2017 Bikini Styles

Bikini Trends for 2017

Welcome to the 2017 Bikini Season Trend Analysis Report

The 2017 bikini season is well on its way, and we have finalized the results of our 2017 survey and baselined these results against leading fashion designer opinions and fashion trend advisors.

The 2017 bikini fashion industry itself will be for the most part stable this year. New styles are limited and designers are not pushing the boundaries. Beach goers have settled in and are embracing the past 3 to 4-year barrage of new styles and options. 2017 will prove to be a year of limited change within the industry as women from all walks of life explore the vast selection of available style variants released in previous years.

With this said, there is one exciting change that has been evolving over the past 5 years, and 2017 will be the year that fully embraces this change. This anticipated change is what the fashion industry calls the “perfect bikini body” the new girl on the beach has a healthy vibrant appearance, skinny, heavy, tall short, thick or slim, its all about looking healthy. More so than ever, confidence is king in the bikini industry so rock your body no matter your size or body type.

Overall 2017 Bikinis Swimwear Trends

Bikini Bottom Styles for 2017

2017 Bikini Bottom Style Trends
2017 Bikini Bottom Style Trends

For the first quarter of 2017, there were no surprises and the same trends carried over from 2016. The thong bikini bottom slowly continues to grow in popularity. As much as the thong has experienced a rough road throughout its existence, it has for most part become widely accepted internationally as a beach ready fashion with the exception of a limited number of countries that

Selena Weber and J Lynne Wearing Solid Color Thong Bikinis
Selena Weber and J Lynne Wearing Solid Color Thong Bikinis

have banded the thong bikini due to religious beliefs. Traditionally in past years the thong bikini for the most part was worn only by women who were 25 years of age or younger. Today the thong is pushing the age boundaries and women into their late thirties and early forties are now sporting these tiny bikini styles and we believe the trend will continue as women fight the aging process by spending more and more time in fitness facilities so you can expect to see the popularity percentage of the thong bikini continue to increase slowly, not from the younger end of the scale 25-30 but more so from the older age group 25-45.

The g-string bikini has seen little to no growth in popularity over the past two years and continues to struggle to hold onto its 3% standing.

The string bikini has always been the leading contender in the bikini bottom race however since 2014 we have seen a slow but steady decrease in popularity where as the sport and scrunch bikinis continue to fight for a stronger position.

Mischa Barton Sport Short Bikini
Mischa Barton Wearing a Short-Bikini

Sport bikinis were up nearly 5% in popularity over the past 12 months and this trend is expected to continue. The sport clothing and sport swimwear industries alike are hot right now driven again by the health and fitness wave that has hit North America in staggering numbers.

Riding on the coattail of the sport bikini is the scrunch bikini which for the most part is being driven again by the desire to have a healthy looking body. The scrunch bikini adds that final fashion touch to a woman’s glutes or backside displaying that perfect sculpted appearance. The scrunch bikini saw an increase of 3.1% over 2016.

Looking into the future, as long a physical fitness continues to play an increased role in society, both the sport and scrunch bikini styles will continue to experience growth.

2017 Bikini Top Trends

2017 Bikini Top Trend Analysis
2017 Bikini Top Trend

Following the bikini bottom trend for 2017 let’s take a look at the desired bikini top trends for 2017. Following in the footsteps of the bikini bottom, the string bikini top is still in first place taking 40.3% percent of the market share, but again we have seen a steady decrease in this number over the past 18 to 24 months.

Halter bikini tops are showing a steady increase mainly because of their direct ties to the sport swimsuit industry. The halter bikini top was once a plain go to top but has grown into itself becoming a strong competitor in the swimwear industry. The injection of brilliant colors and prints with great supportive options make this bikini top style desirable for women who display an active lifestyle. In addition, the blending of sheer mesh stay cool fabrics replacing the once solid back and side panels of these tops further adds to the desired appearance and more importantly their functionality.

Similar to the halter top bikini, the underwire bikini top moved up 4.7% this year in popularity further threatening the foothold of the string bikini top. The underwire bikini top not only offers lift and support but additionally gives comfort for a long day at the beach. With the application of blended lining fabrics that dry almost instantaneously, these once heavy and damp tops are now airy, light and offer incredible shaping capabilities.

The strapless or bandeau styles continue to hold their 14% foothold and this percentage has not changed significantly in the past 5 years. The strapless style of the bandeau bikini top makes it the perfect choice for tanning without tan lines but not necessarily practical for daily activities.

