Printed Bikini: What is it, Patterns, Designs & More

Prints featured on bikinis can vary enormously in motifs, colors, scale, and overall aesthetic. Designs may cover the entire swimsuit or appear solely on one part like the top or bottoms. Creative prints and vibrant pattern pairings allow anyone to communicate their personal tastes.

This article will explore popular prints and patterns seen on bikinis, print sizes and placements, manufacturing methods, price ranges, and leading brands selling the latest printed swimwear styles each season.

What is a printed bikinis?

A printed bikini can be defined as a two-piece or one piece women’s swimsuit composed of a bikini top and bikini bottom. It is made from fabric featuring colorful designs, prints, graphics, and patterns. The print covers some or all of the bikini. It differs from a traditional solid color bikini through the addition of printed designs. Printed bikinis are made in standard bikini styles and silhouettes like triangle tops, bandeaus, string bottoms, etc. They are constructed from stretchy, printed swimsuit fabric combinations, usually nylon/spandex blends. Printed bikinis are designed to be worn for swimming, lounging poolside, or beach activities. They are distinguished from other swimsuits by their defining two-piece printed design.

At the most basic level, a printed bikini consists of a printed bikini top and printed bikini bottom. The prints may cover the entire swimsuit, feature on just one part, appear in certain sections, or act as accents to solid colored fabric. 

The prints can vary enormously in terms of colors, motifs, scale, placement, and overall look.

Prints on bikinis draw the eye and are a way for anyone to express their personal style. Wearing a printed bikini telegraphs something about your tastes and personality compared to selecting a simple bikini in black, white, or red.

Women choose printed bikinis for the individual flair prints provide. 

Popular designs and patterns for printed bikinis

Tropical Print

Tropical prints refer to brightly colored, nature-inspired patterns commonly seen on women’s swimsuits and coverups. These lively prints evoke a sense of summer, warmth, and vacation vibes through motifs resembling palm trees, hibiscus flowers, toucans, parrots, pineapples, and other reminders of tropical destinations.

Tropical prints tend to feature vivid, saturated colors like fuchsia, tangerine, lime green, and sunshine yellow against backdrops of aqua blue or seafoam green. The color palette reflects the dazzling hues found in tropical nature, like exotic birds and flowers or coral reefs.

tropical pattern and a tropical print one piece swimsuit

Common tropical print motifs include palm leaves, hibiscus blooms, pineapple slices, parrots, toucans, banana leaves, tropical fish, seashells, palm trees, and jungle vines. These images symbolize the lush landscapes, abundant wildlife, and laidback vibes of tropical getaways in Hawaii, the Caribbean, or Central America. Tropical prints may feature one dominant motif repeated in rows or patterns, or cluster multiple motifs together in a colorful collage effect.

The cheerful aesthetic of tropical prints aims to evoke a sense of paradise and vacation mindset. When translated onto swimwear like bikinis, one-piece suits, swim skirts, cover ups, and beach accessories, these punchy patterns promise to transport the wearer to an imagined tropical oasis, even if they’re just headed to their local community pool. 

Floral print

Floral print bikinis feature organic shapes and patterns of flowers and plants to create an aesthetically pleasing look that flatters a variety of body types. Floral prints also give off a feminine, playful vibe which many women wish to channel in their beach or poolside apparel.

There are many different types of floral prints seen in swimwear, drawing inspiration from different flower species, arrangements, and art styles. Large, lush blooms in tropical inspired prints are common, featuring flowers like hibiscus, orchids, bird of paradise, and more. 

floral print and bikini top and bottom set

These prints conjure images of Hawaiian shirts and evoke a vacation mindset. Soft blurred backgrounds behind bold flower outlines creates an impressionist floral style. Intricate vine and botanical symmetries emulate floral embroidery or textile designs. Bright, popping sunflowers, daisies, and roses arranged in repeating patterns generate a vibrant, happy look. More abstract interpretations involve kaleidoscopic designs or diluted watercolor backgrounds.

The colors featured alongside the floral prints can also drastically change the look and mood of a swimsuit. Pairing bold red roses with black backgrounds gives a more mature, elegant look. Tropical flowers like plumeria or heliconia set against blue watercolor-esque backgrounds are calming and idyllic. Cheerful daisies combined with lemon yellows and greens emit a fresh, spritely vibe.

Animal print

Animal print bikinis refers to bathing suits featuring prints resembling the patterns and markings found on the fur, skins, and hides of animals such as zebras, tigers, leopards, giraffes, and snakes. These bold, eye-catching prints have long been a popular choice for women’s swimwear.

The term “animal print” encompasses a wide range of prints that mimic the coats of wildlife. Classic animal prints include zebra stripes, leopard spots, and tiger stripes. More abstract interpretations showcase blotches and streaks inspired by giraffe, snake, cow, and elephant patterns. These prints may appear in black and white or incorporate shades of brown, tan, gold, orange, and black.

From itsy-bitsy bikinis to retro high-waisted styles, animal print swimsuits often utilize shiny fabrics, metallic details, and daring silhouettes to amp up the drama and fun. Many animal print swimwear pieces take inspiration from vintage styles of the 1950s, 60s and 70s.

Striped Print

A striped print in swimwear refers to a pattern of lines or bands of alternating colors running horizontally across the fabric. These multi-colored stripes repeat at regular intervals, creating distinction between the colors. The varying stripes are of equal or differing widths and stand out clearly from the background fabric.

