The best swim skirts and bikini shorts for summer 2022

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Photo-Illustration: by The Cut

I started flirting with a guy who lives in Rockaway, so I’ve added a lot of swimsuits to my cart lately, you know, just in case. The other day I was browsing sense when I came across what I thought was a pretty average black one piece swimsuit. It was flattering in every way, but not too plunging, and I thought, Awesome! But then when I went to click on it, I noticed the price was $500.

Five hundred dollars! For a bathing suit! By a brand I had never heard of! Prices for women’s swimwear have always been extremely high. (A designer once told me it was because the little things were actually so much harder to make and the fabric cost more, even though there was so little?) But that was beyond. If inflation is affecting swimwear prices so much, I might have to stick to nude beaches this summer.

The whole experience reminded me that in general, wearing very little can actually be very expensive. It’s hard to imagine wearing some of these trendy and high cut swimwear styles without being waxed or lasered or anything. “I want swimsuits with full bottoms that aren’t shorts to avoid grooming,” a reader recently told me, and I’m all for the idea. Last summer swimsuits were so complicated. People on TikTok wore tiny upside down and upside down tops and bottoms. They looked great, but that was a whole thing. Now I’m done trying. I want to do as little effort as possible before going to the beach.

If you’ve read this column before, you know I can never go too long without talking about Norma Kamali, but she’s the queen of practical yet warm swimwear, so I’m obviously counting on one of her swim skirts or Dresses to solve my grooming worries this summer.

I asked my colleagues if they had other ideas, and they gave me other suggestions. “Skirts are great if you’re lounging because you can mix and match them with any swimsuit you like,” says business writer Chinea Rodriguez. She recommended Triangle.

Junior Writer Asia Milia Ware says this skirt from Riot Swim feels like a “second skin.” It also comes in a range of different colors for a “mix-and-match moment”, she added. “And the drawstring details can be adjusted to suit preference, so you can have as much bikini line coverage as you need.”

I also found other good options from Chromate, ASOS, and Summersalt, plus Emilio Pucci and Collina Strada if you’re ready to splurge. I especially like the fact that Collina Strada’s skirt is removable.

Available in sizes XS to 4X.

Available in sizes 12 to 24.

Available in sizes XS to 2X.

If you’re not someone who really likes to get in the water anyway, sarongs can also be a good solution. Rodriguez loves this one from Jacquemus, and so do I, but as a matter of principle I can’t recommend buying something this expensive if you can’t also wear it as a scarf or shawl. Maybe opt for a neutral from J.Crew instead. Or I literally wear my linen scarves like sarongs, which also saves space for packing.

Ware also suggested these mesh pants from Fe Noel. “Mesh pants always feel like a sexy poolside accessory,” she said. “Even though sheer, mesh detailing often camouflages your bikini line.”

If you are will enter the water – report Ryan Gosling Notebook shouting, “Get in the water! – maybe try swim shorts. Rodriguez suggests these two by RJ Swim and Rielli, and I love how colorful they are.

Ware suggested a pair of swim shorts that are more Carrie Bradshaw. “They also have a matching bikini top, so you can always feel comfortable in your bath with extra coverage that doubles as an outfit.”

I’m afraid to wear shorts that are too long at the beach because of the risk of unfortunate tan lines. In the past, when I didn’t feel like waxing, I just wore my five-inch Patagonia bags in the water. They are just the right length and magically dry quickly. They also come in a ton of different colors, so you can stock up.

Of course, another solution is to simply not care what other people think. This is usually the most profitable route.

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