Popular 90s Bathing Suits: A Style Guide & Where to Buy Today

I don’t know about you, but I love summer. Of course, one of the things I love about summer is spending time near the water whether it’s a pool, ocean or bay. This year, I’m looking for new nostalgic swimsuits and found myself gravitating towards 90s bathing suits style suits, so I thought I’d share my finds with everyone!

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Swimsuits are for everyone (and the 90s were toxic)

I can’t write this post without saying that the 90s and 00s were an especially rough time to be a woman who wanted to wear a bathing suit. I feel compelled to help heal the cultural wound that women who grew up in the 1990s and 2000s carry around. Everywhere we turned, there were messages bombarding us with getting “beach body ready” and losing 10lbs before summer.

Magazines were an especially heinous culprit of this behavior. I just want to say, this wasn’t OK then and it isn’t OK now. Everyone should be able to enjoy going out in a bathing suit no matter what their body type. The beach and water is for everyone. So, 90s and 00s culture on this–take your rude opinion and shove it! OK, let’s move on, though maybe more on this another day.

90s Bathing Suits: Monochrome & bold patterned high neck one pieces

I love one pieces from the 90s because many of the cuts were comfortable yet sexy, which is a hard balance to strike. Monochrome looks as well as bold prints were popular at the time. High cut and lower cut leg openings were equally worn. I suspect the popularity of this specific style can be attributed to the popularity of the T.V. show Baywatch.

To get an authentic 90s look for this style, here are the key things to look for in a one piece:

  • Whether it’s one color color or a bold pattern, opt for something bright. Even better if it’s shiny.
  • Look for higher necklines to achieve this look.
  • The backs of these suits were often low plunging.

90s Bathing Suits: Monokinis (one pieces with cutouts)

Another prominent swimwear trend of the 90s was the monokini. What is a monkini exactly? Invented in 1964, it’s a A monokini single-piece garment swimsuit, but skimpy with a V-cut bottom and usually a cutout (or two or four) in the the abdomen. It’s definitely attention grabbing and different. It’s also good for those who can’t commit to either a one piece or a bikini–it’s somewhere in the middle. And it definitely says fun and sexy.

Here’s what to look for to get this look:

  • Embrace the cutout! This is definitely a bold look and the more the outrageous the cutout, the better.
  • Look for bright colors that contrast between top and bottom.
  • Go for twisted details.

90s Swimsuits: Crocheted Bikinis

Another popular trend in 90s swimwear was crochet. What is crochet exactly? Well, many might think of doilies but the definition of crochet is pretty broad. By definition, crochet is yarn is made up into a patterned fabric by looping yarn with a hooked needle. These bikinis came in the classic white crochet as well as bold colors. The crochet bathing suit bohemian and hippy-ish while also saying, “This could have been a sweater but it’s a bathing suit instead!” I personally love this look.

Get the 90s crochet look by doing this:

  • Go for solid colors that are light and show off the crochet pattern.
  • Choose a brightly patterned crochet that’s a bit more subtle.
  • Pair it with a crocheted swimcover up for a crochet-on-crochet look.

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