Having tried to get in as much swimming as possible whilst abroad, I've had plenty of experience in what makes good modest swimwear. Since coming back, Paris-based company Madamme BK got in touch and asked me to review the Plissé Gold swimsuit. First off, a lot of women (not just those who wear hijab) are looking for modest swimwear for a variety of reasons - everything from religious beliefs, personal comfort, protection from the sun, etc. Madamme BK offer a wide range of modest swimsuits to suit your requirements, for example, some of the trousers are 3/4 length, and not all of the outfits come with a headpiece attached to the top. The Plissé Gold is one of the swimsuits that comes with loose trousers, rather than leggings, for a more modest fit.
The swimsuit is predominantly black, with a gold trim around the hem of the top, the cuffs and the headpiece. The fabric of the Plissé Gold is quite shiny, but is very soft and lightweight. The top is quite long and comes down to just above the knee. It has two strings on each side which you can pull and tie together to create a ruched effect, and another string you can attach to a loop on the trousers, which prevents the top from riding up in the water.
When trying on the swimsuit I had two concerns. Firstly the headpiece is incredibly loose, so much so that it wouldn't even stay on my head. I'm not too sure why this is and from a practical point of view, you would still need to wear a swimming cap underneath to prevent your hair from showing. In my experience, if the headpiece is not tight enough, it will slip right off as soon as you start swimming.
Secondly, I found the sizing of this particular swimsuit to run small, despite following the size guide provided on the website. However, it still allowed for a comfortable range of movement. If you're looking for something with a looser fit, you may need to consider ordering a size up. You can contact Madamme BK directly who were very helpful with any enquiries I had; and confirmed that this swimsuit does indeed run a little smaller than the others.
One advantage of this swimsuit is that the trousers are elasticated at the bottom. This is a big plus because with previous swimsuits I've tried, there is nothing more annoying than having the trousers flapping around your ankles whilst trying to swim. In terms of coming out of the water, I would always recommend that you squeeze the excess water out of the swimsuit and then sit in the sunshine to allow it to dry quicker. No matter how well designed a modest swimsuit is, it will still cling to you if it is too wet.
Designing modest swimwear is a big challenge as getting the balance between a modest fit and practicality whilst in the water is very difficult. I think the Plissé Gold does quite well, though some adjustments to the design of the headpiece are definitely needed. Overall, I think the Madamme BK designs are beautifully designed compared to most offerings on the market, and definitely worth checking out as they have a range of options to help you enjoy the water!
EDIT: Madamme BK have informed me that they have now addressed the problems with the sizing and headpiece in their new batch of swimsuits, so everyone placing an order now hopefully won't encounter these problems! Good news and great customer service!