Striped prints may feature two alternating colors, like the classic red and white or navy and white. Some striped prints incorporate more than two colors, using various hues to create bolder patterns. The stripes can maintain crisp definition or they may blend together in places for a softer blurred stripe effect. They are created on swimwear fabrics through weaving or printing methods.

The linear quality of striped prints has an elongating and slimming effect that flatters the body. The stripes draw the eye across the body, directing attention to the lines rather than curves. This makes striped swimsuits popular for enhancing and streamlining many body types.

Whether the stripes are thin or wide, horizontal or diagonal, sharply delineated or subtly blurred, this graphic motif brings a lively energy and visual appeal to swimsuits. The repeating pattern commands attention while maintaining a clean, elegant look. Striped prints have versatility spanning classic nautical inspiration to modern graphic interpretations.

Polka dot print

As a bikini print, polka dots refers to a pattern made up of filled-in, colored circles or dots of varying sizes scattered across fabric. The term “polka dot” comes from the polka dance which was popular when the print emerged in the early 1800s. While the standard polka dot consists of solid round dots on a contrasting background, variations can include different shapes like squares or hearts, dots with borders or outlines, dots clustered together to form new shapes, and dots of multiple colors and sizes intermixed.

polka dots have an enduring popularity due to their femininity and versatility. Unlike loud prints or graphic patterns, polka dots have a soft, delicate quality that flatters a wide range of body types. Their whimsical nature also brings out a woman’s playful side for a breezy beachside look. Depending on the dots’ scale and spacing, as well as color combinations, polka dots can give off anything from a retro-chic vibe to a modern sensibility. From itsy-bitsy teeny-weeny bikinis to modest one-piece tankinis, polka dot suits work well across styles.

Besides flattering most figures, polka dot swimwear also serves as a neutral foundation that provides the perfect canvas for accessory pairings. For example, red polka dot bikinis popped against a vibrant sarong or cover-up, while classic black-and-white dots complement straw sun hats or delicate jewelry. Polka dots can be dressed up or down seamlessly. 

Tie-dye print

A tie-dye print bikini features the distinctive swirling, spotted or striped pattern created by the resist dyeing technique of tie-dye. This style of two-piece swimsuit utilizes the eye-catching, vibrant colors and organic shapes that are the hallmarks of tie-dye designs. The bikini top typically comes in a triangle, bandeau or halter style, with the tie-dye print lending a casual, free-spirited look. The bottoms are often classic hipster or Brazilian cuts, covered in psychedelic tie-dye splotches that evoke a relaxed, summer vibe.

No two tie-dye print bikinis will have the exact same pattern and color variations. The hand-done process results in unique designs that reflect the adventurous self-expression and individuality associated with tie-dye style since its counter-cultural heyday. The swirling spots and stripes of a tie-dye print bikini are imbued with a spirited bohemianism. This one-of-a-kind swimwear subtly conveys vibrancy, joy and letting one’s inhibitions go.

The appeal of a tie-dye print on a bikini lies in contrast – the psychedelic colors and shapes embody freedom against the revealing silhouette of the two-piece swimsuit. This clever juxtaposition empowers the woman wearing it to celebrate her body with lively abandon. 

Tribal print

Tribal print bikinis feature bold, geometric patterns on the fabric that are inspired by motifs and designs from indigenous art and textiles around the world. Specifically, tribal print bikinis incorporate colors, shapes and visual textures reminiscent of body adornments, textiles, and cultural artifacts used by Maori, Navajo, Aztec, African, Aboriginal and other native peoples. Triangle top bikini styles and one-piece swimsuits are common canvases for these graphic prints that pay stylized homage to the craftwork aesthetics of varied global native tribes. Vivid pigments forming stripes, zigzags, ikat patterns and abstract motifs create an exotic swimming costume that makes a uniquely vibrant style statement.

Beyond straightforward cultural appropriation which extracts symbolic meaning, tribal-inspired prints appreciate and reference the artistic legacy of global indigenous tribes. Modern tribal prints remix iconic shapes and layouts from Maori, Navajo, Aztec, African, and Aboriginal art into fresh contemporary bikini patterns. Graphic placements of these patterns over the hips, chest, and back attract the eye, while celebrating the visual language of native cultures.

For example, a red bikini with Nazca motif triangles and ikat-style zigzags has an exotic, modern South American vibe. Or a blue one-piece swimsuit with oval and diamond shapes layered like reptile scales makes a wearer stand out yet appreciates the animal symbology in Native art. The vibrant energy and craftwork aesthetics borrowed from generations of indigenous artisans, now refreshed in new combinations on swimwear, gives tribal print its recognizable signature and versatile graphic appeal.

Gingham print

A gingham print bikini features the classic checked pattern of thin horizontal and vertical stripes on a two-piece swimsuit. Typically, the crisscrossing lines create an orderly plaid look in a fabric woven from cotton or a cotton blend. The breezy geometric pattern adds a casual, retro-inspired flair to the bikini top and bottoms. Gingham print bikinis often utilize high-contrast colors for the graphic checks, like black and white or red and navy, mixing and matching between the top and bottom pieces. The tidy, tailored precision of gingham bikinis creates flattering dimension while retaining a laidback, beach-ready look. Crisp yet carefree, gingham print bikinis capture summertime vibes in their signature checked design.

Gingham is a timeless printed fabric known for its checked pattern of evenly spaced thin stripes on a solid background color. The intersecting horizontal and vertical lines create a classic plaid motif. Gingham prints have been used in fashion for decades, originally gaining popularity in mid-20th century household items like tablecloths, pillowcases and picnic blankets.

