French Cut Bikini Top

AKA: 

How to say it:  french  kuht  bih-kee-nee

Traditional Features: French Cut Bikini Top

  • top shaped like two rounded triangles joined in the middle
  • no underwire
  • can have minimal padding
  • shaping darts in cups

21st Century French Cut Bikini Tops

The French Cut bikini does not hold a massive section of the 21st century swimwear market, but the simple, flattering style does seem to be becoming more popular. Offering more support and coverage than the string bikini, the French Cut is a great option for women who aren’t into the full triangle look, but don’t want to go down the underwire or bandeau route either.

Anthropologie J.Crew

Anthropologie, J.Crew

Madewell Mikoh Swimwear

Madewell, Mikoh Swimwear

Origins…

…of the style: Despite seeing more than one version of the French Cut bikini top in several stores online and in real life, I have not been able to find any information about where the style came from or who is responsible for it.

The joined, rounded triangle shape of the style does bare a resemblance to the bralette – a thin, shaped, camisole-style training bra with a little padding but no additional support, that was introduced to the underwear market in the 1950s. Initially the bralette was created for  teenage girls that required coverage in the bust area, but who’s busts were not yet big enough for a regular bra, however in more recent times the bralette has made the leap to outwear as part of the ‘underwear-as-outerwear’ and ‘crop top’ trends.

I assume that the French Cut bikini is inspired by the bralette, but I have not been able to verify this assumption. I have only recently become aware of the French Cut top, so I assume it is a fairly new style on the market, but again I couldn’t find any evidence to prove or disprove this theory.

However it came about, the French Cut style is a pretty, feminine style that offers more bust support than the string or bandeau bikini tops and is a great option for women who don’t want/need the full support of an underwire. While the current swimwear market is not exactly flooded with French Cut styles, there are quite a few out there for those who want them, and the number of seems to be growing.

…of the name: No idea. Maybe the style was first developed in France? If anyone knows, please pass on the info.

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