Women's Style Inspiration  / Swimwear Style  / Different Types of Swimsuits and How to Wear Them

Different Types of Swimsuits and How to Wear Them

We're breaking down all the options so you can suit up with confidence.

Swimsuit guide spring outfits
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From the modest one-pieces of the 1920s to the advent of the bikini in the 1940s, women's swimsuits have evolved dramatically. And fortunately, they're a lot more flattering than they used to be. 

Nowadays, the options are endless. But where do you start when choosing the right swimsuit? We're here to help. This guide not only walks you through the most common types of swimsuits—from tops to bottoms to one-pieces—but it also helps you choose the best one for your body shape.


Swimsuit tops

Bandeau swimsuit top

Bandeau

Similar to a standard tube top, a bandeau is typically made from one piece of fabric that wraps snugly around your chest. Some do provide underwire support, but this style is usually more comfortable for those who are less busty, including rectangle and pear body shapes.


One-shoulder swimsuit top

One-shoulder

This asymmetrical style adds flair to an otherwise straightforward bikini. It generally provides more support than the bandeau, but still may not be enough for some. Because it draws attention to the upper body, it's especially flattering on pear shapes.

Halter swimsuit top

Halter

Halter tops come in various cuts but are always secured around the neck with ties or a clasp. This allows for greater breast support and often translates to more coverage, which makes the style a great option for hourglass and apple body shapes.

Pro tip: a tie-style halter top will provide more control over lift.


Triangle swimsuit top

Triangle

The triangle bikini top—nicknamed the "trikini"—gets its name from the two triangle-shaped pieces of fabric that cover each breast. It's arguably the classic silhouette that comes to mind when you hear the word bikini and is flattering on almost all body shapes.

Swimsuit guide spring tops Underwire

Underwire

If maximum breast support is your end goal, a bikini top with underwire is the way to go. This swimsuit style mimics traditional bras in silhouette, and many can even be purchased according to your cup size.

Longline swimsuit top

Longline

A longline bikini top is named for its slightly longer length compared to other options. Think of it as the swimwear version of the crop top. Not only does it offer an unexpected twist on the traditional bikini, but it also provides a little more coverage and often more support. It's a flattering choice for all figures, but especially pear and rectangle shapes who want to draw the eye up.

Tankini swimsuit top

Tankini

The tankini provides a flattering middle ground between a traditional bikini top and one-piece swimsuit. Some extend all the way to your bikini bottoms to give the illusion of a one-piece, while others are slightly shorter. This style works brilliantly for those who want to conceal their stomach but prefer the flexibility of a two-piece.

Bandini swimsuit top

Bandini

Remove the straps from a tankini and you'll get the bandini, a style that allows the wearer to show just a little more skin. Some bandinis have built-in support underneath, which is the way to go if you're an apple, hourglass, or inverted triangle shape.

Rashguard swimsuit top

Rashguard

While there are no hard and fast rules in swimwear, rashguard swimsuit tops are typically reserved for athletic water adventures such as paddleboarding, kayaking, or surfing. But because many feature long sleeves (though some are three-quarter or short sleeve) they're a great way to protect your upper body from the sun.

Swimsuit bottoms

High-waist swimsuit bottom

High waist

High-waist swimsuit bottoms sit higher on your abdomen than traditional bikini bottoms. Some hit right at the belly button or above it, and some even go as high as just under your bust. This style is flattering on all body types, but can be especially flattering on hourglass and apple figures since it highlights the smallest part of your waist.

High-cut swimsuit bottom

High cut

Not to be confused with a high waist, the high-cut bikini gets its name for how high it sits on your hip bones. This silhouette dramatically elongates the leg, which is flattering to all shapes but particularly so on petite figures.

Skirt swimsuit bottom

Skirt

Cleverly dubbed the "skirtini," this bikini bottom features an extended layer of fabric akin to a skirt. This extra fabric is typically loose and much shorter than a traditional skirt, though you can find it in a variety of lengths and styles. It's a great option for those who want more coverage around their butt and thighs.

