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Dive into Summer 2024: Embracing the Protect & Connect Swimwear Trend

women in swimwear

As a swim brand or boutique, keeping your finger on the pulse of the latest trends is essential for crafting collections that captivate your customers. The spring/summer 2024 season is all about Protect & Connect – a trend that celebrates wellness, community, and mindful design. By weaving these elements into your swimwear offerings, you’ll create pieces that not only look great but also resonate deeply with shoppers’ values and desires. In this article, we’ll dive into the key components of Protect & Connect, exploring colors, styles, materials, and more, so you can confidently infuse this trend into your upcoming swim assortment.

Table of Contents
1. Colors that calm and energize
2. Wellness-focused swim concepts
3. Nostalgic summer camp vibes
4. Joyful takes on nautical style
5. Gym-to-swim for beach sports
6. Artisanal details that elevate
7. Perfecting swim basics

Colors that calm and energize

swimwear of pink and blue

The color palette for the Protect & Connect trend strikes a harmonious balance between soothing, grounding hues and energizing, vibrant shades. Calming colors like midnight blue, chalk, and oat milk serve as familiar core tones, offering a sense of stability and comfort. These versatile neutrals provide a strong foundation for swim collections, working beautifully as solid fabrics or as the base for prints and patterns.

To infuse a touch of vitality, the season introduces uplifting hues like cornflower, apricot crush, and radiant red into the mix. These lively colors add a pop of energy and optimism, perfect for statement pieces or eye-catching accents. Shades like ocean coral and lush greens draw inspiration from nature, tapping into the holistic, wellness-focused aspects of the trend. Pinks, from soft fondant to bright pineapple, along with dreamy mauves, round out the palette, lending a modern, romantic touch to summer swimwear.

Brands can employ these colors through thoughtful color blocking, combining tranquil and vibrant shades for a striking, balanced aesthetic. Unique color pairings, such as midnight blue with radiant red or oat milk with ocean coral, create fresh, unexpected combinations that will make even classic swim silhouettes feel new and exciting.

By embracing this soothing yet energizing color story, swim labels can craft collections that embody the essence of Protect & Connect, offering customers a sense of calm, joy, and vitality in their swimwear choices.

Wellness-focused swim concepts

women in different swimwear

As the wellness industry continues to boom, the demand for swimwear that promotes wellbeing and self-care is on the rise. Brands can tap into this growing market by developing swim concepts that prioritize comfort, support, and holistic health benefits. One way to achieve this is by exploring innovative fabric compositions that enhance the wearer’s experience. Incorporating fibers infused with nourishing ingredients like aloe vera, caffeine, or vitamins can provide a soothing, skin-friendly touch that elevates the overall feel of the garment.

In addition to material choices, the construction and fit of wellness-focused swimwear are crucial considerations. Designers should prioritize creating styles that offer ample support and coverage without compromising on comfort or flexibility. Internal support structures, such as built-in bras or shaping panels, can provide a secure and confident fit, while adjustable features like straps or ties allow for customization to suit individual preferences. Modest silhouettes, including high-waisted bottoms, long-sleeve tops, and one-pieces with higher necklines, cater to those seeking more coverage while still feeling stylish and on-trend.

The versatility of these wellness-focused swim concepts is key to their appeal. Brands should aim to create pieces that seamlessly transition from the beach to the spa, yoga studio, or wellness retreat. By designing swimwear that doubles as activewear or loungewear, labels can offer customers a multi-functional wardrobe that simplifies packing and reduces the need for excessive clothing purchases. This approach aligns with the mindful consumption aspect of the Protect & Connect trend, encouraging a more thoughtful and streamlined approach to fashion.

Nostalgic summer camp vibes

swimwear with ruffles

Nostalgia plays a significant role in the Protect & Connect trend, and nothing captures the carefree spirit of summers past quite like the classic summer camp aesthetic. By incorporating elements of this beloved theme into their collections, swimwear brands can evoke feelings of joy, friendship, and adventure. To achieve this, designers should look to quintessential camp staples for inspiration, such as vintage tees, cozy sweatshirts, and playful accessories.

