Like most women, I have a love-hate relationship with bikini shopping. On one hand, it means that summer is approaching and sunny afternoons at the lake are about to fill my Saturdays; on the other, it’s like finding a needle in a haystack of unflattering, soul-sucking duds.
Last summer, I dabbled in the wonders that are high-waisted bikini bottoms for the first time. I couldn’t tell you why it took years after realizing high-waisted pants are by far the most flattering to realize the same was true for my swimsuit bottoms, but the discovery made me toss all of the low-rise, ghastly bottoms I had hanging around in my underwear drawer for ones that hit just below my belly button—so when I saw that Aerie had made a high-waisted crossover bikini bottom, I knew they had to be mine for summer 2021.
The OG of the crossover products, the leggings, went viral at the pandemic after countless TikToks showed them off and claimed they were the most flattering leggings the wearers had ever tried. They were sold out constantly for months, so much so that you had to get on a waitlist to be notified of when they would be back in stock if you wanted a shot at getting a pair. Since then, they’ve expanded the range to include bike shorts, yoga pants, and now, bikini bottoms.
Since so many had claimed the shape and fit of the crossover bottoms were so flattering in leggings, I figured the same rule had to apply to bikini bottoms. Off the bat, they had a ton of cute prints and fabrics and colors to choose from, and it was hard to decide which one would accompany me to the beach all summer. After an embarrassing amount of deliberation, I decided on the light blue, shine option, imagining the gloriousness of the color popping against a tan this summer.
There are dozens of accompanying bikini tops to choose from if you want a matching bikini set, and I went with the scoop neck top, as I already have it in another color and really like it on my body. After a few days of waiting, it arrived in the mail and was ripped open and tried on without a moment’s notice.
From the second I put this on my body, I knew they were the most flattering bottoms of all the high-waisted bottoms I have. I’m generally a size 4 in jeans and I ordered a size small, which were true to size and fit perfectly. While the high-waistedness is something I look for, I like them to hit a specific part of my torso, so that I can avoid them hitting too high and looking like a diaper. The sweet spot for me is just below my belly button, so it’s higher than usual, but only by a few inches—and that’s exactly where these fell.
Not only did the height of the waist feel perfect, but the material makes them hug you in all the right places and adds to how flattering they are as well. They’re a thicker fabric, which in my opinion, leads to the most comfortable and flattering bathing suits. It adds to the structure, which holds you in without totally compressing you.
Aerie offers these bottoms in a variety of cuts and coverage in the back, which makes it easy to find one you’ll feel comfortable in. I opted for a cheekier version, but you can also get one with a fuller-coverage back, and one without such a high cut if that’s what you feel best in.
It takes a lot for me to find a swimsuit so good that I actually look forward to debuting it for summer, but this one has had me counting down the days until Memorial Day Weekend when I can finally wear it for the first days of summer. The best part? Its price let me order it in two more colors.