Welcome to your one-stop shop for all things swimwear this year. We couldn’t have you shopping for your summer suit without doing some research first, so we rounded up everything you need to know about what’s in—and why—and packaged it all together for you in today’s admittedly beautiful and easy-to-digest swim report. While our own intuition rarely fails us, we took things one step further and reached out to three sources to give us the hard data on what’s worth paying attention to in the world of swim right now.
First, our Instagram-savvy friends at Dash Hudson told us which photos are overperforming in terms of engagement (meaning which get the most action in terms of likes, comments, reach, and more). Next, our data team chimed in with the swim-related terms people in the U.S. are searching most on Google, showing us the various trends’ impact on a larger scale. Lastly, our sales team corroborated this all by checking what swimsuit types our very own readers are actually buying the most of at the moment. Read on to see how this came together in the form of five major trends, see them in action, and shop our top picks for each one.
It’s no surprise that the swimwear sector has recently caught up with the fashion world’s overarching obsession with the animal-print revival. With nearly every brand investing in some version of the trend, it’s among the easiest to find both in stores and online. Currently, animal print outperforms other swimwear content on Instagram by 108% and holds top-seller status among Who What Wear readers. This includes leopard, zebra, and cheetah in a range of styles and colors.
Given the photogenic nature of the trend, it’s also no surprise that It girls are quick to fill their grids with various animal-print swimsuits, too. From my perspective, however, the best thing about the trend is how accessible it is. No matter your budget or preferred style of suit, there’s an option for you. This is most easily evidenced by the $19 Amazon bikini our entire office is ordering.
Floral is the approachable print that never fails. While it’s classic in nature, it definitely has its cyclical peaks and valleys in different categories, finding popularity in various It items season after season. We’ve seen floral dresses blow up and then simmer down, flower-embroidered denim have its moment, and for the season ahead, it’s all about swimwear. Floral swimsuits are not only top sellers on Who What Wear but also outperform other swimwear content on Instagram by 11.4%.
Lucky for all of us, the trend also comes in many iterations. Whether you’re partial to a microprint in neutral colors or big, bold flowers in bright hues, you can find a suit that feels very on trend for 2019 from brands that are both under the radar and highly established. In other words, your only problem will be narrowing down all your favorites.
Shop the matching Elena Floral-Print Bikini Bottom ($130).
Getting to my personal favorite swimwear trend, we have high-waisted bottoms, which, as Dash Hudson pointed out, date back to the '50s, giving the look a lot of leverage. With over 90,000 average monthly Google searches in the U.S. and an over-engagement rate of 60% on Instagram, high-waisted bikinis are still gaining popularity into 2019. This is also clear when shopping, as the vintage-inspired separates are becoming as common an option as regular-rise styles.
As with any trending silhouette, from lace-up to button details, both classic and emerging brands continue to find fresh ways to put a spin on high-waisted swimsuits. Of course, if simple is more your speed, you’re covered there too with a range of minimalist options in seemingly every print and color.
Shop the matching Exclusive Printed High-Waisted Bikini Briefs ($195).
Shop the matching Meg Ribbed High-Waisted Bikini Bottom ($45).
Shop the matching Seamless High-Waisted Bikini Bottom in Mixed Gingham ($56).
Once considered the “boring” or “outdated” choice, one-piece suits have had quite the comeback among the fashion set in recent months. With the highest monthly search volume at 126,000, one-piece swimsuits have undoubtedly solidified their place alongside bikinis, and Who What Wear readers’ purchase patterns prove it.
From prints to solids, asymmetric styles to classic silhouettes, there’s no limit to what brands are doing with one-pieces this season, and shoppers are reaping the benefits. If you love to get more bang for your buck, you can also style one-pieces beyond the beach, like your typical bodysuit, elevated. Try wearing your suit with long shorts and strappy sandals or high-waisted pants and slingbacks.
High-cut swimsuits (which, to clarify, refers to the types of suits that sit higher on the waist in order to show more of one’s upper thighs) have gone beyond niche status and now join the ranks of top swimwear trends. High-cut swimwear is a top seller with our audience and outperforms other swimwear content by an engagement rate of 30% on Instagram, in both bikini and one-piece iterations.
My senses tell me that while at first many people simply considered the '90s-inspired silhouette a bolder choice of cut, it's now recognized by the mainstream for its leg-lengthening and thus flattering abilities, just as it was back then. Also, depending on how high you want it to sit, this look can often be achieved with bikinis you already own by merely pulling them up at the sides. If you’re looking for a more dramatic look, however, there are countless high-cut bikinis and one-pieces you can shop.
Shop the matching Ribbed High Cut Cheeky Bikini Bottom ($30).