Dressing Room Diaries: Target Swimwear 2017

By now you’ve probably figured out that I’m in overdrive when it comes to sorting out where I’m going to get my swimsuits this year. Last week I talked about the best places to buy swimwear for 2017 and Target was nowhere to be found on that list. Here’s the deal – their suits always fit me just a little bit weird. I’m not entirely sure why this is, but I’ve never had great luck with Target swimwear.

But then I was browsing the interwebs and got sucked into the current promotion they are doing – buy one, get one 50% all swim. That, my friends, is a deal. It’s running until March 4th, for anyone else in the same predicament as me.

I wear swimsuits enough that I blow through them pretty darn quickly. I can’t justify more than one or two $100+ swimsuits, particularly for adventures such as the dog beach. I just can’t. So, I thought…“Well, let me just go and look. I probably won’t even see any styles I like.”

This is the part where I tell you that I was wrong about not finding styles I liked. It turns out, Target has seriously upped the swimsuit ante! Bright colors, multiple styles of bottoms, one piece, cheeky, conservative…they’ve got it all. Color me impressed.

For whatever reason, I seemingly had the store to myself (does no one shop after work?) and time to kill (THIS NEVER HAPPENS), so I took about 500 styles to the dressing room and tried every single one on. It was like a perfect storm, so I felt compelled to try each and every style I liked on in the store, in a slightly sweaty and very poorly lit dressing room.

But! Here is the part where it’s going to work in your favor…I’ve done the trying on for you and I’m going to roll through every brand and give you a little straight talk so you can make some informed shopping choices. #yourewelcome

I’ll start by saying I have a very average body type and usually run a size 4-6 or medium in stores. I have a long torso and muscular legs, which sometimes makes bottoms tricky. Swimsuits are always a crapshoot for me, because staring at a size 0 model online literally tells me NOTHING about how it will look on me. So, trying everything on is a MUST. Always. Which leads me to today

First up?

Xhilaration Lace Up Bralette Bikini Top and Cheeky Hipster Bottom

TargetSwimwear 2017-Xhilaration

You can’t really tell in either photo, but this swimsuit is navy and white striped – super cute! It also laces up the back, which I wasn’t initially wild about, but the more I looked at it the more I liked it. It’s adorable and rivals the style of brands like L*SPACE and San Lorenzo. I thought for sure I would love the bralette style and I think that had I been patient enough to finagle the straps – it could have worked. What I didn’t like is that the style of both the top and bottom are VERY snug. I am wearing a size large in both the top and bottom and you can see that it’s pretty tight. Even though I loved the print, I took a hard pass on this.

Next, I tried the Xhilaration Strappy Back Bralette Bikini Top and Tabside Bottoms. There are matching strappy bottoms, but all I could envision was hip and butt fat busting out of those straps, so that was an immediate no-go for me. I suppose if you don’t have hips or cellulite, they might be a good option.

TargetSwimwear 2017-Xhilaration

I’ll be honest, I wanted this top to work SO BADLY. It covered was exactly what I was looking for and there was really nothing too fancy about it. In fact, it looks exactly like a swimsuit I had been eyeing at a local boutique for a fraction of the cost. Sadly, I think the Xhilaration brand is just not for me. It was tight ALL OVER in the top (you can see my back skin busting out of those straps in the back) and the bottoms made me feel like I had a load in my pants and not just because my underwear was bunching up in there. I contemplated going up to an extra large in the top, but they didn’t have the top in that size and I wasn’t going to be playing some wild cat-and-mouse game with Targets all over the island trying to track down a suit that may or may not work out. Sad day, but a hard pass on this one as well. I will say, though, that for my fellow Itty Bitty Titty Committee members, this style does wonders for the chest! I felt like I had boobs!

After all of this, I took the remaining Xhilaration suits that I had in my stockpile and put them on the other side of the dressing room in a pile. It was becoming apparent that that brand was made for people with a different body type than I.

So onward I went in an entirely different direction…a one piece! Specifically, the Shore Halter One Piece.

