Bikini Dos and Don’ts


Just in time for Water Festival

By Laura Trask

Louis Reard's 1st bikini revealed at public pool in Paris 1946

Nothing says summer in Beaufort like boats, beer and bikinis, and with the 56th Annual Beaufort Water Festival upon us (and since this is a fashion column), we had better focus on the wardrobe staple of the three B’s — the Bikini!  The bikini first shocked those on Swedish beaches in 1947 and apparently still has the same ability over half a century later.  A friend of mine visiting from the Upstate, where they do their sunbathing at country club pools and on lakes, could not get over the fact that so many of the women in the Lowcountry were strutting around in bikinis.  Her exact words were, “you would never wear a bikini to my country club.”  A tankini is as bare as they dare. Well, we say poo to that!

Although bikini-like garments have been around for a millennia, the man credited with the modern day bikini was a French engineer named Louis Reard. He revealed his design at a public pool in Paris in 1946, and it was an instant hit. He named it after Bikini Island in the Pacific, which was the site of some nuclear testing. He believed that the excitement it would cause would be as explosive as a nuclear blast! Another fellow bikini inventor called his the “atome,” referring to its size.  Well, Reard claimed to have “split the atome,” making the bikini even smaller and exposing the navel, which had not been done before. Reard declared that a two-piece was not a genuine bikini “unless it could be pulled through a wedding ring.”

So, since we are bold enough to bob boat to boat in little to nothing I guess we need to do some background checks in the dressing room. We have all been there and know it is a lesson in patience and can be quite discouraging, much like finding the right pair of blue jeans, one must be willing to try on many to find one that feels right!

Gisele Bundchen

The trick is finding the style and fit that best works with one’s body. As we all know, there are very few perfect bodies out there. We all have something we are trying to deal with. Here are some helpful hints I have found. Halter-top bikinis offer support while enhancing the cleavage and really look good on just about anyone, whereas a bandeau top is much less flattering.  If you want to have longer looking legs, choose a suit that is cut high on the thigh, which will not only elongate your legs, but will make your waist look smaller. A win-win! A solid bottom paired with a printed top will draw the eye upward and also give you a longer look. Stay away from boy shorts and skirted bottoms as they tend to make one look shorter!

As you can imagine, there are many dos and don’ts when it comes to getting your bikini look right.  Here are a few: do rock your bikini with big earrings and a fabulous pair of sunglasses, the combination is oh so chic. Don’t wear boots with your bikini no matter what misguided fashion victims you may see in them. Flip flops are a better fit, but a wedge can also add a sexy twist. Best to keep it simple and clean.

And remember ladies, there is a fine line between party like a rock star and party like a reality star!






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