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The Truth about Swimwear

Press release June 23, 2008

100% People have conducted a survey in which 848 women were questioned about swimwear and how it makes them feel.

The results show a staggering 41% of women never feel confident wearing a swim suit.

The research suggests that women have real concerns with exposing their bodies in swimwear. Of the women asked, 60% admitted to being a UK size 14 or above.

100% People wanted to find out exactly what women are wearing and where they're wearing it! In addition to the survey they asked for comments and opinions on the subject, which also bore some very interesting responses.

A massive 93% of women own at least one item of swimwear.

More women are wearing swimsuits than any other item of swimwear, with 47% of the women asked choosing this as the best option to describe their suit. Bikini's came in second with 27% and Tankini's third with 18%.

The poll also shows the majority of women chose an Indoor Pool as the location they wear swimwear the most. Only 9% of women said they wear their swimwear to the beach, pool and in the garden.

When asked about buying swimwear, 39% of the women asked can find suits in their size but not in the style they'd like. This provokes the question: are designers creating costumes for bigger women?

Many comments stated that costumes in larger sizes are never as stylish.

"Because you're big they think you want boring swimwear."

"As a plus sized woman, swimsuits are quite hard to find, and when you do find them they look quite frumpy. It's finding that good balance where your size shouldn't dictate what style of swimsuit you should wear."

15% of the women asked said they always avoid the beach or swimming pool because they feel uncomfortable in swimwear! 57% said from time to time they will avoid these locations.

"I would never be seen in public wearing swimwear even though I get very hot and would love to be able to go in the swimming pool on holiday."

The results of this research show that overall women are not feeling comfortable in swimwear. They are so unhappy with the styles available and how they look many will go to the extreme of deliberately avoiding certain locations in which swimwear is worn.

Many of the women left comments stating they would like to see more choice for larger sizes. Including the production of more swim-skirts (swimsuits with a skirt attached), as many said these are just too hard to find.

"I've lost a lot of weight, but still feel self-conscious about showing the top of my legs, so wanted a swimming costume with a bit of skirt attached, it was so hard finding one!"

The survey highlighted many issues women have regarding swimwear. With the expansion of the plus-size clothing market, 100% People hope this will attract more designers to create swimwear for larger sizes in styles that are not only modern but also flatter curvaceous women!

Kathryn Whatton, Director of 100% People has said:

"Everyone should have the opportunity to wear comfortable, well-fitting swimwear; just because you are a plus-sized person should not dictate whether or not you participate in such activities as swimming or visiting the beach on holiday. We ask that designers listen to this research and begin to consider those of the population who are not slim. After all swimming is one of the healthiest activities someone can do, shouldn't we be encouraging plus-size women to take this up, rather than making them feel uncomfortable and ashamed?"

Notes to Editors