Gingham prints add a retro-inspired flair to bikinis, tankinis and one-piece suits. The graphic pattern contrasts well on solid bikini tops and bottoms in both muted tones like black and white or punchy hues like red and navy. Gingham one-pieces and tankinis also allow for creative mixing and matching of the crisscross stripes.

The laidback persona of gingham makes it an approachable print for swimwear. The orderly checks have a tidy, tailored look that flatters a range of body types. Gingham suits can be mixed and matched or worn as a set without seeming overly matchy-matchy.

Geometric print

A geometric print bikini refers to a two-piece swimsuit featuring a top and bottom decorated in geometric prints. As the name implies, geometric prints utilize recognized geometric shapes like circles, triangles, squares, diamonds, and lines arranged in orderly, repeating patterns.

When these bold graphic prints are applied to the fabric of a bikini, they create a structured look that contrasts fluidly against the natural curves of the female form. Geometric prints on bikinis often use high contrast colors like black and white or bright primaries to make the angular shapes visually stand out. The prints may incorporate symmetry through tessellation or asymmetry through random overlaps of shapes to form eye-catching layouts overall. From dotted grids of circles to stripes and interlocking polygons, geometric bikinis make a vibrant style statement poolside or beachside.

Some common types of geometric prints seen on bikini swimwear include triangular prints, diamond prints, square and rectangular prints, stripes, zig-zags, dotted grids, and combinations of different shapes. For example, a geometric print bikini may have a bandeau-style top with rows of triangles interlocking with each other, while the side-tie bikini bottoms may have horizontal and vertical stripes.

Mixing various geometric shapes and orientations keeps the overall pattern dynamic and graphically appealing. The structured precision of geometric prints contrasts strikingly with bikini silhouettes that contour the female form. When placed on the intricate lines of bikini swimwear, the colors and shapes in a geometric print create a bold graphic statement.

Geometric prints have an orderly, mathematical beauty about them that translates artistically onto bikini designs. The repetitive nature of the print also allows it to be efficiently mass-produced while still feeling visually interesting.

Camouflage print

A camouflage print bikini refers to a two-piece swimsuit featuring a camouflage design. This type of military-inspired pattern printed on bikini tops and bottoms features muted green, brown, and tan shapes meant to blend in with natural surroundings. Camouflage prints first grew popular in mainstream fashion in the 1990s and have remained on-trend in casualwear and activewear since.

In swimwear, camouflage prints take on a playful, beachy look rather than mimicking patterns used to conceal soldiers. Designers often scale down and soften the print on bikinis so it doesn’t overpower the small pieces of fabric. Some camo bikinis focus just on green and tan colors rather than full multipattern camouflage that could appear too busy. These designs evoke themes of exploring the outdoors rather than hiding from enemies.

Other camo bikinis play with neon bright colors like pink, orange and yellow against classic camouflage backdrops. This creates a bold, eye-catching effect opposite of true stealthy camouflage. The surprise of seeing fluorescent camo designs allows wearers to make a stylish statement rather than blending into the background. Whether in muted neutrals or popping brights, camouflage patterned bikinis permit subtle edge through military-inspired aesthetics poolside.

As with any swimsuit print, camouflage bikinis come in trendy cuts like high-waisted bottoms, strappy tops and cut-out details. The camo pattern adds an unexpected touch to modern sporty shapes.

Paisley print

A paisley print bikini refers to a two-piece swimsuit featuring the teardrop-shaped paisley design. Paisley prints are intricate patterns characterized by curved, swirling shapes reminiscent of leaves, buds, or fruits. Typically centered around a single teardrop shape with a curved upper end and pointed lower end, paisley prints stand out for their delicate detailing inspired by nature.

When translated onto the fabric of a bikini, these swirling paisley shapes add an artistic touch of vibrance. Modern paisley print bikinis often contrast the swirling paisley patterns against backgrounds of complementary colors, allowing the decorative motifs to stand out prominently against the fabric. The resulting look is eye-catching yet balanced. Much like the cultural history behind paisley prints originating from Kashmiri shawls, paisley bikinis also reference globally-inspired style.

The delicate patterns used in paisley symbolize nature, fertility and womanhood. As a result, paisley print bikinis project distinctly feminine beauty and sophistication. The swirling floral detailing brings ornate visual interest to the swimsuit, decorating the wearer with textures reminiscent of leaves, buds and fruits. This natural motif used in paisley prints also strikes a balance between decadence and simplicity within its intricate patterns. When worn as a bikini, the flattering silhouette receives an artistic upgrade from paisley’s subtly lavish botanical shapes and global style influences.

Abstract print

An abstract print bikini refers to a two-piece swimsuit featuring an artistic, non-objective geometric pattern. Rather than depicting recognizable objects, abstract prints use shapes, lines and colors to create unique designs focused on form and visual interest.

Influenced by avant-garde art styles like Cubism, common abstract bikini prints may incorporate motifs like overlapping shapes, irregular polygons, wavy lines, dots and contrasting color blocks. The aesthetic is graphic, interpretive and experimental rather than literal.

An abstract print bikini allows designers artistic freedom to experiment with different motifs. The prints tend to dominate the look with their strong geometric presence, featuring graphic black and white zigzags, fragmented diagonal lines, splattered paint effects, and warped geometric patterns. The arbitrary nature of the prints creates an alluring sense of movement and dimension.

