The 2018 Swimwear Starter Pack: Every Cool New Trend to Know

summer 2018 swim trends



Welcome to the Starter Pack series, a Who What Wear column that dives deep into the seasonal trends everyone's talking about.

Summer, simply put, is a season of happiness. Basking in the sun, swimming in the ocean, and not wearing four layers of clothing at all times cause an unexplainable joy that most welcome with open arms. Speaking of clothing, the only summer item we really care about right now is a swimsuit, and we're here to tell you about every cool summer swimwear trend in existence. Consider this your ultimate swimwear starter pack, filled with the suits both your body and your soul need—basically your one-stop shop for summertime bliss.

To take this festive trend report to the next level, we took the time to really think about what it means to wear a swimsuit. Some people could wear a swimsuit every day of their lives and be content while others would rather wear sweatpants to the beach than be caught dead in a bikini. To both parties, we hear you. So today, instead of grouping your body "type" into a category or shape, we decided to ask our community what parts of their body they like to highlight and what swimsuits they wear to do so. A chorus of voices vouched for low backs and cheeky cuts to show off their butts, halter or strapless tops to accentuate their shoulders and arms, high-cut legs and full one-pieces to bring attention to their legs, high-rise briefs to flatter their waistlines, and triangle tops and deep-V necklines to flaunt their chests.

Following our mini survey, we used their (or should we say your) answers to inform our shopping picks. Hopefully, within each of the eight trends listed ahead, you'll be able to identify a suit you'd be proud to wear all summer long. Because this year, we're not just celebrating the season. We're celebrating your body too.

Let's take a step back in time and channel the suits that were once forward but are now considered retro. Inspired by decades ranging from the '20s to '50s and beyond, swimwear is getting nostalgic this summer by way of ruching, buttons, ruffles, and more.



This summer, make the most of your swimwear drawer by investing in pieces you can wear a variety of ways. It's called mixing and matching—ever heard of it? Take everything you know about color coordination and throw it out the window because per usual, we're encouraging you to think outside the box and pair colors unthinkable for a dynamic duo worth getting excited about.

Smocked swimwear is the easy-to-wear trend we didn't know we needed. What do we mean by that? We mean that, basically, if you're the kind of person who isn't into all the "hype" new trends stir up, smocking is the style to try this summer. All it does is add an eye-catching texture to an otherwise classic suit. Whether you're a one-piece, bikini, or high-rise brief kind of person, we have a feeling smocked swimwear will be right up your alley.

Top and Greta Bikini Bottom ($68) available in sizes XS to XL.



Remember those leotards from the 1980s you were really embarrassed to find out your mom wore to her aerobics class? The ones where the leg lines literally went above the hip bone? Well, that ultra-high leg line is back as far as swimwear is concerned, and we are really excited about it. We're talking higher cuts, longer legs, and silhouettes that are taking us back a few decades.

Top and Ribbed Swim Bottoms ($116) available in sizes XL to XXXL.

Top and The Heartbreaker High Rise ($120) available in sizes XS to L.

Top and Lukey Bottoms ($80) available in sizes XS to L.

Top and Vixen Bottoms ($79) available in sizes S to XL.



The rise of unique color palettes in the fashion industry has not been lost on swimwear. The F/W 18 runways debuted a slew of highlighter hues, and it looks like swimwear designers took a few cues (no rhyming intended). Basically, the more a swimsuit reminds you of a highlighter you have sitting at your desk, the better.

Top and Call Out Bottoms ($58) available in sizes XXS to L.

Love your waist and want to show it off as frequently as possible? Then this next trend is for you. Belted swimwear is officially a thing, allowing you to accentuate the beautiful and natural curves of your body with the likes of an unexpected add-on. Take one look at this swimwear trend and you'll quickly see why we're so keen on the style.



In no way is this trend meant to shame you should barely there string bikinis be your thing, so don't be getting any ideas. The modest swimwear trend is simply here to let you know that if skimpy styles aren't your thing, there are plenty of alternative and cool suits for your liking, including swim cardigans (!!!), short-sleeve crop tops, and sporty long-sleeve numbers.

Your Instagram followers won't even know what hit them when you post a picture of yourself in a fruit-adorned bikini. Truly the fruit of the loom of summer 2018 swimwear, this trend is giving us all the feels. Between cherries, lemons, and even bananas, matching your summertime treats to your swimwear is the bandwagon we've already hopped on, and it's time for you to join.

Bruna Malucelli Swimsuit (coming soon)

Top available in sizes 32A to 36D. Tieless String Bikini Bottom in Lemon Print ($44) available in sizes XXS to XL.

If you're reading this, you've just completed some major shopping, and for that we applaud you. In case you're a marathon shopper and/or on a budget, keep going and shop the under-$100 swimsuits we absolutely love.

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