The phrase “the summer of” is thrown around a lot, but I stand by my assertion that this year is the summer of taking fashion risks. With trends like ‘feral girl summer’ and gas station sunglasses bubbling up, this is an anything-goes era for fashion. The latest craze to add to your summer wardrobe rotation is the humble bikini top. While the bikini top is best known as a staple for beach days and tropical getaways, we are talking about swimsuits as going-out tops. The trend has burst onto the scene by our favorite fashion it-girls, from Gigi Hadid to Olivia Rodrigo.
While this trend may seem shocking initially, it’s not that far-fetched considering typical “going-out” attire. Crop tops and cutouts are staples for night-out ensembles, and we’ve determined wearing lingerie outside is socially acceptable, so why shouldn’t bathing suits make the cut? Especially during the sweltering, sticky days in the middle of summer, this concept is the perfect solution for when it’s too dreadful to put on any clothes.
Gigi Hadid was one of the first to hop onto the trend this season during the launch of her collaboration with Frankie’s Bikinis. However, the model didn’t go for a full bikini look but instead paired a one-piece swimsuit with low-slung trousers for an unconventional night-time ensemble. Her sister Bella paired the same suit in a different shade with a mini skirt and loafers for a preppy take on the trend in Cannes and wore a slightly chaotic cut-out suit with huge shorts the same week.
Olivia Rodrigo has taken the trend for a spin on more than one occasion. Once, opting for a black bikini top with a pair of cargo pants for a more laid-back approach to the skin-baring trend, and again with a Frankie’s tankini top and a pair of printed flairs.
Pairing a bikini top with baggy pants seems to be a go-to take on the trend, from Lori Harvey’s breezy fit to Julia Fox’s baggy “centaur pants.” Fox is an early adaptor of this trend and has been working a black string bikini into her wardrobe for months.
On the other hand, Kim Kardashian wore a one-piece over a pair of Balenciaga leggings for a true ’80s vibe.
If you’re scared to wear the trend, the easiest way in is by pairing a bathing suit top with a pair of cute shorts—no one will know if you’re headed to the beach or the bar.
The queen of swimwear, Emily Ratajkowski, recently paired an eyelet bikini top with a matching white set for a daytime look, while model Paloma Elsesser paired hers with baggy jorts and beaded belly chains.
No matter how you wear it, the swimsuit top is going to be your bestie until Labor Day rolls around.