High-Waist Bikini Update


Photo via Pinterest

Last week, I talked about a trend that has popped-up in swimwear - the high-waist bikini bottom. I love a good swimsuit, so I decided to order a few options and see how each looked on my 5'4" frame. I currently have two swimsuits that I ordered last year, and they are perfect for mixing and matching. I thought a simple high-waist bottom might be a nice addition to the rotation.

J.Crew happened to be having a sale last week, so I ordered two different styles and hoped for the best. Soon after I ordered those, I stumbled upon another sale at Aerie and noticed they had a ton of high-waist bikini bottoms, too. These were quite a bit cheaper (and on sale!) than those from J.Crew, so I ordered four different colors to try. As of yesterday, I officially received all 6 high-waist bottoms in the mail, and I thought it might be helpful to all of you to hear my reviews of each. Let's start with J.Crew.


[1] Forest Green  //  [2] Fresh Kiwi

J.Crew swimsuits tend to run a little big, so I ordered both of these in XS. I thought green would be a nice compliment to my existing swimsuits, and I was pleasantly surprised by each color. The "forest green" is slightly darker in person, but it was a very nice shade. I think it would be flattering on a lot of different skin tones. The "fresh kiwi" is super fun, and it would look great if you had a bit of a tan. I'm currently paper white (Maybe see through even? Eek!), so it wasn't the best color for me. It actually was the best match to my current swimsuits, though!

As for the fit, I actually liked both of them. The quality is great and I didn't feel like I was wearing a diaper at all. Yippee! The "forest green" would be excellent if you're looking for a bit more coverage/bumps and lumps hiding. The ruching really helps. This one was the most forgiving, and I felt like I could run around on a beach or swim all day without worrying about losing my bottoms. The "fresh kiwi" is made out of a matte Italian material, so it is very sleek and modern. I loved the fit, but beware that the lack of ruching/pleats/etc. means that it isn't as forgiving. The rise is slightly higher than the "forest green", but both were below my belly button.


[1] Royal Navy  //  [2] White  //  [3] Sugar Palm  //  [4] Pink Bath

I randomly stumbled upon American Eagle during my swimsuit search and discovered a wide range of high-waist options. I ordered four different colors all in size Small. For reference, #1, #3 and #4 are the exact same fit - just different colors. Each of these had a bit of ruching on the sides, but not as much as the "forest green" from J.Crew. All four colors were nice, and the quality was what I expected given the price range.

I started off trying on the "white" bottom and that thing was a definite no. As in NO WAY, JOSE! You know how I was afraid I would look like I was wearing a giant diaper? Yep, this was it. It was terrible. I really don't think it would have been nearly as bad if I had a bit of a tan and my swim top was also white, but using it as a mix & match piece on my pale self was all wrong.

The "sugar palm" and "pink bath" were both great colors, but solids are just not the most forgiving. While the fit was great, it almost looked like I was trying to cover something up... and failing miserably. Instead of covering anything up, it just accentuated everything - like I was under a microscope. Not quite the look I was going for. Neither color was a good match with my existing swimsuits, either.

And lastly, "royal navy". A bit of ruching, but not too much. A neutral color, but with a slight pattern. High-rise, but not too high. Believe it or not, horizontal stripes are quite flattering in a high-waist bikini. I liked everything about it - especially a price tag of $20.


So after six swim bottoms, the winner is the High-Rise Bikini Bottom in "Royal Navy" by Aerie, and I can't wait to give it a spin in Hawaii! While I really liked the bottoms from J.Crew, I wish they had a navy stripe. Plus, I just couldn't justify paying twice as much for a bottom that may simply be a one-season only piece. If you're on the market for a high-rise bottom, here are a few tips and tricks I would recommend:

  1. If you want a light colored bottom, try finding a pattern - floral, stripes, dots.
  2. If you're simply looking to give this trend a try, I would go for a more inexpensive option in a fun color or pattern. If you want something with a bit more coverage and long-term wear, I would go for a higher-end brand in a dark color. A really nice black or navy high-waist with a fun top would be extremely flattering - regardless of what's "in style".
  3. If you like a curvier look and something that really accentuates a small waist, try to find a bottom that covers your belly button. Most I found hit just below mine, so you may need to do a bit of searching to find a higher rise.

So what do you think? Are you planning to give a high-rise bottom a try this summer?