Happy birthday to the bikini, which celebrates turning 77 years old on the 5th July! We’ve chosen to celebrate National Bikini Day not as a segue into that standard narrative of getting your body ‘beach ready’. We have bodies and we go to the beach: any more preparation really is unnecessary! Instead, we celebrate all that the bikini symbolises: empowerment, style and having a jolly brilliant summer break in the sunshine!
A Brief History Lesson
OK, so a women’s two piece can actually be dated back to antiquity. There are ancient paintings and sculptures clearly depicting women wearing bikini-like clothes, so it wasn’t an entirely original idea! The modern bikini started to evolve in the 1930’s and ’40’s, with fabric innovations seeing heavy wool replaced by elastic cottons. At the same time, swimming as a leisure activity was on the increase for women more able to enjoy freedom of expression. After the second world war, a mandated 10% decrease in fabric to be used for US produced swimwear lead to two-piece swimsuits popping up. However, it was not until July 5th 1946 when the especially skimpy string bikini designed by Louis Rénard hit the scene. This was the first design to reveal the wearer’s naval and was so controversial, it’s this date that is now celebrated as “National Bikini Day”.
Since National Bikini Day, we’ve seen bikinis go both ways. From the barely there micro bikinis sported by the likes of Kendall Jenner to the ever stylish high waisted looks that feel ever so Marilyn Monroe! There’s a look for everybody and every body! Here’s a run down of this year’s super styles for plus sizes:
This is a retro classic style that’s flattering and sexy. Not to mention comfortable, especially if you’re inclined to go for a sea swim – this style is not budging, even if you’re taken out by a sudden wave! New Look’s plus size range covers everything from block colours to fantastic prints. Not to mention some lovely matching kaftans for when you want to cover from the sun.
Plus size designs aren’t limited to high waisted styles. Head to ASOS for ranges of string and micro styles that are cut with plus size figures in mind. So if you’re mindful of your tan lines and want some options that show a bit more to the sun, there’s everything you can imagine here. Mix and match options within fabrics mean that you can tailor your bikini to your own preferences.
When we think of tummy control swimwear, we immediately think of reliability and security. Simply Be is both of these things, carrying extensive ranges of decent quality designs. A lot of their two pieces use classic ruching or criss cross frontage to house the garment’s control panels. These are flattering and classic styles that won’t let you down.
Never Fully Dressed is a real go to online for plus size designs that really have the wow factor. So for this summer’s crochet trend, there’s no better place to head. The swim collection includes textured styles, and crochet prints. Sizes go up to XXL or high street 28.
Wear it Well
Whichever bikini vibe takes your fancy, it’ll look about a thousand times more fabulous if you wear it with confidence. For some of us, this comes from knowing that our bodies are secure in a garment with no room for slippage. For others it’s all about making a splash with colour and design. If you prefer a one piece, go with it and be unapologetic. Whatever you choose, just don’t forget the sunscreen…