Everyone has that one go-to — a single item in their wardrobe that they style better than anyone else. For Instagram personality and Savage X Fenty model Ireanna Bradshaw, that signature piece is a string bikini.
If you don’t follow Bradshaw for her uplifting wisdom about loving your body and dressing to show it off — a few of her most recent captions: “Daily reminder that you are a hot girl no matter what size,” “Baby, I am the main character,” and, “To my body, I just want to say thank you” — then you should watch her feed for her swimsuit content, which is above what you’ll find on anyone else’s grid. Yes, there is the occasional sweatshirt or wedding dress (congratulations to the newlywed!), but her uniform is none other than the bikini, worn crisscrossed and upside-down, and often paired with matching sarongs and skimpy bottoms from her favorite swimsuit brands, which include We Are We Wear and Swimsuits For All (“especially the Gabi Fresh collection,” she says). “String bikinis have become my new favorite summer item,” she tells Refinery29. And it’s not waterside attire. She wears them at home, or as a replacement crop top for any occasion — often with mom jeans or flare jeans. “Another way I style [string bikini tops] is by dressing up like a Bratz doll, so with a mini skirt, a cute jacket, and chunky heel,” she says.
Though the North Carolina resident appears to be a string bikini pro on the platform — as well as on TikTok, where she has over 33,000 followers and counting — it wasn’t until the end of lockdown that she began incorporating skimpy swimwear into her wardrobe — and her social media feeds. “Being stuck inside all year gave me a lot of time to reflect,” she says. “I started to appreciate my body more than I ever have. In that appreciation, I realized that I could wear whatever I wanted.” At the beginning of lockdown, she says that she started purchasing things that she liked, but would be otherwise afraid to wear out. “I had that voice in my head that told me I was too big to wear things like that,” says Bradshaw. But the longer she spent with herself, the easier it became to feel confident in her appearance. “I started taking pictures in the clothes and posting them to my Instagram, and I got so much love from the community that it gave me more assurance that maybe I could wear them in public.” Her posts even caught the eye of Missy Elliott on Twitter, who offered to pay for the wedding dress that Bradshaw coveted but couldn’t quite afford.
Now that the wedding is behind her and temperatures are rising, it’s bikinis for Bradshaw practically all of the time. “I’m not sure what clicked in my head, but in April, I wore my first backless top out in public, and it was liberating,” says Bradshaw. “I think if I didn't have the time to sit with myself and really love on myself, then I would have never found this new level of confidence.” That is, a level of confidence that allows her to pose in string bikinis, as well as lingerie, and sometimes nothing at all, for her 44,000 Instagram followers.
Given that summer is officially here, and with it, swimsuit season, we could all take a cue or two from Bradshaw, whose string bikini content alone will make you ditch full-coverage swimwear for good.
Ahead, see how Bradshaw is styling her string bikini collection for summer.
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