Bikini Tops, The New T Shirts

Leandra Medine | March 20, 2012

The fashion conversation has been consumed with sentiments about a general shift to place of reinvented modesty: longer hemlines, a-line silhouettes, blouse-y blouses, but figure this for a moment: I’m talking about bikini tops as street wear today and just a few months ago, I tried out a pair of underwear on Wooster Street to test another spring trend that lives in a similar capacity, mandating bare-ass. It’s an interesting disconnect that resolves quickly at a salute to the late 50s. The bloomers are high waist and the bras or bikini tops, whatever you’ll call them, aren’t exactly your run-of-the-mill Victoria Secret threads.

Though Nina Ricci (far left,) does exacerbate the fine line at hand. How about that, spring springs and t-shirts become a trend of the past. I read a really smart article in Elleover the weekend outlining the sweeping trend we have here. It was a sort of documentation of the social experiment the Elle writer in question conducted to figure whether or not this was a trend she could make her own. After bouts of agonizing about the exposed midriff and comparing her own brand of confidence to that bestowed upon runway models, she tried the trend and ultimately concluded that no one gave a shit she was wearing a bra. The trials and tribulations of actually getting the top on were far more consuming than the public reaction–and that ultimately came to prove a point that perpetuates right here: the owner of your look is you. Confidence will give you the tools you need to pull whatever the fuck you want off and so today on TMR, we take a page from–or rather make a page for this school of thought and turn a runway trend most will assume to have manifested for runway purposes only and take to the street.

Acne jacket, Marysia Swim bathing suit top, Preen Line skirt, Alaia sandals.

Contrary to popular belief, I don’t in fact have a camera man at hand at all hours–we actually meet a mere once a month–and so this look on me will have to remain fragmented speculation in your heads until I force someone to photograph me on the street in me’bra. I’ll also note this trend is a great way to shop your own closet: you have a blazer, you have a bra, or at the very least: a bathing suit, you presumably should have something massively high waist, throw it all together. And while I won’t be wearing Alaia lace-ups, the photographed are just to celebrate a happy occasion at hand: these are now current again. No outlet in Hawaii stalking necessary, they’re back, they’re beige, they’re…bomb? Cha-cheers x 2.

  • .Tinacious Me.

    those Alaia sandals are divine!
    xo, Tina

  • Styling Black

    so fitting for the weather this week… love it!

  • KristiMcMurry

    Confidence is definitely key in an outfit like that! It's really cute though. I think I'd be all "more power to ya" if I saw a woman rocking that.

  • Camille

    this is amazing love!

  • Gaby Lang

    I really like this trend!

    Gaby Lang

  • Fashion-isha

    Love this look and that's a great collage! I would just have to wear it with the jacket all the way closed which would kinda defeat the purpose…but good look for Spring!

  • Sarah

    Finally, a time and place for my floral bandeau! Are college campuses ready for this? Here I come.

  • maryse

    beautiful sélection ! j'aime beaucoup les chaussures

  • Sketch42

    OK, you need to come look through my moms 80's closet with me this summer. She has a million bikini top shirts and they will never fit me or any of my sisters!

  • Joana

    Did you read the article online or on the print issue? I'd love to read it…

  • kellywinonaoxford

    stupid cute. STUPID. CUTE. And the best part about that outfit is that you're gonna look like a bitch no matter what because you can't slouch when you're sitting. my motto years ago: "100% of girls with perfect posture are called bitches" (I tm'd that shit). PS- I just found a pair of 2010 J. Choo 'feline's' in black on YOOX the other day—BEYOND thrilled.

  • Designer Clothing Online

    Amazing. We love the jacket.

    Womens Clothing Online

  • Aurélie and Angelo
  • Mackenzie

    I LOVE bandeau tops! I could wear them all the time with everything! I made one, check out my blog post:

  • adria

    Love this article! I wrote one a few weeks ago on bralettes becoming acceptable exposed underwear.. thoughts?

  • gigiicecream

    as long as there are no belly buttons being paraded around town, I'm cool with the trend.

    melted icecream

  • Sabrina Strelitz

    love it! I put these shoes on my blog recently…as my wedding shoes..kind of obsessed.


  • Montes Y Mills

    I love this trend! just got a few cropped tops for the spring and I cannot wait to wear them!

    also, I agree with gigi above: no belly buttons!


    montes Y mills

  • The Antifash

    I can't wait to try my hand.. er stomach at this trend. I already have 'fits planned (yeah). I think the Dolce is my fav (proportion) of the three, followed closely by Prada. I agree with your Nina Ricci assessment. It's a bit much for me but It'll be interesting to see how the mass stores flip it…

  • WearAbouts

    lovin' the alaia sandals! can't wait to see you style a bra/bikini in public 🙂
    Follow me on CHICTOPIA

  • candice

    omg totally agree. great post. i did a similar post in Spring's must haves on my blog. would be grateful for a follow thank you!

  • Yuka
  • Sharon

    I'm to affraid to wear such short tops :p

    Marc by Marc Jacobs friendship bracelet giveaway on my blog!

  • Tara India

    I really want to try out this trend, I love the 50s style of those tops. Maybe soon I will break out my bikini top with a high waist skirt + just go for it! xox

  • Jannine

    i´m in love with this trend… but a little scared of pulling it off. i´m so pale i might scare someone who´ll think he just saw a ghost when it actually was my midriff. hmmm. maybe after a beach vacay…

    XO Jannine

  • Opposite lipstick
  • Bonnie,Clyde and Marni…..
  • modelovers

    I Love the New bikini top styling!


  • nataliya

    if i didn't have stretch marks from pregnancy i would totally rock this look!


  • ANIK L.R.

    It's looks fantastic on a runway, but I personally wouldn't wear it, unless I get super toned by summer!

