The Trendy New Way To Wear A Bikini Is…Upside Down?

Instagram from left: @kathryn.celestre, @zomer.torres, @tammyhembrow

Growing bored of your bikini collection, but don’t feel like dropping your hard-earned cash on a new set? Well, you’re in luck. The boldest new swimsuit trend for summer 2021 simply involves flipping your bikini top upside down, creating a clever way to keep all your old string bikinis in rotation for another season.

Surprisingly, the upside down bikini technique really does give a swimsuit an entirely new look, too; the top has a completely new shape, making it look like a different bikini altogether. You can even criss-cross the strings to switch up the neckline even further, or tie them at the center of your chest for a chic, strapless look.

To no surprise, the trend began cropping up when Kendall Jenner rocked the upside down bikini look last year. In March 2020, the model posted a series of Instagram photos of herself wearing the Xena Baroque Halter Bikini Top from Sommer Swim while on vacation in the Bahamas, with the caption: “Me and this bikini: a love story.”

In a blog post, appropriately titled “The Kardashian Jenner Effect,” the swimsuit brand noted that “while the top gives the appearance of a triangle bikini top worn upside down, the Xena has in-fact been designed to look and fit this way.”

Kylie Jenner and Kourtney Kardashian quickly followed suit (pun intended), donning similar sets from the brand that are also meant to look upside-down. However, the photos encouraged influencers and fashion-lovers to flip their own bikini tops upside down, inspiring a wave of DIY summer fashion we never saw coming.

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upside down bikini trend
Instagram from left: @kendalljenner, @kourtneykardashian

Instagram is now flooded with upside down bikini pictures, with over 4,000 tags, and it seems like the trend is here to stay—for summer 2021, at the very least. “I think this look is being hyped thanks to being seen on the Kardashians, various models and influencers, and of course, social media,” Celebrity stylist Rochelle White told FEMAIL, adding that the trend has double the appeal. It’s both sustainable and sexy.

“It has been a trend that has been creeping in, I feel, since summer 2020,” she explained. “I feel that women want to enhance and show off more underboob and it provides a different way or look to your bikini.” The criss-crossed straps work like a push-up bra, providing lift and cleavage, while the new shape of the bikini top leaves the underboob exposed.

It’s certainly a super sexy (read risqué) way to wear your string bikini, but as with many stylish trends, the downside is its practicality. When the bikini top is turned upside down, it tends to result in less coverage and more underboob—which is perfectly fine if your only planned activity is lying on a beach chair and baking in the sun. However, if you plan on swimming—or really doing any kind of movement more rigorous than breathing—an upside down bikini top will likely turn into a potentially indecent disaster.

Read More: The Fashion Trends To Shelve This Year—And What To Wear Instead

upside down bikini trend
Instagram from left: @franklyfrankiee, @addisonraee

One Refinery29 writer, Eliza Huber, decided to try this trend for herself to see if it holds up (literally). She noted that she sadly did not have access to a pool or beach for this very scientific test, so she instead wore an upside down triangle bikini top throughout her entire workday. If nothing else, this was surely a great way to spice up any tedious tasks.

Her conclusion? The look is definitely fun, but not feasible for most situations. “While it might outlast a wade in the shallow end of the pool, there’s no chance it’ll survive a single wave at the beach or a dive into the deep end,” she wrote. “When the cinching isn’t on the bottom, the ‘coverage’ part of a string bikini becomes a complete joke. All day long, I spent more time adjusting my swimsuit than not adjusting it. Despite doing this experiment for work, I think it made me get less work done.”

Essentially, it’s worth a shot if you’ve got a bikini lying around and want to switch things up, but don’t go trusting your upside down triangle top when your friends suggest a game of beach volleyball. To try the look, simply flip your bikini top upside down, crossing the bottom strings around your neck and the top strings around your chest before securing.

To get started, check out some upside down bikini inspo shots below. Good luck!

Upside Down Bikini Trend As Seen On IG:

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