Your Comprehensive Guide to the Top Swimsuit Trends of Summer 2016

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Your Comprehensive Guide to the Top Swimsuit Trends of Summer 2016
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Photo: Zimmermann

With beach season, pool season, and last-minute-trip-out-of-town season finally upon us, odds are pretty good that the thought of buying a new swimsuit has crossed your mind in the past few weeks. Maybe you’re looking for something a little more minimalist than your standard tropical-print bikini; maybe you’re ready to throw tan-line caution to the wind for some cool cutouts; maybe you’ve been watching too much of Kylie Jenner’s Snapchat and are suddenly absorbed with the idea of a high-cut one-piece.

Really, no matter what you’re feeling this summer, we can virtually guarantee it’s out there somewhere—and to help you navigate the vast seas of swimwear shopping online, we’re kicking off STYLECASTER Swim Week with a guide to the best bathing-suit trends of the season.

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The biggest news may be the variety of silhouettes we get to choose from these days. No longer are choices limited to string bikinis or full-coverage one-pieces—no, there are high-neck halters, monokinis, shoulder-shielding crop tops, and super-skimpy maillots. And once you’ve narrowed it down to a silhouette, there are details to consider: Do you want the sporty vibe of mesh panels? Something a little more Hamptons like gingham or stripes? How about that splashy monogram you’ve seen in every Instagram It-girl’s feed? Click through to shop this summer’s best suits, and check back in throughout the week for all things swim.

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Cut It Out

Ready to flash a little skin, awkward tan lines be damned? This season, even more conservative silhouettes are getting the cut-out treatment. Look for high-waist bikinis with strappy sides, bandeaus with lattice fronts, and the increasingly popular monokini (similar to a one-piece, but with an open back).

Mara Hoffman Peacock Stripe Print Braided Lattice Swimsuit, $275; at Lane Crawford

Cut It Out

Floral Midi Bandeau Bikini Top, $34.99; at Target

Cut It Out

GabiFresh for Swim Sexy The Princess Underwire Bikini, $68.60; at Swimsuits for All

Cut It Out

Tropical Palms Sporty Monokini, $198; at Shoshanna

Cut It Out

Dreamy Reversible Strappy Troy Top, $72, and Bottom, $64; at PilyQ

Arts & Crafts

Crochet is here to stay, and now it's ushered in a wave of textural trends like embroidery and lace. (Word to the wise, though: Make sure your suit can be worn in the water before you buy—a surprising number are "sunbathe-only.")

Acacia Andy Top, $114; at Dash, and Cloudbreak Bottom, $114; at Dash

Arts & Crafts

Contrast Stitch Bandeau Bikini Top, $35, and Bottoms, $26; at Topshop

Arts & Crafts

Roza Embroidered One Piece, $585; at Zimmermann

Arts & Crafts

Kiini Bea Crochet-Trim Bikini, $285; at Matches Fashion

Arts & Crafts

Crocheted Triangle Bikini Top, $29.99; at H&M, and Bikini Bottoms, $4.99; at H&M

Cold Shoulder

Yep, off-the-shoulder has made its way to swimwear too, and it's giving the popular one-shoulder look a run for its money. You'll find flutter sleeves, flouncy ruffles, and some modern-looking bandage and knotted styles.

Barrow Top, $95; at Midsommar Swim, and Ludlow Bottom, $75; at Midsommar Swim

Cold Shoulder

Lucette Bikini, $350; at Oye Swimwear

Cold Shoulder

Frilly Asymmetric Bikini Top, $32; at River Island, and Bikini Bottoms, $24; at River Island

Cold Shoulder

Marguerite One-Shoulder One Piece, $215; at Tory Burch

Cold Shoulder

Venice Bikini, $285; at Marysia

Baewatch

Cut hipbone-high on the legs and precipitously low in the backs, these '90s-style suits may even sway die-hard bikini-wearers.

Alina Swimsuit, $78; at Nasty Gal

Baewatch

Positano Swimsuit, $195; at Totême

Baewatch

Body Glove x UO The Look One-Piece Swimsuit, $75; at Urban Outfitters

Baewatch

Solid and Striped Anne-Marie Gingham Swimsuit, $168; at Matches Fashion

Baewatch

Bay My Name Swimsuit, $249; at Bruna Malucelli

No Frills

The swimwear market isn't usually friendly to minimalists, but this season, the tide has shifted. New labels such as Her, Nu, and Land of Women have cropped up to fill the demand for simple silhouettes, neutral colors, and under-$200 price points.

Audrey Bikini, $155; at Her

No Frills

Straight One Piece, $112; at Nu Swim

No Frills

Grus Top, $105; at Cali Dreaming, and Crux Bottom, $110; at Cali Dreaming

No Frills

Land of Women x The Dreslyn Strapless One Piece, $165; at The Dreslyn

No Frills

Objects Without Meaning Twist Twist Two Piece, $125; at Need Supply Co.

Simply Striped

Like fresh watermelon or iced lemonade (drink or Beyoncé album, take your pick), blue-and-white stripes are a summertime crowdpleaser.

Bikini Top, $25; at COS, and Bottoms, $25; at COS

Simply Striped

Osaka One Piece, $218; at Mikoh

Simply Striped

Lisa Marie Fernandez Alexia Striped Stretch-Seersucker Bikini, $165; at The Outnet

Simply Striped

Coral Top, $113; at Made by Dawn, and Bottom, $103; at Made by Dawn

Simply Striped

Crete Stripe Contrast Band Bikini, $30; at Boohoo

Cover It Up

Hopefully at this point we're all on the same page about sunscreen (as in: use it! always!) but if you want to really protect yourself at the beach, you could do worse than emulating a surfer chick—and thankfully, rash guards are looking awfully chic these days.

Vitamin A Soleil Mesh Long-Sleeve Rashguard, $39.99; at Target, and Strappy Hipster Bottom, $29.99; at Target

Cover It Up

Flagpole Swim Kelly Cutout Two-Tone Rash Guard, $315; at Net-A-Porter

Cover It Up

Norma Kamali Striped Stretch-Jersey Rash Guard, $99.33; at The Outnet

Cover It Up

Isla Top, $150; at Free People

Cover It Up

Printed Rash Guard, $195; at Cynthia Rowley

Good Sport

Just as workout leggings are now a bona fide fashion item (monograms, anyone?), athletic-style swimwear has come a long way from its school-issued Speedo days. Color blocking, mesh, and high-neck halters are all sporty enough to make you look like a beach-volleyball champ—though whether you actually join in a game is up to you.

Paillette Print Halter Top, $124; at Hollie Watman, and Bottom, $124; at Hollie Watman

Good Sport

Palmer One-Piece, $325; at Ward Whillas

Good Sport

Colorblock Midi Bikini Top, $49; at Athleta, and Medium Tide Bottom, $49; at Athleta

Good Sport

Mix-and-Match Mesh Insert Underwire Bikini Top, $27.50; at ASOS, and High-Waist Bikini Bottom, $24.26; at ASOS

Good Sport

Mesh Halter One-Piece Swimsuit, $110; at J.Crew

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