Beach season is finally upon us—whether you're actually heading off into the sunshine or simply dreaming of booking somewhere. And although swimwear shopping fills many of us with complete dread, the trends this year are hoping to put the fun back into bikinis. "Spring/summer 2018 is the year of haute swimwear, which means detail is key," Lily Russo, co-founder of Beach Flamingo, tells me. "I have always championed fun swimwear and finally it's going mainstream. Whether its leather braided straps, ruffles, belts or beading, this season's trends are some of the most exciting yet." Keep scrolling to see—and shop—the key swimwear trends you'll see at every poolside this summer.
1. Rainbow Stripes
2. High-Waisted Bikinis
"Over the last few summers, we've been a little distracted by tanning our tooshies in teenie weenie Brazilian cut bikinis, but now high-waisted bikinis are having a moment," says Lily. "People's perceptions of high-waisted bikinis often have '50s housewife connotations, but there is nothing twee about them. This season, high-waisted bikinis are the high-fashion swimwear of choice for 2018."
"Statement ruffles have been on the rise for the last few seasons, but 2018 is the year ruffles go big," says Lily. "Turn up to heat in seductive silhouettes with cut-out details, and don’t forget all the trimmings—adorn yourself in dramatic metal eyelets and intricate beading. Brit label Evarae uses technical fabrics to ensure its swimwear is practical too, and if you’re looking for something to take you from the beach beach to the bar, Brazilian labels Clube Bossa and Agua de Coco nail it every time. This is definitely one trend that instantly gives you confidence."
4. Sporty Leotards
"Thanks to brands such as Hunza G and Solid & Striped, the classic swimsuit is having a moment," adds Lily. "Taking its cues from the swimming lanes of an Olympic pool or the gymnast mat, go-faster stripes and belted leotard shapes are your reference points for this trend. These sporty-inspired suits have been reworked in of-the-moment primary hues and rainbow palettes to make them one of the most flattering and eye-catching trends of the summer."
5. Crochet Swimsuits
Crochet swimwear might make you a little (read: a lot) nervous, however, this is the bikini that we keep seeing on the Instagram set. This season it's about sand-coloured, earthy bikinis that look like they've been hand-stitched at home.
6. Baywatch Red
When it comes to colour, we keep seeing simple colour-blocked red one-pieces everywhere—this is a trend that the high street is really getting behind. When it comes to affordable swimwear, you can't beat the below £25 H&M knot-detail one piece.
So you'll need a two-week holiday then…