The 2020 Swim Guide is here! Per usual, we’ve started with one-piece swimsuits, but — don’t worry — our bikini guide will be coming out soon.
What’s new for swimwear in 2020? Well…animal print swimsuits are coming on strong (with even more options than last year), bright suits in sunny yellows, oranges and reds are making our hearts beat fast, and the floral bathing suits are literally the freshest crop I’ve seen in years. Don’t overlook the seriously chic tropical prints, of course, but the big surprise? BRONZE. We’re pegging bronze the new black.
And speaking of black…we have a whole (huge) section dedicated to black swimsuits that are decidedly NOT boring.
We did, however, make a team decision to ignore snake print. Snake print swim — for the most part — looked…strange.
A note about plus-size swim: You’ll find our favorite plus-size swimwear in almost every category below…but if you’d rather see them all together, we created a Plus-Size Swim section for this purpose. We did the same thing for postpartum swimsuits, too — the best suits for postpartum (or nursing) are peppered throughout AND can be found at-a-glance in the Postpartum Swim section.
Care about sustainability? All swimsuits that meet our definition of sustainable are marked as such (see our definition here), and have also been pulled together in a section called Sustainable Swim for ease of shopping.
As always, many of our swimsuit recommendations are based on the emails and rave reviews of our readers over the years — so a huge thank you to those of you who have written in, left comments, or — even better — sent in pics.
The Mom Edit: 2020 Swimsuit Guide
Shop your conscience…. SUSTAINABLE
The Best Black Bathing Suits
Year after year, we’ve noticed that many of you choose a black one-piece as your default, go-to swimsuit. But there’s nothing basic about these suits. The latest ones have been elevated with cool details, sexy cut-outs, interesting shapes…all with creative backs (think:lacing) so they really stay put, too. Here are our hands-down favs….
We loved these lingerie-inspired suits in 2019, and the love hasn’t yet died. We’re talking strategically-placed mesh panels, daring necklines and lace. There’s a certain sort of Bond-Girl vibe here, but I’ve actually found that they’re surprisingly wearable. (I have — and love — this Becca one.)
Animal Print Swimsuits
The key to wearing animal print swim is to keep the vibe playful and fun. You want a cut that’s a bit revealing (steer clear from old-lady-classic), but not so bare that it looks too Jane of The Jungle. (Betty Rubble, maybe? Haha, just kidding.) Retailers seem to be having trouble keeping these in stock, so if you’re tempted…don’t hesitate!
Bronzed, Tan and Brown: The Surprisingly Sexy Suit
In the spirit of full disclosure…I’ve been waiting for brown to make a comeback. I have a brown string bikini that is at least eight years old, and it’s still one of my favorite colors to wear to the beach. Nothing makes me feel like some sort of ’70s beach babe more than a swimsuit in shades of tan.
Tropical Print Swimsuits
Looking for that vacation vibe? Here ya go.
Pastel Bathing Suits
Pastels are making a comeback, and we love. (Although, I think every year they slide their way into the trends somehow.) They’re feminine and sweet, but some of these backs still make ’em feel sexy.
Can there be anything more flushed-cheeks, girl-next-door sexy than a striped suit? I think not. (And stripes can sometimes help distract from a pooch. Strange but true.)
Pretty Floral Swimsuits
Romantic and pretty, and still a little bit sexy. It’s hard to beat a good floral.
Dark Floral Swimsuits
Every bit as romantic and pretty…but with an edgier vibe.
Military, forest, whatever you might call this particular shade of green… that’s essentially what we’re going for. (We did include a striped guy with orangey detail because that’s technically an earth tone… right?)
Color-blocking is a genius trick. The darker bottom camouflages a softer stomach, and a high-rise dark bottom will make your legs look miles long.
Bright & Bold Swimsuits
Orange, yellow and red are having a serious moment.
White Hot Swimsuits
The funny thing about white suits is that they look good on all skin tones…even the really pale ones. Something about them is just so chic and badass.
Boho Babe Bathing Suits (Think: Crochet)
These suits only look daring. They’re actually really easy to wear (yet super-sexy).
This trend is completely blowing up. A close cousin of the wrap suit, this one is giving off some serious ’70s vibes.
Surfing, waterskiing, playing in the waves without fear….I find that I’m more inclined to play when I’m dressed for it. Since I’m always cold, my preferred method is to don a Spring Suit (aka a lightweight wetsuit with shorts) over my bikini. But if you don’t need all of that insulation (it is summer, after all), one of these will let you play — hard — without a wardrobe malfunction.
The Best Postpartum Swimsuits
The best suits for postpartum tend to have tummy control or ruching, a color-block situation (with the darker color over the tummy), and/or a front zip. Those sporty front-zip swimsuits are shockingly good postpartum! If you want to see a few different types of suits on a postpartum body, I covered this years ago….and then Julieta bravely re-created it, and added a few suggestions of her own (it’s awesome).
There are plenty of suits featured above that would, in fact, work great for stylish postpartum Mamas. So please don’t feel limited to this list below. If, however, you want a go-to suit that will just…suck it all in, then try one of these tried-and-true reader and TME team favorites.
Our Favorite Plus-Size Swimwear
Most of these suits have been included in the roundups above, but for ease of shopping, I’ve grouped them all together, here. (And added a few more….)
We marked which suits are sustainable throughout, but also rounded them all up in one place to make it easy!
Don’t Forget The Sunscreen!
Find my fav sunscreen (for myself and my guys) below…