Not everyone can carry off a bikini well. In Bollywood, Kareena Kapoor, Bipasha Basu and Priyanka Chopra are the stars who do it with panache thanks to their attitude and confidence, say fashion experts.
While Kareena wore a lemon bikini for Tashan and became the talk of the town for her size zero, Priyanka slipped into a sexy golden swimsuit for Dostana.
"Kareena and Priyanka carried off their bikini act in their respective movies pretty well because they had the right attitude and confidence to carry off the two-piece with aplomb. They were sure of their bodies as well as the way they were looking on the camera," ace photographer Dabboo Ratnani said.
"Both of them have great bodies and are neither too thin, nor too plump. They have perfect voluptuous bodies which looked perfect in the bikini," he added.
According to Mumbai-based celebrity designer Gavin Miguel, Bipasha rocked the big screen when she wore a bikini in Dhoom 2.
"Bipasha really took the audience by surprise with her bikini act in the movie. She looked hot, sexy and very confident. The best part about her is that she has got a well-proportioned body and so a two-piece looks good on her," said Miguel.
"Priyanka too has the oomph factor. Even though she is not that tall, the way she looks and carries her swimsuit is commendable. You just can't take your eyes off her," he added.
Jacques Heim and Louis Reard invented the two-piece beachwear, which turns 63 this year, in 1946. The designer duo named it after the Bikini Atoll in the Marshall Islands, the site of the atomic bomb testing.
As far as Bollywood is concerned, the bikini has surely come of age over the years with actresses opening up to the idea of wearing sexy swimsuits on screen.
In 1958, Nutan took the Hindi film industry by storm when she wore the swimming costume in Dilli Ka Thug. Her colleagues like Saira Banu and Vyjayanthimala too scorched the silver screen when they slipped into the costume for April Fool and Sangam respectively.
Later, Bollywood beauties like Sharmila Tagore, Zeenat Aman and Parveen Babi dared to wear the two-piece on screen, but actresses after them shied away from the swimsuit. However, Dimple Kapadia, who slipped into the two-piece for Raj Kapoor's Bobby, wore it again for her comeback film Sagar.
Now, it is no more taboo and actresses like Bipasha, Neha Dhupia, Minissha Lamba and Amisha Patel have carried off tiny two-pieces with confidence.
Miguel also feels these actresses should be applauded as they have overcome the hypocritical mindset of society and proved that even a two-piece suit can be carried with grace if you have the body and confidence.
Ratnani points out that photographers too play a pivotal role in deciding how a bikini looks on a woman.
"The persons shooting these actresses play a pivotal role because if they don't bring in their creative aesthetics together to click their pictures, the result could be disastrous. A photographer or a camera person can either make a picture or scene look natural, classy or vulgar," Ratnani stressed.
"Small things like light arrangements, right lenses, background location and camera angles also play an important role in bringing out the best from these beauties," he added.
According to photographer Jatin Kampani, there should also be a "comfort level" between the actresses and the camera person shooting her in a swim-suit.
"While shooting a female in a bikini, one should have a great rapport with that person. She has to share a comfort level with the photographer... only then there would be no inhibitions and she too will be comfortable on screen," Kampani explained.
Kampani said that he would never recommend clicking an actress in a bikini if she is not in shape.
"She will look awful," he exclaimed.
Kampani has no Bollywood favourites but says most of them have got great bodies.
"But the most important factor is how effortlessly they carry their two piece. Not everyone can carry it with aplomb. One has to be comfortable with one's body; only then things do magic on screen."