There is nothing quite like living in swimsuit season all year round. I recently relocated to Miami from New York, and I have to admit, I often find myself reflecting on why I didn’t make the move sooner. From discovering emerging swimwear designers to wear-testing the latest trends, I am undoubtedly bikini-obsessed. After being an editor in the swimwear industry for over six years, fully immersing myself in the world of swim, at times, it feels like I have truly seen it all. However, I am pleasantly proven wrong season after season as swim takes on new silhouettes (sometimes rather shocking ones), innovative printing techniques, and rare fabrications.
In 2021, beloved swimwear trends are getting a much-needed makeover—think sophisticated animal prints and soft-to-touch comforting fabrics. There is something about swim that instantly elevates your mood, perhaps because they symbolize warm summer days or nostalgic vacation memories. Ahead, we’re revealing the top swimwear trends of 2021 that will get you so excited you might just have to start curating your new swimwear collection now. And if you’re like me, we can both agree that you can never have too many swimsuits. From modern cuts and colors to versatile tops, keep scrolling to discover the must-have swimwear trends of 2021.
1. Sculpted Underwire
This season, update your underwire bra-top with a sculpted number. Similar to the flattering fit of the underwire, the sculpted underwire offers the same lift, but with a more dynamic look. And in my opinion, makes for a great Instagram moment.
Complete the set: Fisch High-Cut Bikini Briefs ($97)
2. All Kinds of Keyhole Cutouts
Goodbye side cut-outs, hello keyhole cut-outs. This subtle design detail will instantly elevate your look through its strategic placement on the body proving to be extremely flattering. We love a multipurpose wardrobe piece, so try pairing with a denim short to complete your look.
3. Elevated Animal
By now, we all know animal print is going absolutely nowhere—and we are perfectly okay with that. Freshen your animal print swimwear collection by opting for a more minimal iteration of your favorite prints.
4. Asymmetrical Silhouettes
I have often claimed that I am not a one-piece kind of gal, but I have to admit–I was wrong. This season, body-hugging asymmetrical cuts are taking it to a whole new level. They not only accentuate the curves of the body but they also transform your boring swimsuit into a fresh new style.
5. Pretty Pastels
According to Former Editor and Founder of beloved brand Jade Swim, Brittany Kozerski-Freeney, "For spring we did a pastel collection which has been our strongest collection to date with retailers. Retailers have loved the neutral pastel color palette, which is timeless and pairs with the rest of your closet. We also picked pastels that are flattering on all skin tones."
6. Soft-To-Touch Fabrics
As we spent most of 2020 at home in our cozy loungewear, swim in 2021 will also reflect the same sentiment of finding comfort in what we wear. According to Naomi Newirth, Designer & Founder of iconic swimwear brand Acacia, this season is all about textures. Opt for soft fabrics when investing in classic swimwear silhouettes, like the retro square neckline one-piece or a bandeau bikini.
7. The Minimalist's Triangle
While indulging in bright colors and eccentric prints is always fun in buying new swimwear, this season returns to the beauty of the basics. There's actually nothing boring about a perfectly designed triangle bikini. And the best part about this simple silhouette? Styling it with beach-friendly accessories.
8. A Quiet Tie
Update your belted swim style with a delicate tie detail. Offering the same waist-accentuating details like a belted number, the tie wraps around the waist for a more subtle look.
Complete the set: Mattaeu's Crinkled Bikini Briefs ($135)
9. The Barely There Brazilian
That's right—the '80s cheeky high-hip style is here to stay. "We’re seeing customers and retailers ready to show more skin," reveals Kozerski-Freeney. "For example, our thong bottoms have now become our top sellers not only for e-comm customers but also for retailers who have traditionally been more conservative with their buys. We love seeing customers more comfortable showing skin!"
10. The Multipurpose Top
Perhaps a silver lining of the past year, consumers have shifted to mindfully investing in pieces that are multi-use in their wardrobe. "Our tops are being bought and worn more for use as undergarments and layering pieces beyond just swimwear use. We design all of our suits with this in mind but we’re fully seeing this now with customers and how retailers are buying the line," says Kozerski-Freeney.
11. Retro Feels
While retro-inspired silhouettes have dominated the swimwear trends the last several seasons, from square neck-lines to high-cut briefs, retro mood-boosting prints and color-combinations are being introduced this season.
Complete the set: Faithfull the Brand Marina High-Rise Bikini Bottom ($90)