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8 Reasons I Probably Shouldn’t Buy a Crochet Bikini
06.15.17
Photos via Digital Pattern Shop on Etsy and Getty Images; collage by Emily Zirimis

I need a swimsuit. I want a crochet bikini. Not to drag the Rolling Stones into all this drama, but I’m aware you can’t always get what you want (but if you try sometimes, well you just might find, you get what you need). I tried, but my brain is still having a hard time deciding how to proceed.

It (she?) rightfully asked: How do crochet bikinis work? Are they cotton? Will they weigh you down in the water? Can you even go in the water? Not knowing the answers, I queried a random sampling of whoever was on FB messenger at the time. No one knew. Everyone was like, I’m pretty sure you work at a fashion website, Erica, why are you asking me this? Fair.

I took my conundrum to a pitch meeting and was informed by the experts you know and love that this sort of swimwear is more for sunbathing and staying on land. This revelation didn’t and couldn’t stop me — I’ve been consistently googling “crochet bikini” since the beginning of May. It’s mid-June, I’m still bikini-less, and I’m still googling. It’s time to think more critically about crochet bikinis, which has led to the compilation of the following list of reasons why I probably shouldn’t purchase one and should instead move on. RT if you agree:

1. They’re extremely boho.

Possibly too boho. Yes, I’m a native Californian who is currently sporting waist-length goddess locs and am planning to re-read Helter Skelter this summer set to the White Album on loop. Adding a crochet bikini to that mix may be overload.

2. … And also expensive.

To be fair, I think almost every swimsuit is “too expensive” because I only end up wearing them a grand total of 2.5 times each summer. Still, I did find myself sharply inhaling more often than usual every time I opened another crochet bikini and its price tag in a new tab.

3. They need babying.

I don’t know about you, but once I peel off a swimsuit, I completely forget its existence. That is, until the next time I need to wear it when, like clockwork, I proceed to be extremely annoyed that it’s still soggy and damp in the butt area because I maybe threw in the corner of the shower instead of actually hanging it up to dry.

Preliminary research has revealed that crochet bikinis are delicate creations that require more of a “first-child” sort of supervision and handling than a “last-child, only-boy-in-the-family” supervision and handling — which is the only kind of supervision and handling I can give to my clothes at this point in my life. I’ve had like 32 pairs of jeans. Stay out as late as you want, I don’t care. I just can’t anymore.

4. They look kinda itchy.

I’m not saying they are itchy, just that looking at them for too long starts to remind me of knit sweaters, and I can’t have that mental image in my mind when I’m making plans to hang out with sand, sunscreen and 90-degree weather. Awkward.

5. They’re possibly only for Instagram.

If you’re not in the water (because you’re in a delicate, expensive crochet bikini), there’s a good chance you’re on dry land, which means there’s a good chance you have your phone, which means there’s a good chance you’re documenting hot-dog legs, a head/handstand, or a fuck you, I’m hot photo, all of which look even better in a crochet bikini. I personally have a nervous breakdown every time I try to select a photo from the nearly identical photos on my camera roll to post, let alone subsequently select a filter, so I often forgo posting anything on Insta. If no one else knows I own a crochet bikini, do I even own a crochet bikini?

6. They’re hole-y.

One could argue coverage isn’t what bikinis are all about. Or, they (I) could argue, a bikini is in itself the coverage. I’m of the school of thought that everyone starts out naked by default, hence the bikini is doing the covering, not the revealing. In which case, choosing a bikini with pre-existing holes is a little more counterintuitive than I’m comfortable with.

7. …which means an elevated risk of weird tan lines.

Though crochet bikinis are mostly for sunbathing, I have a sneaky feeling long-term exposure could leave you with weird tan lines. Not lines, even — more like a speckly tan mosaic. Is that worse than halter-strap tan lines that clash with your tank-top straps, or a weird mid-section triangle cut-out from a one-piece? I honestly don’t know.

