With spring / summer burgeoning for many a fashioniser, we’re all eager to hit the beach. But whether you’re soaking up the sun in Majorca or on the Venice Lido, the most important decision won’t be the SPF of your sun tan lotion, but which swimwear pieces you’ll be wearing.

While the availability of classic swimwear styles (and the fact that swimwear trends move relatively slowly) means it’s not a requirement, it’s still always worth knowing what styles will fit well with spring 2014′s fashion trends. Whether it’s making a bold statement or simply taking your style credentials to the waterside, an update to your bikini selection will make holidays and hot weekends all the more exciting and enjoyable.

Read on to find out what cuts and styles are in fashion this year, and don’t forget: if you’d like to keep up to date with all the latest fashion trends and how to style then, then subscribe to Fashionising.com’s newsletter or follow us on Facebook.

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On the beach: S/S '13
On the beach: S/S '13
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On the beach: S/S '13
On the beach: S/S '13

Swimwear trends don’t move in quite the same cycles as other fashion trends. That’s because it’s hard to reinvent the bikini or the monokini: in the need to balance functionality and sex appeal, designers are limited to what they can actually do. Despite this, one piece and bikini trends are certainly still influenced by other fashion trends.

So what swimsuit trends can we expect for 2014 and into 2015? You’d be right if you guessed swimsuit styles influenced by other key fashion trends for the year. So when it comes to choosing a bikini, these are the styles worth looking out for.

Vintage-inspired swimwear

There’s a scene in 1956′s High Society where Grace Kelly kneels poolside and pushes a model boat, the True Love, across the still water. She’s wearing a white halterneck swimsuit that ends in a small, ruffled skirt; her chin-length hair is neatly curled, her feet are bare. Never has a swimsuit looked so elegant.

Of course it’s the bombshells, the pin-ups, of the same era we’re more inclined to think of when it comes to 1950s swimsuits in particular – the Marilyn Monroes and the Jayne Mansfields. They’re playful, curvaceous, steeped in sex appeal. And so the reason we refer to the former is to balance out the latter: vintage-style swimwear has a place amongst 2014′s swimwear trends, but this summer it’s not necessarily about strawberry cheesecake cliches. Instead it’s a subtle infusion of vintage cuts and prints – so while the right piece of swimwear can be as bombshell as Monroe or as sophisticated as Kelly, it can also sit perfectly moderately in the middle. Most often this season it’s about high waisted bikini bottoms as a way to inject a slight vintage feel into otherwise modern swimwear.

Vintage inspired swimwear
Swimwear from Adriana Degreas, Triya and Mara Hoffman.

Some features to look out for:

  • one-pieces with cinched-in waists, sweetheart necklines and cute pockets
  • high-waist bottoms
  • playful prints – kaleidoscopic, psychedelic, geometric – done in modern cuts to avoid vintage overkill
  • shirred sides that accentuate the waist and hips
  • fuller-cupped tops
  • minimalist accents and sophisticated cuts.

Mismatched bikini tops & bottoms

The aura of nonchalance and effortlessness surrounding our clothing has seeped into our bikinis for 2014. A clash of colour and/or print between your bikini top and bikini bottoms not only creates an interesting look, but inherently oozes a kind of eclectic, fun summer vibe. It’s not that you don’t care about your swimsuit being all properly matched, it’s that you’re simply too cool to. Sometimes a bit of mismatching simply shows that you’re throwing yourself headfirst into summer and squeezing every last drop of adventure out of the sunny days, not caring about uniformity. It’s also a great way to get multiple and varied wears out of a few different bikinis.

Mismatched bikinis
Mismatched bikinis from Suboo, Zimmermann Swim, and Etam Swim.

Mismatched bikinis: a few pointers:

  • If you don’t want to go for all-out clashes, pick up a great classic black bikini and mix in either the top or bottom with other bright colours and prints. You can’t go wrong.
  • With mismatched prints, the bolder and more obvious the clash the better. You don’t want to look like you’ve tried to match two similar pieces and failed. Try picking any two of the following and mixing them fearlessly: animal print, checks or gingham, floral, stripes, digital patterned prints.

