Basic, vintage or cut-out? Which swimwear style for summer 2021?

·2-min read
Asymmetric, retro, underwired or bold prints: which swimwear style will you choose for summer 2021?

Is it really that time of year again already? As people itch to get back to beaches, sunshine and poolside loungers, many have already started hunting down the ideal swimwear to accompany them on this year's eagerly awaited -- and thoroughly deserved -- vacations. From cuts and colors to motifs, here's a look at the swimwear styles looking red-hot for summer 2021.

With covid-19 taking getaways off the agenda for many this spring, some have used the time wisely to start planning -- or at least dreaming about -- the upcoming summer vacation season. That inevitably involves choosing swimwear, and it looks like many fashion fans are heading back to basics with this year's styles. This is reflected in online enthusiasm for style staples like the classic black bikini or simple scoop-back one-pieces, which have seen a 316% increase in clicks compared to last year, according to the latest insights from the Stylight* global platform.

From cuts to cut-outs

Asymmetric bathing suits -- with one-shoulder designs, or with one wide strap and one skinny strap -- could be back in a big way this summer (+230%), joined by cut-out swimsuits, with cutaway sections at the stomach, hips or back (+182%). This "less is more" theme is also echoed by growing searches for underwired swimsuits (+68%) -- a surprising uptick considering that women have totally turned their backs on underwired lingerie since the pandemic, as they look for comfort above all.

When it comes to colors, it's particularly surprising to see brown riding high in online searches. While summer is typically a time for bright, uplifting colors -- especially given our current need for joy and fun after such a long period of uncertainty -- it's this autumnal shade that seems to be proving popular around the world (+113% clicks for brown bikinis in 2021).

Incoming prints

Prints and motifs will be on the agenda this summer, but not just any. Patchworks of bold prints are proving particularly popular (+1,000%). This print-blocking effect involves patching together florals, stripes, polka dots, animal prints and more in a bold mashup that certainly won't go unnoticed. Retro prints are also looking hot (+1,000%), particularly if they nod to the must-have silk shirts of the 1990s. Staying on a retro theme, gingham is shaping up to be another major print trend of the season (+132%).

Note that sustainable swimwear brands have been continuing to gain ground in recent years, with some achieving must-have status. Casa Riki (+215%), Jade Swim (+68%) and Fisch (+39%) stand out as favorite brands in the sector.

*This report is based on Stylight internal data from the 120 million annual users of its global platforms. Clicks were analyzed in various product categories during the period of January 1, 2021, to April 11, 2021, and compared with the data from the same period of the previous year.

Christelle Pellissier