8. They seem very event-specific.

Like: fancy tropical getaway, or I’m on a boat wearing ’70s-inspired accessories-specific. Probably not worth it in the long-run for a city dweller like myself who is visiting another city instead of a tropical locale this summer, who doesn’t plan on ever tanning and wants to spend solid time in the water should the opportunity arise.

ANYWAY, I’m definitely buying one tonight, which one do you think I should get?

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  • Anna

    I have literally been having the same thought process about crochet bikinis for the last few weeks. I just love the way they look. I’ve never tried but maybe one made out of synthetic material doesn’t lose shape so much. There’s a german brand called easeawear that makes them, maybe thats an alternative

  • Caro A

    I like the Stella or the Helen Rodel best!

  • Danielle Cardona Graff

    Buy both of the “She Made Me!”

  • Imaiya Ravichandran

    heleeeeeeen (or stella)

  • Joli Closet

    Stella or Zimmerman

  • Lindsey

    Ahhh the Helen Rodel one is amazing. But also, agree with 100% of your thoughts re: crochet bikinis.

  • Tea

    Love the hover effect with the price tag!

  • Mun

    Haha, love your conclusion 🙂

  • AC

    Guys, I had a SUEDE bikini in college

  • Cindy Trusty

    Geez, I could crochet a bikini that’s safe for water wear and comfortable for a lot less than these. Cuter, too. Learn to crochet. It isn’t hard and a bikini would be fast. I’ve been crocheting for 30 plus years, so I’m a bit biased. 😀

    • TinySoprano

      Agreed! I definitely feel like a totally unique crochet bikini is only a few youtube tutorials and a lot of swearing away. (Though if money wasn’t an object that Helen Rodel one is sweeeeeet)

  • Leonie

    Get the Stella one! love the colour of it 🙂

  • Bree

    I love the Helen Rodel suits with the crop – so cute!

    https://www.modaoperandi.com/helen-rodel-r17/multi-stripe-leaf-crop-top

  • Naia JoAnn Williams

    As said before, make your own. Crochet is far easier to learn now with YouTube than it was back in my day. In my opinion, none of those are particularly attractive–and definitely not so with the outrageous designer price tags (supported only by egos)! I didn’t even pay that much for my wedding dress (granted that was 37 years ago.) Buy a $20 one at Walmart if you don’t want to learn to crochet. …and if it falls apart after you wear it 2.5 times and swim in the ocean or pool and it falls apart–oh well, you’re only out twenty bucks.

  • Terry Murphy

    I crocheted myself a bikini once. It was cute. I had no idea that once it got wet the bottom half would soak up so much water that it dragged half way to my knees. Very embarrassing to say the least.

  • Caroline Early

    An recent graduate of my college (University of Richmond) started a social enterprise advancing women’s empowerment through job creation to combat economic dependence in Bolivia. The company called Todo Suma and they make great crochet bikinis and crop tops! I ordered one and it was $60 total for a top and bottom. They sent me a picture of the finished bikini yesterday and it looks amazing! I can’t wait to get it in the mail.
    Check out their Facebook page: https://www.facebook.com/todosumaa/

  • Jukebox_babe

    They’re usually lined with normal swimsuit fabric, so you needn’t be worried about the coverage factor. The top might not be a problem, but the bottom will DEFINITELY give you saggy diaper butt. For that reason, I say get the Zimmerman one. The ties will allow you to tighten it up when it starts to sag… but wait! I just clicked on it and the bottom isn’t crocheted! So you get the look without the hassle. I stand by my choice.

  • Duda Adc

    Why not make one and learn a skill hahaha (my mum’s friend does a lot of crochet, usually sweater or hats but she could make one of these… And my mum can do the lining… Don’t be jealous cause I’m not making one, I’m a water babe (when I’m not bloated obvs)

  • Paula Rodio

    Now I want to learn to crochet. If I had to get one though, I would definitely go Stella.

