9 Major Swimwear Trends According To Experts

Every season, a new selection of soon-to-be bestsellers hits our favorite fashion retailers. With so many swimsuit trends and products to keep up with, it’s hard to know what to “add to cart.” In our New Arrivals series, we consult the buyers, editors, and fashion insiders at our go-to shopping destinations to find out their best bets for the season’s wardrobe essentials.

We spend all winter waiting for it, wrapped up in our oversized knit sweaters and counting down the minutes until warmer  days ahead. Summer, the season for all things lightweight and mini, is just around the corner, and we’re dropping layers along the way. But as temperatures begin to rise, our hopefully decluttered closets must adjust accordingly, leaving us poolside-loving people to wonder which swimsuit style will best complete our hot-weather wardrobes this year. 

“Most swim brands just want their wearers to feel good. That is evergreen, and will always be in style,” says Hayley Segar, founder and chief executive officer of onewith Swim. “If someone comes across a swimsuit that they know they can look forward to wearing instead of dreading the next time the need arises, they’ll jump on the opportunity to buy it.”

The easy-to–wear approach doesn’t mean the biggest bathing suit trends will be boring. From Barbiecore pink to mesh detailing, the looks and aesthetics that are popular in clothing right now are making their way into swim apparel too. “We shouldn’t have to sacrifice comfort and support for style,” says Kristina Guilmain, design director at Swimsuits For All.

Ahead, take your beach-going, poolside ‘fits up a notch with 9 swimwear trends that, according to experts, will have you feeling as good as you look. 

At Refinery29, we’re here to help you navigate this overwhelming world of stuff. All of our market picks are independently selected and curated by the editorial team. If you buy something we link to on our site, Refinery29 may earn commission.

Texture


“I love the texture trend, especially crinkle stretch swim, because it adds an interesting visual element that often feels very beautiful when on,” says Sabra Krock, co-owner and creative director of Everything But Water. “Crinkle stretch/knit, mesh, crochet, and other textures have been building in popularity for a while, with more and more brands offering styles that are one-size-fits-most and are very comfortable. Textured swimsuits are becoming more available and are getting more unique design twists with color blocking and other details.” — PAID CONTENT —

Another take on the textured swimwear trend is ruching, which has been catapulted back into popularity thanks to the ongoing Y2K revival. The delicate gathered details on this bandeau bikini top add just a touch of texture, while the string-tie closure allows you to style it multiple ways.

Calzedonia Drawstring Bandeau Swimsuit Top Islamorada, $, available at Calzedonia

Good American Ruched Cropped Swim Tee, $, available at Good American

Mesh

“We’re seeing a lot of buzz surrounding our classic silhouettes that are now available in new fresh colors and prints, as well as new designs featuring mesh, drape, and feminine details,” says Guilmain.We’re seeing styles that have strategically placed mesh panels in a range of colors that look good on every skin tone as well as tankinis with mesh-wrap tops and straps that detach for lounging.”

Swimsuits For All Cut Out Mesh Underwire One Piece Swimsuit, $, available at Swimsuits For All

Bleu Rod Beattie Mesh High Neck One Piece Swimsuit, $, available at Everything But Water

Solid and Striped The Iris Mesh Top, $, available at Solid and Striped

Miraclesuit Illusionists Azura Underwire One-Piece Swimsuit, $, available at Nordstrom

Sleeves


“Fashion-forward full coverage has been popping up more and more,” says Segar. “Brands wanting to embrace the inclusion of women looking for more modest options. Sleeved styles are also cropping up as natural segues from other trends. For instance, long-sleeved, surfing rash guard-esque swim plays on the athletic swim trend, and flouncy swim sleeves take a cue from some of the more hyper-feminine, romantic trends of late.

“Full-length or even three-quarter-length sleeves have the functionality and security of long sleeves (plus a little more sun protection, but it’s still not a substitute for sunscreen!). If you want to go for a more playful sleeved swim look, we’ve been seeing experimental styles like blouson-sleeved swim, ruched short sleeved swim, or a more classic (but still fresh!) take, like ruffle cap-sleeve styles. It’s really blurring the lines of streetwear and swim, which is something I love.”  

