Lingerie or Swimwear? Some of the Coolest Swimsuit Designs That Are Coming From Lingerie Designers

One thing I really admire about lingerie designers is the way that they have to somehow find a balance between aesthetic desires and real, practical needs. Obviously there is a range of ways to address these, with some falling on the more practical end of things and others looking for a certain look above all else. This carries over well to the design of swimwear, another piece of clothing that often requires careful engineering to underpin its attractiveness.

There are definitely swimwear designers who are insanely creative, but I want to call out some of my favorite lingerie to swimwear transitions.

Kriss Soonik

Kriss Soonik Swim Splash Swimsuit

Kriss Soonik launched swimwear for Spring/Summer of 2013 and I think she’s done an amazing job at using the same appealing aesthetics from her lingerie and loungewear in her swim designs. This one-piece is one of my favorites because I think the belt is a perfect touch to bring out a more hourglass figure even on such a simple garment.


Bordelle Bond-Age swimsuit £112.50

Bordelle also only recently launched their swim collection and I have raved about it before because it makes such a gorgeous shape. The gold would be a tough color for me to pull off, but would be so perfect on someone with a much darker skin tone.


Freya Swim Vodkatini Bikini

Freya is renowned for making beautiful and well-fitting bras for full busts and happily they bring that expertise over to swimwear. This bikini is not from their latest collection (although a few are still for sale) but it’s one of my favorites for avoiding the floral or striped trap that so many swimsuits for full busts seem to fall into. The color is so unusual, also, and I love when brands make bold choices.

Dirty Pretty Things

DPT Swim Hooded

Dirty Pretty Things will actually only be launching swim as part of their Spring/Summer 2014 collection, but you can see from this sneak peek that it’s going to be pretty exciting. It may seem ridiculous, but I really love the idea of a hooded bikini! It’s really cool looking, and might have a little more built-in shade from the sun.
I asked Dirty Pretty Things founder & designer Claire Merry whether she thought that lingerie designers have a different perspective when it comes to swim, and she replied:
I would say designing swim as a lingerie designer, I’m focusing on the fit and the support as the most important factor, with the aesthetics being an integral part of the design. Its not just about function, but looking and feeling fabulous.  I want our girl to feel that the swimwear, like the lingerie, flatters and fills our girl with confidence on the beach.

Chromat O-Ring Bikini

Chromat is one of the most innovative  and fearless brands out there– they can’t really be categorized as lingerie, outerwear or costume, but I like to claim the coolness for the lingerie team. I think the Chromat swimwear is one of the best things that they have because they are so original.
Miss Mandalay

Miss Mandalay Gingham Bikini

Miss Mandalay’s swimwear clearly shares the same aesthetic of their lingerie: simple, classic and lovely. This gingham bikini is my favorite one from the collection because it’s so fun and frilly!

Kiss Me Deadly

Kiss Me Deadly Red Deluxe Bikini

Kiss Me Deadly’s retro swimwear is a natural outgrowth of their sassy, vintage-inspired lingerie. The fact that they chose a pirate theme for their photoshoot just means that they have more of a sense of humor than anyone else in the lingerie or swimwear game, which makes them a perfect addition to this list.
Have you noticed any other lingerie brands that are doing cool swim? Please share!
  1. Great items, nicely presented. Balancing aesthetics with practicality is hard but important, especially to those who wear these creations. Just one question… does the eye-patch come with the bikini?!

  2. I love the first two, very James Bond girl like. If I could were them to the beach I would have them both.

  3. Totally want the Dirty Pretty Things swimsuit. So hot!

    The one thing I am disappointed with is the lack of lingerie inspired ACTUALLY practical swimwear for those who do lane swimming, water polo, or other athletic things in the water. Hard combo to find it seems! I have been begging Black Milk to do a racer-back and so far no go. :( I want pretty swimsuits, not monochromatic or those that look like a psychedelic frog threw up on them.

  4. Nice! I like all of these. I’ve found Kiss Me Deadly works especially well if you have a bit of a booty; that’s usually where swimwear fit fails me.

  5. While searching for vintage-inspired swimsuits, I noticed that there are a few different styles companies keep making over and over and labeling it “retro” or “vintage”. Usually these are modern-cut swim suits with prints like polka dots, cherries and stripes – which is fine, don’t get me wrong – but I believe that the glamor and charm of vintage swimwear is really all in the classic cut of the suit. Whether it’s a one piece or two piece bikini, vintage swimsuits cover a lot more skin. This classic swimwear silhouette (halter boyleg) never goes out of style. Throw on some cork wedges , cats eye sunglasses and red lipstick and you’ve got the whole pin up look to go with your new swimsuit! Don’t forget the sunscreen!

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