Female BYU students often find the best way to cool off in the summer heat is to throw on a swimsuit and jump in the pool. New swim shops in Provo, along with new modest swimsuit styles, are making that even easier.
All BYU-approved, off-campus housing complexes must comply with the Honor Code, including the dress standards at swimming pools and hot tubs.
The Honor Code says, “Whether on or off campus, or between semesters, all students are expected to abide by the Honor Code, which includes … the dress and grooming standards.”
Marcie Prince, a senior from Herndon, Va., studying public health, finds the Honor Code to be more than just a set of rules.
“It’s really important to follow the dress and grooming standards because it’s not just the Honor Code that you are following; it’s the prophet’s counsel,” Prince said.
Management at apartment complexes throughout Provo are responsible for enforcing the dress and grooming standards in regard to swimwear at their pools.
Olivia Gunnell, the office assistant manager at King Henry Apartments, has the job of making sure all swimmers are following the rules.
“It is the Honor Code, and we do have the signs out there,” Gunnell said. “We don’t want to kick you out, but we’re trying to enforce BYU’s higher standard.”
And what is that higher standard? According to the Off-Campus Housing handbook, “Bikinis and all other immodest swimsuits are not permitted for men or women. Bikinis, suits made of sheer material, and deep-cut suits (i.e., high-cut legs or low-cut backs and fronts) are not to be worn in or around the pool … unless a full-length t-shirt is worn over the swimsuit.”
“It seems pretty frequently that people try to get away with it,” Gunnell said. “It’s not necessarily our residents; we know people sneak in, and it’s obvious that they don’t read the signs.”
Stephanie Morco, an office assistant and RA at King Henry apartments, noticed that she has seen fewer violations this summer than during previous summers.
“I’m really surprised at how many girls do have modest swimsuits compared to what you see in the stores,” Morco said.
Called to Surf, a local surf and swim shop, aims to offer a greater variety of swimsuit options for men and women. Amy Ross, store manager, said the store is a great place for BYU students to shop for modest swimsuits.
“When (the owners) opened the store, they were going for more of a modest look, but still really really trendy,” Ross said. “You can look cute and fashionable and be modest at the same time.”
Lime Ricki, a swimwear store, moved to Provo this summer and offers a variety of modest swimsuits. Assistant manager Miles Borcik believes the store is successful because of its vintage touch.
“Retro swimsuits are in style, and the style back then was one-pieces,” Borcik said.
Store owners aren’t the only ones noticing that modest swimwear is becoming more fashionable.
“Modest swimsuits are becoming more of a popular style, so they are more widely available, and more people are wearing one-pieces these days,” Prince said. “If you look at magazines, they are all in one-pieces.”
The combination of modesty and style may come at a high price for students. Spending a bit more money may be necessary to find a fashionable swimsuit that meets modesty standards.
Melissa Welling, a senior from Farmington studying recreation management, is willing to spend the extra money on cute, modest swimwear.
“Cute one-pieces are usually harder to find and more expensive than bikinis, but in the long run it’s worth it,” Welling said. “Girls want to feel cute, and often times the cheaper one-pieces just aren’t as cute. It may seem like a lot of money when you buy it, but it’s an investment because you can wear the suit all summer.”