Everyone's taste in and approach to bathing suit shopping is different. Some shop for one-pieces and bikinis based on the season's latest offerings. Others stick to tried-and-true silhouettes, colors, and fabrics, regardless of seasonal trends. If the former sounds like your MO, a trend you won't want to sleep on is one of 2020's biggest swimwear trends: romantic, feminine swimsuits. Think super-sweet floral prints, eyelets, ruffles and ruching, and bows. A few scrolls on Instagram lately, and you've undoubtedly witnessed friends, influencers, and the like in a floral-printed underwire bikinis á la the '80s and '90s or a frilled suit with ruffled hems or bow adornments.
Though neon colors, shimmering metallic fabrics, and bold animal prints are prominent swimwear looks this season, frilled silhouettes with darling details and softer touches have risen in the ranks. "The ruffle trend has been around for a while. However, I think '80s florals are a newer trend for this season," Tiffany Hsu, Mytheresa's Fashion Buying Director, tells TZR. "We have seen a lot of high-cut [silhouettes] and very sexy shapes. Bold prints are always a hit in this category."
For swimwear labels like the Ontario, Canada and Lagos, Nigeria-based brand Andrea Iyamah, and the Los Angeles-helmed label Juillet, feminine details are collection signatures. "Ruffles are fun, exciting, and flirty," says Andrea Iyamah of her namesake brand. "[They] always give any item a burst of excitement." Juillet's co-founders, Lindsay Hofmann and Whitney Wilkerson, regularly look to decades past as sources of inspiration for their collection. "We have a deep nostalgia for the '70s and try to incorporate what we love about that into our designs and prints," Hofmann says. "Ruffled cotton blouses, sweet eyelet tees, flowy floral summer dresses. It's all about exuding a feeling versus a trend."
According to Samantha Gabriella Khoury, founder and creative director of the Los Angeles-based swimwear brand, Amaiò, the past always re-emerges when it comes to trends like ultra-feminine swimwear, but in a way that's reinvented for the current context. "Whenever we embrace trends like these, we do so in a way that is timeless and unfussy, with nothing oversaturated or overdone," Khoury tells TZR. "Our eyelets are simplistic in design, our florals are more abstract than literal, and anything ruffled is done so with the finest fabric, so it lays just-so."
For the girliest of tastes, Wilkerson suggests styles that tend bohemian and romantic. "I love how our customers have strongly gravitated to [eyelets] this season. It creates a unique look and feel on everyone who wears it." For Khoury, styles with a moody romance are among her favorites from dark floral prints to tops with bustier cups. "I think lingerie-inspired swimwear really makes women, along with myself, feel feminine in a completely luxurious way."
The most minimal take on feminine swimwear is an underwire silhouette, which Iyamah recommends in a bright color for a modern take on retro. "I love a high-cut and high-waist bottom with a W-shaped wire bra."
If you don't already subscribe to a super-feminine aesthetic, there are ways to embrace this swimwear trend and still feel like yourself. "I prefer more simple cuts," Hsu tells TZR. "I would suggest going with smaller ruffles or more minimal silhouettes when you try out prints. I love off-the-shoulder pieces and high-waisted bottoms. It's the perfect way to go with very feminine styles and avoid awkward tan lines."
Iyamah, Khoury, and Hofmann suggest striking a balance when approaching the ultra-feminine swimwear trend for a modern look, too. "We have a lot of different silhouettes in each colorway or print so that you can pair a more feminine top with a cleaner cut bottom or a floral print in a simpler cut," Hofmann says.
Khoury and Iyamah both suggest specific colors for a not-too-sweet result. "Color plays a key role in how soft ruffles may seem," Iyamah tells TZR. "I think trying ruffles in darker tones helps with a subtler look if you're not super feminine."
Koury says. "You may prefer to try a ruffled garment in a more muted color palette, rather than one in blush tones. It's still feminine, but less overtly so."
From saccharine frills and prints to understated cuts with delicate whims, keep scrolling to discover an edit of ultra-feminine swimwear to shop — or get inspired by — now.
We only include products that have been independently selected by The Zoe Report's editorial team. However, we may receive a portion of sales if you purchase a product through a link in this article.