The weather’s freezing, outdoor gatherings are tough to manage, and you’ve scrolled through Netflix options approximately one jillion times already, so we feel like we should share a little trick that helps us to get through the doldrums of winter.
We channel warmer days ahead by watching a cadre of classic summer movies. Screening them instantly transports us to days full of bright sun, warm sand, and crashing waves.
So, pop some popcorn, throw on a pair of cutoffs, and pretend that you’re taking refuge in a from the sweltering heat outside in a cool movie theater. Our list of summer-themed films, along with a selection of swimsuits inspired by them, is here to help you melt through the deep freeze.
- Wet Hot American Summer
This 2001 absurdist comedy is set at a summer camp circa 1981, which is reason enough to watch it. But it’s also packed with a bunk’s worth of actors who all became supernova-level stars a short while later. Come for the magically non-aging Paul Rudd, stay for the pre-Oscars Bradley Cooper. Definitely stick around afterwards for the Chris Meloni (he of Law & Order: SVU fame) talking to a can of mixed vegetables about the Vietnam War. It’s better than it sounds here, we promise! We aren’t giving away spoilers when we say that the costumes are vintage-inspired gold, either. Make like Elizabeth Banks’ “hot girl” character, Lindsay, in the Chic Stripe Shirring Bikini. The multicolored stripes on top here echo the laid-back look of the early 80s, with a more modern cut that’s just right for today.
- Blue Crush
The movie that made girls all over the world want to hop on surfboards and shred waves, Blue Crush also launched the career of Kate Bosworth back when it was released in 2002. The depiction of three young women working at a resort while trying to make it on the pro circuit in Maui is still as close as you can get to being a surfer chick without setting foot in the water. The bikinis in the film rank right up there as co-characters, defining a specific type of unstudied cool with their perfectly imperfect look. Mix-and-match triangle tops, paired with string bikini bottoms and surf shorts are the way to do it. Try for yourself with the Leafy Pink Triangle Bikini Top and the Green Scalloped Bikini Bottom. You can always climb into your wetsuit later if you plan to hang ten.
- Dirty Dancing
Nobody puts Baby in the corner, and nobody omits this movie from their list of top summer-themed favorites. As soon as it premiered back in 1987, this Patrick Swayze-Jennifer Grey drama made people rethink what they knew about the Catskills “Borscht Belt” resorts of the early 1960s. Suddenly these staid lodges seemed positively simmering with lust and ripe for romance when seen retroactively. There aren’t that many bathing suits in the film, but the time period and setting were prodigious for swimwear. To nail that final lift––which you should practice in the water before you try on land, FYI––opt for vintage-inspired styles with added support like the Tropical Leafy Molded One-Piece Swimsuit, which features underwires and molded cups to boot.
- Sisterhood of the Traveling Pants
In the movie, based on the best-selling young adult novel of the same name, four best friends––Lena, Tibby, Carmen, and Bridget––prepare to spend their first summer apart. But before they leave for their respective adventures, they find “the One.” No, not true love. You probably already know that we mean pants. By some miracle, they find a single pair of jeans that fits each of them perfectly (clearly, this is a work of fiction). In summary: they laugh, they cry, they share the pants. And just like those mythical jeans, one of our best-sellers, the Beautiful World Print One-Piece Swimsuit, looks good on nearly everyone. We think it’s the whimsical patterned stripes in tandem with the pared-down silhouette that make it work so well.
- The Seven Year Itch
You’ve doubtless seen photos of the iconic subway grate scene from The Seven Year Itch, but it’s worth viewing the full run time of this Marilyn Monroe comedy from 1952. The action takes place during a hot New York City summer, whereupon a married man convinces himself that his blond bombshell neighbor has romantic designs on him. We’re not giving anything anyway by telling you that she’s only interested in his air conditioning unit, but you can watch to see how it plays out for yourself. We’re convinced that the White O-Ring Plunging One-Piece Swimsuit is the modern, beachy equivalent of the famous white halter dress that Marilyn sports in the movie. Though happily, if you’re wearing a bathing suit, it means you’ll be catching a refreshing sea breeze rather than burst of hot subterranean air.
- National Lampoon’s Vacation
After last year’s renewed interested in the great American road trip, we think everyone needs to sit down and watch the Griswold family’s journey to Walley World go (hilariously) awry again. Some of the best moments feature Chevy Chase’s Clark Griswold, everydad incarnate, trying to get flirty with the babe in a red Ferrari, played by model Christie Brinkley. While we love this film for its copious laugh-out-loud scenes, we’re also pretty into the costumes from this 1983 hit. Worn belted with the sleeves rolled up, the White Ruched Cover Up dupes the dress that Christie Brinkley wears to entice a poor, worn-out, long-suffering family man, but you can wear it to attract whomever you like.
- I Know What You Did Last Summer
There’s plenty of horror movies set during the summer. From old-schoolers like Jaws to more recent flicks like Us and Midsommar, it seems that summer is the premier season for scares. But only one, I Know What You Did Last Summer, boasts a starring duo with the six (count ‘em) famous names of Jennifer Love Hewitt and Sarah Michelle Gellar. We don’t know if we’ll ever look at the Gorton’s fisherman and his rain slicker the same way after this 1997 slasher flick, but we do know that we’re wild about the leading ladies’ wardrobes. To get that retro 90s look, try our Black Slip Lace Dress, a frock that Sarah Michelle Gellar’s character would’ve totally had hanging in her closet...along with all those skeletons.
- The Parent Trap
Remember back to a kinder, simpler time. A time before Lindsay Lohan flew the coop for Mykonos and developed a very rare––untraceable, in fact––European accent. If you can remember back this far, you might also be able to recall that the premise for this feel-good film is that identical twins (both La Lohan) meet for the first time at summer camp and try to set up their divorced parents. It was directed by Nancy Meyers, so naturally the decor is to die for, but it’s the coordinating yellow and white outfits that the twins sport in the movie that are inspiring us at the moment. A grown-up version of this look in swimsuit form, the Yellow Striped Front Knotted Bikini is sweet but sassy, as wearable to the local lakefront as it is to a Greek beach club.
Summer lovin’ had us a blast. You know you want to sing along with Sandy, Danny, the T-Birds and the Pink Ladies, so just turn up the volume and go for it. Somehow this movie musical manages to seem not only wildly fun but also reasonably plausible, even though Olivia Newton-John was playing an innocent high schooler at nearly 30 years old. Whatever your age, it’s worth taking inspiration from Sandy’s new look and personality transplant at the end of the movie. We’d bet she’s rock a swimmable sub for her ruffled off-the-shoulder bodysuit in the finale, something like the Black And Striped Off-The-Shoulder Ruffled Bikini, while heading for the beach in Greased Lightnin’.
- Call Me By Your Name
Fancy a summer vacation to Italy where you reside in an antique-filled villa with Armie Hammer and Timothée Chalamet? We’d be there before you could say grazie mille, too. While this 2017 movie is seriously steamy and the sun-drenched Northern Italian set locations are supernaturally beautiful, it’s the closet of secondary character Marzia (played by Esther Garrel) that has us drooling. Take a page from her playbook with a timeless, elegant striped maillot like the Lasting Appeal Stripe One-Piece Swimsuit. Follow it up with the Solid Short Sleeve Midi Dress With Smocked Waist, worn as a swim coverup or on its own, for an effortless look that conveys la dolce vita.