German fashion designer and photographer Karl Lagerfeld once said “One is never over-dressed or under-dressed in a little black dress.”  As women, we understand the importance of having that perfect, appropriate-for-any-occasion LBD hanging in your closet.  Why should we think any differently about our beach attire?  Having that perfect Little Black Bikini in your bikini drawer is like having the secret code to unlocking the “I have no idea what to wear to Dave and Susie’s pool party this Saturday and have no time or money to go shopping” conundrum.  Consider it the most important tool in your swim style arsenal.

How can I know what LBB is the right one to have for any occasion?  It’s easy when you know what never goes out of style: slimming lines, classic silhouettes and the sultry understated boldness of all black.  Here are a few basics that may help you find that perfect LBB so that the two of you can grace the neighborhood pool party and be the talk of the event with effortless ease.

Tip #1: Don’t be afraid to show a little skin

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Just because you’re going with the solid black ensemble doesn’t necessarily mean that you have to throw on a tired, old, boring one piece from 6 years ago.  Remember that the LBB should still show your personality.  If you’re comfortable with it, don’t be afraid to try smaller, Brazilian cuts or plunging necklines.  (It is called a LITTLE black bikini, after all.)

Tip #2: Add other elements that pop

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The fact that you’re sporting all black means that the bikini should make its own statement.  Here are a few ideas to look for when shopping for that sexy LBB.  These bikinis are never nominated for the the MBB (Most Boring Bikini) Award.


Crochet is a fun, new effect that designers are adding to their solid bikini repertoire.  The intricacy of the designs that are offered now can sometimes fall under the category of subtle enhancements, as is the case in the Wild Child Bikini by L*Space.  Other bikinis have crochet effects that make a statement and draw all eyes to this part of the bikini, as in the Black Crochet Betty Bikini by Bettini’s.

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When you add a little embroidery, beading, mesh or any other tactile effect, you’ll find that your LBB pops even more than some of your brightest neon bikinis!  These enhancing additions break up the monotony of solid black and give the eye something to land on.  You’ll be surprised how versatile a bikini with these effects can be, and just how un-boring your solid black look becomes.  I, personally, am a HUGE fan when companies like Vitamin A Swimwear use BOTH mesh and scuba material to create a truly unique bikini, such as the Ursula Hipster bikini.

(Warning: everyone at the party will most likely be tempted to reach out and touch whatever fabulously fashionable addition your bikini has, so make sure to tell them that they can look but not touch!)

TIP #3: Remember to look for classic silhouettes that flatter your style

All of us have different body types, shapes and sizes, so there is not one single formula for the LBB that works across the board.    When shopping for your LBB, know what style works for you and what you’re most comfortable wearing.  (For a guide on how to shop for your particular body style, check this out.)

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Keep in mind some of the classic styles that never go out of style like triangle and bandeau bustier tops as well as string tie-side and hipster bottoms.  I suggest looking at a brand like Orchid Label to find all kinds of solid black styles to mix and match the perfect combo for your bod.

Tip #4  Don’t fear the bold silhouettes that make a statement

Even though you can never go wrong with the classic silhouettes above, there’s no reason for you to deny your more adventurous side should you consider trying a bolder silhouette.

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The retro pin-up high-waisted style is so hot right now, and there’s no reason you can’t make your LBB a fashion-forward piece as well as a staple in your closet. These looks from Vitamin A and Sabz are excellent examples of how more coverage in a LBB does not take away from its sex appeal.

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Last, but not least, don’t be afraid to choose a little black monokini as an alternative to your LBB (they both have ‘kini’ in the name, so they’re basically the same anyway.) Monokinis are designed for that girl who wants a cute LBB but with a little extra coverage for those trouble spots.  If that’s you, there is no reason that this look can’t be your signature look.

We all know how vitally important to your closet having a little black dress is.  Now you know the power you’ll have once your closet includes both a LBD and a LBB.  Have any secrets or special tips for choosing your LBB?  Share them with us in the comments below!


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