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Five Great: Not So Basic Black Swimsuits | Manolo for the Big Girl

Five Great: Not So Basic Black Swimsuits

Monif C Barbados Plunge Suit

A few years ago Monif C introduced what I’d call the beta version of this swimsuit. It interested me so I picked one up and alas, it was Not Good On Me. However, it looks like the problems in the earlier version –too low neck, shirring in the wrong place– have been addressed and the “Barbados” looks like it could be a fun option for playing Bond Girl on the beach.

I know you’ll all throw rocks at me for this, but deep in the black, gin soaked recesses of my soul, I sort of love, love and YEARN for a leather bathing suit. I know, I know. It’s the same part of my brain that wants a wall treatment made entirely of living moss.

I rarely wear swimwear and I don’t think I’ve worn so much as a napa leather jacket in a decade, but sometimes when I’m all alone and the wind is whistling its lonesome song, that I sit back and pine for the leather bathing suit I’ll never (probably for the best) own.


Kiyonna Ava convertible swimsuit




I mean, I think we all know I’ve got an enormous soft spot for 50’s fashion, so odds are if you style a model like that I’ll love whatever she has on her body (and can I just give a shout out to the model? She must be the palest swimsuit model in the world. Holla at your easily sunburnt girl!)

Convertible halters have been all the rage in swimwear recently and this is a fantastic, classic iteration. Click through to see other variations, the front-cross halter is one of my favorites. Remember, lots of sunscreen and you’ll never have to worry about an unruly tan line.

Monif C Monaco in Black

I featured the fuchsia and yellow versions of this the other day, but the black one is worth mentioning too.

This is pretty much a pear-shaped girls dream.

It would definitely go in my personal collection if only I weren’t so long waisted. Monif C swimwear in my experience runs short, so a word to the tall torso-ed wise.

I’d also advise you to go a size up if you’ve never worn her swimwear, especially with a cutout detail, you don’t want your little pooch of flesh to get all pokey-outy (pokey-outy being a medical term) and look weird.

I think this would actually work BEST on long waisted girls, so if any of you try it and have success, let a sister know.

Jessica London one piece with chain strap

So what if you want interesting without In Your Face Sexy?

It’s a reasonable request.

There’s nothing wrong with taking a basic black maillot and adding a bit of unexpected interest, which is exactly what you get with this chain strap one piece from Jessica London.

A fun take on the hardware and single shoulder trends of the past few seasons, this swimsuit is interesting without veering off into Crazypants or overly sexy.

It’s also available in white, and I very nearly bought it for myself.

Monif C Belize suit with mesh inserts

And one more from Monif C., this time featuring lingerie-inspired mesh inserts.

I haven’t quite made up my mind on this one.

On one hand, I’m intrigued by the lingerie motif, I remember the Dior Haute Couture collection a few years back when everyone was still broke and he did almost nothing but separates, working in vintage-inspired lingerie pieces to give the illusion of a woman still getting dressed in the atelier. I loved that show. Sigh, Galliano.

The suit is lovely on Fluvia –that’s right, I’m capable of saying a nice thing about her, even though even though I really don’t like her as a model since she always looks like she’ll stain my white furniture– so darker toned girls have at it.

I’d suggest my fellow residents of Honky O’Sunburn’s School for the Perennially Alabaster might give this one a miss as the mesh might read too obvious and skew trashy rather than retro-cheeky.

What do you think?


15 Responses to “Five Great: Not So Basic Black Swimsuits”

  1. Jacquilynne June 20, 2011 at 1:19 pm #

    I don’t think I could actually *swim* in any of these. But I suppose if I just wanted to sit by the pool and look glam, they might work.

  2. Miss Plumcake June 20, 2011 at 1:35 pm #

    @Jacquilynne: Oh there’s no reason you couldn’t do casual swimming in these. I mean if you’re up for the Women’s 300 meters I might give it a miss, but none of these are particularly flimsy, nor do they look like they’re going anywhere once you put them on.

  3. Constance June 20, 2011 at 2:24 pm #

    Mmm, I’m liking that mesh inset suit but not at $140.00. Chlorine is hard on swimsuits. Even with careful rinsing after a swim the suit won’t last more than a year or so. And halters are not good for laps.

  4. Margo A June 20, 2011 at 3:01 pm #

    THANK YOU!!! I have a scar on my chest that I don’t like to show off, and while big jewelry with a swimsuit is fun, there’s a “no jewelry” rule at the pool I frequent most often., That convertible suit looks like it might do the job quite nicely.

  5. S June 20, 2011 at 4:01 pm #

    I really, really prefer the gold Barbados. Shiny!

  6. Jacquilynne June 20, 2011 at 5:34 pm #

    Yeah, the women’s 300 meter is more my style. I’m not fast, but if I’m gonna bother getting wet, I usually like to get at least a kilometer worth of laps in.

  7. Lisa from SoCal June 20, 2011 at 8:17 pm #

    I’m betting the mesh on that last one might more ok you might think. Much depends on what that fabric really is.

    I’m currently in Greece at the moment and nobody is wearing any tops so my sense of what’s “obvious” and “obvious” may be getting a mite skewed…

  8. Francie June 20, 2011 at 9:28 pm #

    Why would she stain your furniture? I am puzzled.

  9. Jacquilynne June 21, 2011 at 2:42 pm #

    I assumed it referred to excess spray tan.

  10. harri p. June 22, 2011 at 10:06 am #

    I don’t like that model Fluvia. She has no neck! She’s kind of weird and freaky looking.

  11. mini_pixie June 22, 2011 at 11:43 am #

    Heads up for anyone who’s an ideeli member- several Monif C swimsuits are on sale there today! Still not cheap by any stretch, but a good deal if you’re planning to buy one.


  12. CATHERINE June 22, 2011 at 1:27 pm #

    The Monif C suits are totally lined the mesh one has nude swimsuit fabric under it that makss it way more durable and sturdy. We love it.

  13. LeighB in ATL June 23, 2011 at 10:45 am #

    Yeah, I’m not feeling Miss Fluvia either. She seems to most often either look boring or awkward (and not in a good way). And I think the makeup and the angles from which Moif C shot her make her look awful.

  14. raincoaster June 26, 2011 at 2:18 am #

    I might get the Ava, if I can’t fit into my existing suit by the time summer finally arrives in Canuckistan. And as for Fluvia, she looks like an over-coked Fergie impersonator.

  15. Jo June 28, 2011 at 7:02 am #

    One note about the Ava: I bought it, and it’s darling, but the boob-cups are WAY TOO SMALL. As in, it’s gonna take some creative wrapping with the straps to keep Mama from scaring the horses. If you’re larger-chested, you might want to go with something different.