The trends in swimwear have evolved over the years. Today, it has a separate category in the fashion industry. We, Indians might have started to experiment boldly and confidently with bikinis, tankinis, sarongs etc only recently but things have changed drastically over the past decade or so. Now with the launch of various swimwear brands in India, one has multiple options available in almost all major cities of India and also online. Nowadays, the most voguish beachwear styles happen to be crop-tops and cover-ups.
When it comes to designing a swimwear, designers have to keep a lot of factors in mind: colour palette and fabric. The fabrics used should be such that they protect the body from ultra violet rays and are also water repellent in nature. The swimwear styles are often coordinated or mixed and matched with the other beach accessories.
Delhi based designer Niyati Monga says about the fabric and design, “There are a few variations that you can use. We mostly use a combination of Polyamide and Elastane with a UV protection of SPF 50+ . We also use a lot of lace and net for embellishment. We work on mainly three patterns — the classic maillot, the tankinis and the skirtinis. All styles are derived out of these basic patterns. The leg cuts, the skirt lengths, the necklines and the position of the straps. Most of the maillots are made with changeable and adjustable strap, so you can make them into halters, crossbars or wear as it is.”
“The tankinis have a lot of combinations that can be made. Each and every design is made with a mix and match option to suit one’s style and size. The skirtinis also come in various lengths,” she adds.
About keeping Indianness in designs, she says, “I wouldn’t say people are shy but there is a slight hesitation in some people. I feel people are opening up now. Yes we do alter our styles to suit the ‘Indian taste’ a bit but then there is no compromise on the styling aspect from my end. This current collection does have a lot more shorts and skirts because that is the demand but they also have a lot of lazer cut lace, beautiful summer prints and other trims to keep the style quotient up.”
“But, no doubt the maillots will never loose their space in the market. Women who wear those, just wear those. Shyness is not only prevalent in the older women, even the girls at younger ages with the most perfect bodies sometimes hesitate to get into a swimsuit but vice versa women who love to swim — young or old, don’t care.”
Nowadays, the crop tops are in trend, for they are flattering and feminine too apart from being extremely comfortable. One can choose from a wide range of colour and print options available from solids to boho designs.
Anuradha Singh, fashion stylist says, “Usually lycra, polyester, nylon and some blended fabrics such as poly PBT and XLA are used to make swimming costumes. Patterns used for swimwear are single piece swimsuits, swim suits with cutouts, lace up bikinis and me-piece suits; high waist bikini bottoms, high neck crop tops, deep plunging necklines, strapless bandeau tops, tops with ruffles, tops with fringes, sports chic swimwear.”
“Most people are shy to make any kind of transitions but today’s generation has a lot of confidence. They are a lot more comfortable with their bodies and personal sense of style. From having barely any swim wear outlets we now have Indian designers who specialised and are dedicated to their swimwear collections. There are a lot of options even for the conservative crowd who can opt for a tankini or a monokini without comprising on style and their oomph factor. They can wrap around a skirt or sarong or a nice beach dress as a cover up,” she adds.
An essential part of sporting a stylish beach look is a cover-ups — combining bikini or monokini with a nice printed wrap skirt.
Another Delhi-based designer, Prerna Khetrapal of Poshpride, says, “While choosing fabrics for swimming costumes and resort wear, comfort is the deciding factor because swimwear needs to be highly functional. The fabrics also should be breathable and quick-drying. I highly recommend using lycra as it is a perfect mixture of spandex fibres and other fibres. You could opt for coloured lycra to add to the trend of you attire.”
“People are now quite receptive to more revealing designs. We do sometimes make adjustments, but I feel that has more to do with an individual client requirement for a cut which looks best on her. And there are ways to overcome this shyness with style. We, at Poshpride provide beautiful sheer net capes to go with such swimwears so that a person is not only comfortable carrying it but it also makes the entire outfit look super chic and glamorous.”
International swimwear brands too have a considerable market share in the swimwear business in India. They have presence in all major cities through their outlets.
Smita Muraka, head of marketing and e-commerce, Amanté, says,“The new swimwear collection is inspired by the vibrancy and beauty of the summer season. In this collection, Amanté offers uber stylish swim styles in a variety of silhouettes ranging from bold bikinis to flirty bandeau bras to elegant one-piece swimsuits. The collection comes with unique hand-made macramé details, figure flattering drapes and bright popping summer colours. In addition to the elegant one piece swimsuits, the range also carries a one piece control swimsuit with side rouging provides a flattering appearance. Mix and match being a big trend internationally, this range allows you to experiment with our range of tankinis, bikinis and variety of swim bottoms. The tankini’s are a hot seller this year and will continue to be in trend for next year too, as its feminine yet sporty, and adds a modern appeal to your beach look. The collection is made of premium water resistant microfiber fabric, which dries quickly allowing you to enjoy extra time in the sun after a long swim. With this collection, we appeal to the modern trend-conscious woman who loves to experiment and play with vibrant colours.”
One can also accessorise swimwear with minimalist add-ons like simple studs or drop earrings, necklaces and bracelets and team them up with a pair of round, printed sunnies or reflectors to add a little bit of spunk. A panama hat will make you look classy but will also protect you from direct sunlight. Just slip into a pair of trendy slides, brightly coloured flip flips or just make it all glamorous by wearing a pair of mules. A straw, canvas, cloth tote as a beach bag with all your essentials including sunscreen stashed inside and voila you’re ready to soak up the sun!