It’s that time of year again. It’s getting warmer every day and we are all pretending to love it. In reality, we’re actually dreading the heat because none of us are organized enough to own a bikini with two matching pieces. A black and white bottom as a staple with 300 different colored tops that you wear in rotation for the whole summer? Yeah, classic. I get it girls, honestly I do. Bathing suits are f*cking expensive. They have been ever since we hit puberty and our bathing suits stopped being sold as sets. All the padding, bedazzling, and intricate designs really add up. Now, we have to choose between dropping $100 on both a bikini top and bottom, or just settling for one or the other. Hence the uneven ratio of tops to bottoms, tops win every time.
What if I told you that there are stores outside of Victoria’s Secret that sell bathing suits you wouldn’t have to sell your firstborn child to in order to buy? What if I told you that you could actually afford to buy two halves of a bathing suit for the first time since you grew boobs? Shocking, I know, but here are a few:
Tops & Bottoms starting from $14.97
Look at how happy this chick looks. It’s probably because she’s finally wearing an actual bikini set. Now, I know what you’re thinking: these prices aren’t super far off from the ones at Victoria’s Secret. However, the difference is there are almost always sales on Aerie swimwear so that you can afford to buy both pieces. For instance, the sale right now is buy a top get a bottom free. Stuff like this goes on for the whole summer. And since they are under American Eagle, you can use the reward points you got from buying your new shorts for more discounts off your bikini.
Tops & Bottoms from $25
Jolyn has super simple, reasonably priced pieces. Their swimwear is pretty without all the over-priced extras that we tend to see in more popular swimwear. They have a huge selection of triangle bikini tops, as well as some with fun, strappy details. If you’re looking for a basic bikini that looks awesome on, Jolyn is the way to go.
Bikini sets starting from $20
If you miss buying bathing suits as sets, Lookbook Store is for you. They have great bikini sets all under $40. Nowadays, it’s difficult to find a single bikini top for under $40, let alone an entire set. Lookbook Store has everything from your standard triangle bikini to fringe and crochet bikinis that are very Coachella-inspired.
Tops & Bottoms starting from $14.50
A lot of people look past Ardene because it only recently started selling clothing. Although the quality isn’t amazing, the prices are. Let’s be honest with ourselves, we all know we are going to buy a new bikini next year regardless of the price. If you’re looking for a cheap bikini to last you the summer, this is the place to go. They have a huge selection of styles and colors, as well as cheap summer accessories like sunglasses and flip-flops to go with your new suit.
Tops & Bottoms starting from $24.95
The prices at Garage are often on the higher, more expensive side, but I can definitely get on board with the prices of their swimwear. Like Aerie, Garage has some swimwear pieces that are reminiscent of the prices at VS, but incorporate sales that make them affordable all summer long. BOGO deals are always something to smile about, especially when it comes to swimwear. A common swimwear sale at Garage is buy a top, get a bottom for $5. If that doesn’t scream “I-have-no-excuse-to-wear-a-mismatched-bikini-now” then I don’t know what does.
Tops & Botttoms staring from $6.90
Just when you think Forever 21 couldn’t have any more affordable and diverse clothing, they introduce a swimwear collection. Forever 21 swimwear is just as cute and as cheap as you’d expect it to be. With prices like those, you could easily buy 6 full bikinis and still have enough cash to hit up the food court and wreck your bikini body progress.
Tops and Bottoms starting at $50
Beverly Swimwear isn’t the cheapest of the bunch, but it’s definitely the most unique. These bathing suits are anything but typical or conventional, especially in this day and age. Their versatile styles flatter a variety of body types. From vintage two pieces (pictured) to tankinis to one pieces, these bathing suits are perfect if you’re feeling something different.
Fact: Nobody likes dropping the big bucks on bathing suits. You don’t spend as much time in them as you do regular clothes, and the photo shoots you try to take while wearing them hardly ever turn out as planned. With these 7 stores, it’s possible to look cute without having to splurge. We all know you’re gonna buy that new bikini anyways, you might as well save some money while you do it.
Feature image via Natasha Oakley