padded cup covered by the wrap-around lycra. I wish they weren’t there to be honest as I think my breasts would fit better in an unpadded style. Now I am not a designer. I don’t know how hard it would be to make an unpadded design that would fit a bunch of different bras sizes, but it mustn’t be easy.
Anyway, the padding only covers half of my 30GG bust. I am really glad that the layer of lycra is independent from the padding so that it can provide some extra coverage.
The padding makes the cup rather shallow, which results in my breasts pushing the bikini top away from my body if I raise my arms(see picture below). I think I could fix it by either shortening the band or by removing the padding. Indeed, when the band is tighter, my breasts volume is divided in a better way.
The band is actually made of two different parts. They both have 3 different settings from the loosest to the tightest. So, I always wear it at the tightest which would be similar to a loose 32 or maybe a 34 band.
I believe the structure of this top, the sleeves and double band makes it rather stable and easy to fit into. I wouldn’t play volley ball in it but it is still a decent fit for hanging around on the beach and enjoy the sea.
I usually run away from retro high-cut brief as I believe they look ridiculous on me, but I actually like the shape of this one. It is quite flattering and comfortable. Actually, the fabric seems to be of very good quality and this brief is made of two layers of fabric. As a result, this bikini bottom is thicker than the ones I have had before, but also very well finished. I also love that the brand didn’t sew the tag directly on the garment. It’s actually attached to two thin strings so if you want to remove it, you just have to cut them and won’t feel an annoying itchy piece of tag on your bum.
Andrea Iyamah Fiji bikini bikini set was a great find. I have been wanting to get this style for so long! The fact that I can finally wear it despite the sizing is amazing. The responsive and helpful customer service really contributed to make this experience stress-free. I am also glad I can support a black-owned business and an amazing designer. I really hope I can buy one of her jumpsuits or incredible pants in the future.
Photo credit: The first picture of this article was taken by Bruno Balmokoun. The ones on the beach were taken by my mum. 🙂