The high-waisted swimsuit has become 2015’s hot trend, and it might be a modest swimsuit alternative for BYU women in some situations.
Swimsuit trends change drastically over the years. Several clothing stores, like Urban Outfitters, Forever 21 and ASOS.com, are carrying high-waisted bottoms due to their recent popularity.
Kortni Jeane, a graduate from the Fashion Institute of Design and Merchandising and the designer of Kortni Jeane Swimmers, dedicates her entire online shop to high-waisted swimsuits. Jeane began to recognize the demand with this specific style in high school, where her custom suits began.
“My senior year I was a guinea pig for a swimsuit sewing class. I made myself a suit that everyone else wanted, so I started making them for friends and family members,” Jeane said. “Their friends and family members started asking, and then, all of the sudden, I had strangers showing up at my door asking for a swimsuit.”
Jeane believes the trend has really taken off because of the extra coverage the suits offer. Some bottoms go above the belly button, while some fall a little below. Either way, the style generally offers less coverage than a traditional one-piece suit but more than a bikini.
UVU student Josilyn Harsh, from Murray, has modeled for Kortni Jeane swimsuits and believes high-waisted swimsuits make her feel most comfortable, since she doesn’t wear bikinis but still wants to keep up with the latest trends.
“I choose not to wear bikinis, so my only option is a one-piece or a tankini. Neither of these is very flattering, and high-waisted swimming suits are super flattering and so cute,” Harsh said. “They are still modest, but they’re so ‘in,’ so you don’t feel awkward going out in your swimming suit when everyone else around you is in a bikini.”
While many women, like Harsh, wear the high-waisted suits to be modest, the Richards Building at BYU will only allow the suits under certain conditions. According to the RB’s Activity Appropriate Dress and Grooming Standards, “women’s swim suits must be one-piece or tankini-style.”
Although high-waisted swimsuits may cover just as much as some tankinis, they may or may not be allowed, depending on the suit.
“They are allowed if, at standing position, all the midriff is covered,” said Brett Johnson, an employee at the RB pool. “When you’re moving around, everything has to be covered.” The top accompanying the high-waisted bottoms cannot be low-cut or have a deep v-neck, also per RB rules.
Many off-campus housing locations allow high-waisted swimsuits because of the extra coverage. Michaela Green, a manager for Liberty Square Apartments, said the office abides by community standards and that suits only become a problem if they are clearly immodest or if other complaints are filed from other residents.
“They have to be modest,” Green said. “We haven’t specified on high-waisted suits, because they haven’t really been relevant until last year.”
Regardless of whether the suits cover the whole midriff or leave some exposed, Jeane said, the suits are a fashion statement. “Everyone wants to look good at the pool, and high-waisted suits are a fashion piece.”
Regardless of age or body type, the high-waisted swimsuit seems to be the go-to style when the high temperatures arrive.
“They are modest but also flattering, especially if they go up right to the hips,” Harsh said. “The suits accentuate curves, yet make everyone look skinny.”