Hipster swimsuit bottom

Hipster

As the name implies, hipster bikini bottoms feature a wide band that sits right on your hips. They provide medium coverage across your backside and can either cut across your abdomen or feature a scoop design that shows more skin. It's ideal for hourglass, inverted triangle, and rectangle shapes.

Swimsuit guide spring bottoms Boyshorts

Boyshorts

Take a pair of traditional shorts and make them shorter and more form-fitting, and you'll get the boyshort bikini bottom. Some feature higher waists compared to others, but typically they cut off at the upper thigh. This style is very flattering on rectangle shapes. They can also come in handy for water sports since they provide extra coverage.


Swimsuit guide spring bottoms Classic brief

Classic brief

This straightforward bikini bottom provides plenty of coverage across your backside without any of the extra fabric. It's a classic, universally flattering silhouette that pairs with almost any top.

Swimsuit guide spring bottoms Cheeky

Cheeky

Cheeky bikini bottoms are very similar to the hipster, only they reveal a bit more skin at the front and back. This effect can help elongate your legs, making it ideal for petite body shapes. It's also a great option if you want to show off your backside.

Swimsuit guide spring bottoms Side-tie

Side-tie

Also known as a "string bikini," this style simply refers to the ties used to secure the suit. It's available in various degrees of coverage and allows the wearer to adjust tightness and size. This flexibility makes it perfect for all body shapes.

Swimsuit guide spring bottoms Thong

Thong

Sometimes referred to as a Brazilian style swimsuit bottom, the thong features a narrow band of vertical fabric that covers a small portion of your butt. It's preferred by those who want to show off their backside, but also comes in handy if you want to prevent tan lines. The extreme version of this is a G-string bikini.

One-piece swimsuits

Swimsuit guide spring Classic one-piece

Classic one-piece

Also called a "sports suit," the classic one-piece is a straightforward swimsuit with coverage across the midsection and backside and two straps. It's a great go-to for all body shapes.

Swimsuit guide spring One-piece One-shoulder

One-shoulder

A one-shoulder suit provides an unexpected twist with the removal of one shoulder. This asymmetry draws the eyes up top, making it particularly flattering on pear shapes.

Swimsuit guide spring One-piece Plunge neckline

Plunge neckline

A plunging neckline provides a flattering and unexpected juxtaposition of modest and sexy. The style can be especially flattering on hourglass shapes, but it's a great way to show off cleavage in general.

Swimsuit guide spring One-piece Skirted

Skirted

Skirted one-piece suits add an additional, skirt-like layer of fabric to a traditional onepiece style. This extra coverage is ideal for those who want to conceal their butt or thighs, and it can also help create more symmetry for inverted triangle figures.

Swimsuit guide spring One-piece Ruched

Ruched

This term refers to the technique of gathering fabric for a ruffled or pleated look. Not only does this add a textural element to a swimsuit, but it also has a flattering and slimming effect. Typically, ruching is found on the front mid-section or sides of a one-piece suit.

Swimsuit guide spring One-piece bandeau

Bandeau

Similar to the bandeau tankini, a bandeau one-piece is a strapless swimsuit that provides full torso and backside coverage. Though it's flattering on all figures, it's especially ideal for rectangle and pear shapes who aren't as concerned with breast support.

Swimsuit guide spring One-piece cut-out

Cut-out

If a traditional bikini feels too revealing, a one-piece with flattering and eye-catching cutouts might be more your speed. The variety of styles allows you to choose a suit that covers and shows off preferred areas. For instance, maybe the cutout falls on the abdomen, at the chest, or on the sides. Some cut-out suits also feature mesh or netting for more coverage.

Swimsuit guide spring One-piece rashguard

One-piece rashguard

Sometimes referred to as a surfsuit or wetsuit, this one-piece rash guard is ideal for wet athletic scenarios. Many have long sleeves, mock turtlenecks, and full boyshorts to provide max protection from the sun and to prevent chaffing from equipment such as surfboards, paddleboards, and scuba gear.

Planning your summer wardrobe? Get started to talk to one of our stylists about finding the right swimsuit for you.

Find your new favorite must-haves with personal styling.