Beach #EMbody. Because your BODY is READY for the BEACH.

Hello new readers and familiar fans!!! I am thrilled to announce the launch of my plus size fashion blog, SassyPlus!!! I’ve actually been blogging for a while, but not at full capacity, and as a plus size woman who has learned to celebrate my curves through fashion and see my present beauty, I realize that I need this platform to share this passion with you.

Most of you know me as the owner of the plus size boutique and online store SexyPlus Clothing, which was founded in 2009 and is now located in Mississauga, Ontario, Canada. While I am proud to offer a very special and diverse selection of plus size fashion and lingerie at SexyPlus, I also recognize that every girl needs variety to create a complete wardrobe. I believe that we need a little of this, and a little of that. Some pieces are an investment, and some pieces are disposable  – we need both and a little in between. And this is why my new plus size fashion blog SassyPlus was created.

For my first post, I wanted to destroy, like I mean obliterate, the notion that any body needs to be “ready” for the beach.


Now, saying that and actually getting your body to the beach in an ever-so-revealing swimsuit is easier said than done. I know. I understand.

It’s the most revealing and intimate piece of clothing a woman is allowed to wear in public. No wonder it’s intimidating.

And despite all my confidence, and literally making a living advocating for beauty diversity and body acceptance, I’m still human, and I’m a girl, who sometimes finds it easier to see the beauty in others than in myself.

I remember in grade school I would intentionally FAIL the swimming portion of phys ed because I could not fathom the idea of wearing a swimsuit in front of everyone. True story. Instead I did detention.

However, determined to see this through and launch my blog with the utmost blogusto, I garnered all my confidence and courage on behalf of ALL of us, and decided to do a “Beach Embody” issue for my inaugural blog post, because after all,

to “embody” is to take ownership right?

I also wanted to tell you about my Canadian shopping experience with regards to plus size swimwear and provide some resources to help you find the right one because you also have a #beachEMbody and you’re ready for the beach, right? RIGHT?? Of course you are!

So, my first swimsuit is this absolutely lovely swim dress from Always for Me (based in the United States).



While this particular ruffle front style is no longer available, I also have the Twist Front Bandeau Style (shown below) and it is almost exactly the same, with the same awesome fit, but without the ruffle down the front. I highly recommend this style (as seen in “O” magazine). It comes in pink, plum, aqua, brown, red, lilac, black, and a beautiful new floral here. I love the multi-wear feature: where the strap can be worn as a halter, criss cross, or not at all. And it comes in sizes 16W to 26W, for $89 US. It has a slightly padded bra and tummy support. I am wearing the size 18W in this shot, and while the 16W fit, it was a little tight (I wear a 16 in clothing) so I might suggest going up one size.

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I put this look together by first being inspired by the main piece, the plum swimsuit, and then these sexy nude strappy wedge sandals, and coordinated the rest of the outfit based on that.


So, add a country floral scarf, sunglasses and box cap with lace trim from Ardene and a bold pearly statement necklace from Aldo. A little fancy for a “real” day at the beach, but you get the idea.





Swimsuit by – similar here

Strappy Nude Wedge Sandals – sold out, similar wide width option by Penningtons here

Scarf, sunglasses and cap by Ardene – similar here or in their stores

Statement necklace by Aldo – similar here

My second swimsuit was a fatkini – yeah I said it – from Forever 21. I honestly did not expect to find such an awesome two-piece, at a ridiculously low price, that I felt so cute in at Forever 21. I was impressed. The top and bottom are each $18.90!!!




I am wearing size 1X bottom and 3X top (because they didn’t have any 1X or 2X left). It’s a tad big and I would have liked a slightly tighter, more supportive fit, but the 3X will do. I loved the sassy cool 80’s paint splatter print, the sexy cut out side straps on the bottom, and never thought it would fit like it does.



I recently picked up these cute & sexy strappy lace-up wedge sandals from Penningtons (also a great price), along with a bright bold pink Jessica Simpson necklace (purchased at The Bay).



Swim top by Forever 21 – here

Swim bottom by Forever 21 – here

All Forever 21 plus size swim – here

Wide width wedge sandals by Penningtons – here

Necklace by Jessica Simpson – sold out, cool statement necklaces at The Bay and aldo at Aldo here

I desperately wanted to feature a third swim look, but could not find a third option that I liked which brings me to the part about my experience finding plus size swimwear in Canada. It was really tough.

I tried Old Navy, which was an epic fail, with their size “XL” not even coming close to fitting, and only one single item available in “XXL” which was a bikini top that did not even hold half my boob.

