What better way to kick off the arrival of warm weather than with a complete wardrobe refresh? As you replace your heavy knits with billowy blouses and combat boots with strappy sandals, your bikini stash from last season is likely in need of an update too. A good place to start your search is with the top swimsuit trends of 2023: Experts predict that bright colors, grunge-inspired details, and sultry silhouettes will be everywhere at the beach and pool come June 21 (aka the first day of summer).
If the descriptors above sound oddly familiar to you, there’s a reason for this. “Swimwear trends tend to follow after fashion trends, but with unique adaptations to address swim needs,” says Monti Landers, founder of Riot Swim. For example, the sheer looks that were prevalent in spring 2023 designer collections like Tibi and Fendi are reimagined as barely-there cover-ups while fashion’s affinity for cutouts, as evidenced at Coperni’s Spring 2023 show, has inspired alluring cutout one-pieces and bikinis. Additionally, Patricia Maeda, director of women’s intimates and swim at FashionSnoops, says: “The emergence of ‘aesthetics’ on social media also drives what’s popular in both fashion and swimwear. The viral moto trend, for instance, has been picked up by several youth-driven swimwear collections [like Diesel].”
What’s “cool” right now isn’t the only driving factor in how consumers shop for their bikinis and one-pieces. Landers points out that today’s customers are also drawn to brands with a strong sustainability ethos. Shoppers are gravitating towards labels that create swimsuits from deadstock fabric, recycled plastic water bottles or ocean waste, and/or that incorporate compostable packaging in their delivery methods. If finding an earth-friendly bikini is important to you, too, you can peruse through brands like OOKIOH, EVARAE, Mara Hoffman, and Matteau.
Whichever way your preferences lean, you’re sure to find an option that speaks to you ahead, where we’ve compiled the most popular bathing suits of the season. Once you’ve secured your favorite (or favorites), don’t forget to book a much-needed beach vacation — that cerveza or Aperol spritz has your name on it.
Sleek & Sporty
“Influenced by the growing popularity of open-air water sports such as paddle boarding and snorkeling, this year’s swimwear blends functionality and fashion via rashguards, long-sleeve bikini tops, swim tanks, and even wetsuits featuring trend-driven details such as ruching, cutouts and soft prints,” says Maeda. “Think less high-performance and more high-fashion.”
Break out of a basic bikini rut with one of these sensual, body-baring silhouettes. “Cutout details have maintained their popularity throughout the years [because they] reveal skin in all the right places,” says Maeda.
If a simple black two-piece or neutral maillot isn’t to your taste, now is the perfect time to experiment with more eye-catching designs. “Unapologetic bright palettes, bold prints, and over-the-top details like 3D embellishments, hardware, and oversized ruffles with amped-up visual impact are trending now,” says Maeda.
All About Nostalgia
This summer is the perfect excuse to tap into the aesthetic of another time, notes Maeda. “Y2K themes like [denim, metallic sheen, and crochet] along with silhouettes like fly-away tops are adopted into this season’s swimwear collections,” she says.
As Maeda notes, string bikinis offer a hybrid look that can transition from day to night — and Landers agrees. “For a beach-to-dinner outfit, you can’t go wrong with a classic white linen button-up over a string bikini, a pair of denim shorts, and a wide-brimmed straw hat,” she points out.
Cover It Up
This season, play around with sheer cover-ups, crochet dresses, and printed sarongs to take your poolside look from day to night. “Pareos have become a must-have item,” says Maeda. “The style arrives in sexy micro iterations following the micro miniskirt craze that took over ready-to-wear collections last year.”