The Bikini Goes Beyond Basic This Summer


For more than fifty decades, the bikini has been an enduring swimwear fashion force. Variations of this ever present style appear each season, and they are often inspired by what is current at the time in women’s wear designs.  No doubt you will spot most of these bikini trends at the pool during the dog days of summer:
  1. Mixing It Up: The fact that tops and bottoms are often sold separately opens up the door for creatively blending bikini styles, colors and patterns. The combinations are endless, and include such pairings as polka dots and solids, crochets and florals, and string bikini bottoms with bandeau tops. By buying several separates, women can expand their swimsuit wardrobe by simply interchanging tops and bottoms.
  2. Prints, stripes and color blocking:  Nautical stripes, exotic animal prints and florals are lighting up beaches everywhere. At Old Navy, bikini bottoms and tops come in daring black and yellow geometric designs, leopard prints, and soft blue floral prints. It’s Anchors Aweigh this season with the strong emergence of nautical striped suits. Target has an exciting array of them in colors such as mint, coral and magenta. The Xhilaration Juniors Mix and Match Reversible suit comes in eye catching forest green and pink stripe, and is trimmed in trendy polka dots. Those who purchase solid color bikini separates can experiment with color blocking, the practice of combining swathes of at least two complimentary or contrasting hues. With color blocking, even the most unlikely combinations coexist well, like purple and chartreuse or orange and fuchsia. Both Old Navy and Target sell solid pieces suited for color blocking.  
  3. Adornments and hardware: Romantic ruffles, seen on dresses and tops this summer, have made their way onto bikinis. Victoria Secret sells a delicate floral ruffled bandeau top with a removable halter strap and a ruffled bottom that is right on trend. Bandeau tops now come decorated with daisy and rhinestone accents. Metal or plastic rings, strategicallly placed on the hips and in the center of a triangle cut bikini top, continue to be a strong trend, as are mock ties, jewel embellished halter straps and buckles. Now you can wear your heart on your hips instead of your sleeve with Victoria Secret’s “Heart Ring” bikini. Macy’s also carries many suits with these contemporary flourishes. 

Who is responsible for the bikini’s staying power? Historian Olivier Saillard credits “the power of women and not the power of fashion” for this phenomenon.

Comments are closed.