Battle of the bathing suit: one-piece vs. two-pieces


One-piece swimsuits are a top trend this season across the United States and United Kingdom according to an EDITED study, but people won’t be saying goodbye to their two-pieces anytime soon.

One-piece swimsuits are being sold three times faster than they were in 2016, according to retail analytics firm EDITED.

EDITED is a retail technology company that analyzes online apparel sales. The analysis done for swimwear was based on 40 major U.S./U.K. online retailers.

“One-piece swimsuits are taking 37 days to sell out on average (Q1 2017), compared to 106 days for full-priced sellouts for the same time last year,” EDITED said in an email.

One-pieces are gaining popularity because they allow designers more creativity, according Haley Peterson, a BYU student with an interest in fashion.

Cut-outs can be seen in one-piece bathing suits this season. Shannon Hall, marketing manager for Lime Ricki Swimwear, said one-pieces have become especially popular this year. (Lime Ricki Swimwear)

“In a way, you have more creativity with a one-piece. You can do different cut-outs — like people do deep-V in the front and more covered back or vice versa,” Peterson said. “You can do different cutouts on the back or the front.”

One-piece bathing suits are becoming more popular, according to Shannon Hall, marketing manager for Lime Ricki Swimwear.

“We have seen our one-pieces on the rise and becoming more popular, especially this year,” Hall said.

Lime Ricki Swimwear isn’t the only business to notice. Kortni Niccoli, owner of Kortni Jeane Swimsuits said their one-piece swimsuit sales have increased for all states.

“We’ve carried one-piece styles since we’ve started, but over this past 12 months we have seen a major increase in sales on our one-piece,” Niccoli said in an email.

There are 20 percent more one-pieces being sold online and nine percent less two-pieces than last year, according to EDITED.

Peterson said she initially couldn’t see the trend lasting, but recently changed her mind.

“After seeing the people who do wear bikinis on a regular basis (buying) one pieces, I could see that being a more lasting trend because people who I normally wouldn’t expect to buy into that trend actually are,” Peterson said.

Details like ruffles are added to the classic one-piece. Kortni Niccoli, owner of Kortni Jeane Swimsuits, said she has seen a major increase in sales for one-pieces. (Kortni Jeane Swimwear)

Hall also said she could see the trend lasting, but two-pieces are still more popular at Lime Ricki Swimwear.

“Our customer base is a lot of young moms and women who are out and about with their kids, and I think the two pieces are a little more convenient for that kind of thing,” Hall said. “Our customers like to mix and match different prints, and so I think that’s what kind of leads (two-pieces) to being a little more popular.”

Two-pieces are still more popular at Kortni Jeane Swimsuits, as well, according to Niccoli.

“This year we have seen a trend where one pieces are becoming more popular again, but two-piece bathing suits are still our customers’ favorites, as that’s what we have based our base on,” Niccoli said.

Pre-management major Ali Pitts said she thinks the one-pieces will stay on-trend because fashion repeats itself.

“Fashion always seems to come back. (One-pieces have) been a trend forever,” Pitts said. “It’s gaining more popularity, so I think the older and younger and generation are seeing eye to eye.”

Hall said there aren’t necessarily a lot more one-pieces in the store than seasons past, though.

Bright colors and printed one-pieces are on trend this season. Kortni Niccoli, owner of Kortni Jeane Swimsuits, said one-pieces also allow for more detail, and the market is moving toward one-pieces for this reason.(Kortni Jeane Swimsuits)

“We’re doing more prints on our one-pieces but we haven’t done many new styles, but we do have some in the works for upcoming seasons,” Hall said. “We are planning on having more, and they’ve done really well for us.”

Niccoli also said there are plans for more one-pieces in the future. She said one-pieces also allow for more detail, and the market is moving toward one-pieces for this reason.

Pitts said she attributes part of the popularity of one-pieces to the “athleisure” and sport trend going on.

“One-pieces scream sporty,” Pitts said.

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