Andie The Torquay One Piece, $, available at Andie

Madewell Tie-Back Rashguard Top in Free Floral, $, available at Madewell

SZ Blockprints x J. Crew Long-sleeve Rash Guard Top in Nila Print, $, available at J. Crew

ONEONE Martina Strappy Long Sleeve Bikini Top, $, available at Urban Outfitters

Barbiecore

Barbie mania will be so, so real. I mean, the first Barbie ever was launched with the doll wearing a swimsuit! I think we’ll see all variations of iconic Barbie swim moments from both the Mattel cannon and whatever dynamite looks we’re bound to see Margot Robbie wearing from the movie,” Segar predicts. And if hot pink is a touch too bright, Krock suggests bubblegum pink as a milder alternative that’s still on theme.

PacSun Pink Taylor Cropped Bikini Top, $, available at PacSun

Toast Signature Apex Bikini Top, $, available at Free People

Becca ETC Plus Size Color Code Double-Strap One-Piece Swimsuit, $, available at Macy’s

Love and Bikinis Monaco Cutout Asymmetrical One Piece Swimsuit, $, available at Everything But Water

Twist-and-Tie Fronts

“Twisting creates soft shirring, which leans into the drape and goddess trends,” says Guilmain, who adds that longer-length necklines with twist or tie fronts can beautifully frame the decolletage while cropped pieces can play double duty and be styled with jeans on a night out.

Farm Rio Wonderful Toucans Bikini Top, $, available at Farm Rio

Shade and Shore Puff Sleeve Twist-Front Bralette Bikini Top, $, available at Target

Cupshe Spring Macaron Twist Shape Bralette and V Front Hipster Set, $, available at cupshe

OneWith Westerly Tie-Front Bikini Top, $, available at OneWith

Sporty Styles

“Cuts like racerbacks, racer fronts, square necklines, bandeaus, longline silhouettes, and halters tacitly feel more athletic most of the time,” says Segar. “We love seeing sporty styles in abundance, and I don’t think this trend necessarily signifies an uptick in people looking to marry an active lifestyle with beach-going… it just shows the importance people are placing on functionality.”

Lululemon Waterside Pull-On Swim Top, $, available at Lululemon

OneWith Guthrie Sports Bra Bikini Top, $, available at OneWith

Speedo Vibe Women’s The One Back Solid One Piece Swimsuit, $, available at Swim Outlet

Retro Florals

Groovy-slash-retro florals have gained popularity lately, even among consumers who have previously sworn off floral patterns … There is now so much variety within floral colorways we are able to find patterns with differing scales and layouts that are best suited for our preferences,” says Segar. “These nouveau-retro inspired prints we’re seeing now are so fresh and fun, yet familiar enough with their vintage undertones to feel safe to swim wearers who perhaps wouldn’t have previously opted for a floral swimsuit.”

Onia Pauline One Piece, $, available at Onia

Everlane The High-Rise Hipster Bottom, $, available at Everlane

Cala De La Cruz Alison One-Piece Swimsuit, $, available at Anthropologie

OneWith Harkness Strapless Bandeau Bikini Top, $, available at OneWith

Plunging Necklines

Va-voom necklines,” Guilmain predicts, will trend at the beach and pool because of what she’s been seeing across fashion more broadly. “Just look at the latest red carpet looks. So many celebs are rocking the plunge…. If you have a larger chest and would like to rock this trend, look for adjustable straps and neck ties to allow for customizable support.” Metallics are another red-carpet trend that Guilmain says translates well in swimwear, especially when combined with a deep v — a pairing that she says is perfect for “shining in the sun.”

H&M High-leg Halterneck Swimsuit, $, available at H&M

Swimsuits For All Plunge Tankini Top, $, available at Swimsuits For All

Zara Cut Out Halter Swimsuit, $, available at Zara

Little Black One-Pieces

“One swimsuit trend I believe will never go out of style is a beautifully fitting little black swimsuit. There are a lot of fun details in both one pieces and bikinis, including chains and other hardware, deep v-necks which are always very flattering, suits with peekaboo details, which are also great ways to provide sexiness without sacrificing some modesty. In bikinis, skimpy, multi-wrap, and convertible are all trending. We love a classic sleek maillot though, always,” says Krock.

Chloé Eres Cutout Embellished Swimsuit, $, available at Net-A-Porter

J. Crew Ruffle V-Neck Ruched One-Piece Swimsuit, $, available at J. Crew

In The Style Plus Ruched Side Scoop Back Swimsuit in Black, $, available at ASOS

Johanna Ortiz Malick Plunge-Neck Swimsuit, $, available at MatchesFashion

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