Summer Style: The Swimsuit Fashion Hack to Try Now

Bikini tops aren't just for the beach.


Those cute crop tops aren’t what you think.

See those crop tops up there? Cute, right? And how fantastic do they looked paired with a full midi-skirt? It’s a look that’s more put-together than shorts and a tank, and more unexpected than summer’s ubiquitous maxi dress. It’s my summer uniform — I throw on a light silk jacket and heels for work, and a pair of simple sandals for the weekend. But it’s not exactly what it seems …

You see, those cute crop tops are actually bikini tops. As the line between sportswear and ready-to-wear blurs, everything from yoga pants to, well, swimwear is getting a high-style upgrade. And while I don’t suggest you wear your ikat running pants to the office, I do highly recommend taking your bikini tops out for a spin away from the beach.

Here’s how to do it: Choose a top that hits right above your natural waist, at the tiniest part of your torso. (This is ultra-slimming, too.) Look for tops that don’t scream swimwear, like halters and strapless bustiers. And choose ones with patterns and design elements you find in the regular collections: delicate florals, color-blocking, sporty zippers. Pair with a high-waisted midi or full A-line skirt, and—if you’re brave—play with patterns. (Your rule of thumb here: Keep patterns a similar size and colors in the same family.)

A tip: Break ’em out super-sticky days. Sweat dries immediately, so you’ll stay fresh while others sweat it out.

From left: Midkini top, $14.99 at Target, and taffeta picnic skirt, $190 at Topshop. Color-blocked top, $32 at River Island, and Suno skirt, $267 at By Symphony. Marc by Marc Jacobs Pinwheel top, $94 at Marc Jacobs, and Simone full skirt, $395 at Tibi. Clover Canyon bikini top, $80.75 at Bloomingdale’s, and gingham skirt, $96 at Topshop.


Want more? Check out our other incredibly fun (really!) style guides here:

>> The Ultimate Bathing Suit Guide (From Modest to Risqué)

>> 8 Mini Skirts to Wear When It’s a Million Degrees Outside

>> What to Wear to the Shore This Weekend (Or Any Weekend)