It could be argued that the most popular swimsuit of the 1990s was the high-legged, bright red one-piece worn by the Baywatch babes. However, there were many types of '90s bathing suits that helped define the decade. Thankfully, the swimsuit has come a long way since the dawn of the 20th century, when it was often made of wool. But with the '90s trend seemingly not going anywhere anytime soon, it appears we're taking inspiration from the past in the form of pre-millennium-inspired bathing suits.
In addition to Pamela Anderson and her on-screen gal pals, there was another '90s girl gang renowned for wearing the trendiest swimwear of the decade: The stylish Saved By The Bell crew. In fact, a major plot line revolved around the gang obtaining summer jobs at Malibu Sands Beach Resort, which, you guessed it, featured swimwear galore (including a memorable green swimsuit worn by Kelly Kapowski).
Bathing suits of the '90s had to contain one or more of the following characteristics: Bright neon colors, kaleidoscopic patterns, hip-grazingly high leg holes, low backs, zips, unusual necklines, and/or athleisure vibes. It's safe to say that era's swimsuits took inspiration from the fashion trends of the time, which were wild and wacky. So here are some '90s inspired bathing suits to rock on the beach this summer and relive those glory days.
1. The Beach Bum Bathing Suit
Beach Bum Slogan Swimsuit Orange, $30.60, Misguided
The almost faded, neon orange hue and tropical script on this swimsuit give it an overall '90s vibe.
2. The Flower Power Suit
Michael Kors Plus Size Kanoko Printed On-Piece Swimsuit, $162, Macy's
This fun, patterned swimsuit is a must for girly girls looking for a suit with a '90s spin.
3. The Lace-Up Swimsuit
Lipsy Lace Up Swimsuit, $52, Asos
The late 1990s and early 2000s saw the rise of things that laced up for no reason. Swimwear got swept along with this weird trend, too.
4. The Zipper Detail Swimsuit
Miraclesuit Plus Size Tummy Control Zip-Trim One-Piece Swimsuit, $178, Macy's
The addition of a zipper on a plain-colored swimsuit lends things a touch of '90s style.
5. The Neon Pink Style
Quontum Gold Waistband High Leg Swimsuit, $70, Asos
This neon pink, high legged swimsuit is '90s gold — not least because of the jazzy belt.
6. The Mesh Detail
Sun Protectant Lap Suit With Mesh, $89.95, Lane Bryant
Barbie pink and mesh detailing give this swimsuit a pretty athleisure aura.
7. The Rainbow Suit
Motel Rainbow Swimsuit, $64, Asos
Rainbows rocked the fashion world in the 1990s, so if you want to channel a chillaxed unicorn, this suit will help you look magical.
8. The Banana Bathing Suit
Banana Print Ruffled Monokini, $143, Wild Fox
Tutti-frutti fashions were a big hit in the '90s, so grab yourself a bite of this micro trend with a delectable banana print swimsuit.
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9. The Sporty Swimsuit
For water babies who are serious about swimming, but still want to look like stylish sirens on the beach, this color-block suit is for you.
10. The Ripple Suit
Clashist Pool Water One Piece, $120, Forever21
Although you might want to spend most of your summer vacation sunbathing, rather than doing anything strenuous, at least you can look the part in this cool, pool-inspired suit.
11. The Psychedelic Suit
Aqua Situation One-Piece Swimsuit in Tie-Dye, $104.99, Modcloth
Look mesmerizing in this hypnotic, neon-patterned bathing suit.
12. The Tie-Dye Suit
Mermaid Dye Cut-Out Ruche Monokini, $172, Wild Fox
Even though tie-dye was big in the '70s, it returned in the '90s likely due to its surreal patterns and crazy color combos. This cut-out bathing suit lends a modern twist to the '90s look.
13. The Denim One Piece
Out Of The Blue Patchwork One Piece Maillot, $192, Sea Folly
14. The Tankini Style One Piece
Naut A Day Goes By One Piece Swimsuit, $72.99, Modcloth
This edgy one piece, with tankini style straps and net panels, gives the late '90s tankini trend a contemporary spin.
15. The Modern Baywatch Suit
T Back High Leg Plunge Swimsuit, $26, Asos
Get your hands on a scarlet, super high leg bathing suit like this one piece, just in time for the 2017 Baywatch reboot. This might just be the last summer before everyone is rocking the look.
The revamped '90s trend has a lot to offer, and I'd certainly like to make a splash this summer in a '90s-style bathing suit.
Images: Courtesy Brands