{Fashion Find} SugieWogie

Not long ago, Shari Riehl took her young nieces to the Bahamas as a graduation present. She was having a blast until she had the thought, “Am I gonna have to put a bathing suit on?!” She went around to different shops, trying to find pieces that would look right but also jibe with the beach life. “I got a pair of bicycle shorts and a little skirt and I wore a tank top,” she says. “Somebody saw me and said, ‘That is really cute.’ That’s where the thoughts about my project really took off.”

Guided by the certainty that women need something they can wear right from the beach to dinner, Shari created the SugieWogie SwimDress. “You even may want to go dancing in it,” she says.

We chatted with Shari about her swimwear and her philosophy: “Why try to fit in when you’re born to stand out?” she says, quoting from the movie, What a Girl Wants. “I’ve always wanted to be my own unique self, and I think that’s so important for every woman. You can follow a trend, but put your own stamp on it.”

What inspired you to create the SugieWogie?
Most women love clothing, but they hate swimwear. When it comes to swimsuit season, they’re dreading putting their swimsuits on. I wanted to create something that women could look forward to wearing and buying.

What were you doing before starting SugieWogie?
I owned an interior decorating business, which I ran for the past twenty years. But I’ve had a love for fashion since I was a little girl.

Why hasn’t the fashion industry come out with something like this sooner?
Maybe because men were designing and they like to see more of a women’s body? I don’t know.

It’s amazing how the bikini has become “normal” swimwear. It’s no different than underwear! The SugieWogie seems to address that.
When I was younger I didn’t mind wearing my bikini. But as you grow older, your body changes, and you want to be a little more modest and not advertise your flaws.
A lot of women know that as soon as they put their swimsuit on, they’re going to feel very conscious of their bodies. And they’re grabbing a cover-up of some sort.

I thought, we need to find something that gives women confidence when they’re heading to the pool—that will make them feel elegant and classy.

How did you come up with the name?
It’s what my father called me since I was a little girl. I wanted a name that would reflect me and the garment. When you say it, it makes you smile—it’s not uptight. That’s how I am–creative confidence with a sense of humor.

We like the models on your site.
We used real women, from 20 to 50. We didn’t alter their bodies in any way. That’s another thing that’s important to me – using real people. I really loved the Dove ads. We need to use images of real people because it’s hard to achieve perfect. There is no perfect.

It’s funny how fashion used to be so modest. Then we went completely in the other direction – super exposed. Seems like you’re finding a middle ground.
Even the spring fashions coming out now are more ladylike. The retro look is in. This fits with that. But it’s updated.

And this has shapewear in it, so it does help shape your body. There’s such a big market for shapewear. And it won’t cling to every flaw.

What’s it like in the water?
It’s fine. It’s not performance swimwear—it’s elegant swimwear. This is something you’ll swim around in a little bit, then towel off and be absolutely fine and ready for the next thing. If you want performance, wear your Speedo.

Are you married?
I am.

What’s your husband’s name? Does he like the SugieWogie?
My husband Ben loves it. He’s the one who really encouraged me. He said, “Are you gonna just talk about this, or do it?”

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14 Responses to “{Fashion Find} SugieWogie”

  1. onehsancare says:

    I like the picture here, where we can really see how the suits look. On the sugiewogie website, the models, although very cutely styled, are all sitting or leaning, and we really can’t see the product! With the coverups, we can’t tell what is coverup and what might be a sugiewogie suit underneath. A couple more photos for each style would help a lot.

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  2. Ivana says:

    everything is available for purchase online at http://www.sugiewogie.com

    go buy it!!

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  3. maria says:

    I this is a wonderful idea…even though we get older, it doesn’t mean we want to dress like our mothers.. these swim dresses are fantastic, they allow us to showcase our best features without showing our little flaws… I have visited the web site and find these swim dresses an amazing answer to my main concern when I go on a crusie or to the beach..WHAT TO WEAR.. Thangs Shari for coming up a a great looking solution.

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  4. Susan says:

    Finally, someone (woman) get it. We don’t want to high thigh bottoms. I have worn boy short bathing suits for years with a longer top. I look great and functional for the beach or pool. I match it with a great cover up, hat, or visor, and colorful beach tote. We need more women designed more women clothes. Plus, teach sewing again in high school and college. Bring up to date design dress factories for start up designers.

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  5. Ginny says:

    These swim dresses are gorgeous! They are sexy yet modest at the same time! Where can I find them?

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    • William says:

      I love All magazine and hyervteing in it to the stories, fashion and the recipes. The coupons are great too and one of the main reason that i buy All. I want to suggest that you move the coupons to the back or in one section of the book, so that the recipes are not destroyed by cutting the coupons out. That way, we could keep the magazine for all of the other articles.Diana L. DavisHenderson, Ky

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  6. Jane says:

    I love these beautiful dresses and the concept! Where do we get them?

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  7. Esther Laura says:

    I love this Idea, I’ve been wondering when someone would dress a real woman! I am in my 40’s, curvy and want to look elegant with some support..this is perfect! What is great is you can go from the Beach to the dance party at night.
    Makes me want to head back to Hawaii and show off!

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  8. Cathy Willig says:

    SugieWogie is the swim wear that every woman has needed and can now purchase. Ideal for cruise wear and perfect for all occasions. I have two SugieWogies and I just love them.

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  9. Dawn Sheldrick says:

    What a great idea! Swimwear that is functional and elegant at the same time. And the best part is it can be worn by women of all ages and body types. I can’t wait to see what other beautiful designs SugieWogie has in mind!

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  10. Rosemary Howe says:

    This website is going to be my home page at home. What great information for anyone in their 50’s.
    I look forward to future visits.

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  11. Rosemary Howe says:

    Sheri,
    Where were you and the SugieWogie all my life. (LOL)
    At 40 I would have loved this style. Now in my early 50’s …ok maybe middle 50’s this is a must have if you go near the water. I see a lot of women at the ocean dressed not for their age or build and they all look unconfortable and are sturggling to cover up… The SugieWogie should be a requirement. Post the signs today!
    Thank you

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  12. Ana says:

    What a great concept. This would be really great for pregnant women too. I know when my sister was pregnant she wore shorts and a tank top to the beach but could not really get in the water. The SugieWogie line would have been a great gift for her.

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  13. Lisa Wolkenbrod says:

    What a great Website for women in their 50’s. At last….. beautiful, comfortable and affordable garments that make you look and feel great! I have the Cheers for Tiers SwimDress. After many washings, the fabric looks and feels beautiful. Thank you SugieWogie!

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