From Princess Diana to Sarah Jessica Parker, this trusty one-piece has an impressive fan list.

By Eva Thomas
Jul 15, 2020 @ 9:00 pm
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Swimwear shopping is different for everyone — some love it, some despise it, some avoid it altogether. But regardless of your feelings about the seasonal staple, having a good bathing suit on hand is a game changer once heat and humidity hit. So let’s talk about the one style that’ll never let you down: the good ol’ black one-piece.

Much like the LBD, the LBS is an iconic, never-going-out-of-style wardrobe essential that’s been around for decades. Take a dive into the history of swimwear, and you’ll see that the inherently sleek one-piece has quietly (or perhaps not so quietly) been a favorite among celebs and royals for nearly its entire existence.

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In the 1950s, Marylin Monroe repeatedly wore black halter-neck one-pieces while hanging poolside. To this day, the retro silhouette the Hollywood icon made, well, iconic can be found from brands like Norma Kamali and Karla Colletto in both black and other hues. Oftentimes, the style is made with additional ruching on the torso for an extra-flattering fit and a full-coverage bottom that makes it a bit more of a modest choice.

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Fast-forward to the ’90s, and sleek black one-pieces were still as coveted as ever. Princess Diana splashed around in the ocean in the mid-’90s wearing chic black suits, a favorite of hers while vacationing beachside. As Lady Di so elegantly proved, the timeless one-piece isn’t basic or boring — mesh, one-of-kind necklines, cutouts, and lace-up detailing all have the power to take the classic silhouette to new heights.

Although each decade saw the emergence of new swimwear trends — the ’90s were known for super high-cut legs and plunging necklines, for example — the trusty black one-piece stuck around. And while it’s received a makeover here and there, its notoriety has remained.

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Most recently, Sarah Jessica Parker had a Baywatch moment in the simplest black one-piece around. It has no bells and whistles like cutouts or lace-up detailing, and yet it makes a major splash. Parker has been wearing sleek black one-pieces for years, which offers a simple lesson: Invest in timeless, quality swimwear you can wear over and over again (and never get sick of!).

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Credit: rhw/Instagram

SJP isn’t the only celeb who’s played favorites with black one-pieces. Emily Ratajkowski is the queen of daring black swimwear, and based on what she’s shared on social media, it’s safe to say her collection is chock-full of high-cut one-pieces with some bold cutouts and serious plunge. Kim Kardashian West also seems to prefer black bathing suits that hark back to the ’90s, while Rosie Huntington-Whiteley and Lily Aldridge have shown a fondness for Hunza G’s one-size-fits-all styles that are as comfy as they are stylish.

Get your swimwear shopping done in one swoop by checking out celeb-inspired black one-pieces below, like this polished style that’s racked up a 10,500-person waitlist and this Spanx bathing suit made with the brand’s signature shaping support. Trust: They’re reliable and always have you covered — literally.

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Shop now: $178; spanx.com

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Shop now: $95; andieswim.com

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Shop now: $28; amazon.com

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Shop now: $182; vitaminaswim.com

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Shop now: $34; amazon.com

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Shop now: $128; nordstrom.com

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Shop now: $335; net-a-porter.com

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Shop now: $170; frankiesbikinis.com

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Shop now: $220; matchesfashion.com