Hey Gang! Our first-ever Bikini Guide is live!
This year felt like the perfect time to launch a bikini guide. Not because bikinis are more “in style” than one-pieces, or because there’s some new magic slimming bikini (har har), but simply because bikini shopping is getting….harder.
Yes, there are body changes that come with pregnancy, nursing, post-partum, pregnancy again….as well as the general fact of aging. In addition to these tricky body issues, we’re also dealing with a population set (I mean us, Mamas) that requires, um, MORE from their swimwear. We need to sit cross-legged in the sand, crawl around on our hands and knees (I really can’t figure out another way to build a moat), run into the water, crash through waves, pick up slippery, wiggley children, wrestle (sunscreen battles amiright?), and sometimes, just to demonstrate that moms are badass, dive off a boat.
Complicating these matters is the fact that bikinis are getting….smaller. Specifically, the bum. Cheeky bikini bottoms are now…standard? For many swimwear brands?
The popularity isn’t all that surprising when you consider that a cheeky bottom cut is more flattering – to all bum types. It’s when we start trying to squish ourselves into strangely shaped bottoms, or use vast expanses of fabric to cover every lump and bump that we start running into trouble. Cheeky bottoms simply take into account that the female form often looks best naked.
But here’s the thing: I DON’T CARE.
If Mike and I are on some tropical isle vacay, I’ll foray into cheeky bottom territory. But at the shore with my kids (and their friends) in tow? Probs not. Picturing myself crawling around my kids’ sandcastle in what is virtually a thong….no. Just….no. I can’t get my head there.
So. Our bikini guide is filled with bikinis that have – at least – moderate bum coverage. Moderate coverage is still mad sexy (it may be too revealing for some), but we’ve painstakingly gone through pages (and pages and pages) of swimwear to find suits that aren’t cheeky. (And there are plenty of full coverage suits.)
If you are curious to see which of these suits The Mom Edit team will be buying….keep on reading….
The bikini bottoms reverse to the same lavender color of the top. I actually love it both ways (I’m having a major pastel moment this summer.) And if you read through the rest of this guide, you’ll see we’re all craving L*Space bikinis.
Ok. If you are looking for a solid ‘Momkini’, meaning you need the top and bottoms to stay-put, and not worry about accidental exposure….this is your suit. I wore these bikini bottoms through two pregnancies and post-partum phases, and they just sort of magically expanded and shrunk down. I think the ruched waistband helps. The French cross-back top is an improvement over last year’s French top, where nip-slips happened. Often. Grrr.
I have one beef with JCrew Swim this year: they don’t have consistent colors and cuts. If you want to pair the french cross-back top with the ruched bottoms, they only have certain colors in common. And many colors have just recently sold out? It’s JUNE THIRD, J.Crew. C’mon. I’m hoping that they’ll be launching their huge mix-and-match swim shop soon, so maybe things will settle down. As it stands, I don’t absolutely love the colors for the mom bikini. It’s such a conservative bikini that I think it could benefit from an exciting color. (Although, the charcoal gray is pretty, so……..)
I’m a sucker for a quirky, miss-matched bikini. This one is perfectly imperfect, and majorly practical to boot!
Another strong contender for the title of ‘Perfect Momkini’ is this gorgeous floral from Saha. It reverses to a striped side, so you can mix and match. I can see myself wearing this under my wetsuit to surf. LOVE.
I just ordered this. I want – so badly – for this color to look good on my skin. There’s something so impossibly chic and cool about these neutral colored bikinis.
I’m seriously loving pastel bikinis right now. Inexplicably, they look gorgeous on pale skin – no tan required. (But they’ll also look equally gorgeous on tanned skin, too. You can’t lose.) I just bought a mint green bikini at J.Crew, but it promptly sold out. This L*Space one is close. (J.Crew also has a few sizes left in the mint green string bottoms, and strapless top.)
1. Lonely Edie Bikini: sometimes the high-waisted bottoms remind me of diapers – heh (even though I have seen several gals rock them!). I just never pull the trigger on them, but…HELLO. I’d wear this one. It’s gotta be all of the straps and the bit of skin peaking out. It’s hot damn sexy!
2. L Space ‘Chloe’ Wrap Bikini: This seems to be the most nursing-friendly of all of my picks. Woop! Woop! The pic above is not actually the one I really like. The color and bottom style I’m diggin’ is this one. The peacock color is so pretty…and the cut-out bottoms are more trendy. I don’t think they bare all, either. I’m with S on that one. I can’t do almost-thong at the YMCA kiddie pool. Sorry, husband (if it were up to him, I’d be in floss bottoms and a top made out of sea shells). BTW, I just ordered this suit. Awwwww yaaaes.
3. Tavik Ryan Bikini: funky top…a little different from the normal preppy stripes. I like the bottoms it’s paired with on Shopbop (totally), but you could also mix it up a bit and go with a pop of color on the bottom. The ones I paired it with are these peach BCA Cutout Sides bottoms. Fun!
