The Colors of This Swim Season

It’s high summer at Bare Necessities. We’ve already dipped our toes in the water, easing into the season mostly with the help of our go-to, tried-and-true black swimsuits. Now we’re all warmed up and ready to head in bolder directions. Our favorite color at the moment: rainbow.

Swim expert Megan Puma has pulled together the full color spectrum to effortlessly give your look a tropical punch. And it almost goes without saying by now that each one has bonus benefits (bra cups, built-in slimming) that make it more than worthy of a spot in your suitcase.

All that’s left to do is pick your preferred palette.

Red Alert
What better way to channel the heat of the steamiest season than with crimson? Be it a swipe of lipstick or a bathing suit, anyone can pull off this classic power color because all skin has red undertones. The same rules for choosing a red bra apply: Fair complexions look best in a true blue-red; olive tones work with cranberry; dark skin can go deep scarlet or burgundy.

Orange Crush
There’s no better time to try tangerine than in the heat of the season. In such small doses, these sunset colors really flatter a warm complexion. Peach, bronze and rust-toned swimsuits take their style cues from the decadent, excessive glamour of the 1970s; just add gold jewelry, a squeeze of self-tanner and a brush of bronzer. (Shown above: Miss Mandalay Canyon Halter)

Hello, Yellow
Don’t let fresh lemon sour you on citrus tones; they’re really quite wearable. (And it doesn’t have to be a teeny-weeny polka-dot bikini, either.) Look for soft, buttery shades that play well with pale skin or, on the flip side, intense sunshine shades that are tempered a bit by contrasting colors, like the whites and blues seen in these suits.  

Green Lit
When the field is this wide open, it’s actually pretty easy being green. From Army-inspired olive to multi-tonal palm-frond prints, you can choose the emerald tones that suit you best. In such an unexpected, natural selection, everyone on the beach will be totally (sorry, had to) green with envy.

Blue Heaven
Unlike certain trendy colors, blue is always a sure thing for summertime (the sky! the sea! the Blue Curaçao!). It looks fabulous on everyone and is an enduring classic for its nautical connotations. Get in a blue mood in dark navy, vibrant teal or fashion-forward Yves Klein Blue in any silhouette you like—there’s a deep pool of suits to dive into.

Pretty in Purple
From bright, fresh plum to rich, dark raisin, purple reins because it’s universally flattering. Even at its most saturated and intense, purple is never an in-your-face color; it’s all warmth and heart without going overboard. In fact, you can kind of treat it like a neutral, combining at will with metallics and basics like black and white.

Think Pink
Pink is all grown up this season: You can play it sweet—but not saccharine—by opting for modern versions, like pale blush and hot hibiscus. Of course, pink may never entirely escape its feminine associations, so you may as well lean into its pretty, flirty side with delicate details like ruffles and ruching.

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Brooke Glassberg

Brooke is the editor of this here blog. In a previous life, she was an editor at Good Housekeeping and O, The Oprah Magazine. Brooke has written for Glamour, Travel+Leisure, New York Magazine and more. She’s into concerts, travel and her exceptionally adorable daughter and husband.

Brooke Glassberg