Carola Long: The trouble with wearing a monokini is that it basically announces that you think you're Gisele

Material World

Barely a day – nay a minute – goes by without this paper's fashion desk receiving the results of a meaningless survey, along the lines of "100 per cent of women say that our moisturiser made them look 100 years younger". The latest "in-depth" study comes from the search engine Twenga, which reveals that the "monokini" is the fifth most searched-for type of swimwear on their site. The fact that the "legsuit", which sounds like something Queen Victoria might wear to do a triathlon, is number 10, doesn't do much for the credibility of this finding, but the challenging garment has admittedly been creeping back into fashion of late.

The monokini was first unveiled by futuristic fashion designer Rudi Gernreich, in 1964. Featuring bikini-style bottoms with two straps criss-crossing the breasts, it met with outrage and the Vatican deemed it immoral. These days, however, the monokini generally refers to a cross between a bikini and a swimsuit, and actually looks quite a lot like that stag-do accessory – and favourite attire of Borat – the "mankini". The trouble is that wearing a "cut-out swimsuit", as Net-a-Porter more elegantly bill versions by Missoni and Melissa Odabash, basically announces that you think you're Gisele. Still, if you practically are Gisele, Helmut Newton-style cut-out swimwear such as Roksanda Ilincic's new range can look amazing. Just stick to black or plain colours, unless you want to look like a magician's-assistant-turned-stripper.

Even if you'd rather appear on 'How to Look Good Naked' than wear a monokini, don't play it safe with a standard bra-shaped style. I hunted for one for two weeks before finally admitting that the swimwear universe had a message for me: be more daring. Asos's own brand has a great selection of affordable swimwear that strikes a good balance between flattering and cool, while Figleaves.com's own brand combines skimpy LA beach-bunny looks with hidden structure. Bandeaux that look ridiculously flimsy have secret underwiring and mesh to provide uplift and support, and halternecks are gently padded to provide uplift, but are not so sponge-like that they'll make you sink.

Life and Style
ebookNow available in paperback
ebooks
ebookPart of The Independent’s new eBook series The Great Composers
Life and Style
Marie had fake ID, in the name of Johanna Koch, after she evaded capture by the Nazis in wartime Berlin
historyOne woman's secret life as a Jew in wartime Berlin
News
Jihadi John
newsMonikers like 'Jihadi John' make the grim sound glamorous
Arts and Entertainment
As depicted in Disney's Robin Hood, King John was cowardly, cruel, avaricious and incompetent
film
Life and Style
Travis Kalanick, the co-founder of Uber, is now worth $5.3bn
tech
Extras
indybest
Latest stories from i100
Have you tried new the Independent Digital Edition apps?
Independent Dating
and  

By clicking 'Search' you
are agreeing to our
Terms of Use.

ES Rentals

    iJobs Job Widget
    iJobs Fashion

    Circles South East Youth Service: Youth Services Volunteer

    this is an unpaid voluntary position: Circles South East Youth Service: LOOKIN...

    Recruitment Genius: Business Development Executive - OTE £30,000+

    £18000 - £22000 per annum: Recruitment Genius: This leading privately owned sp...

    Recruitment Genius: Software Developer

    £30000 - £40000 per annum: Recruitment Genius: A Software Developer is require...

    Recruitment Genius: Logistics Supervisor

    £24000 - £27000 per annum: Recruitment Genius: The largest supplier to the UK'...

    Day In a Page

    Syrian conflict is the world's first 'climate change war', say scientists, but it won't be the last one

    Climate change key in Syrian conflict

    And it will trigger more war in future
    How I outwitted the Gestapo

    How I outwitted the Gestapo

    My life as a Jew in wartime Berlin
    The nation's favourite animal revealed

    The nation's favourite animal revealed

    Women like cuddly creatures whilst men like creepy-crawlies
    Is this the way to get young people to vote?

    Getting young people to vote

    From #VOTESELFISH to Bite the Ballot
    Poldark star Heida Reed: 'I don't think a single bodice gets ripped'

    Poldark star Heida Reed

    'I don't think a single bodice gets ripped'
    The difference between America and Israel? There isn’t one

    The difference between America and Israel? There isn’t one

    Netanyahu knows he can get away with anything in America, says Robert Fisk
    Families clubbing together to build their own affordable accommodation

    Do It Yourself approach to securing a new house

    Community land trusts marking a new trend for taking the initiative away from developers
    Head of WWF UK: We didn’t send Cameron to the Arctic to see green ideas freeze

    David Nussbaum: We didn’t send Cameron to the Arctic to see green ideas freeze

    The head of WWF UK remains sanguine despite the Government’s failure to live up to its pledges on the environment
    Author Kazuo Ishiguro on being inspired by shoot-outs and samurai

    Author Kazuo Ishiguro on being inspired by shoot-outs and samurai

    Set in a mythologised 5th-century Britain, ‘The Buried Giant’ is a strange beast
    With money, corruption and drugs, this monk fears Buddhism in Thailand is a ‘poisoned fruit’

    Money, corruption and drugs

    The monk who fears Buddhism in Thailand is a ‘poisoned fruit’
    America's first slavery museum established at Django Unchained plantation - 150 years after slavery outlawed

    150 years after it was outlawed...

    ... America's first slavery museum is established in Louisiana
    Kelly Clarkson: How I snubbed Simon Cowell and become a Grammy-winning superstar

    Kelly Clarkson: How I snubbed Simon Cowell and become a Grammy-winning superstar

    The first 'American Idol' winner on how she manages to remain her own woman – Jane Austen fascination and all
    Tony Oursler on exploring our uneasy relationship with technology with his new show

    You won't believe your eyes

    Tony Oursler's new show explores our uneasy relationship with technology. He's one of a growing number of artists with that preoccupation
    Ian Herbert: Peter Moores must go. He should never have been brought back to fail again

    Moores must go. He should never have been brought back to fail again

    The England coach leaves players to find solutions - which makes you wonder where he adds value, says Ian Herbert
    War with Isis: Fears that the looming battle for Mosul will unleash 'a million refugees'

    The battle for Mosul will unleash 'a million refugees'

    Aid agencies prepare for vast exodus following planned Iraqi offensive against the Isis-held city, reports Patrick Cockburn