I searched online at The Bay, and you can search by size, and while there was a decent selection, they were not for me. Plus size search results here.

Addition Elle had a nice selection, including some super cute Jessica Simpson styles (price ranging from $95 to $156) but they didn’t have my size at the time. I’d love to hear if you have an AE swimsuit and how it fit you. FYI, their swimsuits are listed under “Clothing” for online shoppers. See their swimsuit collection here.

Penningtons had a more conservative but pretty selection. Average price $110. What about you, did you score at Penningtons? Let me know. See their collection here.

Gussied Up had quite a few options in one piece swimsuits, with the majority ranging in sizes 14-20 (and some up to 24), and around $115-$125. I did not get a chance to try these so let me know if you did! See their plus size swimsuits here.

I used to sell Monif C swimsuits at SexyPlus Clothing, but as designer items, they were priced at around $180 which is out of reach for many of us, despite their unique and beautiful design. And they didn’t move quickly enough, so I could not continue to offer them, and this is the sad reality of plus size swimwear (and fashion) in Canada for independent boutiques.

Swimsuits For All, great range of style from contemporary, to blogger inspired (recently by GabiFresh), great fit and quality and especially love their Swim Sexy collection – shop all styles here.

A note on photography and images: The images in this post have NOT been photoshopped – no rolls have been tucked, no fat has been removed. The only editing is lighting, color adjustment and smoothing of skin in some shots. Photography by the talented Rebecca Northcott Photography.

I’d love your comments and feedback so please talk to me below!!!

Thank you for reading and sharing ladies – I appreciate and love you!

Copyright SassyPlus 2015 – All rights reserved.

36 thoughts on “Beach #EMbody. Because your BODY is READY for the BEACH.

  1. I had issues with finding a bikini top that didn’t make my boobs flatten out like a pancake, which finally happened at however the 3x was a tad big but I can shrink them a touch. My bottoms came from and they fit perfect! I decided to rock a full on bikini this year. I decided not to care what anyone but me thinks. If I cant lose it, tan it and dress it cute right?

    Liked by 1 person

    • Jme, yes!!! But you don’t even need to tan it, although I admit I feel better with a tan too, so do what makes you feel good (while protecting yourself from the effects of the sun of course). I am happy to hear you found the bottoms at Old Navy – you had more luck than I did so I will have to re-visit them. Thank you for sharing and we hope to see you back here soon! xox Stef


  2. Great blog idea Stef congratulations! As a plus size lady I too suffered through a youth of wearing a tshirt over my suit for fear of being ridiculed but as an adult I decided that I wouldn’t let my own thoughts stop me from having fun and enjoying times with my daughter because of how I thought other people may think I looked in a swimsuit. Finding a suit that fits and makes me feel comfortable and still trendy is not easy. I have found Walmart can have some good basics. However I usually end up having to spend $120 to $150 for a suit.

    I loved the blue suit btw and it looks great on you! Good luck with your new blog and continued success with your store!


    • THANK YOU KERRI and so nice to hear from you! Yes, we’ve all been there and all have one version or another of this same story to tell. I remember pretending to be sick when invited to pool parties for the same reason. Congratulations on owning your beach body and enjoying the sun and the sea with your daughter. Aside from Walmart, where did you get your other swim suits? I’m sure other readers would love to know. xox Stef


      • I’ve bought two suits from Bigley’s Beach House in Bobcaygeon, they had a good variety and many different sizes, the suits were well worth the extra money for me.


  3. You look beautiful I proud of you !!! Now for my problem maybe I get help on this ok. I’m 60 but defenlty not old, plus size as you know but consider myself as fashionable a little funky fun style here’s my issue I need some shear A line tunic style shirts with 3/4 sleeves to wear to work over my tanks but they need to be on a far price line as I love clothes I need to stay on my clothing budget. I’m having trouble finding this I am forced to buy bathing cover ups because they have long sleeves and cover the lower tummy and are shear to stay cool. Any thoughts Stef


    • Thank you so much Lynn! I know you personally and agree you are the example of youthful vitality! I actually love the idea of cover ups as tops and have done this myself for the longest time. Fashion is, after all, what you make it. I see no problems with that. While I do not have any suggestions for alternatives at the moment, I will continue to search and maybe even use this as a future blog topic. Thank you for your support Lynn!


