Home / Fashion / Bikinis are dead, long live the one-piece

Bikinis are dead, long live the one-piece

Feeling beach-bummed that your body wasn’t “bikini-ready” for Memorial Day? Don’t sweat it.

Everyone from the Kardashians to the rebooted “Baywatch” cast is rocking a one-piece swimsuit this year.

Retail data company EDITED reports that the number of bikini styles offered online has dropped 9 percent, while one-piece models have spiked 20 percent.

And single-piece swimsuits – sometimes called “monokinis” – are selling out three times faster than they did at this time last year, with figure-flattering and tummy-controlling designs moving the fastest, followed by traditional, round-neck suits.

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“The one-piece has made an explosive comeback this year. It’s not surprising due to current trends and our quest for comfort – and retailers are capitalizing on this growth with a bevy of flattering and daring styles for 2017,” Emily Bezzand, head analyst at EDITED, told Moneyish.



That includes activewear brand Athleta, which features swim leggings for surfers, stand-up paddle boarders, or anyone looking for a little coverage.

They’ve also got new one-piece styles this year including a strappy yoga-inspired Prussian blue suit with molded cups, and a striped one-piece with cap sleeves that ties in the front.

“[A woman] wants something that she can wear confidently, without having to constantly adjust,” Athleta’s Ariel Bishop (swim design) and Charlotte Lord (swim merchandising) told Moneyish. “She wants to be able to dive into a pool, or bend down and play with her kid, without the discomfort of her suit getting in the way.”

ASOS and Topshop one-pieces are also popular, although any swim line worth its saltwater has at least one racy monokini on the rack. Yup, one-piece suits have shed their dowdy rep thanks to sexy details like high-cut legs, plunging necklines and low backs, or strategic cut-outs along the torso and sides – so you can flaunt the body parts you love, while covering up the ones you don’t.

This is the first year that chic plus-size site Eloquii is offering swimwear, but the brand told Moneyish it has already noticed one-pieces are selling better than their itsy-bitsy, teeny-weeny counterparts. Rebel Wilson even sported their $120 Off The Shoulder One Piece recently while on vacation in Mexico. So Eloquii plans to roll out more single-piece styles next summer.


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“I have a feeling that if you looked at the plus market a couple of years ago when the first ‘fatkini’ (as it was called) was introduced, there was probably a rise in bikini sales as the stigma around plus-size women in bikinis was shattered,” said Jodi Arnold, creative director and VP of design at Eloquii. “But now I think the trend in fashion in general is a little more retro in feel, and therefore the one-piece suit seems to be more popular.”

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