An Internal Memo From Bathing Suit HQ

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Hello All,

We at Bathing Suit HQ are very proud of our legacy of dictating swimwear trends to the masses, and today we’re thrilled to announce an initiative we’ve been talking about for years. The wait is over: We’ve finally done away with our “design principles” and our “sensible guidelines.” I mean, look at this. Everything is allowed now. With that in mind, we hope every last one of you will take your inspirations to the limit this year. And we’re not just talking about the freaks at Asos. To help get your creative juices flowing, we’ve come up with a few guidelines. Don’t let us down.

1) Free the cheeks.

Full-coverage bottoms are officially retired. Please ensure all bottoms are cut higher than seems reasonable, exposing most of the cheeks and, if possible, the hip bones and/or that little chub line where a juicy thigh meets hips, depending on what the wearer is working with, junk-wise. To the untrained eye, it should appear that an errant wave has caught the wearer and shoved all the bathing suit material up her butt, a situation colloquially known as a “wedgie.” Joke’s on them of course: There was never any material there to begin with.

2) Breasts have been supported long enough.

It’s time to let them breathe — and sweat. We better not catch wind of anyone messing with any underwire. The most you are allowed to do this season is sort of smoosh both boobs into a loose sports-bra situation, but even this is not ideal. You know what we really want: a long side view and loose scoop front. Whatever shape the boobs would be if pressed loosely against a coffee table should be the shape of the boobs we see in this season’s suits.

3) Spell it out for us.

When in doubt, consider jazzing things up with some fun slogans. Adding any word to a one-piece in iron-on block letters makes it fun. A funpiece! It doesn’t even have to be coherent English. Try it: SLAY IN ROSÉ — cute! 2SWEET4SWEATN … sure! MERBAE… why not! You don’t have to write anything as long as you write something.

4) Go wild with fabric and texture.

Velvet, crochet, unlined cotton, denim … the world of materials is wide open to you — bathing suits are for Instagram Stories and not actually for swimming. Don’t get bogged down by useless questions like, “Will this dissolve in water?” or, “Is this fabric the first stage of a yeast infection?” Just do what feels* good**.

(*looks) (**fine)

5) If you can, try to make everyone seem naked.

There are a lot of ways you can achieve this important “about to be arrested for flashing people at the pool” summer vibe. Mesh paneling is helpful. Various flesh tones, combined with the aforementioned high/low cuts and overall lack of structural integrity can make any beach feel like a nude beach. And, when it comes to other people’s body parts, more is more. Someone’s uncle’s chest? Fantastic. Just some hands? Absolutely. Appliqués over the nipples that look like different nipples? Someone make this dream a reality!

6) A word on tops.

We’d really prefer you honor the supremacy of the one-piece right now, but if you must do a bikini, the top should resemble a shirt — sort of. Definitely make sure it has sleeves, and if you can incorporate a fussy button or lace-up detail, so much the better. Mostly you want something that thousands of misguided women will try to wear as a Going Out Top just once, before realizing their mistake and spending the rest of the night self-consciously crossing their arms.

7) Do something crazy with the sides.

Please feel free to cut out any part from any suit at any time. Rummage around in a bin full of old belts and just add buckles and straps wherever you have to. The thing to keep in mind is that it doesn’t matter how this looks on a human body. For best results, make all your prototype designs on a bag full of jello you’ve fed four glasses of warm white wine.

We’ve seen the work you’ve already been doing in this field, and it’s inspiring. We just hope this message pushes you to take things that much further. Just today we received an inspiring piece of fan mail from a woman who wrote that a low-backed one-piece she’d recently purchased “scoops away from the body inches above my butt, creating a gap above the crack that my friends threw several snacks into.”

This is why we do this work. Happy summer, everyone!!

An Internal Memo From Bathing Suit HQ