Re: What are you doing?

Words by

Alyce Cowell

Dear high fashion bikinis, (or as I like to affectionately call you, HFB).

Last week I was in the change room of a fancy store, trying on a bikini I couldn’t afford. I also couldn’t figure out how to get it the fuck off my body, and had spent the last 10 minutes in a variety of yoga positions I didn’t know I was capable of.

I have decided to finally write this letter because my experience with your kind has mostly been a montage of nipple slips, getting my head caught in the arm hole and swimsuits that are nicer than my actual clothes, and therefore not allowed to go near the water, sand or people. This latest experience was the straw that broke the camel’s jewel-encrusted back, but I’m hoping you can prove me wrong, HFB, because secretly, I love you.

As I stood there looking desperately at myself in the mirror, I realised this experience was not dissimilar to the time my dad bought a posture brace from the bountiful treasure land of Hong Kong, eBay. It was an elastic contraption he looped his arms through like a backpack, with the promise of corrected posture in seven short, torturous days. He tried it on while my mum was at work and was trapped for at least six hours until my mum came home and found him like a fly in a spider’s web, defeated, albeit with fantastic posture.

Back in the change room, I was left thinking why? Why do I let you do this to me? A little triangle bikini would never have done this to me. But, as the latest addition to the Bloggers Bible of Trends – sandwiched between the one-armed jacket and sneaker heels – I’d been lured by your couture lace trim and the prospect of looking like Tuula Vintage on the beach. (I’m also heading to Mexico in two months and could practically taste the #ootds.)

Anyway, let’s get to the point: how do we wear you? You’re prettier, cooler and more interesting than my other boring bikinis, but I have questions I need answered.

Firstly, who’s getting away with your impossible tan lines? I want their names, and their spray tan technicians’ names. Or are there no tan lines, HFB? Maybe this is all just an elaborate ruse, and nobody actually wears you anywhere except Instagram. They certainly don’t wear you swimming; you’re far too beautiful for that.

Next, the shapes: wtf is up with the shapes. The avante-garde necklines. The off-the-shoulder sleeves. The high-waisted bikini bottoms that magically turn me into a large white potato. You’re very pretty to look at, but you’re just not practical. I’m sorry.

And finally, the issue that got us into this whole mess: taking you off the hanger and putting you on. Sounds simple, doesn’t it? Well, it’s not. Heaven forbid there was an emergency that required me to be naked in three seconds flat, HFB, did you ever think about that? NO YOU DIDN’T, BECAUSE YOU ONLY THINK ABOUT YOURSELF.
…I don’t mean to yell, HFB, I’m just jealous, I guess. And confused. Am I destined to a life of Nicole Kidman rash vests and faking it on the ‘gram?

Please say no.

Yours sincerely, 


Alyce Cowell is a blogger, stylist, writer, presenter and media commentator with a love for writing, fashion and breakfast foods.

Illustration by Twylamae

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