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Mix and Match Swim Picks for Summer with J.Crew

A great swimsuit is the keystone of any summer vacation wardrobe. Personally, I think swimsuit shopping is tons of fun, especially with so many bright colors, patterns, and cuts to choose from. But good quality swimsuits aren't cheap, so whenever I invest in a new set of swimwear I aim to make sure that I can mix and match every piece in my collection.

For me, buying one neutral top that's interchangeable with many different fun bottoms (rather than multiple sets of matching tops/bottoms) is a great way to maximize your swim options on a budget. The same thing goes for the opposite approach, buying one pair of bottoms that can pair with multiple tops! As a bonus, when all of your swimwear is mix-and-matchable if one piece wears out faster than the others you can easily replace said item, without being left with one half of a matching set and nothing to pair it with.

Today I've picked out some of my favorite swim picks from J.Crew's summer line. I've had great luck with J.Crew swimwear in the past; I've found that they have the same quality as much more expensive lines (so they last season-to-season) with a mid-range price tag that can become very reasonable, especially if you shop sales! They also - crucially - allow you to purchase tops/bottoms separately, which is an essential feature not only to mix and match pieces but also to make sure you get a good fit. Swim lines that require you to purchase your tops and bottoms together, in the same size, are such a pet peeve of mine. I don't know about you, but 99% of the time I'm not the same size in tops as I am in bottoms, and I don't like being forced to buy something I know won't fit! Bravo J.Crew for actually allowing us to pick our own sizes.

Some fun things to think about when picking out swimwear this season:

1. Mix and match patterns/texture! Try a floral pattern with an eyelet (top left of the graphic above), or a gingham and a floral (top middle). When pairing two patterns together, go for something geometric (ex. gingham, stripes) with something organic (ex. floral) to keep things from becoming too busy, and try to keep the size of the pattern consistent. For example, try thicker stripes with a larger floral pattern, and vice versa.

2. Don't be afraid to pair two neutrals together, just add fun details like ruffles to break up the color-blocking (see the bottom right above).

3. Contrary to popular opinion, horizontal stripes can be your best friend! Choose them for a classic, vintage swimwear feel. They look especially good in high-waisted bikini bottoms (bottom left).

4. Try a bright color paired with a more muted shade! Bright red and light blue is one of my favorite options.

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