From tropical prints to neon brights, Prudence Wade picks
out the best swimwear trends of the season.
Many of our holidays might be on hold, but that doesn’t mean summer is
completely cancelled. In fact, this might even be an opportunity to
fully enjoy the warm weather at home, without having to stress about
time off work and getting to airports on time.
One of the best parts of preparing for a summer holiday is buying a new
swimsuit – and even if your trip to the beach has transformed into a
staycation in your backyard, you can still keep this ritual. Like any
other year, the sunshine has brought with it a whole host of new cool
trends in one-pieces and bikinis so there’s lots to choose from. And
remember – even if you’re lounging in your local park in your new
swimsuit right now, at some point you’ll both make it to the beach.
Meanwhile, check out this season’s hottest swimwear trends for
One shouldered cuts
It’s hard to do much with the fail-safe one-piece swimsuit, and the same
styles tend to cycle in and out of fashion. One shouldered bathers are a
classic cut, and this season they’ve seen a surge in popularity with a
This might be using interesting or different materials – woven bathing
suits are particularly cool right now – or adding in retro detailing,
like graphic prints or bright colours.
One shouldered styles are a winner because they’re sleek and
effortlessly cool, and you know they’ll last well beyond one summer.
Bright, highlighter colours have taken over the world of fashion – and
the trend couldn’t be more perfect for swimwear. It doesn’t matter what
style you choose, just make sure the colour is neon and eye-catching.
Not only will these hues make you stand out on the beach, but bright
oranges, yellows and pinks all look especially great next to a tan.
Not all bikinis are built for actual swimming, and a lot of them fly
away the second you dive into the pool. That’s why we love the new trend
for sportier styles, which are functional as well as being bang on
These styles tend to involve long-sleeve swimsuit tops – either as a
bikini or one piece – and in sporty materials like scuba. The bikini
styles are multi-purpose – you can easily wear the top with a pair of
high-waisted shorts and no one will have any idea you’re wearing a
Whether you want to actually do some swimming or prefer a bit more
coverage, this trend will give more support than your average string
If it’s good enough for Jennifer Lopez, it’s good enough for us. Ever
since Lopez brought back her iconic green dress at the Versace SS20
show, tropical prints have taken over fashion – and swimwear hasn’t been
immune to its charms.
The print can err into kitschy, so make sure the cut of your bikini or
one piece is sleek and modern.
Swimwear has always been a place you can experiment. After all, it’s not
like we have that many opportunities to don our bathing suits, which is
why it makes perfect sense to go for OTT and fun styles when you do.
This is where the trend for ruching comes in, which has recently taken
over Instagram. We’re not talking about subtle effects in choice areas
here – but all-over ruching, with the whole bathing suit made up of
gathered fabric. And particularly if you’re only modelling it in your
backyard, why not choose something fun and ever so slightly silly?
Call it the Love Island effect, but swimsuit designs have recently seen
a drastic change. They’ve slowly but surely been creeping up, with
high-cut bottoms and bathers that sit way up on your hip bones.
You can definitely see echoes of the Eighties in this trend – back in
the day, this was the preferred style of swimwear (and remember those
high-cut leotards?). It might not necessarily be the most comfortable of
styles, but it certainly makes a statement.
Underwired for extra support
With cuts getting higher and triangles smaller, sometimes it can feel
like the classic bikini is disappearing. Not to worry, because there’s
also been a surge in popularity around underwired and structured styles.
This is undoubtedly welcome news for those with a fuller figure or bust,
or anyone who feels more comfortable with a bit more support in their
If the all-over ruching trend is a bit much for you, the trend for
ruffles might be a better match. This is a feminine and romantic style,
which involves ruffles along the neckline of your bikini or bathing suit
that can be as minimal or maximal as you want.
We recommend choosing ditsy patterns or pastel colours for this look, to
really lean into the romantic vibe of the ruffles.