5 Tips for Wearing Thong Swimwear in Real Life

Anyone who's brave enough to take on the thong swimwear trend has my admiration. Thong swimwear first came onto the fashion scene in the ‘80s, but over the course of the last year, it’s become a common cossie style that’ll you’ll see on just about every beach, TV program (watch two seconds of Lindsay Lohan's Beach Club and you'll see what I mean) and Instagram feed. Why?

“Thong swimwear has always been popular in markets such as Brazil, Colombia and Italy,” explains Lily Russo, co-founder and creative director at Beach Flamingo. “They’re countries where people spend the most time on the beach, so for many women getting the least tan lines is top on their list. However, they’ve been given more visibility through social media by the likes of the Kardashians and Emily Ratajkowski—as such, they have gained popularity.”

Indeed, like so many trends, thong swimwear was reborn thanks to Instagram, and it seems the shops are preparing for it to be in demand for high-summer.

While Beach Flamingo hasn’t reported a particular increase in sales of thong swimwear just yet, Lily predicts this is because many of us are still too tentative to try it—myself included. What is different from last year, however, is the style's sudden omnipresence on the high street. The trend is about to go mainstream, so with Lily's help, I’ve decoded how to make thong swimwear work in real life.

Keep scrolling for our top tips, followed by a serving of A-list inspiration. Then, finally, shop our edit of the best thong swimwear around.

Fake it.
“No one feels confident during their first day on the beach,” admits Lily. “Chances are, it's been a year since you were last there, which is why I always recommend getting a spray tan before you head off. Even a subtle glow will make you feel more at ease in a bikini or swimsuit.” 

Consider a one-piece.
“While there’s no denying that thong bikinis are easier to come by than one-piece iterations, they do exist. Keeping your top-half covered up will make you feel less on show or vulnerable as you initially try the thong look.” 

Pack a back-up.
“For your first thong swimwear foray, why not take a spare pair of bottoms with you? That way, should you not be feeling them, you can make the switch and carry on with your day. That, or give them a test-run at your hotel pool where you can easily head back to your room to change before you venture to beaches further afield.”

Use straps to your advantage.
“If you’re worried about not having enough support, look for bikini bottoms with thicker waist straps—they’re particularly helpful if you’re less confident about your stomach area.”

Floss isn't your only option.
“Thongs are usually associated with string-like straps you can choose another type that covers a little more so that you feel comfortable and will still show off your peachy bum.”


From Emily Ratajkowski to countless Victoria’s Secret Angels, thongs have fast become the celeb swimwear of choice. 

Thong Swimwear: Bella Hadid and her pals are all fans of thong bikinis



Bella Hadid takes to the ocean with three thong-bikini friends in tow. 

Thong Swimwear: Naomi Shimada in a green thong bikini



Naomi Shimada takes accessorising to the next level by coordinating her thing bikini with her summer hat. 

Candice Swanepoel proves thong swimwear can look chic in Tropic of C's polka-dot bikini. 

Devin Brugman looks incredible in her printed thong briefs. 

Thong Swimwear: Emily Ratajkowski in a white bikini



Emily Ratajkowski helped kick-start the thong swimwear trend last summer. 

Leomie Anderson puts her spin on the trend with a neon-hued Brazilian-cut thong bikini. 


Big-cat prints are set to be all the rage on swimwear this season. 

The eyelets give this gingham set even more edge. 

It's a fact that yellow shades further enhance your tan. 

This bikini looks way more expensive than it actually is. 

The spots mean these bottoms will also work well with a plain black bikini top, too. 

Yes, minimalists can wear thong bikinis, too. 

If athleisure is your thing, look no further than this sporty option. 

Who said swimwear couldn't be downright fabulous? 

One-shoulder is a massive swimwear trend for summer 2019. 

This top will look pretty paired with wide-leg linen trousers for poolside drinks. 

The wider straps add extra support across the abdomen, making these ideal for apple and hourglass shapes. 

Now, let's see the other swimwear trends the A-list will be wearing all-through 2019.

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