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An Ode to the String Bikini—in All Its Various Forms

A classic style that has withstood the test of time.

string bikini

Before 2021, a string bikini was just a string bikini. Now that seemingly antiquated way of thinking has given way to new styling potential ushered in by the Kardashian-Jenner clan this spring. Instead of tying your top in the commonplace vertical style, trendsetters are flipping the suit and either crossing the straps around their neck or tying together mid-chest to form a de facto bandeau. The fallout on the internet has been contentious as the upside-down styling is apparently difficult to wear when in any sort of motion—though a great option if an Instagram photo is your only desire.

Though polarizing, these ubiquitous styling hacks further prove the versatility of the classic style. While coverage may fluctuate (some of the bottoms this season are barely there, at best) and the level of "stringiness" wavers, the style has largely remained the same since the late 1940s. Though the original bikini was invented much earlier (and had to be worn by a nude dancer from the Casino de Paris, as no model would go near it), the string style witnessed a surge in popularity in the early 2000s as itsy-bitsy, teenie-weenie styles were favored among celebrities and it-girls alike. A testament to its wearability, the style has remained in vogue since.

One of the most beautiful features of a string bikini is the adjustability factor provided by the tie closures. If your size slightly wavers, simply tighten or relax the strings. This ensures a prolonged residence in your closet (and ultimately, a better cost-per-wear ratio). In the wake of the proliferation of new trends, styles, and silhouettes, sometimes it's nice to return to the classics à la the string bikini. If 2021 serves as any evidence, we will probably see new ways to don the versatile swimwear very soon.

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