Swimwear to last the seasons
Above image courtesy of Tom and Teddy
Although summer is nearly over for the year, in true Aussie fashion the sun hasn’t bothered to back off just yet and we aren’t moving from beside the pool or beach until the temperatures drops considerably.
Some of us might even still be searching for that perfect pair of swimmers that we have been on the lookout for since spring.
Emily Doig from Australian based swimwear company Bombshell Bay Swimwear says because there are so many trends at any given time, it’s easier than ever to find something that suits.
“Runway trends filter down and influence the shape and design of swimwear as well as catering for women who are doing more than just lying on a beach – consumers want swimwear that will cater to their active lifestyles,” she says.
“With women being all shapes and sizes there isn’t one style of swimwear that will suit everyone, so women are embracing the different trends because it’s catering to their needs.”
Styles that have been around for the past few seasons that look like they are here to stay include halter neck bikini tops, netting/ mesh detailing and digital printed imagery.
Michelle L’Huillier, Managing Director of Tom & Teddy, which creates gorgeous swim shorts and rash vests for men and boys, agrees with Emily’s sentiment concerning consumers preferring designs that will cater to their life.
“Versatility remains a focus,” she says. “The ease of transition between the beach and café or bar is still a priority so quick drying fabric is key, and prints need to look in place across multiple locations.”
For the blokes, there has been a turnaround in recent years, with more and more men opting for shorter and more tailored short styles for the pool and beach.
“An increasingly popular silhouette is the tailored swim short,” says Michelle. “Long, baggy, ill-fitting shorts are looking seriously dated and are being replaced by shorter, more tailored and universally flattering alternatives.
“I predict that bold, bright colours will continue to adorn the catwalks, with designers becoming more adventurous by the season.”
Designers will be giving their consumer what they want if they continue down this path, Emily says -their most popular styles show that consumers want something unique and fun rather than something that strictly adheres to a passing fad.
“The Chi Chi Mesh Bralette Bikini & Mid Waisted Leopard Print Bikini Bottoms (pictured) have been our most consistently popular style – they are designs that carry over different seasons and are trendy without being strictly on trend. They are a fun but timeless piece.
“Our Palm Print and Lobster Print pieces are also very popular purely because they are fun and there isn’t anything else like them around!”
“Pretty floral patterns and colour blocking are more popular than just plain coloured swimwear. Black and white pieces and digital images will be seen everywhere the next few seasons.”
Michelle says the blokes are also looking for fun designs, with their ‘Octopus’ design the most successful line.
“People tend to be more adventurous with their swim wear,” she says. “They’re willing to go with brighter and bold colours and choose designs that bring out their sense of fun.”
Swimwear has also taken a practical turn in recent years, much to the delight of active women everywhere – surf suits and rash shirts are now a fashionable item rather than a daggy fluro number your parents made you wear as a child.
“There are a lot of racer back and high neck styles on the market at present – these are reflections of current runway fashion inspired by sport,” says Emily.
“These are great because women can take part in the world of style and show that they take an interest in fashion, as well as wearing something practical for water based activities such as surfing and stand up paddle boarding.”
Michelle says this demand for practicality is also reflected across men’s swimwear too.
“An expanding category is rash tops and swim shirts as people become increasingly aware of the UV protection benefits,” she adds. “To make these more universally appealing, a more relaxed t-shirt style is emerging as they are more casually fitted but retain all the sun protection benefits of the traditional rash top.”
As well as taking their cue from sportswear, plenty of today’s women swimwear pieces are inspired by past fashion trends. This gives an even wider variety of choices, including high waisted styles and retro prints and colours.
While the women are harking back to season’s past, men’s swimwear looks across the globe for its inspiration.