This Controversial Swimwear Trend You'll See On Every Beach This Summer

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 and Instagram feed. Why?

“Thong swimwear has always been popular in markets such as Brazil, Colombia and Italy,” explains swimwear expert Lily Russo. “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.

Still, Russo believes 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 Russo's help, I’ve decoded how to make thong swimwear work in real life.

Keep scrolling for our top tips on how to wear the thong swimwear trend. Then, finally, shop our edit of the best thong swimwear around.

1. Fake It

“No one feels confident during their first day on the beach,” admits Russo. “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.” 

Thong Swimwear: @emmahoareau wears pink floral thong bikini



2. 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.” 

Thong Swimwear: @emrata wears a thong bikini



3. 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.”

4. 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.”

Thong Swimwear: @claire_most and friends all wear thong swimwear



5. 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.”

Shop Thong Swimwear

You can't go wrong with a classic black bikini. 

This minimal-coverage bikini bottom is a subtle take on the thong swimwear trend.