  4. LOVE! I have a Monif C suit that I purchased at SexyPlus. Yes, it was quite a bit more in $$ than I traditionally spend but the fit, fabric and overall quality is also far superior. I have to admit that I immediately jumped on the Forever 21 site and ordered 2 suits, including taxes (no shipping) for under $80. I have a difficult time finding bathing suits that are contemporary enough and that show enough skin! I don’t want to be all covered up! Thank you again Stefanie! All my love, Maria xox


    • Maria – I’m so glad to hear! Ya, those Monif C swimsuits are beautiful. I’m glad you got a couple at Forever 21 and I would love to see them if you dare to share your pics when they arrive! Use hashtag #beachEMbody 🙂 Until next time, all my love back! Stef


  5. You truly are an inspiration Stef. You are an amazing woman and thanks for this. I haven’t wore a swimsuit since 2009 because I have packed on weight, and even back then I struggled with wearing one. Growing up I always wore a t shirt over my swim suit and people would look at me funny. I look forward to reading your blog on a regular basis.


    • THANK YOU NOELLE! Your kind words encourage me! We all have one version or another of this same story and it’s time to break free. We have every right to enjoy the sea and the sun as much as anyone! So will you be getting a swim suit this year and going to the beach? I hope so! xox Stef


  6. Just wanted to say I love the pictures and the swimsuits. Very beautiful and especially love the confidence. I used to hate going to the pool in my bathing suit but now I couldn’t care less what people think. What matters is how I think of me. Took me awhile to get to this point but I’m glad I did. I been wearing a swimsuit I had bought at a garage sale few years ago, that’s how much I used to swim. I finally decided to upgrade and I found a two piece swim suit at Costco for a total under 40 bucks. A size 18. Black bottoms and a black and white polka dot tank top. I am quite happy seeing the prices that are out there. The suits you have are beautiful and would totally love those. Now that I’m getting back into swimming and “splurged” more, other styles are looking good. Your pics inspire me to take pics of myself in a bathing suit!! Why not? All sizes are beautiful and unique. 🙂

    Liked by 1 person

    • Thank you Jessie for sharing your personal experience. It’s amazing how many comments I’ve received of women missing out on life because of this. I’m glad we are breaking down barriers and learning to let go. Costco! Good to know, thank you! And yes, we wanna see your #beachEMbody photo!!!


  7. Great blogpost! I always struggle to find a swimsuit that fits right. I switched to a 2 piece a few years ago so I can get a bigger top and smaller bottoms. This helps. I like the strapless suits but do they stay up when you swim? I’ve got a large bust and uave trouble with that. Thanks!

    Liked by 1 person

    • Thank you for commenting Geeksburgh! That is a great way to get an ensemble that fits and I hope other women give it a try too! This strapless suit did stay up but it is not as robust as a suit with straps that’s for sure. Perhaps best for leisure swimming 🙂


  8. I bought a really cute bikini on Old Navy online where they go up to a 4x and the sizes are a generous fit. If they don’t fit the returns ate really easy you just take it back to the closest store or mail it back.


    • Thank you Shanna!!! I didn’t have any luck this time around with Old Navy but will give them another try based on your review 🙂 xox


  9. Great blog!!! You look fantastic!! I have a really hard time finding a swim suit. I am fuller figure size 20-22 with a healthy boob area ( 44 g ) and you would not catch me in a swimsuit ever…. Before…. But NOW, with the positive influence that I see every single day from fabulous ladies such as yourself, I am owning it, and got some great pieces in my closet for the beach this year. I found some nice Tankini tops from Penningtons, that offer great support and are cute, ( run about $50 +) and to make it more affordable, I get the bottoms from Walmart, with or without skirt attached. ( approx. $20-22 +) and I switch them up all the time. My husband loves the looks and I finally feel free and good about summer. 🙂 !!!

    Liked by 1 person

    • And you’re going to enjoy the sea and sand this year, yay Sue!!! And great advice for getting interchangeable pieces on a budget. Thank you!!!


  10. What a fab addition to the blogosphere, Stef! Can’t wait to read more entries like this.
    Personally I’ve always done my bathing suit shopping at Melmira Bra and Swimsuits on Yonge. Their offerings are not at Forever 21 pricepoints, but for me they’re worth it. I’ve always had plenty to choose from and been served by fabulous, positive, non-judgmental people. 🙂


    • Thank you Michelle for your support and your comments! I appreciate the addition and knowing about Melmira, so I can share with my readers. Do they have a good plus size range to your knowledge?


    • Oh i’m a bit too self conscious for that probably! But it’s the GabiFresh The Queen Underwire High Waist Bikini. I loved how it looked on the model.


  11. Love the two piece! I just ordered a high waist bikini from them as well. Can’t wait for it to arrive, it’ll be my first one!


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