Home » Products Sourcing » Apparel & Accessories » Aquatic Glam: Elevating Swimwear in 2023

Aquatic Glam: Elevating Swimwear in 2023

sexy woman in black swimwear

Inspired by the allure of the ocean, aquatic glam is poised to make major waves in 2023. This resort-ready trend effortlessly elevates swimwear from day to night through creative styling techniques and versatile cover-ups. We’ll explore the key influences driving this glamorous evolution of swimwear, highlight must-have items with aquatic appeal, and outline actionable insights to help retailers capitalize on aquatic glam. Read on for tips on sourcing shimmery fabrics, incorporating statement jewelry, and playing with proportions to take your swim offerings to glam new heights.

Table of Contents
Elevating swimwear through styling
Sourcing fluid fabrics with aquatic appeal
Accessories to elevate your swim offering
Experimenting with silhouettes and proportions
Making a splash with saturated hues

Elevating swimwear through styling

a beautiful green bikin

Swimwear has come a long way from its purely functional roots. Today designers are exploring new ways to add versatility and style to swimsuits and bikinis, transforming them into glamorous pieces that can transition effortlessly from beach to bar. 

One key styling technique is layering swimwear with coordinating cover-ups. A crochet skirt or intricately draped pareo adds a touch of glamour while allowing the swimsuit to peek through. For an evening look, pair a one-piece with wide-leg pants or a sequin skirt. Add metallic sandals, statement earrings, and a minaudière for nighttime appeal.

Don’t be afraid to play with proportions. An oversized button-down shirt worn open over a bikini top makes for an alluring day-to-night look. For added drama, belt the shirt at the waist. Or try a menswear-inspired blazer layered over a low-cut one-piece.

Show consumers how to maximize their swim purchases by providing styling suggestions across channels. Create blog posts and social content that demonstrates day-to-night swimwear looks using pieces already in shoppers’ closets. Empower them to get more use out of their swimsuits this season.

Sourcing fluid fabrics with aquatic appeal

a woman wearing silky swimwear

When sourcing fabrics, prioritize lightweight materials with fluid drapes and aquatic inspiration. Billowy silks, airy chiffons, and slinky satins mimic the movement of water, bringing an ethereal quality to cover-ups and dresses. 

For swimwear itself, performance fabrics like sculpting jerseys will continue to dominate. However, consider incorporating more sensual textures through lace, mesh, or crochet detailing. This adds visual interest while maintaining functionality.

Metallics and shimmery fabrics are having a moment, lending a glamorous feel. Search for recycled polyester or nylon fabrics that incorporate metallic threads or pearlized finishes. These materials capture the magical iridescence of seashells and fish scales.

Upcycled fabrics are also on the rise. Look for textiles crafted from recovered ocean plastics or fishing nets. This transforms waste into beautiful new materials with a sustainability story. Market them as such to attract conscious consumers.

Finally, be on the lookout for vibrant aquatic hues. Vivid blues, greens, and teals make a vibrant style statement. Search trade shows and textile suppliers for eye-catching colors that evoke the sea.

Accessories to elevate your swim offering

a woman wearing a pair of white sunglasses

The right accessories can instantly elevate a swimsuit, lending glamour and visual interest. When expanding your swim offering, look to these key items:

Statement Jewelry: Necklaces, pendants, and earrings inspired by aquatic life or the ocean add flair while complementing swimsuits. Incorporate shells, starfish, pearls, or recycled glass for an eco-friendly touch.

Designer Sunglasses: Consider carrying sunglasses from hot emerging designers. Fun shapes with mirrored or colored lenses make a style statement poolside or on the beach. Collaborate on a custom line for extra buzz.

Beach Bags: Upgrade standard tote bags by offering straw, sequined, and embroidered options. Minaudière clutches add evening appeal. Carry versatile bags that work beyond the beach. 

Cover-Ups: Sheer kimonos, breezy caftans, and cropped lace jackets provide stylish layering options. For the night, try sequin or metallic gauze cover-ups. Mermaid-style skirts work for both day and evening.

Hats & Hair Accessories: Wide-brim straw hats and ornate hair clips add a romantic touch. Pearl hair pins and shell-adorned headbands channel aquatic glam.

By carrying these fun statement accessories, you enable customers to make their swimsuits shine beyond the shore.

Experimenting with silhouettes and proportions

a woman wearing a yellow one-piece swimsuit

In addition to creative styling, retailers should explore new silhouettes and proportions to add interest to their swim collections. 

For one-piece suits, look to cut-outs, asymmetric necklines, and low backs to add allure. High-cut legs elongate the silhouette for a leggy look. Ruching and draping details add fluidity and create an ethereal underwater effect. 

You’ll also see structural shapes with caged backs or boning for support. These offer a modern take on the classic maillot. For added drama, explore long-sleeved or off-the-shoulder options.

Bikini trends favor both minimal and bold looks. Sculptural triangular tops make a statement, while string bikinis keep things sheer and sultry. Mixing and matching prints or colors makes for a playful DIY vibe. 

For bottoms, low-slung waistbands and side-tie details are on the rise. These elongate the legs for a retro bombshell look. High-waisted bikini bottoms offer more coverage while still exuding old Hollywood glamour.

Don’t forget men’s swimwear – colorfully printed trunks in shorter 4-5 inch inseams provide Age of Aquarius appeal. Speedos are back for a nostalgic nod to the 70s.

By experimenting with fashion-forward silhouettes, cuts, and proportions, retailers can imbue their swim collections with allure and versatility. The possibilities are endless when you think beyond the standard swimsuit.

Making a splash with saturated hues

a woman wearing a blue swimsuit

Color plays an integral role in aquatic glam’s youthful appeal. When curating your color palette, take inspiration from the sea and saturated tones found in nature.

Vivid blues ranging from teal to cobalt capture the essence of the ocean. Pair with energizing chartreuse or green hues reminiscent of sea foam. Rich indigos and purple tones are also on the rise for swimwear.

Don’t shy away from bold neon brights. Vibrant pinks, oranges, and yellows make a lively style statement. Tie-dye these colors together for a psychedelic spin.

Metallic palettes also shine, so stock lustrous gold, bronze, and silver pieces. Iridescent fabrics help capture an underwater feel.

When designing prints, look to abstract waves, tropical foliage like palms and hibiscus, or simple stripes and color blocking. Retro florals and psychedelic paisleys channel a 70s vibe.

By embracing saturated shades and vivid prints, retailers can capitalize on aquatic glam’s youthful energy. This trend begs to be seen through eye-catching, water-inspired hues. Make a splash this season with bold colors that pop against sunny skies and sparkling seas.


Aquatic glam provides ample opportunity to imbue swimwear with glamour and versatility. By utilizing fluid drapes, statement crochet cover-ups, and saturated aquatic hues, retailers can elevate their swim offerings. Provide styling inspiration to show consumers how to transition pieces from the beach to the bar. When sourcing, keep sustainability top of mind by opting for recycled synthetics and trims. Lean into saturated teals, vivid greens, and deep blues to align with this energetic and youthful palette. With a focus on clever styling and versatile, high-impact pieces, aquatic glam allows retailers to make a splash in the swimwear space.

Was this article helpful?

About The Author

Leave a Comment

Your email address will not be published. Required fields are marked *

Scroll to Top