By far the best thing about this suit is how comfortable it is. I'm used to Underworks' nylon/spandex binding material, so the lycra/spandex used in the binding portion of this suit was a great change in terms of comfort. I have absolutely no issues moving/breathing/swimming with this on and if you're looking for something that allows you to exert yourself more than you might be able to in an Underworks binder I recommend it.
Binding Ability: 2/5
I wouldn't recommend this suit for anyone larger than an A cup, or if you're shorter than 5'4", a B cup. I border on a small B and I find that for me this suit only works about as well as a close-fitting sports bra. The binding material is kind of spongy, so it does flatten me out somewhat and looks a lot better than if I only wore a t-shirt, but I still feel very self-conscious of my chest when I wear it out in public.
The site rates the binding swimsuit a 4 in terms of durability, but I personally have to disagree. The material fades, stains, and bleeds when washed very easily. I have only worn my suit about 5 times and the yellow colour accents on the sides are already quite stained, as well as the inner binding material. The outer material is also of the sort that begins to pill and pull if it is grazed against anything with a rough texture, so you have to be very careful with it. You could probably only get one, maybe two summers of consistent swimming out of this suit if you're reaally careful with it.
There are some things I really like about the design of this suit and some I'm not so fond of. I'm going to make a bullet list since I have a lot to say for this section.
- First, this suit really isn't designed for anyone taller than about 5'8". I'm 6'2" and I took a chance on it knowing it would probably be too short since I have sensitive skin and can't deal with Underworks. It's long enough that it doesn't look too weird on me, but it would definitely fit and look better if I wasn't so tall.
- The binding aspect of the suit is concealed well and not obvious at all, but the outer material of the suit is extremely clingy when wet, so if tight clothes trigger your dysphoria this probably isn't the suit for you.
- The bottoms are very tight-fitting and have no accommodations for a packer. Reading someone else's review of this suit they said that they cut up one of their old women's bathing suit to make a packing pouch and I think that would be a good solution. When ordering I recommend getting a size up for the bottoms if you can. I was at the very bottom of the size bracket for the large ones and I still find them almost uncomfortably tight.
- The elastic around the waist of the top is really great and I don't have any problems with the suit rolling up. It also helps to minimize the appearance of a more 'feminine' waist and makes your body look more angular.
- The zipper is a good quality and I don't have any problems with it design or comfort-wise. It bunches up a lot for me but again I think this is a problem that a shorter person wouldn't have since the outer material of the suit would have more leeway.
- Since they are very tight and because of the way they're made, the bottoms of this suit make your butt look fantastic.
- The material of this suit takes FOREVER to dry. Keep that in mind if you have to wash it (and you should wash it after every time you use it, especially if you swim in chlorinated water), because it will take about two days to dry out completely (don't put it in the dryer because that will ruin it for sure). This is also kind of a problem when you're swimming if like me you get cold very easily, since it doesn't really dry off very well when you get out.
- I had to get the yellow instead of blue when I ordered since they didn't have any blue ones in and I wanted it ASAP. I was worried I wouldn't like the shade of yellow, but it's not as pastel-y as it looks on the site so I'm happy with it.
Over all I am glad I have a swimsuit that looks more masculine on me and is comfortable, but for the price of it I think there are a lot of things about it that could be improved. If you're a smaller-chested, shorter guy and plan to take very deliberate care of the suit I would say go for it, but for people who don't fit that body type there are probably better options.
Rating: [3 of 5 Stars!]