During a week-long stay at my mom’s Lake Michigan house, last summer, I walked into the kitchen in a red bikini. As I walked towards the front yard, I heard something new. I had not heard it since high school when I wore tops as dresses and didn’t have to wear pants. I also wore platform heels with them. My mom pointed at my swimsuit and said, “You can’t wear it.” “I have neighbors.” My mom gestured at my swimsuit.
My mom might not believe it, but the size of my bikini was not unusual in fashion. We’ve seen a steady decline in the number of apparels over the past year. Many fashion-conscious individuals walked the streets after lockdown was lifted wearing shorter hemlines and body-hugging fabrics. They also wore garments with cut-outs on their return to social events and parties. My colleague said that today’s bikinis look more like “pasties on strings” than clothes meant for swimming.
Dua Lipa had just launched a smaller bikini in June last year right at the same time I was being criticised for my tiny bikini. Mirror selfies were posted by Dua Lipa featuring a tiny crochet bikini made by Italian brand GCDS. Care Bears were also featured on the cups and the bottoms. Although I didn’t realize it, Lipa’s barely there bikini was just one of many micro swimsuit trends that were showcased this year. Each one is smaller than the last.
See: Tarzan bottoms. The bikini bottom is, as the name implies, made from a piece or fabric attached to a string. It’s designed to show off all your squats in lockdown. The barely-there style quickly became a favorite among Instagram-favorite swimwear brands such as Frankies Bikinis and Laya Swim, Melissa Simone and Sommer, as well celebrities such Megan Thee Stallion and Kendall Jenner.
After being seen on almost every Kardashian-Jenner family member, upside-down bikinis became a viral trend via TikTok. Thousands of creators created new ways to wear string bikinis upside-down or sideways, and thousands more shared their ideas on TikTok. Although the trend is stylish and versatile, it was not supportive of my style. This is probably why bikinis should be worn right-side up. The daring styling style is still a big summer trend.
Another trend in swimwear that made waves during Miami Swim Week was the teeny-weeny. The Flossy style — a type of bikini with longer strings that can be wrapped around the body, arms or legs to replace beach accessories — was joined by Tarzan bottoms, upside-down bikinis, and the bandeau and high-rise swimsuits that were dominant in previous years. The cups of flossy bikinis shrink by pulling the strings taut to achieve maximum crisscrossing. We thought so.
Swimwear’s final transformation into doll-sized silhouettes came to an end on a beach in the Cayman Islands, on the set HBO Max’s FBoy Island, a reality TV series that features a host of fuckboys and nice men competing for three women’s hearts (or a cash prize depending on where they land). The “bachelorettes”, CJ Franco, Nakia Renee and Sarah Emig, spent the majority of the series’ 10 episodes in tiny bikinis that could only have been used for tanning. NSFW means not safe for water. Sometimes you need to take chances in order to find love. Sara David, Vice Astrology Editor, said that you have “tiny nupple privilege.”
Lipa, who was wearing a crochet bikini by GCDS, appeared on our Instagram timelines. The suit featured a handknit cannabis leaves on one “cup”, although I don’t think the small crochet circle could be considered such. On the other, there was a daisy. Lipa made the two-piece look effortless in Instagram. I can only imagine what my mother would think.
Maybe we should have anticipated the season of tiny swimwear. The last year was spent in lockdown wearing bikinis on rooftops, fire escapes and backyards. It was not vacation. The styles did not have to be practical and could withstand rough waves. They had to prevent us from getting tanned after a long day of sunbathing, as all the trendy swimwear styles do with unfailing results.
Your mom won’t approve, just like mine. There’s a good possibility that you will be sent to the back yard uninvited. The Insta that results will be adorable, and isn’t that what 2022’s swimwear lineup is for?