Plaid Print

A plaid print bikini refers to a two-piece swimsuit featuring a tartan checkered pattern. This timeless criss-crossing design originated in Scottish kilts before becoming a staple across modern fashion. On bikinis, plaid prints add a retro-inspired flair suited for fun days poolside or at the beach.

The intersecting lines on plaid prints create checks, stripes, or tartan shapes in all types of color combinations. On bikini tops and bottoms, smaller-scale plaids are most common, providing a bolder statement than larger all-over plaid patterns. Popular pairings incorporate black & white, red & black, blue & green, or other high-contrast hues lending preppy, vintage-cool vibes. The alternating color blocks make a vibrant style impact.

Beyond the checkered aesthetic, plaid prints suggest casual, carefree weekend leisure. This association translates seamlessly to plaid bikinis as a swimsuit embodiment of warmth and effortless summer ease. The pattern’s ubiquity across categories like button-downs and jackets also mean plaid bikinis can be conveniently mixed-and-matched with various cover-ups and beachwear.

Metallic print

A metallic print bikini refers to a two-piece swimsuit featuring an eye-catching abstract pattern designed to replicate the radiance of metals like gold, silver and copper.

Metallic print bikinis incorporate metallic foil, ink or digital prints that mimic the look of real metals. Unlike actual metal bikinis, the metallic prints are integrated directly into soft, stretchy fabrics – capturing the dazzle without the weight. Dramatic finishes like silver, bronze and rose gold lend these tiny swimsuits a jewelry-inspired allure.

These sensational suits feature tiny metallic print tops, often in triangle silhouettes with flashy embellishments like beads or sequins. Bottoms may include classic briefs, daring thongs or decorative metallic details along the hips.

In application, metallic prints on bikinis most commonly appear as abstract artistic patterns, though some designs may also incorporate metal-influenced motifs like gears, mechanical elements or jewelry forms. The prints can range from subtle neutrals like pewter gray to bolder hues like goldenrod yellow or rose gold. They bring literal shine and flash to a bikini look.

Color block print

A color block bikini refers to a two-piece swimsuit featuring a graphic, high contrast pattern of solid color blocks in bright, complementary hues. This striking print relies on the vibrant juxtaposition of distinct shades in clearly defined shapes to create visual dynamism.

In a color block bikini, both the top and bottom pieces incorporate large blocks of uniform, saturated colors right next to each other for maximum contrast. The color separation is clean and distinct, with each shade standing out boldly from the blocks around it in the geometric layout. Designs typically incorporate pairings like orange and electric blue or fuchsia and lime green—energetic shade combinations that catch the eye.

While traditional floral prints blend colors together in a single design, the color blocking effect is all about displaying multiple pure, uniform colors in separation. This makes a swimwear print pop in a totally different way. Some color block bikini prints go for high contrast and visual impact by combining unexpected hues like salmon pink, black and mint in graphic layouts.

In addition to color pairing, the scale and configurations of the color blocked pattern can make a design feel fashion-forward. Placing differently sized or shaped blocks strategically can complement a woman’s figure, using color and line to elongate and flatter.

Watercolor print

A watercolor print bikini refers to a two-piece swimsuit featuring a blurry, pigmented pattern that mimics the aesthetic of a watercolor painting. The bikini top and bottoms contain gradients of softly blended, translucent colors with no harsh outlines.

Watercolor print bikinis have an artistic yet easygoing vibe perfect for the beach or pool. The muted tones, fluid shapes and sheer reveals flatter various body types in a romantic, feminine way. Popular variations include abstract florals, ombre tie-dyes, smudgy geometrics and paint-stroke effects in pastel or secondary shades.

With its delicate, hand-painted appearance, a watercolor print bikini manages to be creative without overwhelming the eyes. The organic patterns allow more skin to peek through the transparency, creating an alluring balance of conceal and reveal with each movement. This makes watercolor bikinis an elevated yet comfortable option for women seeking stylish swimwear.

The blurred edges and lightweight colors give off an effortless, flowy aesthetic that flatters when wet or dry. The prints tend to appear customized with their painted quality, capturing the ephemeral beauty of summer in a romantic, one-of-a-kind way. Yet the muted palettes still allow for easy matching and mixing with various swimsuit separates.

Patriotic print

A patriotic print bikini features the iconic red, white and blue color scheme of the American flag. This brightly-colored two-piece swimsuit allows the wearer to literally wear their national pride. Patriotic print bikinis commonly include stars, stripes, and other Americana motifs like the bald eagle or the Statue of Liberty.

The standard patriotic print bikini has a bandeau-style cropped top with a straight neckline and triangular cups in a flag print fabric. The bottoms are classically high-cut with tie straps at the sides, also in a coordinating stars and stripes print. More modest cuts might utilize a patriotic-printed tank-style top and hipster or boyshort bottoms. Patriotic prints look bold and graphic on swimsuits, drawing attention to the wearer.

The red, white and blue colors hold deep symbolic meaning. Red represents valor and bravery, white symbolizes innocence and purity, while blue signifies justice, vigilance and perseverance. Together they create the familiar color scheme of America’s flag and national identity.

Design variations build on these patriotic themes by incorporating summertime motifs like fireworks, palm trees, anchors and additional nautical symbols. These fun embellishments link feelings of Americana with seaside vacations and water recreation.

The eye-catching swimsuits are especially popular for beach parties on 4th of July or Memorial Day weekends. The bold statement suits let the wearer showcase her national spirit and fit in at U.S. themed events.

