Bikinis, which seem to have dominating the swimwear genre since their introduction decades ago, are having the opposite of a moment — and as celebrities opt for one-piece suits, the maillot is surging in the poolwear sphere.
Bikinis have always far outnumbered the options for one-piece wearers, and the reign of the two-piece swimsuit has been as pervasive as it is oppressive. Popular swimwear manufacturers like Victoria’s Secret and Venus seem to offer a smattering of maillot styles amid pages of mix and matchable two-piece sets, but it seems that for now, that trend is on the downswing.
Cindy Hahn, owner of NYC boutique Azaleas, told the New York Post that bikinis are less common this season and that new one-piece styles have really energized the maillot trend:
“We’ve ordered about 20 percent more in one-pieces versus last year. The one-piece has been updated so that it’s neither a boring mommy suit nor a scandalous monokini.”
Designer Malia Mills concurred, simply telling the paper:
“Hell, yeah — maillots are definitely where it’s at.”
But, Mills said, rejecting the bikini is also slightly transgressive in the world of fashion, adding:
“We know the world is a stage now more than ever before, with the individual stepping into the spotlight, unafraid to make a statement and define it as her very own … The one-piece is an outfit in and of itself — a statement piece that says I dare to be different.”
Designer Lenny Leleu noted:
“It’s far more exciting to design a maillot than a bikini … I love the challenge in covering up more.”
Colleen Sherin of Saks tells Yahoo that the days of the matronly one-piece are over, and observes:
“It doesn’t have to be super sporty and active and covered up. Some one-pieces offer a more plunging neckline or halter neckline that can still be sexy.”
Saks alone confirmed that nearly half of the new swimwear styles are maillots, where bikinis normally account for most styles.