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The 2014 bikini trend files

Last week I wrote all about beach fashion or rather, I created a concise list of summer must-haves in less than 800 words to commemorate my #Laboracay trip (hashtag: oh no, I didn’t). Today, having come from the said trip, I’ve decided to go in-depth on swimwear trends given that I merely grazed on the topic last week. With my renewed wisdom from the sheer volume of girls in bikinis during my five-day stay in the island, I feel like I have a colorful “Do’s & Don’ts commentary” that the young ones would appreciate.

So while last week touched on mandatory beach items, this week is all about taking a step further to discuss the discretionary matters (aka frivolous aspect of trends). Here are the top five trends I’ve noticed with my own bare eyes:

The author wearing an H&M print bikini.

The author wearing an H&M print bikini.

1.Cutout Maillots – As mentioned previously, one-piece swimsuits are a closet staple especially for those who aren’t bold enough to tread the skimpy two-piece waters. To bring your A-game, go for cutout styles that reveal the right amount of skin and conceal the parts of our bodies that serve as the bane of our insecurities. It’s also the best option for beach night-outs or events, particularly because it looks effortless without being too casual/athletic.

Don’t forget to apply a generous amount of sunscreen whilst wearing one. Cutouts provide the world’s oddest tan lines which you will regret post summer.

2.Sporty Colorblocks–I’m pretty sure you’ve heard of Australian swimwear brand Triangl that capitalizes on functional neoprene bikinis. They’re pretty recognizable and popular to the point that one in every five girls in Boracay during my vacation was wearing a piece from their collection. Of course, other sportswear-inspired suits are available from other brands and would serve as a great piece to break away from the usual sea of feminine prints and designs.

Don’t hold back from daily activities when wearing a sporty piece—it’s functional for a reason! Swim, roll around the sand, surf, parasail, but don’t forget to choose a good fitting bottom beforehand.

3. Fringe/Flounce Designs – As seen in bandeau tops usually, the fringe and ruffle designs are becoming the “swimmies” of choice for those who are erm, less-gifted in the chest department as it gives it a bit more volume. They also somehow convey a casual feminine and flirty vibe!

Don’t wear this trend around areas you don’t want to accentuate, as it tends to draw attention to that part.

4. Multi-Strap/Tab Bikini Bottoms – Otherwise known as the bikinis with a lot of straps and tabs in unnecessary places—where one would be suffice you have five extra, just in case! Of course, the bikini is not only the epitome of “unique” but it somehow oozes sexiness from all the linear plays on your hipbones. You can bet on it being attention-grabbing!

Don’t mistake this piece for a functional one—sure, five straps might seem reassuring but it’s best left for lounging (also, imagine the tanlines).

Likewise, don’t choose an ill-fitting design. The waterloo of the multi-tab bottoms for most people is that it can highlight unsightly protrusions but if you opt for a loose piece, remember, your swimwear fabric expands when soaked in water (and you certainly don’t want your bottom falling off).

5. Tropical Print Designs – Or Hawaiian Designs, depending on what generation you’re from! Tropical prints are all the rage this 2014… every High Street store internationally and locally carry at least an article of clothing with the said print. What better time to utilize said trend than the Summer/Beach season? It’s hip, it’s appropriate, it’s colorful, it’s fun, it’s playful, it’s casual, and it’s girly!

Don’t go overboard—it’s a pretty bold print as it is and it carries a lot of personality! So leave those flower crowns behind and opt for a quirkier accessory like a snapback!

(Dominique Tiu is a twenty-something self-declared fashion blogger-cum-stylist. She loves Asian fashion and applies the Japanese style philosophy to her burgeoning Western-directed wardrobe. She blogs at konichiwear.com and can be reached at dominiquetiu@gmail.com, @dominiquetiu on Twitter, and dominiquetiu on Instagram.)