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.

Arts and Entertainment
The cast of The Big Bang Theory in a still from the show
tvBig Bang Theory filming delayed by contract dispute over actors' pay
Sport
England celebrate a wicket for Moeen Ali
sportMoeen Ali stars with five wickets as Cook's men level India series
News
peopleGuitarist, who played with Aerosmith, Lou Reed and Alice Cooper among others, was 71
Travel
travel
PROMOTED VIDEO
Life and Style
ebookA wonderful selection of salads, starters and mains featuring venison, grouse and other game
Life and Style
food + drinkVegetarians enjoy food as much as anyone else, writes Susan Elkin
Arts and Entertainment
Harry Potter (Daniel Radcliffe), Hermione Granger (Emma Watson) and Ron Weasley (Rupert Grint)
newsBloomsbury unveils new covers for JK Rowling's wizarding series
News
scienceScientists try to explain the moon's funny shape
Sport
Usain Bolt confirms he will run in both the heats and the finals of the men's relay at the Commonwealth Games
commonwealth games
News
peopleHowards' Way actress, and former mistress of Jeffrey Archer, was 60
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

    Shine Night Walk 2014 - 'On the night' volunteer roles

    Unpaid Voluntary Work : Cancer Research UK: We need motivational volunteers to...

    Accounts Assistant (Accounts Payable & Accounts Receivable)

    £23000 - £25000 per annum: Ashdown Group: Accounts Assistant (Accounts Payable...

    Senior IT Trainer - Buckinghamshire - £250 - £350 p/d

    £200 - £300 per day: Ashdown Group: IT Trainer - Marlow, Buckinghamshire - £25...

    Education Recruitment Consultant- Learning Support

    £18000 - £30000 per annum + Generous commission scheme: AER Teachers: Thames T...

    Day In a Page

    Save the tiger: The day America’s love of backyard tigers led to a horrific bloodbath

    The day America’s love of backyard tigers led to a horrific bloodbath

    With only six per cent of the US population of these amazing big cats held in zoos, the Zanesville incident in 2011 was inevitable
    Samuel Beckett's biographer reveals secrets of the writer's time as a French Resistance spy

    How Samuel Beckett became a French Resistance spy

    As this year's Samuel Beckett festival opens in Enniskillen, James Knowlson, recalls how the Irish writer risked his life for liberty and narrowly escaped capture by the Gestapo
    We will remember them: relatives still honour those who fought in the Great War

    We will remember them

    Relatives still honour those who fought in the Great War
    Star Wars Episode VII is being shot on film - and now Kodak is launching a last-ditch bid to keep celluloid alive

    Kodak's last-ditch bid to keep celluloid alive

    Director J J Abrams and a few digital refuseniks shoot movies on film. Simon Usborne wonders what the fuss is about
    Once stilted and melodramatic, Hollywood is giving acting in video games a makeover

    Acting in video games gets a makeover

    David Crookes meets two of the genre's most popular voices
    Could our smartphones soon be diagnosing diseases via Health Kit and Google Fit?

    Could smartphones soon be diagnosing diseases?

    Health Kit and Google Fit have been described as "the beginning of a health revolution"
    Ryanair has turned on the 'charm offensive' but can we learn to love the cut-price carrier again?

    Can we learn to love Ryanair again?

    Four recent travellers give their verdicts on the carrier's improved customer service
    Billionaire founder of Spanx launches range of jeans that offers

    Spanx launches range of jeans

    The jeans come in two styles, multiple cuts and three washes and will go on sale in the UK in October
    10 best over-ear headphones

    Aural pleasure: 10 best over-ear headphones

    Listen to your favourite tracks with this selection, offering everything from lambskin earmuffs to stainless steel
    Commonwealth Games 2014: David Millar ready to serve up gold for his beloved Scotland in the end

    Commonwealth Games

    David Millar ready to serve up gold for his beloved Scotland in the end
    UCI Mountain Bike World Cup 2014: Downhill all the way to the top for the Atherton siblings

    UCI Mountain Bike World Cup

    Downhill all the way to the top for the Atherton siblings
    Save the tiger: The animals bred for bones on China’s tiger farms

    The animals bred for bones on China’s tiger farms

    The big cats kept in captivity to perform for paying audiences and then, when dead, their bodies used to fortify wine
    A former custard factory, a Midlands bog and a Leeds cemetery all included in top 50 hidden spots in the UK

    A former custard factory, a Midlands bog and a Leeds cemetery

    Introducing the top 50 hidden spots in Britain
    Ebola epidemic: Plagued by fear

    Ebola epidemic: Plagued by fear

    How a disease that has claimed fewer than 2,000 victims in its history has earned a place in the darkest corner of the public's imagination
    Chris Pratt: From 'Parks and Recreation' to 'Guardians of the Galaxy'

    From 'Parks and Recreation' to 'Guardians of the Galaxy'

    He was homeless in Hawaii when he got his big break. Now the comic actor Chris Pratt is Hollywood's new favourite action star