Bikini Season: How to Wear Your Bathing Suit as Clothing

Featured Image via Marianna Hewitt

It’s beach weather right now, even though we’re trapped on an island with no shoreline to spare. Pizza Beach is closer than the Rockaways, and our personal pie with extra mozzarella doesn’t come with a side of sand. We’re sad to report that generous application of Bumble and bumble surf spray will not transport you to Capri. So what’s the cure for craving sand in your toes instead of city grit? We’re merging situational and aspirational dressing and repurposing our bikinis as streetwear, because life’s a beach if you never take your swimsuit off.


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Image via Amber Renae

Image via Amber Renae

Feeling bold? Forgo layers and let your bikini shine as a crop top. This works best with sportier styles that offer slightly more coverage, like this one rocked by Aussie stylist Amber Renae , or our pick by TTS favorite Flagpole Swim. Want to rock your midriff like it’s 2001 and you’re Brittany at the VMA’s? Go for a short but stunning look like this cheeky wrap top from Revolve Clothing. Pair with a pencil skirt for maximum impact.

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Image via Rosie Assoulin

Image via Rosie Assoulin

If you want to pretend you’re on the French Riviera (or just on vacation), take a cue from Rosie Assoulin’s Spring 2016 RTW presentation, and try pairing a bikini top with a blousy shirt and skirt. We like to do this with bikinis in solid colors featuring subtle embellishment, so your waterproof skivvies don’t steal the show and cause your outfit to be mistaken for (heaven forbid) a cover-up.

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Image via www.mode.com

Image via www.mode.com

It’s no secret that the ’90s have returned, for better or worse. It’s been 21 years since Cher Horowitz graced our screens with her iconic layered look, and we’re still craving every piece from her unforgettable rotating closet. We think Dries Van Noten read our minds with their glam take on the style (see above). Although we’re proponents of the tank-on-tee look, adding a ruffled swim top over a casual shirt will give this style an update with playful volume. Neoprene (standard swim material) helps fabric repel water and hold its shape, for a sculptural take on casual layering.    Add statement shorts for a look that would do any Fred Segal aficionado proud.

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Image via Man Repeller

Image via Man Repeller

Draw inspiration from Leandra Medine  — the unrivaled champion of subbing swimsuits for assorted clothing items — and wear your bikini as a bra. Chances are, it’s more comfortable than anything with an underwire, and flashing a lively print or hint of shoulder is the perfect way to spice up your nighttime look, or just grab someone’s attention. If you really want to fool everyone into thinking your swimsuit is lingerie, go for a lace suit, like our pick from Blue Life. We like to let this piece speak for itself, and pair it with jeans plus a tank low enough to make sure it won’t go unnoticed.

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Image via What Olivia Did

Image via What Olivia Did

Channel your inner surfer girl by wearing a rash guard as a long-sleeved top. There’s been an advent of fashionable long-sleeved swim tops in the past year. So, whether you’re looking to make a statement or protecting yourself from choppy waters, there are options to choose from for every style scenario. Sub one of these bold pieces for a patterned top, and pair with light culottes and mules to offset their utilitarian silhouette. Bonus: You don’t have to worry about your shoulders burning if you’re sporting one of these babies.

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Image via chictopia

Image via chictopia

This one’s a no-brainer: slip on a statement one piece, don’t bother with underwear, and call it a bodysuit. High-waisted skirts, pants, and shorts help these pieces masquerade as tops, and with so many cuts to choose from, it’s easy to find a look for every occasion. Our pick? A high-waisted, leather miniskirt. If you’re feeling bold, pair with slouchy jeans to let everyone in on your style secret (while looking seriously badass). You’ll stand out with minimal effort, and isn’t that what we’re all aiming for?

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Anya

Featured Image via Marianna Hewitt

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