We found that whilst we were excited about the concept of a bralette bikini top - easy and comfortable to wear under a t-shirt, nothing tying up around your neck hindering your posture, no uncomfortable underwire (the best feeling at the end of the workday is taking your bra off!), no soggy padding taking forever to dry, etc., every bralette bikini that we tried on gave us a bit of a 'boys chest', pushing our boobs down and out, rather than up and in. So we were determined to craft a bralette bikini that gives support through its construction instead - because physics says it's possible!
Our must-have features were comfort, quality, accessibility, wearability, tan line consideration, and above all flattering, ensuring that our bralette bikini accentuates the female form rather than detract.
As with every design we've made, we've sought out the best in the business to better understand the quality of craftmanship and fabric.
COMFORTABLE BIKINIS We decided the cups had to be seamless. We're not fans of the industry standard of 'darting' the cups, so instead, we approached it from an engineering angle. modified the shape of the cup and used a gathered stitch. We ensured that the outside of the cup was tighter than the inside so that it encourages the breast to favor sitting on the inside to create cleavage. Because we were approaching the design with more of an engineering perspective, our pattern makers at first resisted as it was against 'the norm'. However, they humored us and made a prototype. Ever since they've been excited to try things in ways they hadn't before!
ACCESSIBLE PRICING We've also looked at pricing - whether to price our bikinis for just the 'exclusive' few at the high end of the spectrum by selling them for hundreds per piece, or to aim to sell at scale and therefore lower margins so that it's accessible to all. We went for the latter, reducing the retail price as much as we could for the quality that we deliver.
FUNCTIONALITY We knew that the band around the ribs had to act as an anchor, so it couldn't be super thin or have weak elastic. This band is the underlying structure of the bra support, so as much as we wanted a super thin band for minimal tanlines, we weren’t willing to compromise
QUALITY FABRIC We also decided the fabric had to be A GRADE! There was an Elle McPherson bra that was an absolute personal favorite - it had satin on the inside of the cups and was heaven to wear even though every other aspect of it was not designed to be comfortable - this was a 'lingerie' piece, not a t-shirt bra by any means... This was where we learnt from personal experience that the feel of the fabric is key to comfort, no matter how small that piece of fabric is. So, we ensured that we had the softest possible fabric on offer. Despite manufacturers refusing to work with such soft swimwear fabric (because it's so difficult to work with!!), we found some incredible people with a team of insanely talented people to make ours.
ADJUSTABLE We also knew that it needed to be adjustable, especially as swimwear expands a little after the first wear or two in the water, so you want to have the option to tighten those straps if needed. Plus, everyone is of different shapes and sizes and it just makes it easier!
So we created the Ark Swimwear Bralette Bikini Top. We hope you love it as much as we do! xx