  • The L&L

    I've always loved this trend…makes it possible to show off your silhouette when man repelling lol, if that even makes sense.


  • Clémence

    Bikini Top it will be then! I love those looks.

    Have you thought about the fantastic Louboutin you've tryed yesterdays. THAT WOULD BE A KILLER OUTFIT!!!


  • DashionMouse


  • Annie

    I do like how the runway outfits look like with the bikini top, but I guess I am not living in the right city to be able to wear this confidently.

    X, Annie

  • Eugenia Woods

    Love this trend and love this post. I read that article too, and thought I should give this look a whirl!

  • Lex

    I love this look! YSL did a version of this a couple years ago. As I recall, Jessica Alba was wearing it in Elle. Lady Gaga also pulled it off. So adorable.

  • Anonymous

    This look is cute but it makes me sad. I have a two year old and I three year old. My two year old weighed nine and a half pounds when he was born and he wrecked my abs. No bra/bikini top in public for me!! :'(

  • Jessica

    I love that crop tops are back! I can't say I will rock just a bra top, but I have rocked a bra top under a cropped see through lace shirt, which is pretty darn close!

  • lacealexis

    We are all too familiar with the practice of donning bikini bottoms when fresh out of underwear, but I'm kind of into the fact that Nina Ricci et all have now made it acceptable to go for the top when out of tees. No shirt? No problem.

  • molliee

    i love this look, and the blazer covering it is such a nice touch!

  • Anonymous

    for runway, it's cute. for real life, i don't find it appealing. maybe if i was in the south of France, but otherwise, i just think it looks out of place.

  • Nina Papaioannou

    I love cropped tops … toning your stomach is crucial but it is worth it!! Love your post!!!

  • Creativity&Chocolate

    It's a little bit too much for me but gorgeous to see on others! Love those sandals!

  • Rainbow Gatherer

    thanks for yout lovely comment on my blog. Your blog is lovely dear =)

  • Lydia

    I love this look with anything high waisted.

  • The Accessory Editor

    I have so many great Bikini's from La perla including a leather python bikini top which was limited edition. I wish I could get more use of my swimwear! This may be a good way to do it!


    The Accessory editor

  • TripsTreasures

    Great for the runway, not for real life !
    fashion & lifestyle in Belgium

  • Paula

    you are awesome, I love your blog!

  • AmyArisse.

    great trend and a beautiful look!

    soon a post about getting the perfect cropped tops body on

    xx Amy.

    please take a look at:

  • Splendid Little Thrills

    I'm loving the bra look. I just did a post on the Celine floral brocade bra, and believe me if I had that baby I'd rock it everywhere!

  • monkeyshines ♥

    gorgeous heels!


  • BougieHippie

    Now this trend I can see my self liking. It could either go early 90's video girl or 50's pin up girl.

  • Jéssica

    Amazing, I love it!
    Beijos, Jeh Galvão
    Blog Horadamake

  • Meganne

    Cliche but clever, ususally a lot more though goes into your own look rather than that of others, for verious logical and perhaps narcisit reasons.
    Material Fixations

  • Jacqui

    Love!!! I've been wanting to try this but whenever I suggest it my 'conservative' friends they think that I'm pushing the boundaries…?!! absurd! your post will be the basis of my argument! will let you know how the ppl of Hong Kong react 🙂 Bisous, Jacqui

  • Jamie Gillingham

    There's an amazing episode (well, they all are) of Seinfeld that beats around the proverbial bush of bra/bikini shirts! Timeless, this trend.

  • Gypsy_Riot

    yesss!! loving the outfit you put together. so hot and fashionable at the same time <3<3

  • biancamaria sacco

    lovely if you have the possibility to wear it !

  • Anonymous

    Women in India have no problem displaying their mid-driff in beautiful "bra-tops" and Saris- they flaunt it even when they dont got it. Americans should take a tip from these confident women.

    Love the look.


  • Sabine

    If you can pull it off, please do so!

  • My Style

    I think that the perfect accessory for a bandoo is a flat stomach…If you can rock it, send me some pictures, please!


  • YoUngLiNgToN
  • Bruna
  • Hen Grant
  • Carolina Sundell

    I love the Dolce & Gabbana look but. But I think one should be careful so the top don't become to small like a tiny bikini 🙂

  • Victoria de la Camara

    I normally enjoy your witty, slightly sarcastic writing for your posts, but I really appreciate the frankness that you have decided to write with today.

  • Michelle of Chellbellz

    i see this either going really well, or going really bad with some people who dare, but I saw Solonge Knowles pull this off really well last spring. She looked like she just stepped out of wicked cool 60's movie or something, espeically with the fro.

  • Ms.Fashionista

    Definitely an interesting thing to wear as a top. Can't say I'm totally in love with the idea. I think bathing suits should be kept at the beach personally.


  • Monica Levy Rowland

    This trend is really a comeback from the 80's. Look at EnVogue videos and the like and you will see. I can remember in college ( the late 80's) wearing beautiful bras and bandeau tops under blazers to clubs. I was scared the first time.. but like you said.. no one seemed to react.. except men of course… worn right.. this can be a very cute look.. but we are not all mid-driff ready if you know what I mean…;-)

  • LCM

    love the look but rather hard to pull off (i.e. go through the day without dirty looks and creepy ogles)

  • elena-anna

    i have the same alaia as you, the black ones, and i got them for only 150 euro , yes that's right and nope is not a typing mistake.

    bought them from a small shop in limassol, cyprus which sells alaia goodies.

  • claire

    Wonderful! So beautiful! I like it very much. Thank you for sharing it. And our fashionable and cheap Abercrombie Sale clothes are good choice for you, too.

  • Jo

    I think its cool! I’d wear a bikini top as a shirt I got great boobs and cleavage why not? =)