Oh, Hell Yes: All the 2021 Swim Trends You Need to Have the Flyest Summer Everrr

Rachel Torgerson
·6 min read
Photo credit: Hearst Owned
Photo credit: Hearst Owned


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Hark: Summer doth approach-eth. And with it, as is now yearly tradition, comes a whole new slew of super-cute swimwear trends. Thing is, this year is sort of, kinda, most definitely the best one yet. Bc summer 2021 = a major retro mood, ppl! And who TF doesn’t love nostalgia?? Exactly.

Just like the recent fashion trends for regular, non-waterproof clothing, swimwear is leaning heavily on le past, particularly the ’70s, ’90s, and early ’00s eras. Think: poppin’ neon colors, groovy abstract prints, generally fabulous Versace-esque aesthetics, slinky styles, and totally extra add-ons. And we combed through all of it to bring you a comprehensive guide to our fave styles, aka the flyest ones on the (virtual) racks, with options on options for ya to stack your summer wardrobe. Ready to be just as excited for this summer’s selection of bikinis and one-pieces as I am? Scroll on for 2021’s hottest swim trends. You’ll be so happy you did.

NEON

Brights are having a major moment bc, hey, why not wear a blinding shade and command everyone’s attention when you’ve been wearing gray sweats for a year-plus? Quite literally light up the beach in highlighter yellow, electric blue, hot pink, orange, and purple. Even better if the shades combine with the ’90s silhouettes of square necklines, high-cut bikini bottoms, and athletic-leaning styles.

OCEANA

Jump into the ocean without getting your hair wet—aka just take selfies in crisp whites, soft blues, and general water vibes from the sand. These ocean-inspired cool shades and prints are—wait for it—refreshing and obviously will look right at home next to their natural habitat.

GEOMETRIC

Trippy, repetitive-shape prints—think: cubist patterns, distorted checks, wavy linear designs, and more—are gonna be going hard this summer, and I love that for us. I mean, why opt for a solid color when you can be all funky with multiple tones in cool formations? You can wear go-go boots to the beach, right? Okay, fine. Anyway, these patterns scream cool without being, like, screamy so don’t be scared off if you’re usually an all-black-swimsuit kind of person. Don’t be surprised when you go for a snorkel wearing this style of suit and get interrupted by lots of fish trying to give you compliments on your groovy lewk.

OLD-SCHOOL BOHO

My friend, this trend is alllll about the details. Details like lots of fringe, braiding, retro halter necklines, ruching, and neutral colors, which absolutely scream “free spirit” and “this would go great with a crochet cover-up.” More is more, and these suits have all of it.

BARB & STAR

Seagulls in the sand, can you hear my prayer? That everyone wears these loud, ’70s-inspired patterns and serves up a delicious Barb & Star Go to Vista Del Mar–themed hot-girl summer? Bonus points if your bikinis have starfish, seashells, or any other on-the-nose motifs. Trish definitely approves. (If you have no idea what any of this means, cancel your plans and watch this, STAT.)

TRAVELER

Okay, so if “jet-set” were a print, this would be it bc you’ll feel like a fahncy world traveler in some sepia-toned Hollywood classic while wearing these plant- and animal-inspired designs. Even if you’re just wearing ’em under your backyard sprinkler, these suits will have you fantasizing about all the places you want to visit as soon as it’s safe to do so—like a vision board but a bikini or one-piece. Yep, wearing this style of suit absolutely qualifies as manifesting, and no, I do not know how manifesting works.

TIE-DYE

Remember when tie-dye was your quarantine hobby until you stained your bathtub and lost your security deposit? Well, these swimsuits will make up for it, promise. Up until now, your summer-camp fave has been thriving on sweatsuits throughout le pandemic, but now it’s time for the famous dye job to enter a new season of life, by brightening up pools, lakes, and oceans everywhere with its rainbow color scheme. Something about these colors is just so damn flattering on everyone, you know? Well, not bathtubs.

PASTEL FLORAL

I know what you’re thinking and no, these are nothing like the cute lil bb suits you had as a kid. These pastels are all grown-up, k? Yes, the classically delicate flower patterns are, well, classic, but these edgy shapes, cool fabric mashups, and unexpected accents pair perfectly with that v adult piña colada on the ’gram in 2021.

Now, go forth and have the most stylish, carefree warm-weather season possible, friends!


Photographer: Ruben Chamorro. Stylist and fashion director: Cassie Anderson. Fashion features director: Rachel Torgerson. Digital creative director: Abby Silverman. Stylist assistant: Sofia Daguano. Production assistant: Michael Acierno. Hair and makeup: Natasha Katrina.

Neon trend, orange look: Chromat one-piece. Yellow look: Hanifa one-piece. Mejuri earrings. Pamela Love necklace. Green look: Nike bikini. Brandon Maxwell jacket. Fallon Jewelry necklace. Pamela Love ring. Oceana trend, ombré look: Louis Vuitton one-piece and sandals. Gucci sunglasses. White look: Jade Swim bikini top and bottoms. Louis Vuitton sandals. Aurélie Bidermann earrings. Geometric trend, bikini look: Tropic of C suit. Uncommon Matters earrings. One-piece look: Cult Gaia suit. Louis Vuitton mules. Apercu Sunglasses. Old-school boho trend, bikini look: Zimmermann bikini. Etro shirt. Kangol hat. Fry Powers bracelet. One-piece look: Isabel Marant jacket and bag. Isabel Marant Etoile one-piece. Fendi sandals. Uncommon Matters earrings. Barb & Star trend, orange look: Versace one-piece, heels, and hat. Mejuri earrings. Gucci watch. Lady Grey ring. Blue look: Etro top, pants, sandals, belt, and bag. Mejuri earrings. Pamela Love ring (left). Fry Powers ring (right). Traveler trend, bikini look: Ulla Johnson bikini. Tombolo shirt. Jimmy Choo mules. Lele Sadoughi visor. Fallon Jewelry necklace. Zebra look: Montce one-piece. Tory Burch shirt. Pedro Garcia sandals. Gucci sunglasses. Mejuri earrings. Rust look: Tropic of C one-piece. Maryam Nassir Zadeh sandals. Bagatiba necklace. Fendi bag. Tie-dye trend, left look: Ulla Johnson bikini. Ganni scrunchie. Brinker & Eliza necklace. Middle look: Mara Hoffman one-piece. Maslo Jewelry necklace. Right look: Jonathan Simkhai bikini. Ganni scrunchie. Stella McCartney sunglasses. Alighieri earrings. Pastel floral trend, bikini look: Collina Strada bikini. Lele Sadoughi hat. Uncommon Matters earrings. Pamela Love necklace. La DoubleJ bag. Jacket look: Alessandra Rich jacket and bikini. Hunza G scrunchie. Bagatiba earrings. Sensi Studio bag. One-piece look: LoveShackFancy one-piece. Christian Louboutin sandals. Lady Grey earrings.

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