Americans love to wrap themselves in the flag — literally, metaphorically, politically … any way imaginable.
And marketers love to capitalize on Yanks’ fondness for Old Glory. If there’s a consumer product out there that hasn’t at some point been sold in a special Stars and Stripes edition, I haven’t seen it. And it’s not just consumer items: pets, buildings, fire hydrants, you name it: everything at some point gets the full flag treatment.
Nowhere is this more noticeable than in the fashion industry, where the Stars and Stripes are ubiquitous. Don’t get me wrong — I really don’t have anything against flag fashions. But we’re Canadians — and, while we love our maple leaf ensign as much as Americans love theirs, I’ve never actually known anyone who owns an item of clothing based on the Canadian flag (not counting those red-and-white Olympics mittens, of course!)
Which brings me to summertime and the 4th of July and the coming invasion on public beaches across the USA of that most iconic fashion piece — the American flag bikini.
Though once a kitschy novelty piece, the American flag bikini got a dramatic status upgrade last year, courtesy of GQ magazine, which ran this image on its cover:
Make no mistake: that Jessica Simpson image can now be found on the walls of every military bunk, barracks and bivouac from Baghdad to Kandahar, not to mention boys’ bedroom walls from San Diego to Boston and all points in between.
It also spawned a mini-boom in the manufacture and sale of American flag bikinis. There are dozens, possibly hundreds, of variations of the flag bikini available these days, so finding one isn’t a problem.
Sadly, most flag bikinis are found in costume shops or erotic novelty stores; the kind of thing that strippers wear on Independence Day, know what I mean?
However, some swimwear labels take this stuff seriously, and we found a few flag bikinis worth saluting this holiday weekend and throughout the summer.
Ujena.com has been offering decent flag bikinis for several years, and now offers 4 styles for under $100. The American Dream Bikini (below left) makes nice use of a waist band for control, all for $79. The American Spirit Halter bikini (right) is another worthy choice at $59.
The online label Venus Fashion has come up with a couple of interesting variations on the flag bikini this year. The American Pride banded halter bikini (below left) has a wide elastic band under the bust for support, and comes in both low-rise and scoop bottoms, all for $65. Venus uses the same red-and-white pattern for its American Pride enhanced bra bikini (right) which offers molded foam cups for added oomph, and is priced at $68 for two pieces.
Enjoy the holiday weekend and remember: all those lusty stares you’re getting on the beach are simply patriotic pride!