Basic Training: Summer's Best Black Bikinis

Looking for an official sign that summer's arrived? This. Is. It. Your black bikini is like your summertime security blanket: You practically never leave home without it because you know it will look amazing whether you're heading to the coast, your friend's rooftop pool, or simply hitting up a bonfire on the beach.
But, of course, selecting that go-to item may not be as clear as black and white black. So, to point you in the direction of your next favorite two-piece, we're weighting in on the sets that have never steered us wrong. Check out our team's top picks ahead, and prepare for this year's big (bikini) reveal.
1 of 10
The Timeless Bikini

"This is my ultimate go-to from Petite's pared back and totally no-nonsense, which I love. it's also affordable, timeless, and retains its quality summer after summer. How could you go wrong?"
Christene Barberich, editor-in-chief

Petite Bateau Women's Triange Bikini, $70, available at Petite Bateau.
2 of 10
The Play-Hard Bikini

"I can't be at a beach or pool without playing games or splashing around. Unfortunately, with regular string tops and bottoms, I always have to be careful they don't get undone. I love this bikini set from Speedo because I can move around and play without being self-conscious of my swimsuit falling off. An added bonus, they're still super cute!"
— Laurie Espino, editorial production assistant

Speedo Solid Raceback Sport Top, $33.60, available at Speedo; Speedo Solid Hipser, $42, available at Speedo.
3 of 10
The Sunbather Bikini

"I despise triangle tan lines (like, it's a major pet peeve of mine), so I'm a bandeau girl through and through. My favorite is the Vita Bikini from Charlie by Matthew Zink — a bit pricey, but worth every penny! While a basic black bikini may seem like a find-anywhere sort of piece, it's really all about the cut, and Charlie by MZ is absolute perfection."
— Jessica Teves, managing editor

Charlie by Matthew Zink Vita Bikini, $210, available at Charlie by Matthew Zink.
4 of 10
The Perfect-For-Petites Bikini

"I'm teeny weeny on top (like, I-wear-training-bras teeny weeny), and I find that one-pieces generally make me feel like a really long baby between my fuller stomach and my nonexistent chest. Because of that, I exclusively wear bikinis, and the XS string bikinis from Old Navy fit me perfectly. I like to take out the padding since it can end up looking a little cup-y, and with the tie strings, I don't have to worry about feeling like it's too tight."
— Connie Wang, senior global editor

Old Navy Women's Mix & Match Bikini Tops, $15, available at Old Navy; Old Navy Women's Mix & Match Bikini Bottoms, $15, available at Old Navy.
5 of 10
The Accessories-Included Bikini

"I love this bikini from BCBGMaxazria because it balances out my smaller top with my curvier bottom! Plus, the gold accents give it a sophisticated edge — it's almost like wearing jewelry to the beach!"
— Rebecca Taras, Chicago editor

BCBGMaxazria Halter-neck Triangle Top, $80, available at BCBGMaxazria; BCBGMaxazria Hipster Biokini Bottom, $70, available at BCBGMaxazria.
6 of 10
The Lazy Girl's Bikini

"I have NO patience for tanning. I rather be in the water or grabbing my second round of drinks. This simple bikini allows me to move about freely with no worries of X-shaped or A-shaped tan lines across my chest."
— Amanda Savinon, photo assistant

Nasty Gal Watch Bandeau Bikini Top, $40; available at Nasty Gal; Nasty Gal Night Watch Bikini Bottom, $32, available at Nasty Gal.
7 of 10
The Not-Too-Skimpy Bikini

"I really don't do well with string bikinis and other such skimpy things — but my crazy '80s Malibu one-piece isn't great for tan lines, either. This has a sensibly high, flattering waist that's at about the same level as most of my semi-mom-jeans, perfect for crop top season!"
— Lexi Nisita, associate community editor

Beth Richards Brigitte Bikini Top, $129, available at Shopbop; Beth Richards Brigitte Bikini Bottoms, $110, available at Shopbop.
8 of 10
The Supportive -Friend Bikini

"This is a bit cliché, but I'm obsessed with J.Crew's Tulle Draped Bikini. The twist-top bandeau is super flattering and offers support with an oddly comfortable (!) underwire boning, and the bottom is full-coverage with a draped tulle-overlay, so it's modest but super-chic, all while minimizing love handles. The luxe fabric doesn't hurt, either!"
— Lauren Caruso, staff writer

J.Crew Tulle Bandeau Top, $60, available at J.Crew; J.Crew Tulle Draped Bikini, $56, available at J.Crew.
9 of 10
The Not-Just-For-The-Beach Bikini

"A basic black bikini should be able to withstand whatever you throw at it, which is why I think my basic is always pretty sporty. That way, I can just throw on a hoodie after a day at the beach and just feel kind of preppy, and it's awesome. Also, everyone looks toned in a sports bra, but the soft white detailing keeps it from being too 'volleyball.'"
— Leila Brillson, news editor

Estuaries Drake Bikini Set, $258, available at Estuaries.
10 of 10
The Simply Seamless Bikini

"Maya is THE BEST — a classic black bikini that's seamless (read: super comfortable) and flattering, especially on the bum, thanks to some strategic ruching."
— Jeanine Celeste Pang, acting West Coast senior editor

Maya Swimwear Signature Triangle Top and Tie-Side Signature Bottom, $185, available at Maya Swimwear.