We teamed up with asos to design the perfect swimsuit for sizes 14 and up glamour

Remember when Taylor Swift had that Fourth of July party and her #squad was decked out in red, white, and blue? I was sad that I didn’t score an invite, but if I couldn’t crash the gates of the Rhode Island estate, I was determined to steal the look. Alas, retailers had other ideas. That summer, and every summer since, I haven’t been able to find anything close to one of those firecracker swimsuits in my size.

As a size 14 woman (give or take), I can’t walk down Fifth Avenue and casually shop. More retailers are beginning to design for a wider range of sizes, but some are just for show (i.e., with limited inventory, accompanied by my favorite line, “We don’t carry that size in stores, but we do online!”), and others are downright embarrassing.


Enter ASOS. When the company debuted its Curve collection in 2010, it was one of the first major brands to bring of-the-­moment pieces, including swimwear, to women sizes 12 to 24. So when Glamour asked if I would go to ASOS’s London headquarters to design my dream swimsuit­—one that would be widely available by the time you hold this issue—you bet I packed my star sneakers and got on that plane ASAP.

At ASOS (which looks like the set of the film The Intern: a beautiful open-plan office with every employee chicly dressed), I sat down with swimwear designer Amy Holden. I wasted no time telling her what was missing in the market for women sizes 14 and up: bright colors, well-constructed support, bikini bottoms that weren’t up to your rib cage (thereby creating the dreaded “diaper butt”). I explained how, for as long as I can remember, I’ve felt like designers wanted to hide my curves in a boring black ruched suit. Holden shot me one look that communicated instantly there’d be none of that going on here. We talked about riffing on the season’s Latin-inspired trend, with off-the-shoulder silhouettes, pom-poms, and festive trims. Ultimately, I wanted something with more of a shelf life. When you have the opportunity to create the perfect suit, you don’t want to waste it on something that could look dated next season.

With what I didn’t want out of the way, it was time to determine what I did. As Holden and I sat at her desk, staring at a blank piece of paper, I knew what I had to do: make the firecracker suit of my dreams. We settled on a one-piece, the dominant style chez Swift. Next, with a fistful of sample suits (halter, triangle-top, strapless), Holden talked about support, specifi­cally in the bust. Someone actually wanted to know how I want my boobs to look in a swimsuit! The answer: I wanted it to fit like a bra, with a little much-appreciated lift that would still allow my breasts to fall and move naturally. We decided on an underwire with adjustable straps.

Next we tackled fabric. I’m constantly encountering suits with fabric that’s so thin it leaves that weird line around any pads in the cup. After wading through samples of various weights, I settled on a fabric that was sufficiently solid. For the torso of the suit, I wanted some compression, enough to smooth things out but not so heavy-duty that all I could think about was how quickly I could take the thing off. And I cannot overstate this: I. Did. Not. Want. Ruching. (Everyone is onto that trick, and besides, I’ve got nothing to hide.) Holden’s solution to my Goldilocks problem: adding a mesh panel to the lining; taut yet perforated, it was just right. Finally, we agreed on a high-cut bottom, which elongates the leg. (And I love to show off my legs.)