Similar to their ready-to-wear counterparts, swimwear trends have ebbed and flowed throughout the decades with distinctive silhouettes, patterns, and design details that punctuate their place in time. For every shoulder pad, bell bottom, or plaid flannel walking down the runway, there was an equally zeitgeist-y swim moment happening simultaneously. And while '80s and '90s trends have dominated swimwear more recently, the swim trends worn by 1960s style icons hold an especially important position in swimwear history thanks to their fun-loving attitude toward splashy colors and bold silhouettes. It was, after all, the era of women like Diana Ross, Twiggy, and Jane Birkin — the mood was decidedly fearless and the result? The clothes are captivating and energized.
As summer quickly approaches with its sun-drenched afternoons full of outdoor lounging (with proper SPF, of course), it's the perfect time to reconsider your swimwear. If you've yet to land on what new bikini purchase to make for 2020, why not channel the '60s icons seen below for your months spent in the sun? The options run the gamut from pared-down minimalism to graphic prints that make a statement. On the silhouette side, you'll find one-pieces, high-waist bottoms, and also a slew of pieces that show off a bit more skin. A trip to Saint Tropez may not be an option this year, but you'll find below that no matter where you relax, channeling 1960s icons will make it feel glamorous.
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1960s Swim Trends: Groovy Florals
If there's one print that feels emblematic of the '60s it's arguably a psychedelic, groovy floral. Naturally, this cheery pattern translates swimmingly onto a bikini, as seen on Faye Dunaway and Sharon Tate above. Just add your favorite sun hat and straw bag for the perfect off-duty aesthetic.
1960s Swim Trends: Underwire Cup
While triangle bikini tops and bandeaus are stylish in their own right, an underwire option provides superior support. If you're searching for a swim top that feels as comfortable as your bra and won't fall off with the crash of an ocean wave, this trend is your safest bet. Thanks for the hot tip, Tsai Chin and Brigitte Bardot!
1960s Swim Trends: Modern Minimalism
There's a reason mod style was such a buzzword during the '60s, women like Jane Birkin and Bond girl Ursula Andress perfected the art of pared-down dressing. When it comes to swimwear, this simplistic ease is exceptionally appropriate and makes accessorizing your bikini all the more versatile.
1960s Swim Trends: Sporty Stripes
Swimwear is the perfect category to infuse a little fun into, which is why a sporty stripe ought to be at the top of your list. Twiggy and Audrey Hepburn illustrate why a graphic stripe in a pop of color can transform your bikini moment.
1960s Swim Trends: Patterned One Piece
While printed one-pieces aren't necessarily restricted to the '60s, women like Charlotte Rampling and Jackie O proved that an elegant silhouette teamed with a stylish print can make for a timeless swimwear approach that can work oceanside, at the pool, or even sunbathing in your backyard.
1960s Swim Trends: Bloomers
The bloomers as seen on Hayley Mills and '60s model Valerie St. Helene make a strong case for eschewing the expected teeny bikini shape and trying something with more coverage.