Nautical print

A nautical print bikini refers to a two-piece swimsuit featuring a maritime-inspired pattern. Nautical prints on bikinis incorporate recognizable symbols from sailing and boating culture like anchors, ships wheels, knots, and flags.

Nautical print as a whole refers to a style of pattern containing classic maritime icons and imagery. Some of the most common symbols found in nautical prints beyond just bikinis include ropes, compasses, lighthouses, and navy blue, white, red, and gold color combinations modeled after colors used on boats and sailing equipment.

Historically, nautical themes reference the uniforms, flags, and equipment used by sailors, captains, and seafarers. Print designs may replicate these elements realistically or offer more graphic, abstract interpretations. Stylistic components also include variations such as sea creatures, shells, coral, aquatic plant life, and oceanic waves.

Fruit print

A fruit print bikini features tropical fruit shapes and summery motifs as the main design element. This type of swimwear print includes colorful images of fruits like pineapples, cherries, watermelon slices, oranges, and other juicy favorites arranged in an allover pattern on the bikini top and bottoms.

The playful fruit print bikini evokes a sense of sunshine and relaxation. The bright pops of color and cheery fruit shapes create an eye-catching, casual look perfect for the beach. Pineapples are one of the most common fruits shown on these prints with their spiky shape making for a fun graphic element. Other featured fruits often include oranges, strawberries, lemons, bananas, etc. These tasty summer favorites translate beautifully into a vibrant bikini print.

Fruit print bikinis typically appear on more relaxed silhouettes like ruched triangle tops, sporty crop top styles, and low-rise bottoms. Much like tropical floral bikinis, the fruit designs evoke a happy vacation vibe.

Neo print

A neo print bikini refers to a two-piece swimsuit featuring a modern, graphic print style. Neo print bikinis are recognizable by their abstract, geometric pattern combinations and strong primary color palettes. This bold aesthetic sets them apart from traditional floral or paisley printed swimsuits.

Typically, neo print bikinis use vivid shades like crimson red, sunflower yellow, and deep blue as their base colors. Neutral earth tones like beige, slate gray, and olive add balance against white or black backgrounds. The prints rely on shapes like circles, triangles, diagonals, and irregular stripes placed at striking asymmetrical angles. The overlapping layers and lines intersect for an off-kilter, retro-inspired op-art effect.

The combination of stark shapes and saturated colors gives neo print bikinis an edgy, almost psychedelic vibe. The patterns seem almost paint-splattered or graffiti-inspired at times. This aligns neo prints with contemporary art and design movements that employ bold geometrics and unexpected color palettes.

Zigzag Print

A zigzag print bikini features a dynamic zigzagging pattern on the fabric of the two-piece swimsuit. Zigzag prints have sharply angled lines that change direction for an energetic, eye-catching look. When rendered on the triangular shapes of a bikini top and bottom, this angular motif contrasts beautifully with the natural curves of the female form.

Zigzag bikini prints often utilize thick, bold lines in bright, saturated colors like coral, turquoise, or sunny yellow. This ensures the pattern stands out clearly and makes a vibrant style statement. The origins of zigzags trace back ornamentally for centuries across numerous world cultures, including Native American art and African textiles. So in addition to being fashion-forward, zigzag bikinis subtly nod to a rich cultural legacy.

The dynamic lines give the swimsuit a casual, lively energy that feels fun and inviting. The motif’s striking geometry provides visual interest while balancing out the softness of the bikini’s natural silhouette.

Popular colors for printed bikinis

Vibrant Tropical Colors

Tropical prints dominate today’s bikini color trends with their transportive hues reminiscent of warm climates. Vivid shades like hot pink, sunshine yellow and lime green capture the essence of exotic birds and flowers. Paired together or against contrasting neutrals like navy or white, these electric brights grab attention. Their high intensity creates an energetic mood perfect for waterside adventures.

For fair or medium skin tones, citrus brights like lemon, papaya and pineapple prints radiate beautifully. Deep complexions shine against fuchsia, azure and violet backgrounds. Combining three or more vivid tones together also works across skin shades while lending eclectic edge. Just avoid matching neons directly to very warm skin hues. Instead allow neutrals like black to define the colors. This ensures vibrancy overpowers without washing one out.

Retro Color Combinations

Vintage color combinations featured on printed bikinis take inspiration from midcentury palettes once considered daring and now brimming with renewed popularity. Dynamic pairings like cherry red with bright turquoise or mustard yellow with emerald green prompt double takes for their surprising complementary contrast.

Mod color blocking also utilizes high intensity primary shades like crimson red, cobalt blue and sunflower yellow right next to each other to form swinging sixties op-art effects. Pop Art-inspired prints flood white backgrounds with these lip-smacking primaries for high graphic impact.

Both vibrant chromatic partners as well as complementary color combos allow retro prints to grab attention. The unexpected combinations prompt joy and nostalgia, reminding beachgoers of jazzy tablecloth prints or soda shop uniforms of eras past.

Sophisticated Tones & Neutrals

Neutrals remain fail proof options for flattering bikinis that feel timeless, elegant and versatile. Chic black and white prints project classic Hollywood allure with their high contrast and lightweight feel. Crisp nautical styles anchor navy and white with brilliant pops of cherry red for polished impact. Taupe and gold designs richly enhance glowing skin with Old Hollywood dazzle.

Clean prints utilizing shades of white, gray, tan and black project architectural balance which flatters all figures. High contrast neutrals feel fresh, allowing vibrant accessories to grab focus instead. For olive to dark skin, inky prints make features strikingly luminous. Some shades like icy blue or pale blush can wash paler skin out however, so become cautious veering extremely light on fair tones.

