Beach Season: 8 Swimsuits for Every Budget

I took a class in college where most of the course was made up of a series of different group projects. We were assigned groups in the first class, and that was your team for the whole semester. Since you and your group spent so much time together, it was inevitable that they sort of became your unofficial family for those few short months. There was one guy in my group who was the life of the party — such a cool, funny, genuinely nice dude. About a month or two into the semester, I noticed that he wore this bright turquoise blue surf t shirt at least once per week. On the front of it was a big palm tree and beach illustration, and across the top, the word ‘PLAYA’ was written in big white letters. It was very Hollister circa 2004. One day I asked him if he loved to surf or loved going to the beach, since he wore it a lot. He looked at me like I was nuts and asked why.

“Your shirt,” I said, pointing to it, “It says playa on it.” He looked at me for a second and then just started laughing.

“Oh. I thought it said “playa” this whole time.” As in play-uh or “player”, you guys. We seriously laughed about it for like five minutes. Both for the translation mistake, and on my part, because he thought he was wearing a shirt indicating he was a “player”, when in reality, most people¬†California girls would have realized it was the Spanish word for “beach”. Which I told him to his face, and then we laughed some more. He was nothing if not exceedingly charming and confident, I’ll give him that (and I adored that he could laugh at himself. He totally still wore the shirt after, too!).

I always think about that shirt whenever I see the (Spanish) word “playa” and this weekend, as I was browsing swimsuits, was certainly no exception. I rounded up a bunch of suits that caught my eye (and a few are worth investigating just because the price is so good!). Do you have any beach trips planned for Memorial Day, or the summer ahead?

And, just to be clear, “plage” is not the same as “plague”. The more you know!


Also, the H&M bathing suit is available here and here. FYI, I got a couple bathing suits from them a few years ago and have been pleasantly surprised by how they’ve held up! Happy shopping!

Image Credit: “Tropical Tree!” by Jackie and licensed under Creative Commons with some graphic modifications made by me.


  1. 5.19.14
    Kayla said:

    Ahhh I LOVE that balconette bikini from Old Navy! And the price is perfect!


  2. 5.20.14
    Alyson said:

    that story is hysterical — and these suits are so good! Love the prints on so many, the HM, the ON, has a little Mara Hoffman feel which I’m totally digging. Gorgeous picks.


  3. 5.22.14
    Lily said:

    I ADORE the story about the J Crew suit coming back. Well played, Jenna!

    x Lily

  4. 6.2.14
    christyw said:

    Those are very good suggestions. Thank you for sharing. Here a really nice blog, that you might like it.

  5. 6.5.14

    Love your picks! I found so many great options at J.Crew and a bunch are now on sale! :)

    You can check out my post on the 2014 Swimsuit Trends here >>

  6. 6.9.14
    Lauren said:

    Love that H&M one!

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