Viewers have been accosted this season of Love Island with a bikini trend so bizarre, it can only be described in the plainest of language lest we all get lost in the esoteric nonsense: underwire cut-out halter top wrap-around bikinis.
Love Island, ITV’s hit game show in which a dozen or so hot and horny singles are trapped on an island and filmed as they descend into madness, has always been known for its contestants’ outlandish fashion choices. Specifically in the bikini region. Each season, it’s almost like a race to top last cycle’s trend, with thong lines reaching higher to heaven, new mesh technologies finding fun areas of the body to obscure, and nipples sliding ever-closer to freedom. The men are spared this race largely, as they don’t deal with the intense social and production pressures the women are put under to look extremely hot in full hair and makeup under a 100-degree sun, in and out of pools, and also while occasionally covered in all manners of food and slime and whipped creams.
For the most part, the clothing and bikinis seen on the contestants come courtesy of online retailer ISawItFirst, who, according to British tabloid Metro, make “weekly drops” to the island, based on each contestant’s own sense of style. They’re also allowed to pack suitcases from home, sans any branded clothing, and before filming, they’re likewise given an allowance. To both the casual and more serious Love Island scholar, these clothing choices have become as fundamental to the show as the weekly routine of couplings, challenges, inane poolside conversations, shocking betrayals, and even more dramatic re-couplings. In fact, entire websites have spent an inordinate amount of time tracking down these bikinis for those of us not locked in a “sanitized sex bubble,” as Iain Sterling has described it this season. (Jezebel has reached out to Love Island and ISawItFirst for comment and will update when we hear back.)
So about these underwire bikinis. They’ve made their appearance on almost all the contestants this season, but specifically Chloe and Rachel, both women who entered the Villa under dramatic circumstances. Dramatic enough, I’d say, to warrant this sartorial choice. From the looks of it, it’s a halter bikini not strong enough to support its own weight, so it’s also held up by more traditional straps. Where the bottom half of the halter should be is cut-out, and instead replaced by the mere suggestion of a bikini, in the form of underwire. Correct! The clothing choice favored by beachgoers for its general lack of a pesky underwire has been taken over by that most dastardly of villains.
While it might come courtesy of ISawItFirst, Shein also has it listed as “rib cross halter underwire thong bikini swimsuit.”
If it looks like a nipple slip is imminent, then bet one has already happened prior to taking the above photograph. In fact, Rachel, while sitting poolside in the above number in lime green, found her nipple free and enjoying the breeze while chatting up bucket hat salesman Chuggs.
Speaking of Shein, there are more sensible approaches to the underwire bikini, although they look no more comfortable than whatever it was that can be seen above. This one as seen on Faye, the lettings agent from somewhere, is described as a “glitter underwire high cut bikini swimsuit.” Fine!
Perhaps the most nonsensical underwire “bikini,” if it could be called that, was also seen on Faye this season. I’ll let PrettyLittleThing describe what this is: “silver glitter underwired cross front bikini top.”
All in all, I quite like the little boob windows, as they would surely be a conversation starter at most parties. Although, I’d imagine it would be somewhat of a chore to constantly shove the suckers back in there every few minutes, lest one of these goes running for the hills.
I’d run for the hills myself if presented with one of these, as my post-boob job breasts simply don’t have the courage to stay propped up in an “underwired cross front halter top bikini.” They’d likely stage a mutiny, and commandeer the ship, free flapping in the wind for the entire British public to see. And nobody wants that, trust me. It would cause a riot in the television-watching public. But that’s the success of Love Island, when one digs down to the foundation of the villa.
Why would I want something relatable when there’s a fantasy land and sanitized sex bubble in which the conventional wisdom, human decency, and the laws of nature are tossed out the window—along with traditional boob physics.