Marie Lodi
July 12, 2016 2:23 pm
Instagram / Taylor Swift

Some bathing suits and bikinis can seem pricey despite using a lot less fabric than a shirt or a dress. The clothing industry as a whole is very complex, and that includes swimwear. Several factors, including quality, construction, and where the garment is made, are considered when it comes to the retail price of your favorite swimsuit.

According to E!, the best fabric for swimwear is made in Western Europe, which results in a higher cost of materials. Plus, the stretchy fabric used in swimwear, like spandex, generally costs more than everyday fabrics like cotton. There’s also the construction of the garment, which can be just as complicated as other types of clothing.

“The process to make a swimsuit actually takes much longer than most garments,” Michelle Copelman, design director of Solid & Striped, the brand recently worn by Taylor Swift’s crew, told E! “Essentially, the fabric has to relax between steps, and every machine has to be set for each new style.”

As with any type of clothing, what you choose to spend on a swimsuit ultimately depends on what is most important to you. If ethically-sourced materials are at the top of your list, you’re more than likely going to have to pay more from your wallet. Mass retailers like Forever 21 and H&M may offer great deals, but they might not necessarily last as long as one made by an indie designer who sources all of their fabrics locally.

Still, a lesser cost suit doesn’t bother someone like Britney Spears (who manages to look good in all of her suits!) Best tip from us? Keep your eyes on sales! Surely enough, that $100+ swimsuit you’ve been eyeing will eventually get marked down to clearance.