Dive into summer with a suit that suits your style: From bikinis to one-pieces and everything in between, swim into season’s suit trends

Caroline Ogulnick, Assistant Features Editor

What is the number one must-have for summer?  Here’s a hint: you wear them to the beach, they’re waterproof, and they’re ideal for laying out in the sun.  If you haven’t caught on already, the most essential item to own for summer is a bathing suit.  No brainer, right?  This upcoming season, however, bathing suits are becoming more than just something you wear to dip in the ocean.  Bikinis, tankinis, and one-pieces are turning into fashion statements by representing some of the hottest trends in the fashion pool.


The Bikini

The bikini is the most coveted bathing suit style; while every girl wants to flaunt one, no one wants to put in the work so that they feel confident in one.  Up until the summertime, many spend their months and money getting “bikini ready” before the warm weather hits.  The bikini is not all about having the picture perfect body, however.  Bikinis are a great way to wear the least when you want to absorb the most sun (after applying sunscreen, of course).  This bathing suit comes in an array of styles, including halter, strapless, double-strap tops, with cheeky, low-rise, or high-rise bottoms.  High-rise bottoms are one of the most popular bikini trends of the season, and give off a retro, 1950s vibe.  These high-waisted suits are ideal for someone who wants to cover more stomach and show off more leg.

Fringe, studded, and bustier-styled tops are trending for summer 2013 as well.   These trends derive from the styles displayed in spring’s fashion week. One of the most efficient things about a two-piece bathing suit is that you can mix and match the different suits that you buy.  If you buy five bikinis for this summer, you can make 25 combinations, giving you five times the amount for your money.


The Tankini

Tankini style bathing suits give you the best of both words; they give you the ability to cover most of your torso, without feeling completely locked in.  Tankinis are comparable to bikinis because they come in two pieces, but are different in that the top resembles a tank top, and not a bra.  Essentially, a tankini top is the same as a bikini top, except with the addition of fabric attached to the bottom.  These bathing suits are ideal for girls who are uncomfortable whipping out their teeny bikinis on the first day of summer.  Tankini suits allow you to make the gradual transition from one-piece to bikini styles as the season progresses.  The trends for this type of suit are similar to the bikini, and are being displayed with ruffles, bows, and fringe as well.  Because tankini suits come in two pieces, they can be thrown in with your sets of bikinis.  If you already own a couple of bikini bottoms, you only have to buy a tankini top, because these two bathing suits have the same style bottoms (aside from high-rise).  By doing so, you decrease the amount of money that you have to spend, and increase the amount of combinations that you can put together.


The One-Piece

The one-piece bathing suit is the most conservative style that is offered.  This traditional suit covers the majority of the body and is worn to conceal the most amount of skin.  Just like bikinis and tankinis, one-pieces come with strapless, halter, or double-strap tops. While these suits are typically worn for competitive swimming, this season, one-pieces are becoming more popular for casual wear.  Recent trends in one-pieces include zippers, cutouts, and mesh appliques.  These new trends stray away from the practical purpose of the one-piece, and give the suit a more stylish feel.  As a playoff of the one-piece, monokini bathing suits are becoming a favored choice this season.  Monokinis are simply a combination of a bikini and a one-piece bathing suit.  This suit covers different parts of the torso, but is not confined to the bust or hips like the bikini, or the whole upper body like the one-piece.  These suits are not the most ideal for laps in the pool or a tan on the beach, and are not flaunted for their versatility.  Monokinis are mostly worn to make a fashion statement, as they are the most flashy of the bathing suit styles.