Sundresses, tanks, and cut-off shorts are great, but few summer ensembles feel as idyllic as a stylish swimsuit outfit. Whether you’re escaping to the beach, lounging poolside, or even hanging around the house, what feels better than a silky-smooth bathing suit as your base, with an airy layer lackadaisically draped over the top? But not all swimsuit outfits are created equal. Some are conducive to casual moments, like those involving jean shorts or a terry cloth robe. And the chic kind that toe the line between party-ready and being pretty for the sake of it — these frequently feature an elegant kaftan, sarong skirt, or diaphanous dress in the mix with one and two pieces. For moments when you’re bikini-clad but need a quick something over the top, low-slung trousers, breezy button-downs, and jumpsuits are perfect for tossing on, and even better with a sunhat, sandals, and woven bag in tow.
“Swimsuits are no longer reserved for the pool or the beach,” says PatBo designer Patricia Bonaldi. One-piece styles can easily double as bodysuits. And long-sleeve swimsuits can be paired with pants or shorts for a look that takes you from brunch with friends to a night out. “We have the best of both worlds,” she adds. “Our hybrid beach dress features a lycra bodysuit attached to a flowy skirt that can take you from poolside to beachside brunch and beyond.”
But before teaming any few pieces together with your bathing suit of choice, you might let 2021’s swimsuit trends guide your next combination. Brittany Kozerski Freeney, owner and designer of Jade Swim, says booty-baring cuts and shimmering fabrics are two big trends this season. “Our sheen fabric has been incredibly popular — our customers love it because it’s a subtle update to our normal matte fabric that adds a luxe and unique touch to our minimal styles.” She continues, “Also, we’re seeing our customers loving styles that show more skin. The Expose Thong was previously a slower seller and is now one of the top styles for [our own] e-commerce, and our retailers who hadn’t previously ordered a style like this are now buying into it [heavily].” Rielli founder Arielle Baril says high-cuts and open backs are two of-the-moment silhouettes for baring extra skin, too. “I love that fashion repeats itself, and we can see a little bit of each era coming back,” she tells TZR. “My personal favorites are cut-out swimsuits that are so fun to style with similarly shaped jewelry.”
While shiny fabrics like lurex “provide some extra sparkle” and are “great statement pieces,” according to Mikoh cofounder Kalani Miller, she says, bold pops of color and splashy prints will top swimsuit collections this year. “Ultra-modern, clean-cut swimsuits contrasted with funky florals and itsy bitsy tie bikinis in colors make you feel fully immersed in spring,” her sister, cofounder and creative director, Oleema Miller, adds. Summersalt cofounder Lori Coulter agrees. “We believe the customer is ready to celebrate and bold colors and prints will be at the forefront of swim trends this season,” she says, highlighting the label’s signature color-block designs as well as new floral, gingham, and abstract prints.
According to Juillet cofounder Whitney Wilkerson, textured fabrics are another key trend for the season, many boasting a retro ’70s vibe. “This year’s trends are going back to basics with the string bikini, but keeping it elevated by using textured fabrics,” like the label’s new Laurel Fleur fabric. Or ribbed and smocked fabrics with an ultra-feminine feel.
Whether you’re in favor of nostalgic cuts, glistening fabrics, minimalist designs, or plucky colors and prints, ahead, discover 11 swimsuit outfits to carry you through summer, from super laidback to event-worthy.
We only include products that have been independently selected by TZR's editorial team. However, we may receive a portion of sales if you purchase a product through a link in this article.
The Swimsuit Outfit: A One-Piece + Tailored Shorts
Oleema Miller says, “When planning a look for a full day or on-the-go for a day trip, I always pack at least one or two one-pieces that can be thrown on with tailored paper bag shorts or baggy boyfriend denim for a more casual look.” Leather sandals and a wide-brim hat are stylish extras for comfortable wear in the sun.
The Swimsuit Outfit: A Bikini + A Dress + Espadrilles
For a daytime pool party, Bonaldi tells TZR, “You can’t go wrong with the classic bikini, but we’ve updated this staple with off-the-shoulder straps, hand-beaded bottoms, and cut-outs that show just the right amount of skin.” Finish with espadrilles and a floaty dress in a lightweight fabric for a timeless look that can go waterside to wherever.
The Swimsuit Outfit: Style With A Matching Cover-Up
Summersalt cofounder Reshma Chattaram Chamberlin tells TZR, “This season, it will be all about multifunctional and joyful garments. We love seeing one and two pieces paired with their matching cover-ups (think ruffle wrap skirts, palazzo pants, shorts, and more) to create a fun and easy-going set that can take you from early morning coffee to sunset cocktails.”
The Swimsuit Outfit: A One-Piece + Breezy Bottoms + Jewelry
Kozerski Freeney tells TZR, “I love the Apex One Piece with a pair of wide-leg pants to dinner for an easy chic look or paired with a beach cover-up skirt for a day of vacation activities.” To enhance the look, mix in a few pieces of jewelry.
The Swimsuit Outfit: Style With A Matching Hat
“We love a good monochrome moment with a suit and matching hat,” Juillet cofounder Lindsay Hofmann says. “We think consumers nowadays are looking for something a little extra to complete the look. Our sets in Meadow and Juniper with our printed bucket hat have been very popular this season.”
The Swimsuit Outfit: A One-Piece + Baggy Jeans + Sunglasses
“Currently, my go-to uniform is a one-piece doubling as a bodysuit paired with jeans,” says Kalani Miller. “We have some great silhouettes that pair perfectly with baggy Levi’s. I’ve been spending a lot of time in Hawaii recently so, having pieces that transition from the beach to street is ideal for when I’m on the go and enjoying the outdoors.” On the hottest days, a hat and sunglasses are the ultimate finish.
The Swimsuit Outfit: A Bikini Top + A Blazer + Dad Sandals
“For a brunch-beach look, I would opt for a bikini top styled with a blazer, boyfriend jeans, and dad sandals,” Baril says. “You can never go wrong with sexy + baggy.”
The Swimsuit Outfit: A Robe + Slides + A Hair Accessory
When donning a swimsuit at home, what better layer to toss on and off than a terry robe? Plus, comfy sandals to slide on and off. Perhaps a clip or scrunchie to pull your hair back with, too?
The Swimsuit Outfit: A One-Piece + A Maxi Skirt + A Wide-Brim Hat
“I love pairing a one-piece with a maxi skirt; it’s the perfect minimalist chic look,” Oleema Miller tells TZR. Always finish with a timeless wide-brim hat for chic sun protection.
The Swimsuit Outfit: Style With A Button-Down + Loose Bottoms
When channeling sweet style, Bonaldi recommends ultra-feminine styles in bold prints. A short-sleeve button-down creates a stylish juxtaposition for a top layer, which reads incredibly fresh with long, floaty shorts or loose trousers.
The Swimsuit Outfit: Style With Leather Pants + Heels
Baril says, for a night out or a dressier occasion, a sleek and eye-catching swimsuit — like Rielli’s Mojave — is so stylish “with leather pants and your favorite pair of stilettos.” Keep the swimsuit as your focal point by finishing with a minimal bag.