As temperatures heat up, bathing suit season appears to be on the horizon. But as it turns out, the majority of Americans (74%) only buy new swimwear every few years. And those once-a-year buyers are shopping more online now than they typically would. 

Those who do buy swimwear most often are women, adults ages 25-to-34, and high-income earners.  

Despite the fact that a high income and frequent swimsuit purchases go together, 70% of the Gen Pop spend $50 or less on a bathing suit. That said, women are likely to spend more money on bathing suits than men. One-third of women will spend between $50 and $100, while only 8% of men report the same.

Where Are Americans Shopping for Swimwear? 

Of course, price is just one factor when it comes to bathing suit purchases. The location must also be considered. And, as the data show, Americans are the most likely to purchase a swimsuit at big-box stores and department stores. After that, it’s discount retailers, Amazon, sporting goods stores, and the typical brand-name stores like Gap or Old Navy. 

It’s worth noting that despite the variety of answer options, 14% of respondents say they shop somewhere else for their swimwear, suggesting that swim-specific retailers, local boutiques, and possibly second-hand stores also benefit from swimsuit season.

Style of Swimsuit 

And when it comes to style, the one-piece reigns supreme, with almost half of U.S. women preferring this option. While those who don’t wear bathing suits remain fairly consistent amongst women ages 18-to-54, there’s a correlation between age, bikinis, and tankinis, with bikini wearers potentially sliding into tankinis as they get older.

Women who most often wear bikinis are willing to spend the most money on their swimwear (7% of bikini wearers will spend $150 or more).

There’s considerable interest in more unique swimsuit design options as well. Among the options provided, U.S. women are most interested in a bathing suit with boyshort bottoms or a skirt. Meanwhile, interest in zippers and sleeves exists, but may not be the first priority for consumers. 

So as we plunge into swimsuit season, affordable one-pieces may make the biggest splash.