  • Delwyn Norris-Milich

    Oh I’d be a little cautious with crochet bikinis, visuals of bottom half laden with wet sand as the ass end or crotch is dragged up from waters edge to towel in an not so elegant fashion. However with comes negative, I’ll try to balance out with positive. Buy a neutral, gold bikini and crochet (or get some one to) pieces to match purchased one and cover and machine sew together. Youll still have the stability of regular suit with the trend of boho, add a few wooden beads, bit of embroidery, only if you want, but a neutral coloured/gold purchased bikini be a great foundation garment. Don’t recommend mohair or fluffy wool, won’t look great when wet, those fluffy bits matted in bottom half may look like maintenance has been overlooked..if you get the gist???.. Cotton doilies an option. Good Luck 🙂

  • Roseanna Murray Solimene

    Hello Erica, I am a crochet bikini designer here in Brazil and would like to answer a few of you questions. Your view that all crochet bikinis are boho is based on the fact that most photos of crochet bikinis on the web are stylised as Bohemian, but you take away the setting of blond flowing hair and lots of jewellery & it becomes a bikini for everyone. In regard to price they may seem expensive but you are buying a garment which had been made knot by knot by hand. There are no machines which can make crochet, this is an artisan skill you are paying for. And yes it will require special ‘babying’ but as I say to my customers ‘You are buying a wearable piece of art which come to life through you’. My bikinis and a lot out there you can find are not ‘holey’, as they can be lined with bikini lining to prevent it from being ‘see through’ which stops the development of a mosaic tan. All the bikinis you have chosen are from large designers therefore you are going to pay a higher price for the brand name. If you would like to try one of my bikinis as a gift to convert you to love crochet bikinis like many of my girls here in Brazil please take a look at my Instagram or Etsy shop & I will be happy to custom make one for you this summer. Etsy-Biquinidecroche or Instagram-Biquini.de.croche kindest regards Roseanna.

  • Luarnaiz

    When I was younger I really wanted a crochet bikini, but I couldn’t find / afford one, so my very skilled grandmother knitted one for me and I sew it on a simple bikini. I was very cool for a summer.

  • Dolores Strupp

    Buy a swimsuit of a different color for underneath the take the crocheted one off to go in the water. They turn out very see through when wet

  • Get the zimmerman!

  • Tacia McIntosh

    I actually crocheted my own bikini. I made it out of cotton yarn and sewed bathing suit lining on the inside to cover my lady bits. I prefer to make my bathing suits myself because I don’t have to worry about trying to find something in stores. Plus it’s cost effective.

  • Kate Barnett

    Erica! Where was this article a year and a half ago when I bought a too-expensive crochet knit bikini?

    • Leandra Medine

      See: $555 option A

  • Tonya Tucker

    I can crochet a bikini,will not be itchy

  • Josette Santana

    I crochet so honestly there are ways to make them so thar there are nonweird tan lines and also inexpensive when you take the time to learn how to make them. You can always make things you like that will look a way you want them to. But that’s just me.

  • aspiringsocialite

    How is boho ever a con? Totally loved this article!

    xo,
    Vicky
    http://www.aspiringsocialite.com/

  • Jac

    me, looking at this headline on the MR main page: oh, this sounds like an interesting article about a thing i have no desire to ever wear
    me, upon reaching the end of this article: which of these $300 crochet bikinis should I buy???

  • Ciccollina

    I have one reason that no-one should bother with a crochet bikini: they sag in the crotch and loose their shape.

    Case closed.

  • MySharona

    I’m a crochet bikini cheater – i buy the ones with a crochet overlay sneakily matched with a regular ol’ lycra lining. Negates the nip visibility, and the chance that any errant pubic hair might poke through the bottoms. Also means they keep their shape, so you don’t come out of the ocean/pool with a saggy doilie adhered to your privates.

  • stinevincent

    Not sure if you’ve bought one already, but I’m pretty sure you can beat these prices by A LOT if you look on Etsy.

  • Navy Browning

    I’m sorry for your bank account, but the….Helen Rödel!!!