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Many people living in climate zones with cold winters look forward to their winter-get-away tropical beach vacation. When it comes to warm climate vacation fashion, your swimwear options are almost as abundant as that of your regular wardrobe. Whether you’re soaking up some sun rays, enjoying the water, or jet-setting in a warm-weather locale, you need a bikini and beachwear that are fashionable, elegant, and fun at any age.

In the United States, the revenue generated from swimwear fashion hit $41 billion, so you know that bikini fashion is a serious business for stylish warm weather vacation lovers like you. The crochet bikini is an enduring style for beachside or poolside looks and here’s what you should know.



What Is the Crochet Bikini?

Crochet or crocheted swimwear refers to bikinis, one-pieces and other swim attire usually handcrafted using yarn in a crochet style. The style first emerged in the 1970s and was popularized by Hollywood actresses and pin-up models. Crocheted bikinis enjoyed a resurgence in popularity in the early 2000s as part of the Boho-Chic revival. Today, this style represents a look that is both classic and modern, giving it a timeless elegance. Brazilian street artist, Maria Solange Ferranini has captured the signature style of the crochet bikini, a chic look for the modern woman who knows that the beach is every bit as vital as the runway.


modern crochet bikini top styled with jeans
Modern crocheted bikini top styled with high-waisted light-wash jeans and accessorized with a whimsical gold necklace and polymer earrings. To look modern at any age and to achieve the best crochet bikini looks avoid to accessorize with wood jewelry or leather chokers like in the 1970s.


Why Should You Love Crocheted Swimwear?

The ideal crocheted swimwear pieces offer several unique advantages for the stylish and the practical:

  • Wear comfort: When you’re feeling summer and springtime vibes, the last thing you want to be is uncomfortable. The best crochet swimwear is made from soft, breathable yarn that feels good against the skin and promotes airflow, keeping you cool and comfy even when you sweat. Examples are virgin bamboo, viscose bamboo, Tencel.
  • Customized fit: Crocheted yarn is available in various stitch sizes, yielding a crochet bikini or one-piece that fits you like a glove.
  • Fashionable and fancy: The textures and patterns available on crocheted bathing suits offer a beautiful upgrade to your warm climate vacation looks. You can make a pool-side fashion statement that is elegant, chic, and luxurious with the perfect crocheted bikini at any age.
  • Durability: Well-made crocheted pieces are built to last. The careful stitching techniques make for pieces that hold up to wear and tear when properly cared for.
  • Versatility: Crochet tops and bottoms can be mixed and matched with other beachwear pieces to provide a range of looks that are appropriate both in and out of the water. You even can wear a crochet to with high-waist jeans and sneakers to hit the beach mall.


radar plot of average fabric material properties
Radar plot of mean thermo-physiological and UV-transmission properties for polyamide, bamboo and Tencel fabrics. Here WVTR, TD, AP, UPF, Rt, and Ret are the breathability, thermal conductivity (a measure for the insulation from heat or cold), air permeability, ultra-violet sun-protection factor, thermal resistance, and water-vapor resistance, respectively.  OMMC rates the overall moisture management capacity from 0 (worst) to 1 (theoretically best, but not reached by any real fabrics).  Values of  30 0.01xOMMC (0.3) and higher are great for hot weather gear. The air permeability of Tencel and bamboo is better than that of polyamide. Furthermore, Tencel and bamboo provide good/very good (depending on the tightness of the fabric) sun protection. From: Mölders 2023.



What Should I Consider When Shopping Crochet Bikinis?

Now that you know how fabulous a crochet bikini can be, there are some things to consider as you explore what’s available:

  • Details: It’s important to note how tightly crocheted the yarn is on a suit you’re considering. If the crochet is on the loose side, the swimwear might be see-thru. That’s not stylish at any age. Instead, consider a tightly crocheted, opaque version or think about wearing a nude lining underneath.
  • Color: To look modern and up-to-date at any age, go for sober or neutral colors and/or solid color pieces. In other words, clearly stir away from the 1970s fashion colors (e.g., baby blue, yellow, mauve, peach, bright colors) or patterns like flower-power blossoms.
  • Water absorption: The yarn in crochet swimwear tends to be very absorbent, making them potentially heavy and uncomfortable in cold water. Crochet swimwear is big on fashion, and not so much on athletic performance.
  • Maintenance: Because of the stitching and detailing on crochet swimwear, most pieces need to be hand-washed and dried by laying flat. Using a washing machine and dryer will cause shrinking and loss of shape.



modern purple crochet swimsuit in plus-size
Window display of a plus size purple, modern crocheted swimsuit to illustrate the difference between loose crochet (on the tummy) and tight crochet (top, bottom). “Crochet Bikini” by Free Photo Revolution is licensed under CC BY 2.0.



Wearing the Crochet Bikini and Swimwear Trend in a Nutshell

Adding a beautiful crochet bikini to your wardrobe is a luxurious, elegant, and stylish choice. Look, for instance, to PQ Swim for quality, hand-crafted pieces that reflect and expand your vacation style.



Mölders, N., 2023. Discover the Relation between Fashion, Fabrics, Weather, and Comfort. Amazon Pro Publishing. In press.

© 2013-2023 Nicole Mölders | All rights reserved

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This Post Has 4 Comments

  1. Crochet bikinis are not for me but I was able to revamp my swimwear this year and love the variety I have. Between the pool in the summer and a beach trip a year, they get their wear.

  2. I wrote a book about the wear comfort of various fabrics. It is now in press, and will be on the market soon.

  3. I’m impressed with crocheted bikinis—and with your graph showing the qualities of various yarns used! Empirical evidence of what might work best for your swimsuit! Science and fashion! 😀