Ultimate Guide To… China Swimwear. 游泳衣:什么是你款式适当的比基尼呢?

With the return on the Facekini, Chinese swimwear can raise an eyebrow. Or two. The often-spotted flowery frills and Little Bo Peep bows, too, leave much to be desired. Since one who does not jump into water will not learn to swim, I ask: How does one do “Sanya beach babe” in style?

“Bathing is a sport. Enjoyed by great and small. In suits of any sort. Though better none at all.”     Anonymous 19th Century poem

Shaving, waxing, lasering, plucking, auto-bronzing, fake-tanning, spray-tanning, all joined by a hint of SPF50 covered with a light glaze of coconut oil…. The checklist to get things right and hit those beaches in a somewhat preppy mode is a long one. One that does not even include the most important item of them all: The bathing suit. Whilst some worry about their boobage either spilling over or sinking to new depths, others fear a “relaxing break” of sucking it all in, instead of going all out.

For the record, neither of the aforementioned is worth ruining your vacation over. Especially not given the wide (understatement of the 21st Century) range of swimwear currently swamping stores and markets alike. From the 1940s high-waisted two-piece to the much-dreaded 80s high-cut bathing suit to the 2000s low-rise bikini, they have all returned to work. Whatever floats your banana boat!


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The question then becomes one that burns just as bright as that 2016 summer trending one “Is Hiddleswift for real?”: Which one- or two-piece do we get our brightly painted summer-vibing hands on? I hereby attempt to bring you the ultimate rhyme to a beach babe jolly good time:

       Shorter the leg-flow, keep it ridin’ low;  

       Lengthy thigh, rise up high;      

       Fully stacked, support the rack;                     

       Tiny insecure flab, suit up for fab.


Not quite the Frost piece this may be, it does sum up the Grazia-given swimwear prescriptions currently ruling the waves. And beaches.

In my lookbook, with the exception of a few Coco Chanel basics, rules are made to be broken. As much as I oppose the Facekini due to its alarmingly fearsome levels, when it comes to the beachy attire itself, I say: Lose the kindergarten bows and frills, check if nothing’s popping out and as long as you don’t feel like a fish out of water, it should all work out swimmingly well. In sum, my personal poetic addition to the swimwear guidelines:

 Throwing the rules overboard, makes you a beach babe overlord.


P.S.: Should you want to go further back in time and throw on that 1920s bathing costume with the jersey shirt and flannel trousers… Well, you’re in luck. In modern-day China, it’s about all styles heard as long as tan lines are blurred.





Photos: IB Times.

Please note: This piece was originally written by Elsbeth van Paridon and published as a column on China’s very first mobile fashion app LaWo