Digital print swimwear

Digital prints are everywhere in spring / summer 2014. While printed swimsuits have always been popular, this season they take their cues from street wear trends and see the prints applied to swimwear that is functional as well as fashionable, often able to be worn as outerwear.

For 2014 digital prints take the form of anything and everything from soft florals to fierce animal prints to abstract patterns and cityscapes. There are no real rules here: go for whatever print takes your fancy, and if you want to get extra milage go for a one-piece that can double as a bodysuit.

Digital print swimwear
Digital print swimwear from Suboo, Surface Too Deep and Triya.

Feminine frills swimwear

Feminine frills are doubly good when it comes to swimwear, and 2014′s collections have clued into the fact. Firstly, they give off a soft, dainty, summer vibe. And secondly, they can add volume in places you need it helping to shape your figure in flattering ways.

Delicate whites, soft pastels or colorful micro prints make for extremely popular choices when it comes to the ruffled busts and flounchy mesh frills. The one thing that’s a given when it comes to this style: make sure to pick out the most unexpected interpretations to both flatter your figure, and set you apart from the crowd.

Feminine frills swimwear
Swimwear from Lisa Blue, Moeva, and Agua de Coco.

Cut-away swimwear

For a long time cutout swimwear, whether it was cutout detailing on bikinis or monokinis, was the style. Cutaway swimwear has since become something of an ever-green style, but if we’re to judge based on the 2014 / 2015 runways, the cutaways are marking a return amongst the swimwear trends. The sultry one piece silhouettes are all about promoting fresh and unexpected shapes, with sexy cuts that seem to instantly flatter the body. Seek them out in both vibrant prints and monochrome tones, but make sure your choice translates to a modern and ultra-luxe look.

Cutaway swimwear
Swimwear from Gottex, Adriana Degreas, and Neon.

’90s-inspired swimwear

Picture the late ’80s, early ’90s when supermodels were gracing the Sports illustrated covers in high cut pieces, sheer mesh and crazy neon colors. That same L.A. vibe and those same high cut briefs that sit all the way above the hip made a return for spring 2014 courtesy of brands like Minimale Animale and Neon. With all things ’90s very much on trend this season, get ready to add raw sex-appeal to your swim summer repertoire.

'90s inspired swimwear
Swimwear from Minimale Animale and Neon.

Sporty-chic swimwear

Another one of this season’s highly-influential trends ended up infusing the 2014 / 2015 swimwear styles with a sporty-chic attitude. The overall feel of the swimsuit style should still be high on sexy, the novelty lying in the super-slick silhouettes with modern cutaways and bright scuba colours.

Sporty-chic swimwear
Swimwear from Chloe Swimwear, Suboo, and Indah.

On-trend swimwear for your figure type

The reality is that when it comes to swimwear, not every cut is going to flatter every figure. But between all of the trending 2014/2015 styles there’s certainly something for everyone. It will certainly always come down to what you’re most comfortable with, but if you’re after a starting point here are some shape-based suggestions:

Fuller figure

Embrace the vintage trend and use it to accentuate rather than try and hide your curves. Try halternecks or cupped styles, and anything that brings in the waist to play to an hourglass shape.

Pear shape / small bust

Use ruffles to your advantage by adding volume at the top half. Ruffles around the bust can make it seem visually larger. You can also use vintage cupped styles with padding to create curves.

Top heavy

Use ruffles to your advantage by conversely adding them to the bottom to balance your hips with your bust. Avoid unstructured crochets or string bikinis if they don’t offer any support; instead stick to strucutred styles and halternecks.

Short legs

To lengthen the body pair a printed bikini top with a block-coloured bottom, drawing the attention upwards. Avoid boy-legs and go for high cut thighs instead so as to not shorten the legs further.

Athletic figures

If you’re not big on the curves make the most of styles like statement strapping, backless styles and crochet that instead show off a toned physique.

Click on the gallery for more examples of 2014 swimwear and bikini trends; and if you’d like to read more about other fashion trends follow that link.

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