The Timeless Bikini Trend That's Classically Sexy

Here's a little bikini history lesson for you: The style originally dates way back to the 1940s (1946, to be exact), when the first bikini appeared at a fashion event in Cannes—to the shock of many. It eventually came to be accepted, leading to the invention of the string bikini in the 1960s. But when you picture the string bikinis of yore, the '80s and '90s may come to mind. Or it could be the 2020s…

String bikinis are arguably the most popular swimsuit trend of the year. One scroll through your Instagram feed, if you follow lots of fashion people and celebrities, will quickly prove that. While string bikinis clearly have very little fabric to them, one reason they're so universally loved is that they're incredibly adjustable and, of course, sexy. If you concur, keep scrolling to see some of my favorite string bikinis on Instagram and to shop a few of the best ones your money can buy.


(Image credit: @ali_tate_cutler)

Who doesn't love a matching look?


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Get yourself a sarong, people—it's important.


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Simple string bikinis are often the best string bikinis.


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A little yellow swimsuit and this infinity pool are all I need.


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Another great idea to consider: matching pants.


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A bikini with thicker straps is still considered a string bikini.


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Classic prints are always a good idea.


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Minimalism at its best.


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The bikini and the wearer are glowing.


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If you're not into triangle bikinis, try a balconette top.

Next up, these are the best black bikinis on the internet.

This story was published at an earlier date and has since been updated.

Allyson Payer
Senior Editor

Allyson is a senior editor for Who What Wear. She joined the company in 2014 as co-founder Katherine Power's executive assistant and over the years has written hundreds of stories for Who What Wear. Prior to her career in fashion, Allyson worked in the entertainment industry at companies such as Sony Pictures Television. Allyson is now based in Raleigh, North Carolina, and is originally from Baton Rouge, Louisiana. She holds a BFA in theater. Her path to fashion may not have been linear, but based on the number of fashion magazines she collected as a child and young adult, it was meant to be.