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I’ve never really been a bathing suit person. My swimwear rotation has typically involved a single one-piece and a single bikini—maybe a bikini with two different top options. Call me a minimalist, or a realist, or what-have-you. I’ve long kept my bathing suit arsenal pretty pared down, which has left my summer wardrobe entirely devoid of the sheer delight of metallic bathing suits.
I’d be lying if I said I’d always fancied metallic bathing suits. Like I said, I’m not much of a swimwear person—and waterproof metallics have long struck me as, well, tacky? Shiny stuff can be challenging; if it isn’t rendered in a high-quality format, it can skew really cheap really quickly. But. My views on metallic swimwear underwent something of a transformation last summer when I spotted Rita Ora in not one—but two—absolutely terrific metallic bikinis.
In a matter of two Instagram stories, Ora managed to convince me that maybe metallic swimwear didn’t need to look not-tacky, or not-cheap, or anything other than what it already is. Because what it already is is fun. Metallic bathing suits may not be the most elegant or high-quality pieces you’ll add to your wardrobe this summer, but what they can offer is kitsch, camp, personality, joy. Who cares how expensive your bikini looks if it allows you to shine as bright as the summer sun—to glisten every time the light hits you, to become the human embodiment of a massive speck of glitter?
There’s a time and place for looking elegant, and—dare I say—it’s not at the pool. Your summer should be spent in the most care-free and delightful way possible, and if metallic bathing suits unleash the extra AF style star within you, so be it. You deserve everything—traditional views of tackiness, be damned.
1. Sauvage Mesh Tank One-Piece, $97 at Revolve
Iridescent with a touch of cut-out? Yes, please.
2. Caroline Constas Iniri Tie-Knot One-Piece, $295 at Revolve
Tie-front cuts continue to pervade the zeitgeist, in tops and swimwear, alike.
3. Lovewave Denae Top, $53 at Revolve
Sparkles even the fan of subtlety can surely appreciate.
4. Lisa Marie Fernandez Farrah Maillot Swimsuit, $395 at Shopbop
A swimsuit that doubles as a mirror—hell yes.
5. Sauvage Tank One-Piece, $136 at Revolve
A gold take on the iridescent/cut-out combo.
6. Metallic High-Leg Bikini Bottoms, $10.99 at Forever 21
So inexpensive there’s hardly a reason not to buy it.
7. Lover Graphic One-Piece Swimsuit, $25.99 at Forever 21
Metallic. Millennial. Pink.
8. The Michelle Metallic One-Piece Swimsuit, $158 at Free People
Fodder for your next beach Instagram.
9. Adriana Degreas Cross-Front Halter One-Piece, $396 at Revolve
A no-fail silhouette in an endlessly fun color.
10. Norma Kamali Stud Marissa One-Piece Swimsuit, $595 at Shopbop
A different approach to the metallic swimwear movement—and one I’ll happily get behind, just the same.
11. Amuse Society Estelle One-Piece, $50 at Revolve
Bronze is an oft-underrated metallic, and this one-piece simply wants to rectify that.
12. Wolf & Whistle Silver Glitter Bikini, $35 at ASOS
A swimsuit that fully understands your love of glitter.
13. Minimale Animale Radiant One-Piece, $172 at Revolve
That retro high-cut leg silhouette cannot be beat.
14. Wetlook Metallic Plunge Swimsuit, $42 at ASOS
You’ll look like you just stepped out of the pool—even when you’re totally dry.
15. Minimale Animale The Vista Bikini Top, $114 at Revolve
Shiny, sleek fun.
16. Norma Kamali Wonderwoman Mio One-Piece, $155 at Shopbop
Hello, figure-flattering silhouette.
17. Solid & Striped The Michelle One-Piece, $119 at Revolve
Retro, shiny and delightful—what’s not to love?
18. Shimmer One Piece, $80 at Eloquii
Probs the prettiest gilded hue on this entire list.
18. Standout Metallica Swimsuit, $35 at Fashion Nova
You’ll get noticed in lavender with a heavy metal twist.
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