top of page
  • snitzoid

No I'm not going to feature a WSJ article about stringed bikinis!

What does this look like the Sports Illustrated Swimsuit issue to you! Close this screen immediately. What kind of misogynistic animal are you? Grow the f-ck up.

Oops...are you a female reader? No worries keep reading (please avoid the photos).

PS. I lied about not featuring the article. Shocker!

The Rise of the Many-Stringed Bikini

Crisscrossing strings and torso-traversing ties are taking over swimwear this season

By Rory Satran, WSJ

July 1, 2023 8:00 am ET

A crisscrossing top from Vitamin A. PHOTO: VITAMIN A

If the Willy Wonka candy factory made swimwear, it would look a lot like the array of inventive styles that are popular today. Once limited to two modes—modest, Speedo-type one-pieces and skimpy bikinis—women’s swimsuits now include thongs, one-size-fits-all puckered suits, pieces with cutouts in every shape and location, maillots adorned with jewels, macramé and chains, and bondage-worthy shapewear get-ups.

Of the wild swim looks du jour, the style that’s the most prevalent—and at times, confounding—is The One With So Many Strings. Look around at the beach or pool (or rave) and you’ll see them, these complicated suits with crisscrossing ties and straps at the neck, the midriff, the hips. Fans say they’re flattering, playful and expressive. Detractors compare their wearers to trussed pork tenderloin.

“At first the trend may look intimidating, but I think it’s fun and it’s worth trying because it’s definitely forward-thinking,” said Caroline Maguire, the fashion director of retailer Shopbop, which offers a seemingly endless supply of stringy suits. “It’s the next version of swim.”

The style has been popularized by celebrities like Emily Ratajkowski (and her string-happy swim line, Inamorata), a profusion of reality-television stars, and haute-sexy designers including Jacquemus, Ottolinger and Christopher Esber. And they take many forms, from bikinis whose ties wrap around again and again to complexly corded one-pieces. Big, established designers like Balenciaga and Versace make suits with strings and straps that wrap all around; so do more accessible brands like Vitamin A and Bananhot.

Australian line Matteau launched its Wrap Triangle Top at its resort 2020 show, a tasteful take on the trend that’s a signature for the brand now. Responding to the style’s popularity, Matteau made a one-piece version, and the brand’s co-founder Peta Heinsen said that both styles have become bestsellers, especially in the United States.

Some of the oddest and most extreme pieces are by London-based Turkish designer Dilara Findikoglu, who has said, “With my clothes I kind of do witchcraft.” Her sexy swimsuits look like dreamcatchers on the body, with customizable ties in strange spots like the upper thigh. The Nancy Swimsuit boasts strings across one side of the belly button and one full sleeve—like an avant-garde gymnastics leotard.

Publicist Kaitlin Phillips, who said she’s gotten more into “sexy” clothing while living part-time in Marseille, tried buying a Dilara Findikoglu suit while she was waiting for an even stringier one from New York brand Priscavera. But Findikoglu’s operation was “majorly backed up,” she said, so meanwhile she’s wearing a more classic Burberry bikini.

Swimwear trends tend to follow what’s happening in fashion at large. As swim retailer Everything but Water’s creative director Sabra Krock explained, “Swim trends always cascade off of ready-to-wear. It’s always a little delayed off of the runway.”

So it makes sense that these revealing suits share much in common with fashion’s current cutout-crazed club-kid moment. For several seasons now, French brands including Courrèges and Coperni have been turning out rave-ready looks on Paris runways, and London-based designers such as Kiko Kostadinov and Conner Ives have been mining the 2000s for inspiration in the form of crop tops and party dresses.

The profusion of strings may also stem from all the swimwear experimentation being chronicled on TikTok. A few years ago, women started wearing bikini tops upside down, and noodling with the way they tied their strings. Kourtney Kardashian jumped on the bandwagon by flipping her bikini top and then crisscrossing the strings at her neck. Everything but Water’s Krock says that’s when swim brands “began designing with that type of versatility and convertibility in mind.”

A strappy bikini from Emily Ratajkowski’s swim line, Inamorata.

Actor Mo Fry Pasic, who wore a strappy, stringy thong suit from the brand Riot Swim for a recent video promoting her one-woman show, embraces the flexibility of what she calls “cat’s cradle” fashion. She likes that strings are customizable and can be tied in a variety of ways depending on the look you want.

One demographic that’s wholeheartedly embraced the stringy suit trend is reality-television stars, who tend not to shy away from drawing attention to their swimwear. New York magazine’s Vulture ranked the bathing suits on Netflix dating show “Perfect Match” in order of complexity from “normal” to “stress factory.” The article’s author called out contestant Georgia Hassarati as a repeat offender: “Tying swimsuits should be listed under “special skills” on Georgia’s résumé.” Hassarati was unavailable to comment, because she was boarding a boat in St. Tropez.

Hassarati’s intricate ties are described in New York as “a two-person job,” and these suits can indeed appear overly involved. At swim shops, I’ve been daunted by the style, which on a hanger looks like something you’d pull up from the creek while crabbing.

But perhaps it’s better not to overthink it. “The thing that should be exciting about this trend is that the stupider the better,” said Pasic. “Ultimately, it’s just a bunch of strings, so there’s no getting it wrong.”

Write to Rory Satran at

11 views0 comments

Recent Posts

See All

Florida Named as Shark Attack Capital of the World

Another attention grabbing stunt by DeSantis to promote his state. Is perfectly clear that the Australian sharks off the Great Barrier Reef are better by almost ever metric; bigger, stronger, faster,

The fatal flaw in public education.

Ironic most other affluent nations give almost all families school choice (like Charter schools). Not here. In many parts of the US, poor neighborhoods are plagued with smaller budgets for public edu


Post: Blog2_Post
bottom of page