One key aspect of the summer camp vibe is the emphasis on layering and versatility. Oversized beach shirts and trousers, perfect for throwing on over a swimsuit, offer both style and functionality. These relaxed separates can feature retro-inspired prints like gingham or plaid, as well as cheerful graphics that nod to camp activities and nature motifs. For a more feminine touch, brands can explore swimwear silhouettes that incorporate charming details like ruffles, tie-front tops, or playful swim skirts that evoke a sense of childhood nostalgia.

To further enhance the summer camp theme, designers can experiment with bold, vibrant colors and whimsical prints. Retro-style graphics, such as hand-drawn illustrations or vintage-inspired typography, can adorn everything from swimsuits to beach bags, infusing the collection with a sense of nostalgia and charm. Collaborations with artists or illustrators can bring a unique, one-of-a-kind feel to these pieces, making them stand out in a sea of generic designs.

By capturing the essence of summer camp through nostalgic design elements, swimwear brands can tap into the desire for connection, community, and carefree fun that lies at the heart of the Protect & Connect trend. These playful, vintage-inspired pieces will resonate with customers seeking to relive the joy and innocence of their childhood summers while creating new memories with loved ones.

Joyful takes on nautical style

swimwear of tops and shorts

Nautical themes have long been a staple in the world of swimwear, but for the spring/summer 2024 season, designers are putting a fresh, joyful spin on this timeless aesthetic. Drawing inspiration from the vibrant hues and bold patterns of the 1980s, as well as the classic charm of vintage boating attire, these updated nautical looks are sure to make a splash.

At the heart of this trend lies a playful color palette that goes beyond the traditional navy and white combination. Bright primary colors like red and blue are paired with unexpected accents like bubblegum pink and turquoise, creating eye-catching contrasts that exude a sense of fun and energy. Stripes and checkerboard patterns remain key elements of the nautical look, but designers are experimenting with unique color combinations and placement to give these classic motifs a modern twist.

Silhouettes for this trend strike a balance between retro charm and contemporary appeal. High-waisted bikinis and one-piece swimsuits with sleek, minimalist lines nod to the elegance of vintage swimwear, while ruffled details and off-the-shoulder necklines add a touch of femininity. For a more fashion-forward approach, brands can explore gender-inclusive styles like boxy, cropped tops and coordinating shorts or trousers that transition seamlessly from the beach to the boardwalk.

To round out the joyful nautical theme, designers can incorporate whimsical graphics and motifs that capture the spirit of a sun-soaked day by the sea. Illustrations of sailboats, anchors, and seagulls, rendered in a hand-drawn style, add a touch of nostalgia and charm. By infusing these classic nautical elements with a bold, modern sensibility, swimwear brands can create collections that evoke the carefree joy of a summer spent on the water.

Gym-to-swim for beach sports


As the boundaries between swimwear and activewear continue to blur, the gym-to-swim trend emerges as a key component of the Protect & Connect theme. With the rise of beach sports like volleyball, paddleball, and the ever-popular pickleball, swimwear brands have the opportunity to create versatile pieces that cater to active beachgoers seeking both style and functionality.

Central to this trend is the concept of modular design, where garments can be easily mixed, matched, and layered to suit a variety of activities. Brands should focus on creating multi-functional pieces that effortlessly transition from the gym to the beach, such as swim shorts that double as workout bottoms or supportive bikini tops that can be worn as sports bras. High-waisted leggings and bike shorts made from quick-drying, chlorine-resistant fabrics are perfect for those who want to move seamlessly from the water to the sand courts.

When it comes to materials, performance-driven fabrics are essential for the gym-to-swim trend. Brands should prioritize lightweight, breathable, and moisture-wicking textiles that offer optimal comfort and support during intense beach activities. Fabrics with built-in UPF protection and antibacterial properties are also valuable additions, ensuring that the garments remain fresh and odor-free even after a long day of play.

To appeal to a wide range of customers, designers can experiment with a mix of bold and neutral colors, as well as eye-catching prints that reflect the energy and vitality of beach sports. Collaborations with popular fitness influencers or professional beach athletes can help to further validate the performance aspects of these gym-to-swim pieces while adding an element of aspirational appeal. By creating swimwear that embraces the active, social, and wellness-focused aspects of beach culture, brands can tap into the growing demand for functional and stylish gear that supports the pursuit of a healthy, balanced lifestyle.