4. Tiki Your Time Two-Piece: Seriously. What a cute suit. The flirty little skirt and top that holds things in and up – awesome. Now, I did just realize that they only have a limited amount of sizes right now. [sad face]
5. Heidi Klein Bordered Bikini: not sure this would actually look good on my pale bod, but I really like the black border. It’s something more than just a plain white bikini…it’s got a little edge. Also, I say all triangle tops are nursing-friendly. I mean, really any bathing suit that can be pulled down or up, right?…because there isn’t, to my knowledge, bathing suits made for nursing mamas…right?
>> let me throw an additional one in there, actually…this Mara Hoffman Peacock Bikini, because sometimes I’m crazy for a wild print. Also, pretty moderate coverage. Ps. I was wondering if I’d see any mamas in bikinis at the Y…and I have been so pleasantly surprised, because so many of the mamas I’ve seen there are rockin’ two-pieces – pregnant, or with a new baby in their arms…and/or chasing after crazy kids. Fist pump to all of them! Thank you for inspiring me to put mine back on postpartum.
Athleta Slash Stripe Notsostring Bottom – Also loved this suit bottom. I tried it in white, but I’m loving these striped bottoms to mix and match. Wear with a red or really any solid color top and love it with this white one. The side strings are really sturdy and the bottoms are really flattering on shorter waisted ladies like me. Also, good bootie coverage. $49
2. Marysia Antibes Bikini Top and Bottom – We love these Marysia suits and this is my fave in this gorgeous red. I love that this bandeau looks a bit wider to cover a little more around the chest and that front underarm area that’s always tricky. The bottoms are so super cute in the boy short style. The scallops are just perfect. Top: $136; Bottoms: $136
3. Kingdom & State Boho Fringe Top – A reader alerted me to Kingdom & State suits…thank you! This is SO cute. I love that it covers a little more than your typical bikini top and of course the boho style is amazing. I love a halter too for lift. Seriously wanting this one. $46.50
O’Neill Lux High Waist Bikini – My favorite is to mix and match 2 piece suits. I love these high waisted bottoms in this gorgeous sun-goddess bronze color and the rise looks no-too-high (which can sometimes counter-act benefits of the high-rise bottom). The side slits are just enough sexy and pair well with the fringe top. This combo is my favorite of my picks. $53.95
4. Cropped Bikini Top in Classic Stripe and Bikini Bottom – Darn…red is already sold out. BUT, I love the black and white stripe (of course I do), too. These halter style tops are a new favorite of mine for keeping the chest covered while playing with kiddos. I like it with the bikini bottoms here to lengthen my shorter torso. Top: $44; Bottoms: $40.
5. Kenneth Cole Printed Bustier Bikini Top and High Waist Bottom – So, typically I’m the queen of stripes and black and white, but I am loving this fun geo mixed print. The bustier top does wonders for the bust and the bottoms…I adore the side cutouts and high rise. They do look like they come up fairly high, but the print is so good, they’re worth trying. They’d be fun to mix with a solid top, too. I’d wear some lovely shiny bangles and large sunglasses…and self-tanner…lots of self-tanner for this Portland ghost! Top: $71; Bottom: $63
1) Antalia Daya Underwired Halter Bikini and Retro Bikini Bottoms: I’d call this print East Coast Boho – loving how the tie-dye makes plaid feel so modern and the pink grapefruit/coral/violet color scheme is delicious. Double straps ensure more halter support, with rose gold metal accents, too – swoon. Bikini top sizes 30D-38G.
2) Sophina by Figleaves Icon Spot Mesh Underwired Halter Bikini: Bombshell with a sheer twist: check out the polkadot mesh halter straps – va va voom! The cool split strap mesh & solid side accent on the bikini bottoms keeps it interesting, and yes, sexy. (Both details are hard to see in the pic above – the site has much clearer images!)
3) Freya Swim Atlantis Underwire Sweetheart Bikini: Dreamy beachy print bikini with a sporty-sexy vibe and more importantly, serious underwire support. The sweetheart neckline is wildly flattering too, and not usually a cut you see on bikini tops! Check out the cute black piping detail on the short bottoms (which get a 5-star review for comfiness!) and remind me of the cute Athleta Dolphin shorts. Amazing size range on the bikini top from 28D-38G!
5) Peacock Underwire Bustier Bikini Top and Bottoms: Finally – busty gals can wear cute strappy tops, too! (Look @ the back). The bustier-type bikini tops are awesome because I never feel like the girls are going to make a guest appearance, and you can customize the fit with the strappy ties in back. The patterned bottoms are a must-have to balance out everything going on up top! Longline bikini top in Small D – Large F.
1. Vitamin A Neutra Bralette Bikini Top – First things first: this COLOR. Vitamin A suits are available in a ton of amazing color options but something about this “Jade” is kind of unexpected and fresh. The fit of this bikini is amazing, with a little push-up, plus it’s a great upgrade from a basic triangle top.
Vitamin A Neutra Hipster Bikini Bottoms – If you’re feeling something bright, choose these bottoms in a non-matching color. If you’re feeling matchy-matchy (me all the time), then keep it as a set. Either way, all of the colors offered by Vitamin A are lust-worthy and perfect to mix and match with other suits you may already have (or my other favs below).
