Oleema and Kalana Miller are the sister duo behind swimwear label Mikoh. Their swimwear is fashion forward with an emphasis on striking colours, cut out detail and plenty of separates that can be mixed and matched (which as most women will know, is key to getting a perfect fitting bikini). Here Oleema and Kalani share their best tips for buying a perfect bikini, the trends to watch out for and how to find the perfect fitting pair of swimmers online (yes, it’s totally possible)…
What are some of the trends people should look out for?
It’s slowly starting to trickle into the Australian market but it’s been very popular especially among all the emerging swimwear brands to have a skimpier cut when it comes to bottoms. Beyond that there’s two opposite ends of the spectrum when it comes to colour and print. Nude colours are really popular and in our range we try to have a really good range of colours so we have something for everybody so there’s lots of muted earth tone colours as well as big bright statement colours like a fluorescent pink or a bright yellow.
One of the biggest things is that swimwear itself has become a trend. A few years ago it was just something that you bought once or twice a year to go to the beach but we are finding more and more so that it has become somewhat of a trend to buy swimwear and wear them as undergarments to replace your bra. It’s good to have one piece that serves two different purposes.
What are some of your tips for buying flattering swimwear?
When you’re trying on swimwear in the store certain lighting can be very unflattering and sometimes it’s not realistic of what it would be outside if you were actually wearing the bikini. So the more you try on the better. Whenever we’re doing trunk shoes or events we always encourage people to try on a bunch of different sizes and different shapes because girls will be drawn to the one staple like a little black bikini but it’s important to broaden your horizons and try things on. Especially if you’re in a store where you can try more than one thing.
What about shopping online?
A lot of sites do it nowadays but they say the model is wearing a suit with certain measurements and what size she’s wearing so it’s important to do a lot of cross reference when you’re buying something and it’s even important to check out different websites as well. If you’re after a certain style or piece, it’s good to look on alternative sites that carry it to help you understand how that top or bottom fits. It’s just doing your research because a lot of the time swimwear is final sale so you don’t want to get stuck with it if it’s not quite right.
What are the essentials of a great swimwear wardrobe?
The little black bikini. Just something that’s super minimalist and black obviously translates from season to season. Even if the style is more trendy, anything in black is able to be timeless.
The complete opposite of that is a statement piece. So a swimsuit with a really beautiful print or bright pop of colour or interesting body shape.
A good one piece is really classic as well. We have a ton of girlfriends that wear them as bodysuits as well and it translates into ready to wear and is not just swimsuit specific.
And lastly a suit in a sporty or athletic shape. In one trip we’ll go surfing or go swim at the beach, we’ll lay out and snorkel so it’s good to have something that can be more sporty related but you can also wear it later to yoga or to work out in.
What are your tips for looking after swimwear?
Treat your swimwear the way you would treat your really good lingerie. A lot of girls are like ‘oh I wore this it’s kind of dirty I’m just going to throw it in the washing machine’, we highly advise against doing that just because it is such a delicate material. A lot of suits like ours are handmade, if you’re not gentle with them it will get ruined if you’re too harsh with it. We always say to wash it with a little bit of soap in cold water, especially after wearing it at the beach or in chlorine. Anytime you get chlorine on something it will disintegrate the material so it’s important to give it a good wash after wearing it then lay it out flat to dry outside in the shade. You want to avoid using any harsh chemicals or detergents and washing machines. And definitely avoid the dryer!
What’s your current fave bikini in your collection?
One of the pieces we find most beautiful and unique in our collection is the Waimea top and the Cayman bottom. They’re hand macramed and it almost captures all those different kinds of essential suits we were describing before. It comes in a range of colours but if you were to get them in black it definitely ticks the little black bikini box, you can also wear it doing sporty things and it makes a statement.