TargetSwimwear 2017-Shade&Shore

Now, I have to be honest, this one piece looked ROCKING on one of the mannequins, but it left much to be desired on my frame. I was initially really excited, because it comes in sizes to match your bust, but…good luck finding a swimsuit for a long torso in a 36A. I ended up trying on a 34B and all I could do was laugh. I think my face says it all. Between the wedgie and the camel toe…I think I’ll stick to all black one pieces or something that is a bit less…trendy? I don’t even know. There is a lot going on in this suit and it did NOT work in my favor.

After that I tossed the rest of the one pieces I had brought back, realizing once in my dressing room that one of them was maternity anyhow. Hey – I thought it was cute! Anyway, Shade & Shore has really cute designs that are quite similar to those that you used to find at Victoria’s Secret, so I opted to try on their Vacay Midi Bandeau Bikini Top and Beach String Hipster Bottoms.

TargetSwimwear 2017-Shade&Shore

I’ll be honest – I really liked this one and the fit seemed very true-to-size. I tried on a medium in the top and a medium in the bottom. The bottoms are ruched in the back, so they have a more snug feeling to your butt (see also: no load-in-your-pants look) and the top is snug, but not overly tight. The only drawback to this suit, for me, is the tie sides on the bottoms. That’s literally the only reason I didn’t take this suit home with me. Tie sides have a way of constantly needing adjusted for me and that is just plain annoying. If you don’t have this problem (I’m jealous), then I would DEFINITELY snatch this style up!

The final two suits that I tried on were both prints that I just LOVED, so even though they were Xhilaration, I wanted to give them a go. I still had time so I figured…why not?


Let’s talk about the Strappy Triangle Bikini Top and Strappy Bottoms first.

TargetSwimwear 2017-Xhilaration

I am wearing a size medium in both the top and bottom and even though the bottoms are strappy, there is no skin bulge! The top fits snug, but not tight, and would be perfect for water sports or high energy activity (beach volleyball, dog beach, etc). Also of note, the straps didn’t dig into my body and were soft, not cheap elastic like some of the others I tried on.

The second suit was the Xhilaration Push Up Bikini Top and Cheeky Bikini Bottom.

TargetSwimwear 2017-Xhilaration

I’m wearing a size medium in both the top and the bottom. The happy palm print caught my eye immediately and what’s not to love about a fun pom pom trim up top? I have to admit, I’m typically not drawn to push-up style suits, because I’ll be real…there’s nothing to push up! But as soon as I put this suit on, it didn’t feel like a traditional push-up at all. There’s not a ton of padding, nor is the underwire prominent. I also felt that the bottoms fit me the best of any of the suits I had tried on. I’m not sure why they called it a cheeky bottom, as they really have pretty great coverage, and the sides are not a tie..win!

I had decided before I even got to the store that if I found a suit I liked, I would only be buying one. I was really torn between the last two suits I tried on, but ultimately decided to go with the last suit – the Xhilaration Push Up. With the sale,  I got both pieces for $28, which is a hell of a deal when it comes to swimsuits. I haven’t lost hope yet on finding the perfect one piece, but I’m probably going to steer clear of the ones from Target for the time being, LOL!

What are your thoughts on Target’s collection of swimwear? Keep or sweep?




  • ummm lets just state the obvious here! You have a rockin bod! I pouted when you said you put back the one pieces because you look SO FREAKING CUTE in that pink one! Oh my goodness! Maybe it looks better in pics though? I’m going to Target today anyway, so I’m gonna look. My favorites on you are definitely #4 and #5. SO cute. Such a fun post, and you are so confident to share. I know people will enjoy this, as it’s super helpful!

    • Kait

      HA! It’s a constant work in progress, but fasted cardio, weights and a plant based diet have definitely been a help 🙂 It looks WAY better in pics. My butt was eating it alive and the front was just…SCARY. But I’m happy you found this post useful, because that’s exactly what I was hoping! I know we don’t all always have time to stop, shop and try on, right?! It was like a perfect storm. I’m still debating going back and getting that 4th one. We will see!

