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Life & Style

Swimsuit styles set to make a splash this summer

a woman wearing a neon green bikini on the beach. PA Photo/iStock.

By Prudence Wade

Many of our holidays might be on hold, but that doesn’t mean summer is completely cancelled.

One of the best parts of preparing for a summer holiday or beach season in general is buying a new swimsuit. 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.

Check out this season’s hottest swimwear trends for inspiration…


Tummy Control Striped One Shoulder Swimsuit, £29.50, available from M& PA Photo/Handout.

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 fresh spin.

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.


Highlighter colours

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.


Sporty styles

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 trend.

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 swimsuit.

Whether you want to actually do some swimming or prefer a bit more coverage, this trend will give more support than your average string bikini.


Tropical prints

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.


All-over ruching

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?


ASOS DESIGN Mix and Match Crinkle V Front Crop Bikini Top in Faded Fluro Orange, £14; ASOS DESIGN Mix and Match Crinkle High Leg Hipster Bikini Bottom in Faded Fluro Orange, £12, available from ASOS. PA Photo/Handout.

Eighties-style cuts

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 swimwear.



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.

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