The 7 Biggest Swimwear Trends, According To A Trend Forecaster

The 7 Biggest Swimwear Trends, According To A Trend Forecaster

Between a consistent flow of poolside rosé and beachside vacation pictures at the cornerstone of every IG scroll, it’s hard to not keep swimwear trends top-of-mind —and top-of-shopping list— during the summer season. And while it’s certainly a fun category to indulge in for the all too limited warm-weather months, it can often be an overwhelming one at that: Stressfully sifting through the seemingly endless options on the market for a bathing suit that feels as fashionably forward as comfortable and practical isn’t exactly how you want to kick off your vacation. 

Lucky for me, as a trend forecaster whose job involves “predicting” trends (and sorting through the sea of options) years in advance, I have a head-start on navigating the waters of swimwear; but, this time around, I had another edge that sharpened my shopping skills for the season. I spent the last two months living and working remotely by the beach in Central America.

From the dynamic coasts of Costa Rica to the laidback energy in Lake Atitlan, Guatemala, I observed an array of women from all over the world styling their swimwear. Whether they were ultra-cool surfer girls who aimed for utility with a stylish twist, professional sunbathers soaking up the sun in the tiniest of swim styles with a drink in hand (that’s where you can find me), or fashion insiders finding creative ways to integrate a suit with their everyday looks while strolling the town, watching these trends put into action was the ultimate learning opportunity for narrowing down the best of the best options within the swimwear assortments on the market. 

Ahead, I’ve rounded up the top 2022 swimwear trends that feel of-the-moment, comfortable, and have longevity to make them worth your buy –– and will be a winning option for wherever in the world you’re catching rays this summer.

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.

Swimsuits With Subtle Shine

Oftentimes patent metallics can feel a bit much, especially if you’re having a low-key trip in a tiny beach town. This season, opt for fabrics with an understated shimmer through lurex or a sheened finish offer; this textured approach to metallics comes off as playful and unexpected without feeling over-the-top. Lean into the look by opting for gold or silver, or put a twist on the trend by testing out a pastel. 

Monday Swimwear St. Barth’s One Piece, $, available at Monday Swimwear

Baobab Ola One-Shoulder Bikini Top, $, available at Intermix

Baobab Ola Bikini Bottoms, $, available at Intermix

Swimsuits For All Tie Front Cup Sized Underwire One Piece Swimsuit, $, available at Swimsuits For All

H&M Padded Bikini Top, $, available at H&M

H&M Bikini Bottoms, $, available at H&M

Strappy Swimwear

While an over-abundance of straps can leave unwanted tan lines or be too much in the waves, this is actually one of the most stylish and practical trends on the list. My best advice? Choose an option that keeps you, well, “strapped-in” with primary straps for base support, or give the asymmetrical look a try with a thicker single strap that’s surprisingly secure for your favorite beach activity.

Fashion to Figure Karlee One Shoulder Cutout Bikini Top, $, available at Fashion to Figure

Fashion to Figure Karlee Caged Detail Bikini Brief, $, available at Fashion to Figure

Devon Windsor Gianna One Piece, $, available at Revolve

Janthee Berlin Lizza Top, $, available at Janthee Berlin

Janthee Berlin Leila Bottom, $, available at Janthee Berlin

Farm Rio Ombré Forest Triangle Strappy Bikini Top, $, available at Nordstrom

Lingerie-Inspired Bathing Suits

We’re bringing the bedroom to the beach this season with lingerie-inspired swimwear. If that sounds too sexy for your taste, look to whimsical ruffle trims, sweet bows, and bloomer shorts to execute this trend as well as a palette of pastels and crisp whites.

Gigi Hadid x Frankies Bikinis Lucky Waffle Crop Top, $, available at Frankies Bikinis

Gigi Hadid x Frankies Bikinis Anne Waffle High Waist Bikini Bottom, $, available at Frankies Bikinis

Dkoko Harmony One Piece Saltwater, $, available at Dkoko

Revel Rey Ezra Bikini Top, $, available at Bloomingdale’s

Revel Rey Simone Bikini Bottom, $, available at Saks Fifth Avenue

Same Los Angeles Double Layer Top, $, available at Same Los Angeles

Same Los Angeles Double Layer Bottom, $, available at Same Los Angeles

Return Of The String Bikini

When it comes to swimwear, nothing says classic like a string bikini. This tried-and-true style works for just about every swimsuit-required occasion from surfing to sunbathing. This time around, designers are upgrading the style with hardware details, ruching, and eye-catching prints.

Cult Gaia Liana Bikini Top, $, available at Intermix

Cult Gaia Liana Side Tie Bikini Bottoms, $, available at Intermix

VIX SWIMWEAR Ingrid Triangle Bikini Top, $, available at Revolve

VIX SWIMWEAR Ingrid Bikini Bottom, $, available at Revolve

Londré Triangle Top in Desert Snake, $, available at Londré

Londré Ruched Drawstring Bottom in Desert Snake, $, available at Londré

Zara Side Tie Bikini Top, $, available at Zara

Zara Strappy Bikini Bottom, $, available at Zara

Baywatch Bottoms

Okay, now it makes sense why high-cut bottoms à la Baywatch made such a cultural impact: they’re leg-lengthening, ultra-comfortable, and usually a bit higher-waisted than the average bottom –– the ultimate trifecta, no? This style was a clear winner on the beaches I visited in both bikinis and one-pieces. 

Cupshe Madyson Ruched Back Tie Plus Size One Piece Swimsuit, $, available at cupshe

Good American Always Fits Good Waist Cheeky, $, available at Good American

RIOT SWIM Echo One Piece, $, available at Revolve

Miaou Demi One-Piece, $, available at Revolve

A Textured Approach To Swim

This season, there’s been a clear decline in prints as an assortment leader when it comes to swimwear –– and with good reason; it can cause a style to cycle in and out of your closet much quicker than a solid hue. But, fear not, textured fabrics are here to amp up the classic styles. For a more literal approach, terry cloth is a popular choice while seersucker and ribbed fabrications bring a more subtle yet equally interesting spin on an otherwise-simple bikini that will make you want to throw it on again and again all summer long.

Hunza G Seersucker Swimsuit, $, available at Net-A-Porter

Lively The Ruched Plunge Bralette & High Waist Swim Bundle, $, available at Lively

Mango Textured Swimsuit with Crossed Straps, $, available at Mango

Sandshaped Luna Terry Bikini Top Blue, $, available at Sandshaped

Sandshaped Penelope Terry Bikini Briefs Blue, $, available at Sandshaped

Swimming in Sunset Shades

It’s not surprising that the natural beauty of coastal surroundings is the go-to source of inspiration for the swim industry. Mimicking the sunsets, swimwear in rich hues of shades of pigmented pink, electric orange, and golden yellow is another top trend. Blame swimwear’s new obsession with hot pink on the prevalence of the color in summer ready-to-wear collections. 

Beach Riot Nia One Piece, $, available at Revolve

L*Space x Tessa Brooks Nico Bikini Top, $, available at Revolve

L*Space x Tessa Brooks Jay Bitsy Bikini Bottom, $, available at Revolve

Summersalt The Ruffle Backflip, $, available at Summersalt

Solid & Striped The Spencer belted color-block swimsuit, $, available at The Outnet

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