Much like buying jeans, trying on and committing to a swimsuit is an emotional exercise of self acceptance and positive thinking.
And, trying really hard not to think of how amazing Gisele Bundchen looks in a bikini — after giving birth to two children.
But, Malia Mills hears your negative self talk and isn’t having any of it. The New York swimsuit designer, who recently opened her first Texas boutique in a small shopping center at Westheimer and Kirby (2606 Westheimer), thumbs her nose at the idea that women can’t and shouldn’t wear certain styles of suits.
The company's motto is “Love Thy Differences” and Mills takes that philosophy from the sketch pad to photo shoot, using real women to model the swimwear.
Mills responds instead with a resounding, “Hell yes you can!” and creates a collection of swimwear separates based on a woman’s bra and dress size.
Her boutique feels a bit like a minimalist beach house, with the emphasis clearly on swimsuits, plus accessories, dresses and rompers to pair with heels and jewelry for an evening out.
The swimsuit colors are jazzed up basics like white, black, navy, brown, green and a touch of cheetah print. The bra tops range from an A cup to E cup and it’s recommended women factor in 30 minutes to try on and see what looks and feels the best.
Mills has a strong Houston following, and whether shopping online or in the store, women are gravitating toward the It’s a Cinch bottoms that gives full coverage and sits a little higher than other bikini bottoms.
Vintage-inspired swim bottoms like Calendar Girl and Bombshell are also popular for women who want to be on trend while getting a little more coverage.
The Damsel Maillot one-piece is one piece with a touch of throwback charm that is a universal fit. Fuller-busted women are finding style and comfort in the Danceteria bikini top that comes in D, DD and E cups.
The boutique also creates customized swim bottoms for events like bachelorette parties and honeymoons, which take two weeks to turnaround.
Mills acknowledges the investment status of swimwear. Swim tops start at $155 and bottoms start at $150, so keep your swimwear out of the washing machine and don’t leave it out in the sun. To prolong the life of your suit, Mills says hand washing in cold is the way to go.
The company’s motto is “Love Thy Differences” and Mills takes that philosophy from the sketch pad to photo shoot, using real women to model the swimwear. It’s in that spirit, Mills embraces the “hell yes you can” idea.
Looks like it’s time for all of us to let our inner supermodel out and into a bikini.