  • Courtney

    That last one is perfect! And I will trade your long torso for my so-short-it’s-nonexistent one any day if the week. I’m so jealous of people with long torsos!

    • Kait

      I agree! I was shocked, because I didn’t expect to love a push up, but I couldn’t stop dreaming about the print!

  • Jen

    Target has always been my go-to for swimsuits, they seem to fit my body type the best. I have yet to venture out to get a new one this year because my shape has changed so much. Might just have to take care of that soon haha. I love the first one you tried on, it’s super cute!

    • Kait

      The bralette tops are the ones I wanted to love and those stripes were too adorable! Sadly, it just seemed to make me look (and feel) a little chunky.

  • i loved that you took these photos in the dressing room and look fabulous in all of them girl! I think my top 2 favorites are the last two you mentioned! They’d look great on everyone and I just adore the colors and fit of each! Thanks for sharing!

    • Kait

      You are way too nice, because after I peeked at them when I left I was like..oh geez, this ought to be good! HA! I agree on the last two looking good on a wide range of people and body types. Plus, they were comfy!

  • Target is one of the first places I go for swimwear, especially if it’s trendy! I think that hot pink number looks amazing on you!
    Alyssa | feathers and stripes

    • Kait

      You are too kind! I really liked it, but the wedgie and camel toe factor were a no go for me. I think when I do finally take the one piece plunge it will be a more simple style. And I’m with you on the trends – it seems like they had every trend covered!

  • I love the last 2 you chose! They look great on you! I hate when clothes look great on the mannequins or online and then you try them on and you’re like WTF. Fun post!

    • Kait

      YES! So do I! There is nothing more annoying. We can’t all be 5’10 models 🙁

  • I love the black strappy set on you! I love the last ones, too. To be honest, you look awesome in all of these, so I really have no clue how you chose!! I went to Target before our Hawaii trip for some new pieces, and I was impressed with the selection this year. The only thing I don’t like are all the wild lace pieces that will also definitely give the craziest tan lines imaginable haha!

    Meg, Borrowed Heaven

    • Kait

      Ah, well you are too kind. I’m kind of particular about fit (if you didn’t notice…ha!) so it really came down to how it all felt on my body. The wild lace pieces and crochet anything…definite no!

  • I’m seriously loving a lot of the prints at Target, every time I go there, I’m always like maybe I should take a look. Even though I’ve bought a shit ton online from various places. I’ve yet to find Target swimwear that works for me, I always have issues with the bottoms, I haven’t tried their stuff in a couple of years. So maybe they changed it. The bottoms would always be too wide in the crotch area and the ends would overlap, it always annoyed the crap out of me. I ordered from L*SPACE after you tweeted about it a while ago, I love what I got and can’t wait to wear them once the weather gets better. My go-to for one-piece is Albion Fit, they’re definitely pricy, but I love their prints and I feel great wearing them. Keep on keeping it real in your posts, love it!

  • While reading this post I felt like we have the SAME issues when trying to find bathing suits! I’ve been on the hunt for a one piece for some time but the one I tried on from Victoria Secret’s did nothing to flatter my body so I haven’t tried one on since! I also have that issue with bottoms that tie on the sides – they always come undone! I have a couple of halter tops from Aerie that are a little too small in the bust area, I always feel like my ladies are going to fall out so I have been searching for some tops that have nice support! I tried on a top from Albion Fit and while I loved it, the padding was all messed up so it didn’t look too good . . . the hunt continues!

  • Oh man so many good choices – impressed with the Target lineup! Love the one you picked, but I also love that midi top one – such a fun shape for the top. You are rocking them all, lady. (Though the cut of the one-piece is a little weird on the legs – hate it when that happens.)

  • HA! I am so happy you posted the pink one. And you also win in the balls department girl, I would not be posting pics of me trying on swimwear anytime soon. Unless I magically wake up with some abs! LOL

    • Kait

      The pink one really deserves a post all its own! LOL