Monokinis, cutout tanks or plunge suits... whatever you call them, one thing is clear: The new shape of swimwear is a single piece. The old binary of sexy bikinis versus conservative one-piece has been disrupted by this sexy new breed of swimsuit. Strategic cutouts, negative space and unexpected exposures like deep underarm openings play with optical expectations for head-turning beachside styles.
Ever since two Frenchmen argued over who truly invented the bikini in the 1930s, women’s swimsuits have enjoyed a storied history. We’ve come a long way from the first bikini, which was made by an engineer or a couturier, depending on whose version you subscribe. Swimwear is the most playful side of fashion, and since we are lucky enough to have year-round beach days in Hawai’i, waterwear is key. With the plethora of luxe beach labels and boutiques throughout the islands, it’s easy to stay on the cutting edge of the evolution of the bathing suit.
Whether your taste is refined elegance or San Tropez risqué, there is a monokini for you this season. Our picks are Acacia’s fun lined-mesh styles, evocative of the most luxurious basketball jersey on the planet, and For Love & Lemons’ chic take on the trend, which pairs open sides and a strappy almost-bare back with intricate cutout details and tiny golden rings down the midriff. Bamboo Sky, 1016 Kapahulu Ave., Kapahulu, O‘ahu, 591.8003; Planet Blue, Ala Moana Center, Mall Level 2, Ewa Wing, O‘ahu, 777.4150
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