Mystical Hues

Moody, mystical prints magnetize with colors reminiscent of magical phenomena in nature or darkness tinged with whimsy. Deep outer space purple-blues swirl with galactic opalescence for stellar impact. Foggy lavender-grays seduce like rolling storm clouds heavy with intrigue. Charcoal and violet pair like the smoldering edges of fading nights kissed by surreal sunrises.

These muted prints feel daring yet elegant, defying trends for more subdued allure. Pale neutral skin captivates against saturated midnight shades while deeper tones add covetable dimension against darker prints with subtle luminosity. Much like the transfixing colors walk the line between lightness and depth.

Earth Tones

Organic earth shades featured on printed bikinis connect us back to nature through sights seen venturing outdoors. Serene sea foam and sage conjure calm lakes and hillsides while chestnut browns, olive greens and nudes reflect grounds beneath bare feet. Dusty sky blue prints wash gently as beach days fade into pink and peach sunsets.

Muted earth tones harmonize elegantly with most skin shades while conjuring mindfulness and wellness. Light beiges and stone colors luminously complement warmer olive complexions without overpowering. Cool tones like raincloud gray and cobalt flatter neutral or rosy fair skin under gloomy skies ended by passing showers. And virtually all people glow against shades of sand, stone and timber thanks to natural light.

Common places for prints on bikinis

Full-Print Bikinis

The most common print application on bikinis is an allover pattern covering the entire swimsuit. Both the top and bottoms feature the print completely enveloping the fabric. The design typically appears seamlessly across the pieces for maximum visual impact.

Full bikini prints make the boldest statement, allowing the chosen pattern to dominate eyes without interruption. Common full prints featured across both the top and bottoms include floral patterns, animal prints, nautical themes, tropical motifs, and geometric layouts.

Bikini Tops

Many printed bikini designs elect to feature prints solely on the bikini tops rather than both pieces. Creative prints applied to the bust add definition through color, line and shape to flatter cleavage from all angles. Pattern placement variations on tops include:

Center-Chest Prints – Placing a graphic print in the center chest area of a bikini top focuses attention directly on the décolletage. Vibrant floral bursts, polka dot clusters and bow prints framed by solid colored fabric expertly spotlight cleavage. Tie-front bikini tops commonly center patterns along bust lines for ornamental detail.

Underwire Prints – Pattern detailing along the underwire of a bikini top provides delicate emphasis exactly where support meets skin. Paired with solid cups, an underwire print acts as a pretty underline to perfectly presented cleavage. Floral vines and abstract shapes work beautifully in these bands of detailing.

Strap Prints – Spaghetti straps offer prime real estate for dainty prints to transform a basic bikini into a showstopper. Delicate straps showcase miniature motifs running their length, like micro florals, narrow stripes or Greek key borders. These micro patterns embellish simply by framing a woman’s shoulders in eye-catching prints.

Cup Prints – Placing prints strategically across bikini top cups constitutes clever optical illusion. Bold tiger stripes or dizzying zigzags cinch inwards through triangular cups for a perky lift effect. Curved paisleys swell cup fullness. Sheer mesh cups overlay sequin starbursts emitting enticing sparkle. When it comes to bikini tops, cups provide ample creative canvas.

Back Prints

Turning heads both coming and going, recent bikini prints highlight the back as well as front. Plunging necklines, strappy details and racy Brazilian cut bottoms reveal once-hidden real estate now worth showcasing. Spine prints, crisscross patterns and nape accents captivate from behind by emphasizing sensuality along the shoulders, back and neckline.

Popular back detailing prints include:

  • Geometric shapes and diagonal lines that accentuate strong shoulder blades.
  • Delicate floral vines connecting top straps across upper back zones.
  • Bold horizontal stripes or zigzags placed mid-back to elongate spinal lines.

Bikini Bottoms

Bottom prints redirect eyes downwards through vibrant patterns embellishing hips, rear, and thighs. Scaled-down prints balance out bare swaths of skin along the legs and rear for a leg-lengthening effect. Clever prints featured across bikini bottoms include:

Waistband Prints – Placing lively patterns along the waistbands of bikini bottoms creates a slimming illusion similar to patterned belts on dresses. Retro cherries, dainty scallops and geometric line designs featured solely on waistbands draw eyes side to side rather than up and down. This creates the impression of a cinched waistline.

Hip Prints – Focusing vibrant motifs along the outer hip and thigh region of bikini bottoms decorates curves with pretty patterns. Abstract watercolors, blurred floral bouquets and retro stars placed strategically along the hips adorn womanly contours in an artistic way. Solid inner lining balances sheer patterned mesh or gauze along the legs.

Butt Prints – Playful prints sprinkled across the back of bikini bottoms infuse cheeky cut styles with extra personality. Bold lips, pretty birds and pop art symbols applied to rear fabric add coy surprise. Peeks of color and print peek through with movement. By bedecking bottoms literally from behind, these frisky patterns put smiles on faces during bikini promenades.

Strap Prints – Spaghetti side ties on bikini bottoms allow for delicate print detailing along straps. Dainty daisies, sweet cherries or narrow stripes featured along otherwise plain ties upgrade basics effortlessly. Double straps also highlight mirrored patterns for stylishly balanced tie sides.

