Mix & Match Swimwear: A How-To Guide

Gone are the days when we had to match every aspect of our beach outfits, and we shall rejoice! Looking all matchy-matchy is not a requirement to look good by the pool or at the beach. In fact, purposefully and tastefully mismatched swimwear is in fashion. Let’s take a look at some of the dos and don’ts of wearing mix and match swimwear.

What Is Mix & Match Swimwear?

If we started to lose you at mismatched, come back! It’s not as scary as it sounds. There are so many reasons why people like to mix and match different swimwear. 

Mix and match swimwear refers to any type of bathing suit in which you are pairing different pieces that might not have originally come together as a set. An example of wearing mix and match swimwear would be buying a hot pink bathing suit bottom that you love and pairing it with a leopard print bikini top that you found on sale at a department store.

Does that sound a little too bold for you? Never fear! Mix and match swimwear can be much more subtle as well, especially if the pieces you are pairing come from the same swimwear line or have similar color palettes. 

Why Should You Mix and Match Your Swimwear?

Okay, so you might be thinking, “Why would I intentionally mix by swim separates? Hasn’t someone else already done that work for me if I purchase a set?” Well, there are so many reasons why people choose to mix and match different swimwear pieces.

1. Sizing

In a perfect world, we would all have bodies that fit into a nice little box marked small, medium, or large. In the real world, however, it doesn't work that way! 

You may be pear-shaped — you have a smaller bust but curvier hips and bottom. Or, you might be particularly well-endowed in the chest area, and not every type of bathing suit top will work for you. 

In cases like this, purchasing swimwear in separate pieces may not even be a choice. It may be a necessary move to get the fit you need in your bathing suit. 

2. It Can Be More Cost-Effective

Though this isn’t always the case, it can sometimes be more cost-effective to mix and match your bathing suits. For example, if you are constantly sitting down by the pool and lounging in hot tubs, you might notice that your bathing suit bottoms wear out more quickly than your tops. 

If your tankini top is still perfectly wearable, it makes sense that you should just buy some new bottoms to go with it and not pay for a whole new suit.

3. You Can Get Creative!

Some people just love to show off their creative side when it comes to fashion. For those people, a plain black one-piece just isn’t gonna cut it! 

Those with eclectic tastes might have fun mixing florals and stripes. Or those who want to get creative with their fashion choices but might not be so bold may want to pair a bright, bold solid bikini top with a more neutral bottom.

Of course, there are many other reasons people may want to mix and match their swimwear, but these are the top three most common. So the real question is, how does one mix and match their swimwear without looking like they got dressed in the dark or clutched randomly at the items in their bathing suit drawer? 

We will go through some of our top tips for mixing up your swimwear in style.

How To Mix and Match Swimwear for Different Looks

Let’s take a look at some specific ways to style your swimwear, depending on the look that you are going for. Though the options are endless, these are some of our favorite ways to get creative and have fun with our suits!

Mixing Bright Colors

A surefire way to turn heads at the beach is to wear a brightly colored bathing suit. You might not think it will work to match two bright colors, but believe it or not, it’s a great look! Some bright shades that go particularly well together include pairings like:

  • Emerald Green and Watermelon Pink 
  • Royal Blue and Cherry Red
  • Dark Purple and Bright Orange
  • Coral Pink and Turquoise

Mixing Patterns

Hear us out on this one! Not every pattern combination will work, but some subtle pattern mixing can be incredibly cute. 

The key is to consider the size of the patterns and how they will look from afar as well as up close. To make this combo work, you will want to look for contrast. One of our favorite matchups is a pretty floral bathing suit top with a skinny striped bottom. 

Consider how the colors work together. Mixing patterns works best when there are complementary colors in each piece. A polka dot bottom with a striped top is also a classic combo. We love keeping the colors similar but mixing up the pattern. It might get a little tricky to have both very different patterns and very different color schemes, so choose where you want to change it up!

Try a Solid With a Pattern

If you’re new to mixing and matching swimwear and don’t feel quite brave enough to be mixing patterns yet, you might want to try starting with a solid base. It can be much easier to mix a solid color with a pattern. The key is to know where you want to pull the eye.

In general, whichever piece has the pattern is the area that will be accentuated. If you want to draw attention to your bust area, you can go with a solid bottom and a patterned top. A perfect example is this paisley swimsuit top and a navy blue bottom. With such a colorful pattern, the eye automatically travels upward. This is great for those who want to minimize hips and thighs.

Conversely, if you have a large chest, you may not want to enhance your assets with a bright pattern. In that case, you can opt for a more neutral solid top and a patterned bottom.


When it comes to mixing it up with your swimwear, it’s essential to take your time and think about your bathing suit goals. Mix and match swimwear is a wonderful choice for anyone who has special sizing needs, doesn’t want to purchase two bikini pieces, or feels the need to get creative with their fashion. 

In the end, there are many ways to mix and match — from pairing brightly colored solids to mixing patterns. You won’t know if you will like it until you try it. If you’ve never thought of playing around with separates, this is your sign to give it a whirl! 



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