A Love Letter to the High-Waisted Bikini

We did it. We really, really did it. You’re here! For good, I think. We’ve finally come around.

You’ve been waiting for us this whole time—patiently, flatteringly, You’ve been sitting elegantly yet comfortably in the corner, watching us try on tankinis and smiling to yourself but not saying anything, because you know. You’ve always known.

Through the skirtinis. The cover-ups draped over wet bodies immediately after emerging from the pool. The T-shirts. The shorts. You were there through the impossibly low-cut bottoms of the ’90s, the patchwork string creations of the early aughts. Like a wise Lycra owl, you perched above us, biding your time. Waiting for the inevitable “Eureka” moment that was coming for all of us in poorly-lit dressing room stalls across the country.

And when the time came, did you burst forth from the back of our collective grandmothers’ closets, screaming “I TOLD YOU SO I TOLD YOU SOOOOOOOO WHAT EVEN ARE TANKINIS, HONESTLY!!!”? No. You quietly slipped back into fashion editorials and the wardrobes of our vintage-y friends, leading by example instead of forcing yourself onto anyone.

Slowly, we learned. It was possible to go H.A.M. on a beachside barbecue and still feel comfortable cavorting in a bathing suit afterwards. You could wear a bikini to a family cottage weekend and not even worry about it. It was an option, we realized, to feel naked and free and covered up and protected all at once. There is a middle ground between a one piece and a series of barely-connected strings, and you are it. Bless you for that.

You’re everywhere now, and with good reason. The high-waisted bikini is truly the best of all worlds: you can go sporty or glamorous or girly or minimalist modern, all the while allowing free range of movement without fear of accidentally flashing other beachgoers. And you don’t force your wearers to get naked to pee. And there’s a certain sexiness to you that can’t be achieved by a classic barely-there number. You’re killin’ it, is what I’m saying. On the Scale of Summer Life Savers you rank somewhere between SPF100 and “popsicles in general.”

So here’s to you, high-waisted bikinis. May your moderate coverage and laid-back, curve-hugging style reign eternally. If you need me, I’ll be on the beach, pretending I’m Brigitte Bardot.

(Image via)

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