The secret of the perfect bikini

by Marlies Dekkers

The traditional bikini consists of hardly more than three tiny triangle-shaped pieces of fabric. I decided you deserve better than that.

The original bikini, a French invention dating back to 1946, is a design classic. Three small curtains basically, connected by flimsy pieces of string. Great in theory, but have you ever tried to play beach volley in one? Boy, when those curtains start shifting, you end up showing much more than you bargained for. (unless you’re trying to distract the opposite team of course, in which case: scoooore!).

The beach is one of my favorite places to be active; I like nothing better than running along the shoreline while the sun is rising, followed by some push-ups and a refreshing swim. And so I’ve always thought it was pretty ironic that about 80% of the bikinis that are made don’t offer enough support for the stuff you love to do on the beach. In most cases, they can’t even survive a simple dive in the pool!

I see designing the perfect bikini or bathingsuit as a wonderful 3D puzzle. What do I want to hide, what do I reveal? It’s a never ending search for the perfect proportions. I want you to be comfortable, confident and ready for action. I want you to have enough coverage, without looking swaddled. And for that, I have plenty of tricks!

First of all, I’ve given my bikini-tops and bathing suits wider shoulder straps and sturdy cups, often using under-wire. I like to add padding, so you don’t have to worry about your nipples making an unexpected appearance. Yes, my tops cover your breasts more than a traditional string-bikini would, but through a clever play with lines and proportions you still look sensual and playful.

For each look, you can choose from two to three different types of bottoms. I’ve discovered that cutting the leg quite low and so covering a substantial amount of the groin area is flattering for any body type (an added bonus: you don’t need to get a full Hollywood wax each time you go the beach). And when a brief has sides measuring about 5 cm, both your hips and belly are covered just enough for you to be comfortable all day. Call it my personal magic formula. If you want to play around with different levels of coverage though, I suggest trying my ‘fold down briefs’. The flexible waistband of these bottoms can be folded up, covering the tummy, or folded down, leaving the tummy free and allowing you to avoid those pesky tanning lines.

And yes, I also make my own version of the classic triangle bikini bottom. But the way I designed it, I promise that it stays in place all day and you won’t lose it after a dive in the pool. Because the bottom line (hehe): you want people to look at your bikini, not your bottom, right?

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