Ugly flaw with next level bikini trend
There are times where I am convinced the fashion industry is playing a prank on us all. They tell us something ridiculous is the "new look of the season", and we shrug our shoulders and follow blindly because: fashion, dahling.
Horrible trends are nothing new. Remember those hipster jeans from the 00s that barely covered (read: didn't cover) your butt crack? How about the clear, plastic clothing that started popping up a couple of years ago? (It's about as close to The Emperor's New Clothes, actualised, as we'll ever get.)
Bizarre pieces will always make their way into stores, and people will wear them. I have been guilty of this *many times*.
When it comes to extreme fashion choices, 2019 is shaping up to be a doozy. From 'fancy' bike shorts, to neon green everything, celebs and influencers are taking a no holds barred approach to style this year.
And there is one in particular that has caught my attention - the underboob bikini.
If you're unfamiliar with this look, allow me to elaborate. Seemingly fed up with regular old cleavage and side-boob, designers have chosen to give the bottom-half of breasts their time in the sun.
It is one of the most absurd concepts I have come across in a long time. And yet, every time I scroll through my Instagram feed I'm inundated with visions of underboob.
Not only does it look plain uncomfortable, but this bikini style promises bad tan lines and the constant risk of a wardrobe malfunction. And still, it's being called the "must-have" swimsuit of the year.
Unconvinced this bold look lends itself to everyday use, I thought I'd test it on an everyday human's body (mine), and report back.
Here's how that decision went:
I ordered a set of the infamous bathers and opted for the largest size, hoping this would allow for a little more modesty.
They sent me a medium, instead. So, to hell with that plan.
I took the swimsuit out of the packaging and actually laughed at the tiny strip of Lycra in front of me.
It took a lot of manoeuvring to get on. I had to wrangle my chest into place, and even once I had aptly arranged myself, I felt like I was a sneeze away from a boob popping out.
I took a look in the mirror and my first reaction was, "absolutely not".
It looked like I'd chosen a kid's size swimsuit and tried to squeeze my body into it. The result not sexy.
You see, without a bottom half, this bikini can't offer any solid support.
This problem, I assume, is meant to be addressed by making the fabric you do have a tight fit. For me, all this did was squish my chest right down. The effect was similar to a couple of stressed water balloons, right before bursting point.
Given I was sent the wrong size, for accuracy's sake, I asked a pal with a smaller bust than mine to also try the bikini.
It looked much less extreme on her. But even so, there were nip slips aplenty, and the squished water balloon look was still apparent.
We wouldn't feel comfortable wearing it in public and definitely not for actual swimming. Even an overly-active arm moment could spell disaster.
So, if a swimsuit is too risky to move in - let alone swim in - why are people buying it?
Well, according to Nicole Adolphe, head of style at The Iconic, what's trending online doesn't always translate to sales - especially in Australia:
"While skimpier pieces are great for the 'gram, they don't necessarily reflect what's selling," she told me.
"Australian women look for swimsuits that not only look sexy but are also practical … something they can wear into the surf without worrying about a wardrobe malfunction. So, while 'skimpy' is in, so too are practical styles like the one-piece, and bralettes paired with high waisted bottoms."
She went on to stress that a small bikini isn't the only way to look sexy at the beach.
"Sexy is when you feel confident in what you are wearing," she said. "Not everybody suits every trend, but there is a trend for every body."
And as Instagrammable as it may be, the underboob bikini is definitely not the trend for me.