'Fatkini' Sells Out! Why the Plus-Size Swimsuit Is Summer's Hottest Look

Who says you have to be a size 2 to wear a bikini? This summer's wildly popular swimsuit is made specifically for fuller figures. One in particular is such a hot commodity that it's selling out even before the official start of swimsuit season. The highly anticipated launch of the collaboration between plus-size blogger Gabi Gregg and retailer Swimsuits For All went off with a bang last week but sputtered as the company failed to keep up with the unexpected demand for Gregg's galaxy-print bikini, a style dubbed the "fatkini." 

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"I didn't come up with the term 'fatkini' it's been a buzzword in the body-positive community for a while," Gregg told Yahoo! Shine. "There's definitely a momentum building for body acceptance and lots of online support for women of all body types these days."

Gregg, a renowned blogger in the plus-size world, rose to fame after she posted photos of herself hanging poolside in Las Vegas wearing a black-and-white-striped bikini. She wrote, "I don't expect everyone to feel comfortable in a two piece, but hopefully I can inspire some of you to take the plunge. I can't tell you how freeing it is to just have fun without worrying about what other people think." Cut to a "Today" show interview and a monthly column about plus-size fashion for InStyle magazine and Gregg has become a plus-size inspiration to many, with a huge following on her personal style blog, GabiFresh.

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When Gregg's swimsuits (which range from sizes 10 to 24) went on sale May 15, Twitter was awash with excitement. But after orders were processed for the galaxy bikini (pictured), some buyers received disappointing news: Due to a computer glitch, and overwhelming demand, some who were sent confirmation emails would not receive the item. Cue Twitter devastation. @reetherealist tweeted, "Just got an email from #SwimSuitsForAll that my suit is back ordered. How was I even able to put it in my cart and pay?"

Two days later, Gregg posted an email from Swimsuits For All on her Facebook page reassuring consumers that a jewel-print bikini was being restocked after the initial rush but that "the galaxy bikini is completely sold out." The statement continues: "As you know we produced in less than three months domestically and it will simply take too much time/be too expensive to start making more suits—and unfortunately the swim season will be over. As far as people getting some emails about back orders, there are a small portion of customers that will not receive the galaxy bikini that ordered it. The suits were selling so quickly that the inventory levels were moving so fast the system was not able to capture that it was sold out until a bit too late and continued accepting orders.”

However, customers weren't having it. Wrote one, "The fact that they are not restocking the galaxy print bikini is depressing! && bad business … why stop selling a fantastic product that has sold out?! ordered mine at 830am day of launch and got a email yesterday that they cancelled my order .. so sad!"

Kellie Brown, a spokesperson for Swimsuits For All, told Yahoo! Shine, "Unfortunately, due to the high demand of this one swimsuit and the temporary computer glitch, the system oversold the style. Swimsuits For All immediately emailed and called each customer and apologized for the error, offered them a 25 percent discount if they desired another style, and let them know that their cards were not charged for anything they didn't receive."

For now, Gabi Gregg fans can still purchase her remaining styles (all for $68) on the company site: A neon pink or green "convertible" bikini (its top can be worn as either a halter style or as a bandeau and the bottoms can be high-waisted, bikini cut, or skirted); a "Jewel Side Sheered" one-piece with an empire waist, and, a sheer coverup with galaxy-print for those mourning the bikini.

Gregg doesn't have immediate plans to design more bathing suits with Swimsuits For All but she's optimistic. "I would definitely love to and hope to do more," she says. Here are her three tips for rocking a bathing suit, no matter what size you are:

Be comfortable:
"Don't worry so much about the size of your suit. How it fits is way more important."

Choose a suit with options:
"You don't have to stick with one swimsuit or spend a lot of money on various styles. Choose one that gives you options, such as a convertible, so you can play with different looks."

Don't hide in your coverup:
"Coverups have a tendency to look frumpy, so make sure you choose one that's sheer or has a flattering cut. And don't wear it while you sunbathe; otherwise, you'll look awkward and draw attention to what you're trying to not show."

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