2. Maaji Oil Paint Palette Bikini Top – I’ve been coveting Maaji swimsuits since I knew they existed. The brand offers tons of fun prints and styles that you won’t see everywhere you turn on the beach. I narrowed my picks down to this one because this “set” is perfectly mismatched and that’s pretty typical with Maaji swim.
Maaji Oil Paint Palette Bikini Bottom – Not only are these bottoms great with the top shown, I could see them with plenty of basic bikini tops you’ve probably already been hoarding from summers past.
3. Free People Aqua Safari Crop Bikini Top -I call this one a sporty (yet not-so-sporty) win. When it comes to swimwear, I like a good amount of coverage for my tops and feel 10 times more comfortable in a somewhat thicker material. The zip closure is also great for adjusting just how much or how little you’d like to show. I’d probably wear it like the model pictured above.
Free People Aqua Safari Bikini Bottom – If you’re pulling these up on the Free People site, you’ll notice just how cheeky they are – probably the least coverage of all my picks. I think there’s a time and a place for this style but if you do take the plunge, just rock it.
4. Nanette Lepore Sunset Shibori Stargazer Bikini Top – Ahh, this one is me in bathing suit form. I’m such a sucker for jewel-tones and Nanette Lepore does them oh so well. I’m also mildly obsessing over this high-neck style that’s everywhere now. It’s about time we branched out from the same old same options out there.
Nanette Lepore Sunset Shibori Bikini Bottom – Once again, matching sets bring me some sort of twisted pleasure. Something about that perfection just gives me that little boost of confidence. But…if I’m ever feeling wild and crazy I would totally mix and match these with the Vitamin A Jade-colored separates.
5. L*Space Strappy Colorblock Bikini Top – I spy some L Space higher up in this post and for good reason. These suits are so good you guys. This top has a light padding, too. The pictures don’t do the colors justice and what looks like blue is actually almost denim-y in person. I don’t think i’ll be taking this one off all summer.
1. J. Crew Bandeau Bikini with Surf Hipster Bottom: J. Crew suits last forever. I still have (and wear!) the bottom I bought in high school . . . no joke. I was thrown off by the “hipster” word of these bottoms but was pleasantly surprised to see that it does indeed cover a c-section scar without being too much coverage. Love this unique color.
Literally everyone I know has this strapless top . . . my friend who is “blessed” up top wears it with no strap (although it does come with one if necessary) and it was the one I wore when I was pregnant alllll the time. It’s very structured and will definitely hold the girls in with no fear of them spilling out – provided you get the right size and aren’t racing in the pool. I like mixing up the prints and colors for multiple options.
3. O’Neill Bandit Top & Bottom: I love this suit – the print is unique and the cut of the bottom is the perfect way to “dip your toe” into the cheeky cut without diving straight in. The top keeps the girls in and has a unique cut as well. (For reference, I had to size up for the bottoms. Big. Booty.)
4. Black Bandeau Top & Classic Bottoms: I have a bandeau top like this that I wear as a strapless bra allll the time. You know those tops that are off the shoulder but will crease in a weird spot when you put on a strapless bra? This top takes care of that . . . wear it under tanks, camis, dresses, etc. for a bit more coverage than a bralette or nothing. Oh, and you can also wear it as a swimsuit.
5. J. Crew Halter Top & Surf Hipster Bottom: My favorite bottom again (seriously comfortable, flattering cut and well-made) but paired with a halter. I love halters to balance out small shoulders and wide hips and this one has small pads to cover up the nips. Navy is super flattering like all black but a bit more fun.
1. L*Space Chloe Reversible Bikini, Reversible Hipster – L**Space bikinis ftw this summer’ s as three of theirs made it into my top five choices, for the price and the styling, they are unbeatable. Plus, I have a feeling that color blocked swimwear is going to be big these next few summers…and this one just happens to have both of my favorite colors.
2. L*Space Halter Bikini , Bottoms – This year I made sure to choose bikinis that were stylish yet functional for us larger chested gals. As a D cup, I have made some painfully bad bikini top choices in the past, where I spent must of my time on the beach holding everything in all day while playing beach ball games and wave jumping with the fam. This halter style top offers style and coverage.
3. Beach Riot Paradise Bikini Top, Bottoms – LOVE this style of bikini top, I had one last summer and it was so comfy- although, for my fellow bigger chested friends, it’s important to make sure all boobage is covered because if not, the underboob can be quit an issue.
4. L’*Space Lizzie Wrap Bikini Top, L*Space Estella Classic Fit Cut Out Bottoms – OK – you might think these wrap/cut out bikinis are difficult to pull off, but they really aren’t! I bought one last year online and was hesitant I would look like a Thanksgiving turkey wrapped in string but it actually made my waist look slimmer and added a tinge of sexiness. Plus this L’space version has a halter top, unlike a lot of other waist tied versions.
5. Billabong Tropical Daze Halter Bikini Top, Bottoms – This tropical palm tree pattern bikini is by far my favorite of the patterns I’ve seen so far this year and the price is very reasonable for the quality that a Billabong swimsuit provides.
Check out the full 2016 Bikini Guide here! And please let us know if you’ve found a favorite!
The Mom Edit Team