16 best swimsuits for looking great by the water this summer

16 best swimsuits for looking great by the water this summer
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UPDATE: Now’s a better time than ever to shop since several of these styles are now on sale. Click through to see what kind of discounts await!

Swimsuit season is here, so it’s time to invest in a new outfit for the pool or beach that lets you look and feel great as you soak up the rays and have fun in the water.

One pieces, bikinis, high-cut legs, low-cut necklines: all are represented here, ready to look beautiful on anybody who wears them. While the options are endless, we wanted to whittle it down to a handful of favorites that we think will appeal to almost anyone on their hunt for just the right fit and style for Summer 2021.

RELATED: Check out the warm weather beauty products we’re loving right now.

You can trust our independent reviews. We may earn a commission from some of the retailers, but we never allow this to influence selections, which are formed from real-world testing, expert advice and our own research. This revenue helps to fund journalism across The Independent.

Colorblocked V-Neck One Piece Swimsuit

Colorblocking is a fun way to incorporate striking combinations and shapes without looking busy or overwhelmed, plus the simple cut is flattering on a wide variety of body types.


Bodhi Orange Tiger Print Underwire Bikini Top

Animal print is classic, but tiger is less predictable than leopard and looks great on this sexy, itty bitty two-piece from Lulu’s. The pieces are sold separately so make sure to grab the bottoms here.

Charlie Holiday

Moving Snakey Tie High-Leg Bikini Set

This is quite the skimpy, sexy option so wear with caution if you plan to do anything but lounge by the water. But if that is your plan, you will definitely look hot while you do it!

Nasty Gal

Dixperfect Women's Retro 80s/90s Inspired High Cut Low Back One Piece Swimwear Bathing Suits

This is the perfect 90s-inspired shape done in stunning, warm-weather inspired stripes. It has a high cut to lengthen legs and zero padding for minimal coverage up top, and it’s versatile enough to wear as a bodysuit under some cute cutoffs or a denim skirt, so buy it in a few colors (especially at this price) to build up your poolside-to-dinner-table wardrobe. (Prices start at $15.99)


The Brooke One-Piece Swimsuit

This waist-defining, curve-hugging one piece has the retro kitsch that can flatter an hourglass shape or create one where wanted, and the full coverage shape means you’ll never have to worry about an errant wave coming along and stealing your suit.


Como One-Piece

Orange and black are usually reserved for spookier times like Halloween, but this gorgeous ginger glaze and onyx version of the famed combo looks sporty and fun in an off-center cutout shape. A moderate cut reveals just a sliver of sexy backside, and removable padding lets you decide how much oomph you want to add up top.

Victoria’s Secret

SweatyRocks Women's Sexy Bathing Suits Spaghetti Strap Floral Bikini Set Underwire Swimsuit

This barely-there bikini is so youthful and flirty with its fun butterfly print and scoop cut bottom. You probably won’t want to hit any high speed water slides in it, but if you want you look adorable on your next summer outing, this is the ticket.


Out From Under Monica Tie-Front Printed One-Piece Swimsuit

If nineties-does-sixties kitsch is up your alley, you’ll love this bold floral one piece with a revealing double tie in the front that exposes a great amount of skin without leaving you over-exposed.

Urban Outfittes

Island Flower 2 Piece Bikini - Green/combo

The eternal appeal of tropical florals for summer holds strong in this off-the-shoulder bikini. High waist bottoms make it less revealing than a typical string or high-cut version, and the flouncy shoulders add a touch of retro romance to the overall feel.

Fashion Nova

Shine Strap Bali Bombshell Add-2-cups Push-Up Top

We already mentioned the classic-ness of animal print above, but we’re totally in love with the shiny rhinestones inlaid on the straps of this bikini. It’s a little tacky, a lot sexy, and perfectly suited for those who want all eyes on them when it’s time to strip down at the pool.

Now that we’re well into the season, VS is having a sale in which you save 30% off one swim item, 40% off two, and 50% off three or more! Stock up for next year with some classics.

Victoria’s Secret

x The Salty Blonde Sundipped Cap Sleeve One-Piece Swimsuit

Cap sleeves and a belt on a swimsuit? Absolutely. You’ll be giving off serious Bond Girl vibes in this adventurous silhouette featuring delicate white dots to add a demure spin.


Rose Floral Wireless Swim Top

If the cap sleeves above look cute, you’ll also love them done here in a romantic rose print two-piece that shows just enough skin to look sexy without the threat of losing your top in a strong wave. We love the keyhole detail and ruched bottoms (buy them here), too.


Nayda One Piece Swimsuit

For a more covered-up but still flattering look, the Nayda one piece with its scooped neck and dropped arms is a hit. The petite blue floral print seen here is fantastic, but Art Deco Sage and Coco Strike offer the same shape in more bold patterns and colors.

Free People

Cut-out High Leg Swimsuit

A basic black (or red!) swimsuit is always a great thing to have in your wardrobe, especially one that combines the look of a bikini with the convenience of one piece. And for under $35, your wallet will be happy, too.


O-Ring One-Piece Swimsuit

We’re loving the Pretty Woman vibes with this turquoise stunner, and just $13.99!

Forever 21

Ruched one-shoulder one-piece

Cute, flirty, and femme, this one-shoulder best seller from J. Crew is a polymide/elastane blend that skims curves and has removable padding so you can choose which parts you’d like to highlight or slim down with a quick change-out.

J. Crew
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