To Tuck or Not to Tuck? New Inclusive Swimwear Collection Revealed at NY Fashion Week

by Kilian Melloy

EDGE Staff Reporter

Saturday September 18, 2021
Originally published on September 14, 2021

We may be late in the season, but summer's not over yet — and no matter what season it might be, comfortable clothing that helps you embrace your authentic self is always in style!

That summery vibe was present in full force at this year's New York Fashion Week, where fashion label Chromat presented "a line of swimsuits for girls who don't tuck, trans femmes, non-binary people, women, men and everyone embracing Collective Opulence Celebrating Kindred," InStyle reported.

Chromat founder Becca McCharen-Tran "has made it a point to be truly inclusive," InStyle recalled. "Nearly every body type, size, gender, ethnicity, race, and age has been represented on a Chromat runway sometime in the past decade."

The brand showed off a new collection that "re-imagines some of Chromat's most popular past suits modified with trans bodies in mind." Indeed, the piece pointed out, Chromat touted the new line as being "swimsuits for girls who don't tuck, trans femmes, non-binary people, women, men and everyone embracing Collective Opulence Celebrating Kindred."

Along with the sleek lines and boldly expressive coloration of the pieces displayed at a "pop-up presentation at Jacob Riis Beach" (all of the pieces were red), there was a sense of celebration, the article noted, reveling in how "the models, many of whom were Brown and Black trans, non-binary and queer, were effervescent, bubbling down the concrete runway in swimwear that was made for them."

"One piece I really liked was a tie bikini bottom where we added a one-inch wider crotch gusset so it fit over different size...packages," McCharen-Tran told InStyle.

Inclusive, comfortable swimwear is an issue that model and advocate Rosalynne Montoya embraces and promotes. Described on their website as "a Hispanic, bisexual, non-binary transgender woman" who uses "she/her/hers and they/them/their/theirs" pronouns, Montoya, in partnership with Unclockable, took to Instagram this past July with the message that "All bodies are summer bodies."

In addition to swimwear, Montoya has posted about the underwear she wears, including Marco Marco Underwear.

"These may be 'men's underwear,' but they're extremely comfortable and I like how they fit my body," Montoya said in an Aug. 15 Instagram post. "They're also so cute!"

Swimwear and underwear designed for trans women are gaining ground on catwalks and the marketplace alike. As the New York Times noted in a 2018 article, many transwomen don't want or feel like they need bottom surgery; moreover, trans women are a demographic that designers are taking seriously and putting some thought and creative inspiration into designing for.

With either lingerie or swimwear, though, tucking remains a significant issue. As Devan Diaz noted at The Strategist, tucking is by no means comfortable.

"There is no pain quite like coming home and removing a pair of underwear that's been pinching skin for an entire day," Diaz noted in the piece. At the same time, another issue arises in terms of "coverage" — that is, finding underwear "with enough fabric" for its wearer to feel comfortable and not exposed.

"I've spent years searching for underwear both sexy and basic that feels good and provides enough coverage for me not to tuck (or, on the occasions I do, wear a gaff)," Diaz wrote.

Clothing isn't all about function; form and presentation matter, too. Diaz pointed out that she and other trans women "still want cute underwear that fits without spilling out of it — or, if you're like me, having to tuck."

Or, if she does have to tuck, doing so in as comfortable and stylish a manner as possible... which brings us back to the beach. Diaz recommended one product in particular for days by the water: The Tuck It Up Tuck Thong.

"Tuck It Up, a line that's also designed for all people with penises, makes a thong that straddles the line between regular and tucking underwear," Diaz said of the Brazilian firm that says its mission is " to create underwear for all transgender people."

"It has the flattering shape of a thong and the compression you'll need to tuck without a gaff," Diaz continued about the Tuck Thong.

"I've seen girls untucked in this and they look great," Diaz added; "some even wear it on the beach — where I anticipate seeing a lot more of the thong this summer given the Y2K revival we're living through."

Kilian Melloy serves as EDGE Media Network's Associate Arts Editor and Staff Contributor. His professional memberships include the National Lesbian & Gay Journalists Association, the Boston Online Film Critics Association, The Gay and Lesbian Entertainment Critics Association, and the Boston Theater Critics Association's Elliot Norton Awards Committee.