Artisanal details that elevate

crochet swimwear

In a world of fast fashion and mass production, the allure of artisanal craftsmanship and handmade details has never been more appealing. For the spring/summer 2024 season, swimwear brands can elevate their collections by incorporating unique, artisanal elements that celebrate the beauty of traditional techniques and the human touch.

One way to achieve this is by experimenting with intricate, hand-crafted embellishments such as crochet, beading, and embroidery. These techniques add a layer of texture and dimension to swimsuits, transforming them into wearable works of art. Designers can draw inspiration from global craft traditions, incorporating intricate patterns and motifs that tell a story and evoke a sense of cultural richness. Collaborations with local artisans or fair-trade organizations can help to bring these designs to life while supporting ethical and sustainable production practices.

Another approach to infusing swimwear with an artisanal feel is through the use of hand-painted prints and patterns. Partnering with artists to create one-of-a-kind, limited-edition designs can lend an air of exclusivity and uniqueness to a collection. These hand-painted elements can range from abstract watercolor washes to detailed, illustrative scenes that capture the essence of summer. By showcasing the imperfections and variations inherent in hand-rendered designs, brands can celebrate the beauty of the human touch and offer customers a truly special piece.

To maximize the impact of these artisanal details, designers should focus on strategic placement and thoughtful integration. Concentrating embellishments on key areas such as straps, necklines, and coverups can create a striking visual effect without overwhelming the overall design. By finding the perfect balance between artisanal elements and modern, streamlined silhouettes, swimwear brands can create collections that feel both timeless and of-the-moment, appealing to customers who value craftsmanship, individuality, and the enduring allure of the handmade.

Perfecting swim basics

swimwear of stripes

In the midst of ever-changing trends and bold statement pieces, there is something to be said for the enduring appeal of well-crafted, timeless swim basics. As customers increasingly seek out versatile, long-lasting garments that form the foundation of their swimwear wardrobes, brands have the opportunity to differentiate themselves by perfecting these essential styles.

The key to elevating swim basics lies in a meticulous attention to detail, starting with the selection of high-quality, premium fabrics. Designers should prioritize materials that offer a luxurious feel, superior comfort, and excellent durability, ensuring that these pieces can withstand the wear and tear of frequent use and exposure to the elements. From buttery-soft, Italian-made lycras to innovative, eco-friendly textiles, the choice of fabric can make all the difference in creating a swim basic that feels truly special.

Equally important is the focus on fit and construction. Brands should invest time and resources into perfecting the cut and silhouette of their core styles, offering a range of options that cater to diverse body types and preferences. From supportive, underwire-free bikini tops to high-waisted bottoms with flattering ruching, each design element should be carefully considered to ensure optimal comfort, coverage, and style. By conducting extensive fit testing and incorporating customer feedback, brands can continuously refine and improve their basic styles, creating garments that feel custom-made for each individual wearer.

Finally, brands can add a touch of understated sophistication to their swim basics through the use of subtle, yet impactful design details. Delicate gold hardware, contrast stitching, or a signature trim can all help to elevate a simple silhouette and make it feel more special. By focusing on these small, thoughtful touches, swimwear brands can transform their basic styles into must-have essentials that customers will reach for season after season, solidifying their position as a go-to destination for timeless, impeccably crafted swimwear.


The Protect & Connect trend for spring/summer 2024 offers a wealth of opportunities for swimwear brands to create collections that resonate with customers on a deeper level. By incorporating elements of wellness, nostalgia, and artisanal craftsmanship, while also perfecting the essentials, brands can tap into the desire for connection, comfort, and timeless style. As the world continues to evolve, those who embrace this trend and its various facets will be well-positioned to capture the hearts and minds of consumers seeking swimwear that not only looks great but also tells a story and fosters a sense of well-being. The key lies in finding the perfect balance between innovation and tradition, functionality and fashion, and, ultimately, in creating pieces that protect, connect, and inspire.

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