Swimwear label Reina Olga states the following on its Instagram account: "Because no bikini is ever too small and no tooshie is ever too big." This quote succinctly sums up the booming (well, technically, minuscule) Brazilian bikini trend we've noticed everywhere—from the beaches we've holidayed on to the Instagram accounts we keep up with on an hourly basis, there's no escaping the amount of bottom exposure going on. (Just see Bella Hadid and Hailey Baldwin making a strong case for the bikini thong, for example.)
You might even be surprised at how acceptable this trend is getting, as we've seen plenty of celebs and fashion friends getting in on it, and having just come back from a week in sunny Spain, I can confirm that this is 100% happening in Europe. Every girl that passed me on the beach was wearing the skimpiest of bottoms and swimsuits and looking rather fabulous.
Emily Ratajkowski in her own swimwear line, Inamorata.
Maybe it's down to peachy derrières becoming the erogenous zone of a generation (Kim Kardashian West's #belfie is no longer alone in its bravery), but the kind of teeny-tiny bikini brief that almost moves into wedgie territory is currently the piece du jour to be holidaying in.
One look at A-list swimwear icons like Emily Ratajkowski or bloggers like Peace Love Shea (who now has her own swim line), and it's clear the look is omnipresent. The best part? You'll be pleased to know it's not exclusive to those who spend most of their days working out.
To dig into the phenomenon a bit further, we went to swimwear expert Lily Russo, co-founder of resort-wear site Beach Flamingo and long-time supporter of the smaller bikini bottom idea for girls of all shapes and sizes. Russo says, "I've always worn Brazilian-cut bikinis. In fact, for my body shape and any other pear-shaped and curvy ladies out there, a Brazilian-cut tie-side bikini is the most flattering shape, but up until a year ago, it was seen as skimpy as a thong by the Brits." She continues, "Thanks to Instagram and bikini-selfie pros, there has definitely been a shift in people's opinions toward showing a little more cheek."
"When we launched the site in 2012, we were one of the few shops to stock skimpier swimwear. It's what I grew up wearing on the beaches of Italy, as I always wanted the smallest tan lines possible, and even my 60-year-old mum is adverse to a fuller brief! Girls now have more confidence to try them, plus better access to brands who specialise in that scooped cut—such as L*Space, Mara Hoffman, Caffé and Reina Olga."
Ashley Graham (right) with Tabria Majors (left) in matching white bikinis from Swimsuits for All.
So how to make this look work for you? Lily has one main tip: Don't worry about the size you buy. "I often go up a size, as bikini tops generally don't vary that much, but you can make sure the bottoms don't dig in on the hips," she says. And remember, this trend translates into one-pieces too, with many high-cut one-pieces filtering into the market. On that note, it's time to go shopping.