Lining Prints – Sheer mesh or crocheted bikini bottoms reveal hints of skin, not opaque fabric. Strategically placed graphic lining prints visible through see-through outer material decorate transparent zones with polka dot clusters, delicate stars and micro florals. These sneaky prints enhance visible areas subtly yet stunningly.

Complementary Print Combinations

While many bikinis feature cohesive prints patterns across both the top and bottom, separates shaken up with complementary prints turn heads for their element of surprise. Mixing and matching turn basic solid sets into captivating print combinations through unlikely partnerships like:

  • Black & white striped triangle top with cherry polka dot Brazilian bottoms
  • Blue paisley underwire tank with red gingham tie-side bottoms
  • Yellow dot mesh balconette bikini top with orange & green zigzag hipsters
  • Fuchsia bandana-print crop top & pineapple printed high-waisted bottoms

How printed bikinis are made

Below is a quick table of the manufacturing prcess of printed bikinis:

DesignPattern DesignTextile designer creates the artistic print pattern for the bikini fabric. Work is based on upcoming trends and client requests. Commonly explore themes like florals, tie-dyes, animal prints, geometric motifs and tropical-inspired prints each swimwear season. Patterns are designed by hand drawing or using computer software.
Pre-ProductionFabric PreparationThe ground bikini fabric, usually a stretch nylon/spandex blend, must undergo necessary treatments like heat setting, bleaching, mercerization and/or application of bonders so fabric properly accepts and adheres to the printing dyes. This prevents bleeding issues or fading.
PrintingRotary Screen PrintingTraditional industrial printing method uses a series of rotating, engraved metal rollers to imprint patterned dyes onto prepared fabric as it feeds below rollers on conveyor belt system. Each color requires own roller engraved with motif to imprint that hue. Mostly used for high volume orders.
Digital PrintingIncreasingly common printing method where no engraved rollers are needed. Uses software design file to program microscopic ink droplet output row by row on fabric fed under automated print heads. Flexibility in patterns and smaller print runs. May also use heat transfer with printable paper.
ManufacturingFabric CuttingPrinted textile yardage cut precisely by electric cutting machines into shapes for bikini parts using pre-set hard templates or programmed digital laser cutters. Common pieces needed are triangles, bands, straps and lining.
SewingCut fabric parts transported to industrial sewing stations with specialized machines and seasoned apparel workers who expertly construct the bikinis. Cups edges stitched, elastics attached, folds made, lining connected and hardware added to transform print fabric into wearable swimsuits.
Quality TestingSpec ComplianceSamples from production batches stringently assessed to confirm technical specs and safety compliance across range of criteria: design accuracy, measurements, fabric performance, workmanship, print fastness, phthalate presence, etc. Must meet brand and industry standards.

What are the popular bikini printing techniques?

Before these graphic designs adorn a swimsuit, they must first be imprinted onto fabric through printing methods. There are several techniques used in the swimwear industry today to transfer prints and patterns onto stretch fabrics like nylon/spandex blends commonly used for bikinis:

  • Rotary Screen Printing
  • Digital Printing
  • Heat Transfer Printing
  • Dye Sublimation Printing
  • Traditional Analogue Printing
  • Surface Manipulation Prints

Different print sizes on bikinis

Micro Print

Tiny micro prints feature very small all-over motifs under 3⁄4” (2cm). Ditsy florals, narrow stripes, and polka dot clusters mimic miniature mosaics enveloping bikini fabric subtly. Delicate tonal prints and graphics read as textures rather than defined motifs up close.

Micro prints benefit petite frames under 5’5” (165cm) by keeping the pattern petite like the wearer. More diminutive figures risk getting overwhelmed or cut apart by oversized graphics. Elongating illusion happens thanks to uninterrupted lines leading down the body.

However, larger busts above DD may squeeze dainty details into oblivion. Lean figures lack curves for micro prints to accentuate. In these cases, bolder mid-scale patterns balance proportions better.

Mid-Scale Print

Mid-scale bikini prints feature motifs in the 2-4 inch (5-10cm) range. At this size, motifs appear cleaner and less pixelated than micro prints. Common mid-scale patterns include tropical flowers, retro stars and polka dots, repeating abstract shapes and artistic sketches.

The relaxed scale allows prints to be noticed and admired without overwhelming the swimsuit’s silhouette. Mid-scale patterns typically strike an ideal balance on most average figures between 5’4”-5’7” (163-170cm) and dress sizes 6-12. Fuller busts and hips provide contours for medium prints to highlight gracefully.

However very petite or narrow frames still risk visual division from busy mid-sized graphics. And significantly curvier bodies may feel overpowered pairing with attention-grabbing medium-scale motifs. So test different proportions judiciously.

Oversized Print

Bikinis dominated by extra-large graphics and motifs exceeding 6 inches (15cm) qualify as oversized prints. Massive blossoms, pineapples and butterflies make bold statements when splashed prominently across tiny two-pieces. Mimi shapes and symbols lend cheeky personality.

Full figures over size 14 with ample curves provide ideal canvas for these attention-demanding prints. Larger hair, accessories and personalities also suit flashy oversized patterns. However modest curves disappear under these big graphics just as petite frames visually cut apart.

The key for rocking oversized printed swimsuits lies in balancing proportions. Smaller pieces require larger ladies to avoid swallowing them whole vertically. And larger figures need decent print scaling not to disappear beneath busy graphics. When dimensions align correctly, these statement prints capture curves beautifully.

What are some of the bikini brands that carry printed bikinis?

