Fast Times at Ridgemont High was on HBO (in the olde days kids, before Tivo and Netflix, hell, before the average family even had a VCR) about four times a week one summer when I was little. And though I had difficulty relating to the film’s risqué plot lines at a time in my life when risky behavior meant making prank phone calls, one thing did register indelibly in my young mind: Linda Barrett’s (as played by Phoebe Cates) red bikini. (This bikini is burned onto my boyfriend’s brain too, as it turns out, though apparently for entirely different reasons.)
Not just a bathing suit, this bikini symbolized the incredibly sophisticated lifestyle I imagined all teenage girls led, girls like my babysitter who laid out in the backyard wearing coconut scented suntan oil and drinking diet soda. I’ve had a thing for ‘80s-looking red bikinis ever since. My favorite Linda Barrett-inspired styles? Check out this Lisa Curran, this Lauren Moffatt, and this Rosa Cha.