Swimsuit Styles

Swimsuit shopping can be a breeze for some, or a dreadful process for others. Either way you're going to choose the best swimsuit that flatters your body and is comfortable to wear. I've put together some swimsuits that are in style, and are made for all shapes and sizes.


The Bikini

The most popular style of swimwear is one that requires the least amount of fabric if you're making your own. 3/8 to a 1/2 yard of spandex fabric will do. The great thing about two pieces is that you can mix and match the bottoms and tops with different prints, or keep it simple with solid colors. 

bikini cropped


The One-Piece

For a while, it was all about the bikini and no one but professional swimmers were rocking the one-piece. Well, times have changed and the one-piece is back! With different cuts and styles, the one-piece is popular and just as fun to wear. Some celebrities have started the one-piece trend, and retailers and designers have picked up on it. To make your own, 1 yard of spandex fabric will do the job! The one-piece swimsuit is sophisticated, and classy. If you're on the fence, don't knock until you've tried it. You might be surprised. 

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The Tankini

The tankini is the in-between option of a one-piece and a bikini. They're cute, and like the bikini, you can mix and match different prints and colors. If you're making your own tankini, a 1/2 yard to 3/4 of a yard of spandex fabric will complete the look. 

tankini cropped2


Retro Swim

Retro swimwear that is inspired by the 1930's through the 1970's has been trending for a couple of years now. It still is a favorite to a lot of people because of their flattering silhouettes and designs that look good on any body size and shape. Retro swimsuits tend to cover up more skin, with either a one-piece or high-waist bottoms. Some retro swimsuits have boning in them to help keep the shape of the swimsuit. These swimsuits are very classy and have an "Old Hollywood" look to them. If you're going to make a swimsuit like one of these, it should not require more than 1 yard of spandex fabric. Boning is optional.

Red swim cropped

Swimsuit bikini cropped

Swimsuit 2 cropped


Jen’s Opinion

I own all the styles of swimsuits listed above, and I have to say my favorite is the retro look. I have made a 1940's inspired bathing suit, a one-piece, and a bikini, and all three were pretty easy to make. Spandex fabric is the best option for swimsuits because it absorbs water the best and dries quickly.  Remember if you are working with spandex fabric you will need to sew with elastic thread. Cover-ups are also a simple item to make, especially for beginners. You can click here to watch my tutorial on how to make a tank top style swimsuit cover-up made with jersey knit fabric.