Think The White Bathing Suit Is Tricky? Here’s Why It's a Summer Essential

·3 min read
Photo credit: Sunset Boulevard - Getty Images
Photo credit: Sunset Boulevard - Getty Images

As far as fashion rules go, not wearing white after Labor Day is canon (with exceptions), avoiding horizontal stripes if you want to appear slimmer is practically law, and of course, never, never wear white to someone else's wedding. The point being: with all of the red tape around snow-colored clothing, it's easy to write off something like a white one piece swimsuit as only for very specific occasions (like, a bachelorette party, poolside bridal celebration, or somesuch.). But reader, I am here to tell you that this is not so. In fact, the white maillot is just about the chicest and most flattering thing you can wear during the summer.

I have stumbled upon this now firmly held belief by both trying it myself, but also through the most classic means of finding fashion inspiration: the movies. You need look no further for proof that a white one piece is not just flattering, but a warm weather must-have than by watching two classics, La Piscine and Suddenly, Last Summer. Starring Romy Schneider and Elizabeth Taylor respectively, both films have a dark underside, but the clothes...

Take the former in the oh-so sexy 1969 flick. She makes her first appearance of the film in a bright white number that is the perfect blend of curve-hugging and not too revealing. With a scoop neck and spaghetti straps, the lines are seamless—it shows off her silhouette while still leaving something to the imagination. And the contrast with the actresses deep bronzed skin, the byproduct of the rich languor of golden afternoons in the heat, sipping drinks on ice and thinking of nothing other than what delights the senses. Who knew you could read so much into a simple piece of swimwear?

Photo credit: Sunset Boulevard - Getty Images
Photo credit: Sunset Boulevard - Getty Images

The same thing goes for Elizabeth Taylor in Suddenly, Last Summer, which came out ten years prior. Between the deep scoop neck of her swimwear, her warm glowing skin, and sparkling eyes—it's a visual that is hard to resist. But it alludes to the same principle, when wearing white to swim, make sure you keep the cut classic and err on the side of a timeless silhouette to ensure that it flatters your shape. No need for super-deep cuts and high-cut legs. Ditch the ruffles and bows. Keep it crisp and simple. Follow this principle and your suit will do the talking.

Photo credit: Sunset Boulevard - Getty Images
Photo credit: Sunset Boulevard - Getty Images

With all the benefits of emphasizing your complexion aside, there are other notable benefits of wearing a white one piece that prove the classic is nothing to blanch at.

A white one piece is the perfect canvas upon which to accessorize. We may not all have sparkling amethyst eyes a la the inimitable Ms. Taylor, but that doesn't mean we can't make like her and wear our jewels to swim. Add a chunky gold bracelet and you're in business. Or better yet, don a riviere necklace and let your diamonds offer a sparkling complement to your swim costume as you take a dip. Or maybe it's a pair of trend-defying simple gold hoops if you want some glimmer, or brightly colored lucite hoops for a pop. It all works.

But if that isn't convincing enough, there's the versatility of a two-for-one piece. That one piece bathing suit can also double as a bodysuit when you need it to do so. Throw on some cutoffs and and a chambray top and you have yourself an outfit, or sub in a breezy midi skirt and heels and head straight to cocktail hour. Plus, there's something slightly thrilling about wearing a piece that is vulnerable to stains. Very devil-may-care fashionista. Consider this the secret to looking chic for the weeks when temps soar above 80. Below some #VeryT&C options, with some accessories and styling accoutrements. Now all you need is a pool to sultrily sit by.

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