Swimwear Trends of Summer ‘19

Summertime isn’t complete without copping the hottest new swimsuit trends—and this year’s lineup is flirtier, more diverse than ever. From 90s throwbacks to triple-item ensembles, each style serves major looks—so start taking notes!

Trend #1: Ruffles

Although not necessarily new to the fashion world, ruffles have been showing up particularly often this season. “You’ll find ruffles on shoulders, hips, along the décolletage and around the waist of a bikini bottom,” says style expert and celebrity stylist Alison Deyette. Adding frills to your suit ups the feminine factor as well; not to mention, they are “a great way to add volume for ladies with smaller chests, as they create the illusion of a larger bust,” celebrity stylist Samantha Brown explains. 

Trend #2: High-Cut Bottoms

Return to Baywatch, anyone? The popular style of the early 2000s is coming back in full force, manufactured in bold prints, high-waistlines, and more complementary features. “These bottoms got a bad rap because American Apparel produced high-cut bathing suits that were extremely revealing a few decades back,” says Homa Zaryouni, Founder of 10 Wooster, a monthly designer clothing subscription box company. “However, this style can be quite glamorous. A high-cut swimsuit really lengthens the legs, which is part of its appeal.” To ensure you manifest the trend in the most flattering manner, Brown suggests searching for styles that “expose a few inches right below the rib cage and have a higher cut at the thigh.” That way, legs look their longest and waistlines their most shapely. 

Trend #3: Matching Three-Piece Sets

All the poolside essentials (bikini top, bikini bottom, and coverup) come together as a harmonious trio thanks to matching patterns or fabrics. “This trend is a combination of two things that are hot right now: matching sets and coverups,” says Zaryouni. “We could not keep enough cover ups in stock last summer! We had a lot of requests for ‘something cute to wear by the pool.’ Matching sets were our second most requested item. So combining the two makes sense.” Additionally, the outfit is especially comfortable to wear if you engage in beach sports: “It covers you up in areas you would prefer modesty and also draws on the motorsports trend from luxury fashion brands,” notes Christina Exie, the winner of Project Runway Australia Season 4. But keep in mind that it’s not necessarily a ‘wear once’ ensemble; each individual piece can be paired with others inside your closet. “You can choose to wear them all together or mix and match with other prints and solids to expand your beach vacation wardrobe,” Deyette asserts. 

Trend #4: Smocking

This embroidery technique signifies a stretchy fabric that effortlessly hugs the skin. “Smocking is the ultimate 90s look, which also has a feminine and cute ‘girl next door’ appeal. Because it’s elastic, it will also fit and flatter any size or body shape,” Exie explains. Deyette seconds the notion: “While most smocked bikini tops won’t give much support, they do offer a lot of stretch in both bikinis and one-pieces, which can be super comfy.“ Another benefit? Smocking can transform from day to night depending on its complementary pieces. “A top with smocking can easily transition from poolside to cocktails when paired with a skirt or denim shorts,” Brown confirms. 

Trend #5: Underwire Tops

Considering they are the perfect combination of flirty and functional, it’s no wonder this trend is on the rise. Not only is the design visually appealing, but it conquers the issue of the lack of breast support within a typical swimsuit. “An underwire will give a woman with large breasts like DD’s the support she needs to feel comfortable in a swimsuit and not lead to spillage or backache,” says Deyette. Even smaller-breasted women reap the benefits: “It can give you cleavage, a little lift, and look far more flattering than bathing suits that seem to smoosh and flatten your breasts,” Deyette explains. To adopt the trend on an everyday basis, Exie suggests wearing the top “as a statement piece under a sheer top with a high waisted skirt for a ‘beach to [dinner]’ look.”