Swimwear style glossary (breakdown of different types of swimsuits)

Swimwear style glossary (breakdown of different types of swimsuits)

With so many styles and options, finding the perfect swimsuit could prove to be difficult. Not only do you have to decide which style you want, but you have to consider which one goes best with your body type. To help you narrow down your choices and figure out which style is best for you, we’ve put together this list of 10 different swimsuit styles and added important information to each.


The one-piece swimsuit has been around for over 100 years and is one of the most popular choices today. In addition to countless different styles and designs, this type of swimsuit is great for all body types. Depending on what you need, you can find one-piece suits that have extra features, such as a built-in bra or skirt. Most people choose a one-piece swimsuit that covers everything, but there are options that use less fabric for a more revealing style. Most clothing stores will sell one-piece suits, so it’s important to look around to find the perfect one.


Another popular swimsuit style is the bikini. Basically, this is a swimsuit made up of 2 pieces-the top and the bottom. Some stores will sell these together, but many will require you to purchase them separately. This might seem like it’s a hassle, but it actually gives you the freedom of creating a swimsuit that fits your needs and style. Most of the time, you’ll see these swimsuits worn by those that are smaller or more petite, but there are some bikinis that are made for those that need a bigger size.


Another great swimsuit option is the tankini. This style gives you the coverage of a one-piece, while also being separate pieces like a bikini. While you can choose any type of bottoms, the top is usually similar to a tank top. Some tops will come as one solid piece, while others will need to be tied or fastened. These are great for all body styles and are extremely popular, which means you can feel comfortable and beautiful in the swimsuit you choose.

Triangle Top

With a bikini, one of the most popular types of tops is the triangle top. It has a similar style to a bra and triangles of fabrics are used to cover the breasts. Most of these are lined to give little support, but you can find some that have removable padding or underwire that gives extra support. Not only can you choose a fixed or sliding triangle, but you can choose the fastening style you like, such as around the neck and/or around the back.

High Waist Bottom

A high waist bottom is a great option for those that don’t want to show too much skin or have concerns about the bottoms staying in one spot. This style usually goes up to the belly button, but there are some options that rest a little lower or higher. These are also a great option for those that have sensitive skin because it can help decrease the chances of things like sunburn or skin irritation. They come in countless styles, designs, and sizes, so you should have a relatively easy time finding the perfect bottoms.

Halter Top

A halter top is very similar to a triangle top but has a few differences. For starters, the fabric that goes around your neck is thicker, which offers more support and works well with larger breasts. In addition, these types of tops usually have an extra strip of fabric underneath the bust, which gives even more support. Most of the time, these strips of fabric are a different color or style and you should be able to easily find bottoms that will complement the style or design of the top.

Thong Bottom

While the thong-style swimsuit is more revealing than others, there are quite a few benefits. To begin with, they allow a minimum number of tan lines. Another great benefit is that they are usually made of materials that make you feel like you have nothing on. You can also get dry quickly after being in the water because less fabric means less drying time. These work well for most people, but those that need extra support or have larger bottoms might find that they need something a little more substantial.


Just because a woman is pregnant doesn’t mean they don’t want to look sexy and be comfortable while swimming. Not only do these come in beautiful styles, but they are usually made with stretchy material that makes it possible to wear the swimsuit throughout the entire pregnancy. Most of these will come as a one-piece to offer more coverage and support, but there are other options to choose from. It comes down to what you’re most comfortable with and which style will give you the most support.


Another popular swimsuit top is called a bandeau. These are made without any type of straps and usually tie or clasp in the back. Since these usually have minimal support, they are usually best for those with smaller breasts. With that said, though, there are plenty of options for those with bigger busts. Keep in mind, this type of top can easily move around or fall down, so they aren’t the best option for things like watersports or games that are commonly played on the beach.

Full Bottom

The final swimsuit style that’s extremely common these days is the full bottom. In addition to giving maximum coverage, this style is also great for watersports or beach games because they usually stay in place. They look very similar to underwear and you should find that they give you the coverage and comfort you’re looking for. Like the other styles on this list, full bottoms are made in many different styles and designs, which gives you a huge amount of freedom to find the ones that fit your needs.

After reading this list, it’s important to remember that this is just a handful of the most common swimsuit styles. If possible, try on some different styles in a physical store to see which you like best. You might find that your favorite style is something you never would’ve tried on. Use these styles as a reference to find the best swimsuit for you!