The transition from days at the office to a commute that consists of a lap around the living room has for many, resulted in a newfound attachment to relaxed dressing. Now, with businesses partially opened and differing rules from region to region, the predicament invites a lingering thought: Is summer still on? For those whose happy place lies somewhere between shopping and sunbathing, what that really means is, “What do I do with my 15 bikinis?” While you may not feel ready to return to the beach or a public pool anytime soon, wearing your bikini top with regular clothes gives your swim collection a chance to see the outdoors by incorporating them into your wardrobe in non-traditional ways. If you choose, the result can be just as comfy as well-loved your at-home attire.
Swimwear is always evolving, even if only subtly. Aside from transitioning from full cover ups to a more revealing nature as cultural norms have shifted, as the consumer’s idea of swimwear as a one-function item dissolves, designs have followed suit. For the fashion-conscious buyer, not only must a bikini serve its intended function, it must also now serve a look. In many cases, in the age of Instagram, aesthetics actually trump functionality. As such, there’s not a swimsuit variation you can’t find on the market — animal print, long-sleeved, cutouts, metallic, mesh, and even leather styles are all at our fingertips.
The endless options create an illusion, and a summer outfit opportunity to pounce on. Is it a bralette or a bikini top? Is it a bodysuit or a one-piece? Some of our favorite fashion girls are already hip to the multifaceted nature of the modern swimwear. Ahead, here are some ideas on how to get more wear out of yours.
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Styling Swimsuits As Tops: A Mesh Moment
If you haven’t already scooped up this summer’s sheer top trend, here’s to getting ahead of that daunting post-purchase question: “What in the world am I going to wear under this?” Bikini tops were basically made for this moment, and if you’d prefer to take a more covered-up approach to exercising your swimsuit outside of the pool, mesh gives you the best of both worlds, while bringing a bit of color or a pattern into the mix amps up the summery vibe.
Styling Swimsuits As Tops: Sport The Shorts
What we’ve learned while quarantining: Biker shorts pair well with just about anything. For an effortless, almost athleisure look, marry your one-piece with your favorite comfy shorts. To elevate beyond the average running errands ensemble, try a swimsuit with a neutral-colored pattern, or a low backline instead of a bodysuit.
Styling Swimsuits As Tops: Street Prep
Bandeau swim tops are perhaps the easiest style to incorporate into your daily wardrobe. For added flair, and a little Gossip Girl meets streetwear, a sweater around the neck will do the trick. The versatility of this ensemble allows for both jeans and sweats as bottom options.
Styling Swimsuits As Tops: Jackets For The Win
There are few outfits that a statement jacket won’t level up. Depending on how summer weather shows up in your hometown, a leather option may be worth the try to add an edgier element to a standard bandeau bikini and biker shorts combo. Minimal buttons and a non-textured top ensure your look pairs seamlessly.
Styling Swimsuits As Tops: Denim Days
Denim with anything is easy enough, but straight legs, mom jeans or even wide-leg are key here for a relaxed, ultimate cool-girl aesthetic. Staying on the high-waisted end of the spectrum keeps your outfit looking complete, and if you like layers, throw on a lightweight button down. Mules are a finishing touch that leave no questions about your keen eye for style — it’ll appear like your bikini top was always intended for this moment alone.
Styling Swimsuits As Tops: Go With The Flow
Should you ever feel inclined to throw out your maxi skirts, keep in mind the trend will always resurface. Your flowy, floor-length friend plus an intricate wrap bikini top makes for the perfect, daytime farmers market date look, or anything encompassing outdoor strolling. If your top and skirt match perfectly, the pair will even create the illusion of a dress.
Styling Swimsuits As Tops: Suit it Up
You don’t question anyone in a suit, making this option your one-way ticket to swimsuit styling connoisseurship. Reina Olga’s Showpony swimsuit is actually a one piece, but all evidence is magically hidden with the addition of trousers and a blazer. Trendsetters are continuously welcoming suit sets into casual outings with open arms, debunking the corporate-only myth. To introduce yours to this halter neck one-piece is only further evidence that sophistication and fashion risk can indeed coexist.