Many leading swimwear brands now offer stylish printed two-pieces featuring colorful designs like florals, tie-dyes, pineapples, geometrics and other trendy motifs. Below are some of the top bikini brands carrying the latest and hottest printed swimsuits:

  • Inxcy
  • Billabong
  • Roxy
  • Seafolly
  • Banana Moon
  • Beach Riot
  • Frankies Bikinis
  • L*Space
  • Boutine LA
  • Zimmermann
  • Mara Hoffman
  • Marysia
  • Montce Swim
  • Peixoto
  • Seea
  • Triangl
  • Tolasa
  • Tori Praver
  • Tigerlily
  • Vitamin A
  • Mara Swim
  • Lisa Marie Fernandez
  • Acacia Swimwear
  • Blueprint Beach
  • Boys + Arrows
  • Capittana
  • Bikini Village
  • Kopper and Zinc
  • Paolita
  • PQ Swim
  • She Made Me
  • Suboo
  • Sun Escape
  • Talulah
  • TeenyB
  • CUUP

What are the average price for a printed bikini?

Printed bikini prices widely range based on above criteria. Below summarizes typical price brackets divided by market segment assuming nylon/spandex fabric, average coverage and detailing.

Economy – $15 to $30

Affordable basics from large chain retailers focused on volume production. Expect machine-cut fabric, imported construction and generic design. Simple prints include florals, stripes, polka dots.

Moderate – $35 to $65

Mid-market brands balance attractive styles with wallet-friendly pricing. Construction quality improves over basic economy lines with trendy tropical prints, color blocking, watercolors and varied motifs.

Bridge – $70 to $120

Moderately priced “contemporary” brands like Guess, Ralph Lauren offer sleeker design and better fabrications targeted to young professionals with discerning taste. Expect flattering construction, premium hardware, reversible options, and bolder creative prints.

Designer – $125 to $260

Investment pieces from elite fashion houses like Dior, Versace, Missoni. Feature exquisite construction showcasing unique fabrics, custom prints, and leading trends each season. Limited availability prompts higher collectability and long-term value.

Couture – $300+

The pinnacle of luxurious artistry, couture printed bikinis spotlight rare fabrics, intricate hand construction and made-to-order customization. Pieces incorporate Swarovski crystals, 22k gold accents, the finest lace and silk lining. Designs meld cutting-edge style with time-honored craftsmanship.

What are the pros and cons of printed bikinis?

Pros of printed bikinis

Aesthetics and Style

Prints allow more versatility and options for complementing different body shapes over plain bikinis. The range of colors, patterns, and designs available in printed fabrics creates a wider selection of styles that can flatter more figures. Prints also cleverly employ illusionary effects that can camouflage areas a wearer feels self-conscious about, using visual breaks in pattern and color to disguise outlines and contours. For women seeking mix-and-match separates, printed tops and bottoms provide more coordination combinations over basic solid sets. Unique prints help printed bikinis stand out on the beach or poolside over generic solid suits. Wearers can better emphasize their personal style with the wider variety of aesthetic looks prints offer.

Texture and Tactility

In addition to their visual dynamism, printed fabrics add more textural and tactile interest over flat single-tone fabrics. The prints themselves create visual texture on the fabric through their color and pattern variations. Prints like polka dots, florals, paisleys, and animal prints have more visual depth, looking less flat and monotonous than solids. Some printed bikinis also utilize textured fabrics like terry cloth or velvet flocking material for added sensory tactile appeal. The physical touch experience becomes more varied and pleasant, with extra visual detail for the eye to take in.

Confidence Boosting

For some women, printed swimsuits can boost body confidence compared to wearing plain solid suits. Prints can assist in camouflaging areas of concern through their distracting patterns and breaks in color. The ample variety of print styles allows more choice in finding a flattering look. Bolder graphic prints can project a bold, confident attitude as well. Prints help the suit make more of a statement, defining the wearer’s personal style. Unique suits help the wearer stand out versus generic solid suits that blend in, building confidence.

Cons of printed bikinis

Maintenance and Care

Printed bikini fabrics require some special care and washing methods to preserve the colors and patterns compared to solid suits. To avoid damage, prints need gentler cleaning agents, and hand-washing preserves them longer over machine washing. Lighter print backgrounds prone to showing stains and dirt faster lead wearers to launder them more often. Following fabric care instructions is important to extend a printed suit’s lifespan and keep it looking vibrant. More care and concern to wash properly is necessary over simply tossing a solid suit in the machine.

Trends and Changing Style

Some printed bikini styles risk going out of fashion if the print or design elements are aligned with temporary passing trends. Generic solid suits tend to offer longer-term and “timeless” wearability over years. As trends change, once-popular prints can start to look outdated. For example, abstract or geometric prints prominent in the 1960s can appear as relics from the past today. Shoppers need to weigh if certain printed suits are worth investing in for longevity versus buying into prints likely to fall out of favor quicker.

Quality and Durability

Mass-produced printed swimsuits with cheaper fabric quality face problems like colors bleeding or running when wet, colors fading over time from sun exposure and washing, and fabrics losing structural integrity – stretching out, becoming threadbare, or cracking. Compared to higher quality solid suits that maintain shape and color much longer, some prints sacrifice durability. There can also be slight inconsistencies in pattern placement and alignment between suits of the same print. While variation adds uniqueness, pieces may not match perfectly. Solid suits with exact color uniformity between separates coordinate easier.

Luna Wilde covers the latest swimwear collections, designer collabs, tutorials and industry innovations. She brings over 5 years of digital journalism experience to crafting clever, conversational content about all swimwear-involved things.

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