Andie

While the primary purpose of swimsuits is to go swimming, they're also an extension of people's fashion personality. It doesn't matter if it's a one-piece or a bikini. Style counts just as much as function. Which is probably why swim tops have really taken off.

What exactly are swim tops? Well, it's pretty straightforward. They're alternatives to typical bikini tops. Basically, they can also be worn as just a top instead of as part of a swimsuit. The type of top varies. Long-sleeve rash guards, coordinating cardigans and T-shirts are all on the menu. Despite their billing as swimsuits, some of these toppers don't belong in the water. So make sure to check the product description and the material before buying.

Don't feel obligated to pick up the matching bottoms, though. Mixing and matching swim tops is highly recommended. Especially if said tops are neutral shades.

Scroll down to see the best swim tops of the season and how to style them.

Andie The Augusta Jacket

Andie The Augusta Jacket in Dragonfly, $78 at Andie

Sport with the matching short or bikini bottoms and the V-neck bikini top.

Johanna Ortiz Imilla Printed Halterneck Bikini Top

Johanna Ortiz Imilla Printed Halterneck Bikini Top, $310 at Net-a-Porter

Wear with the brand's printed bikini briefs or a solid-color bottom from another brand.

Christopher Esber Seed Bead Backless Tee

Christopher Esber Seed Bead Backless Tee, $275 at Christopher Esber

Rock in combination with Christopher Esber's Ruched Prong Bandeau.

Ulla Johnson Sayulita Rash Guard

Ulla Johnson Sayulita Rash Guard, $290 at Ulla Johnson

Make sure to pick up the coordinating bottoms.

Norma Kamali Diana One-Shoulder Ruched Bikini Top

Norma Kamali Diana One-Shoulder Ruched Bikini Top in Mint, $145 at Net-a-Porter

The matching briefs are the only way to go.

Lisa Marie Fernandez The Cardigan

Lisa Marie Fernandez The Cardigan in Natural & Sand Striped Seersucker, $225 at Lisa Marie Fernandez

Round out the look with the complementary high-waist bikini bottoms.

Good American Ruched Cropped Swim Tee

Good American Ruched Cropped Swim Tee in Silver001, $40.99 at Good American

Style with literally anything.

Solid & Striped The Nola Rash Guard

Solid & Striped The Nola Rash Guard, $128 at Solid & Striped

Complete the outfit with the coordinating bottoms.

Same The Grace Top

Same The Grace Top in Ribbed Black/Cream, $195 at Same

Going matchy-matchy is a requirement.

Cala de la Cruz Tina Asymmetric Bikini

Cala de la Cruz Tina Asymmetric Bikini Top, $160 at Moda Operandi

The high-rise bikini bottoms make the look.

Matteau Wrap Sun Top

Matteau Wrap Sun Top, $280 at Matteau

Keep the bottoms basic.

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