Every decade has its iconic swimwear style. The 1930s gave us a proto-wresting suit with full-coverage legs, knitted with a new-fangled material called rayon. The 1950s saw the rise of the bikini, which revealed the forbidden belly button. And of course, the late '80s and '90s brought us leg openings that climbed from mid-thigh to the hipbone, elongating the already-lengthy gams on the “supers” — Naomi, Cindy, Linda, Christy, et al. — and becoming the emblematic silhouette of the crimped-hair decade.
The great thing about this last style is its hyper-flattering properties — you don’t have to be a Claudia Schiffer reincarnate in order for this suit to give your legs the appearance of being several miles long. Because it’s such a universally flattering style, we decided it was time to start browsing for our favorites. Click through to see the best high-cut (sometimes called “French cut”) bathing costumes that we dug up, from fire engine-red Baywatch throwbacks to thoroughly modern tie-dye bikinis — because summer’s not over yet, and you still have a lot of swimming to do.
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