A woman from London confirmed to Fox News that an online retailer has offered her a refund after the swimsuit she ordered turned partially transparent the moment it touched water.
Emily Charlton-Smith, 25, had recently ordered a white Bow Bikini from PrettyLittleThing after already purchasing the same item in black, and having no problems when coming into contact with water.
“The fit was great and the quality was thick enough,” Charlton-Smith tells Fox News of the black version, adding that she assumed the white version was equally opaque.
“Also, the white bikini was more expensive, which I assumed was due to the material being thicker to avoid this situation,” she added. (The black version currently sells for 14 pounds, or about $17.50, and the white goes for 17 pounds, or $21.)
Unfortunately, Charlton-Smith assumed incorrectly, as the white version immediately became see-through while taking a dip, effectively exposing her to friends at the pool.
Charlton-Smith immediately raised her concerns to PrettyLittleThing’s customer service, telling them she was “mortified” by the experience.
The representative, while understanding, asked for video evidence.
“You have to laugh that they asked for a video initially, I think that would have sent most people over the edge, but I let it play out as I’ve worked in retail and so always try to be helpful,” Charlton-Smith told Fox News.
She instead sent photographs of the swimsuit, which she modeled on her hand, both dry and wet.
The representative then apologized for the confusion, but said this phenomenon “can happen with white items if made wet” and later said it could even be “expected,” especially with bikinis advertised for “poolside posing,” meaning that they are not meant to go into the water.
“The best and most mortifying part is that they said bikinis are for ‘poolside posing,’” Charlton-Smith says. “I’d understand if it was a glittery, jeweled bikini, but it’s so basic,” she added.
“I posted it on my IG story and Twitter, and have had so many people express their frustrations for me and some have similar experiences.”
Charlton-Smith also confirmed that, since news of her see-through bikini went viral in the U.K., PrettyLittleThing has apologized (for the incident and the video request) and offered a refund.
She also shared that she’s become something of a confidant for others who have suffered similar incidents.
“I posted it on my IG story and Twitter, and have had so many people express their frustrations for me and some have similar experiences,” she said.
Charlton-Smith is far from the only shopper to have very public problems with “poolside posing” offerings from various online retailers. In May, a woman in Wales was shocked to discover the dye from her bikini stained her skin blue after she wore it in the water. And last September, the Internet couldn’t seem to comprehend why a $380 Gucci swimsuit was not recommended to “come into contact with chlorine.”