Finally, the tankini top has not changed in popularity more than .3% in years. Our survey results have ranged from 3.7% to 4.3% for the past 10 years and the prediction is that this is not going to change any time soon. With this said, however there is a trend that is growing that relates to the tankini top. Many women are purchasing tankini bikini tops and wearing them with jeans or shorts as a day or evening top. Swimsuit manufactures strive to create a tankini design that will gain traction in the swimwear or beach industry but when it is all said and done, these beautiful tops are making their way to boardwalks, restaurant’s and grocery stores and in some cases even work.

2017 Solids vs. Prints

2017 Solid vs pattern survey results
Solid vs Pattern

The controversial war between solid color and print bikinis will continue until the end of time. For 2017, as always solids were for the most part the most desirable fabric with a staggering 78% vote with print bikinis coming in at 28%. Keep in mind this is one trend that can change extremely quickly. To date we have never seen print bikinis take the lead over solids, but we have seen them hold as much as a 47% market share as recently as 2013. Our advice when it comes to choosing a solid or print, “Go with your heart” and keep an eye out for leading indicators or new fashionable prints that challenge solid colors. In almost every case where print bikinis challenged their solid color sisters, it was a defined style of print not so much color that cased the trend swing.

2017 Color Trends

Bikini Color Trend for 2017
2017 Bikini Color Trends

When it comes to our survey, we keep to the basic color pallet for simplicity sake as there is no way we could keep up with the ever changing color variants on the market today. Keep in mind that the survey results represent not only solid colored swimsuits but the base color or dominant color of prints also.

Kate Upton White Bikini
Kate Upton in a Beautiful White Bikini

Swimwear color variations typically do not change quickly, Popular colors take years to emerge. For example, in the early 70’s white or black was the popular color, 10 years later in the 80’s, stripes were the fad with white typically being the base color and bright or neon accent colors. For the late 90’s purple was the rage but again it takes anywhere from 5 to 10 years for these colors to take hold, but they change back to the base colors extremely quickly so the new fad color today, typically has a short lifespan before the stats will fall back to their traditional numbers.

2017 would be considered a traditional year when it comes to swimwear colors and beach trends. The numbers are sitting stable and would be considered a base year with black being the dominant color followed closely by white. Yellow and red typically battle over third and fourth place with yellow seemingly taking the lead for 2017. Similar to yellow and red, blue and green typically are the main contenders for the fifth and sixth position. No surprises here but keep in mind, a rouge color does have the capability to cripple the swimsuit industry and stop manufacturing facilities in there tracks trying to accommodate the demand of a new fad color however these fads are always short lived. I think at this point it is safe to say that 2017 will be a traditional year following the historical stable color pallet.

2017 Translucency Level

2017 Transparency Level Trend Analysis
2017 Bikini Translucency Level

So here is the news or surprise for the swimwear fashion industry for 2017. The demand for sheer see thru when wet bikinis seemingly has taken hold and the popularity of these striking designs has grown immensely over the past 24 months. During our survey in 2016, we saw the birth of this trend and the numbers were starting to show, but not enough to be duly noted, however 2017 is demonstrating a definite trend leaning towards the sheer or see thru when wet styles. For the most part it is the see thru bikini tops that are becoming extremely popular and some bottoms that have crotch lining only. The fully sheer bikini bottoms with absolutely not lining continue to loose ground to the point they are insignificant in our numbers.

Final Notes:

The swimwear fashion industry has taken a 180 degree turn when it comes to the desirable bikini body type. The skinny body is no longer the trend. Many people view that society is looking for a more curvaceous body type larger buttocks and curvier hips. From a top level view this would be the case, but after digging a little deeper, there is more to the story. The desired look is not necessarily skinny, curvy, large or small. Society is looking for a healthy appearance. The size of the torso is not typically in question anymore, its all about the overall appearance and a healthy vibrant look that will be turning heads surf side this year.


This survey is based on the results of 3148 completed surveys with the following criteria

  • Age range – 25 to 45 years of age
  • Body Size – Size was not asked on the survey
  • Body Shape / Type – Body type was not asked
  • Geographical Results – Results were based on US participants
  • Nationality – All
  • Gender = Female

The graphs are an exact representation of the survey results. Fashion advisor inputs are not represented in the results but are incorporated within the written analysis.


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