readers ask: dear lucky

Q: Tankinis: Possible to make flattering—and/or chic? —Jen

Stretch nylon tankini top, $220, maliamills.com. Stretch nylon bikini bottom, $35, landsendcanvas​.com

A: Dear Jen, 

Anti-tankini propaganda is our patriarchy in action: The culture wants us to either be One-Piece (Madonna, not the singer) or Bikini (lady of the night). That’s my crackpot theory and I’m sticking to it. But tankinis can be flattering, even sexy, and they are easy and comfy like bikinis and non-stomach-featuring like one-pieces. Three cheers, I say!
Malia Mills’ Cami tankini top is perfect because it does not flare out at the bottom like a dress, nor does it cling like Saran Wrap. And it is a thin, matte-ish jersey, which is key; the big swath of fabric a tankini requires can look cheap super-quickly if rendered 
in a shiny finish. The Cami is also relatively undetailed; it does not scream about itself too much. I keep buying it over and over in 
a ’70s sort of brown and pairing it with various striped or floral bottoms. A “fit expert” of yore would definitely tell you to put the stripes or florals on the top. I think the opposite: For one, witness the number of women currently famously sexy who have larger-than-life rear ends. Two, I think there’s something to embracing a body 
part that some others (or even a former you) might revile. Dress it up and you might just really love it.

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