2020 SWIMWEAR TRENDS
Spring/Summer ’20 Swimwear Takes on an Array of Looks
Swimwear for Spring/Summer 2020 takes its cue from such ready-to-wear trends as graphic minimalism, statement sleeves, the resurgence of crafty crochet and macramé as well as a more covered-up approach.
Clean, sporty looks reign, made interesting with experimental cuts, placed seams and dramatic necklines. Colors range from sandy neutrals and classic reds and navys to brights popped with neons.
In contrast to all the crisp sportiness, an eveningwear direction emerges, with black-based swimsuits cut like cocktail dresses. Sheer cover-ups let swimsuits take center stage.
Color blocking is a perennial for swimwear. For next season, the newness is in clashing tonals of pinks/oranges or greens/blues, often with neon accents. Chunky plastic zips add more graphic contrast. Silhouettes range from crossover halters to simple two-piece styles with brief bottoms, either with classic low-leg or high-cut thighs. Triangle string bikinis work well here too, trimmed with fluorescent piping. Cover-ups are part of this story, with caftan shapes taking a sporty turn with vivid brights, drawstring details and leg-revealing slits.
Crochet and macramé underline the current passion for crafts. A rough, unfinished look and fringed edges add to the handmade aesthetic. These time-honored techniques work for swimsuits, cover-ups and beach-going accessories. Textural knits are beginning to appear, expanding the types of stitchery used. Openwork cover-ups can be ornamented with seashells, metal washers, wooden beads or other found-on-the-beach trinkets. While natural or earthy colors are key here, bits of pink or turquoise are surprise accents that modernize the palette.
Tropical prints are another perennial for swim, but for next season they are being updated with beaded embroideries, shimmering paillettes or vivid photo-real depictions. Big, splashy blossoms are key, whether as placed motifs or in packed layouts. Silhouettes include cutout maillots, triangle bikinis and hipster brief bottoms. Wide black banding provides some definition and punch. Tropicals work for cover-ups and accessories too, such as knotted headbands, fabric-covered sandals, and soft, roomy carryalls.
Tie-dye and dip-dye continue to uptrend for apparel and impact swimwear as well. There are multicolored swirls in mismatched two-pieces, as in a cropped tee worn with bikini bottoms, bringing in a beachy, boho vibe. More sophisticated are the tonal or duotone dip-dyes, used for sleek wet suits or new knitted separates, which include cardigans as a new cover-up. Tie-dye starbursts and ombré effects also work for caftans, wide-leg pull-on pants or pareo wraps.
A clean, minimalist aesthetic is sweeping swimwear, made interesting with asymmetrical cuts, subtle chain details, place drapery and dramatic necklines. High-cut legs, plunging V-necks, cutout racer backs or open sides add a bit of skin to covered-up looks. Solid colors in classic navy, red, gray or black add to the sleek, sophisticated feel. Materials here are smooth and matte. Embellishments for these looks are restrained—perhaps a delicate chain or a metal ring. As for cover-ups, coordinating leggings or a pull-on slit skirt maintain the pared-down aesthetic.
Sand-dune colors are the newest neutrals, flattering to any skin tone. The beautification of beige is expressed in creamy solids or tonal abstract prints that take their cue from natural surfaces like stone or wood grain. Nearly nude shades are a natural for lingerie-inspired bikinis. High-necked silhouettes can have underwire cups or a contoured seam at the bust. High-waist bottoms are key, whether with high-cut thighs or vintage-inspired brief looks. A modern approach shows itself in asymmetrical high-neck tops or graphic wrapped effects. For embellishments, there are sparkling crystals laid out in “girdle” panels, adding screen-goddess glam to a simple two-piece.
GET YOUR SLEEVE ON
Statement sleeves have been updating ready-to-wear for several seasons now, and for next year they bring newness to swimsuits. There are bells at the wrist, charming flutter sleeves on a retro polka-dot style, and long or three-quarter-length sleeves for wet-suit silhouettes. The sleeves work on maillots, two-piece looks or bikinis and offer sun protection as well as fitting in with a modesty movement influencing fashion right now. Sleeved looks can be integrated into the swimsuit or can be offered in removable options like little shrugs, “arm tights,” cropped tees or waist-length bomber jackets.
JUST FOR SHOW
Moonbathing and poolside parties call for a different kind of suit. There are all kinds of styles for next season that blur the line between cocktail dress and swimsuit. Elegant draped effects, plunging necklines, one-shoulder looks, daring asymmetry and sparkly touches add to the dressed-up feel. As for color, black is key, whether in sequined solids or as a ground for prints that hint at night skies. Cover-ups here complete the after-five look with tee dresses or pull-on slit skirts in openwork mesh, sheer chiffons or sparkly knits.
BACK TO THE FUTURE
Frilly, lacy looks offer another option, in direct contrast to all the sleek and chic pared-back silhouettes. Ruffles are used as trims or in multiple tiers for vintage-style two-pieces that are cut low on the leg. A plunge-neck maillot in lingerie lace gets a lacy wrap-skirt cover-up. Smocking is another retro-feminine alternative, used for brief bottoms and sweet peasant tops. Colors here are soft pastels or pure whites. If there are prints, they are innocent and simple, like tiny mille-fleur patterns, little dots or sweet ginghams. Stretch tulle or dotted Swiss add more romance.
Sometimes a cover-up is more fashion than function. Enter the super-sheer cover-up, in transparent organzas or openwork mesh. These cover-ups come in shirt styles, windbreaker silhouettes, pullover dresses or shaped tees with corset details. Glazed effects give these items a shimmering, cellophane quality. There are also sheer pull-on trousers, easy lace or mesh robes, and diaphanous caftans in solids or prints. For a pulled-together look, the sheers are styled with matching swimsuits, as in a crystalline pink shirt-dress worn over a strappy pink bikini.
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