According to my sources inside academia, it’s time for that most precious of school-year holidays: Spraaaang Break! While I’ll be celebrating at the IFC theater this Friday watching Harmony Korine’s seminal film (no SPF necessary), swarms of coeds will be making their way to warmer climates. And while I’m all for enjoying the skimpier uniform of warmer weather—bring on the denim cut offs—I’ve begun to move on from the barely there, itsy-bitsy, teeny-weeny bikini. It was time. So, let’s explore bathing suit options with just a hint more coverage than the ones of MTV Spring Breaks past.
1. T By Alexander Wang Mesh-Paneled Racer-Back Bikini: Think of this as your modern-day, slightly more practical, maybe-I’ll-fit-in-a-game-of-beach-volleyball-today take on the original Bond Girl bikini, as worn by Ursula Andress in Dr. No .
2. Topshop Aloha Print Floral Bikini: The convertible strapless bikini is more for relaxing and less appropriate for a day of cliff diving, but add a large hat, a mai tai, and a good read and you're ready for a day of extreme lounging.
3. Marc by Marc Jacobs Maysie Floral Scuba Top and Bikini Bottoms: While I’ve only ever stood on a surfboard once (for about a half second), I’ve always wished I could be just like Kate Bosworth in Blue Crush and wear rash guards and wetsuits on every and all occasions. I can still embrace my inner 'rip girl' in bikini fashion, right? (Also, does anyone remember the Disney Channel Original Movie Rip Girls, starring Camilla Belle?)
4. J.Crew Grid Dot Underwire Top and High-Waist Brief: J.Crew is an oft-forgotten trove of amazing bathing suits. They're moderately priced, slightly preppy, and seriously long-lasting. This red polka-dot duo is Jenna’s take on old Hollywood glamour à la pre-princess Grace Kelly.
5. Prism Positano Bandeau Bikini Top and Hollywood High-Waisted Bikini Bottom: Everyone should have a fail-safe black suit in their collection. The dark tone is universally flattering, and always slimming if you’re concerned you haven’t quite reached your ideal bikini bod. Chill out, World, it's only March. And before you accuse this suit of being more about fashion than function, note that the strapless top will keep you tan-line free.
Photo via Mara Hoffman.