I was in 7th grade and I fell hard for a ribbed, black and white striped, mock turtleneck bodysuit at Express. My mom bought it for me on a trip to see my cousins in New Jersey. The Paramus Mall felt like the place of dreams. Although I vividly remember making that star bodysuit mine, I don’t recall ever wearing it. Maybe it just felt a little too tight for my little girl bod—but I liked knowing it was mine, like I could pass for an extra on Melrose Place in one fell styling swoop.
The bodysuit is a piece of contradictions. Its ease in making a look appear pulled together and tucked in is undercut by the difficulty one has to go through in order to wear it. No one wants to button those tiny buttons—located exactly where you can’t see them—in front of another human being. I once wore a bodysuit under a jumpsuit and nearly didn’t live to tell the tale. Using the ladies room while wearing a bodysuit is a lesson in patience and dexterity.
Although at one time the bodysuit felt a little too close to its cousin the baby onesie, now it is available in thong versions so as to counteract the dreaded VPL. They also come in tanks, lace-up versions, stripes and turtlenecks, each subtly minimal. The bodysuit has become the unofficial topper of the Monica Rose-ies (a term I just coined here for acolytes of the celeb stylist) and their ilk. The Kendall Jenners and Gigi Hadids, the Emily Ratajkowskis and Rosie Huntington-Whiteleys. Girls who like their looks a little sexy.
I think the bodysuit is at its best when its balanced with something less fitted—vintage Levi’s or a wide leg trouser—all the better to show off a little waist. It’s the next evolution of the cropped top—the last sultry piece for the upper body to make waves in the Instagram-famous fashion community.
And so here we are, living in the age of the bodysuit. For all its perils, the bodysuit offers a streamlined silhouette few other items can boast. And what is love if not seeing flaws and loving fully in spite of them.
By Harper’s Bazaar
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