• The ultimate guide to swimwear and bikini styles

    July 15th, 2016

     

    Bikinis

     

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    Tops styles

    Bottoms styles

     

    Swimsuits styles

     

    Bikini top styles

     

    What’s in a bikini top?

    A bikini is usually made up of three parts:

    1. the underband that joins around your body underneath the bust

    2. the cups which provide support to your bust

    3. the shoulder straps that hold up the cups

    Underwired

    What is it?

    A bikini top with wiring beneath the cups to retain shape and provide structured support. The opposite of an underwired bikini would be a soft or non-wired bikini.

    Push up/plunge

    What is it?

    Specially angled cups and usually some padding in the cups to maximise cleavage and uplift to give a fuller shape. They rely on a close fit to create this. Push up and plunge styles will usually be underwired for better shaping and uplift power, although it’s possible to find a plunge style without underwiring.

    Moulded

    What is it?

    Pre-formed cups help to maintain the structure of the bikini, offering great support and a more rigid shape. Moulded bikinis can be non-wired or underwired and are available in many different styles. They’re often also lightly padded with foam.

    Bustier/longline

    What is it?

    The longline or bustier bikini has an under-band which extends down beyond the cups on to the stomach, giving a longer and slightly retro silhouette. They’ll usually have underwiring and be in a balconette shape.

    Balcony/balconette

    What is it?

    The balconette style has a straighter neckline when compared with styles like the plunge, with wider cups and wide set straps. The style is designed to maximise uplift without creating a pushed-together cleavage.

    Strapless or bandeau

    What is it?

    Simply a bikini top without straps. A bandeau is a strapless style that’s usually a soft non-wired piece of fabric. Strapless styles are ideal for avoiding strap marks on your tan, so you get fully bronzed shoulders without any white stripes.

    Triangle

    What is it?

    A triangle bikini style has triangular shaped cups which have more minimal coverage and support. Triangle styles can be wired or non-wired, with an underband or a string, and they can fasten lots of different ways. Many are halter styles that fasten around the neck, to ensure more stability in the cups.

    Crop top

    What is it?

    Instead of two single cups, the crop top is more like a sports top with one supportive area of fabric. It’s often paired with a deeper underband to give support. It can be soft or underwired.

    High neck

    What is it?

    A high neck bikini is a new style idea, where the fabric covers your body right up to your neck – instead of meeting in a v-shape at the underband between the cups. There is more fabric at the front between the shoulder straps.

    String or tie

    What is it?

    A string bikini top is when the straps around your body or over your shoulders are thin like shoelaces, usually fastened by tying together instead of a clasp. The cups may be fixed to the in place or they may be moveable along the band.

    Halter

    What is it?

    A halter style bikini is where the straps from the tops of the cups go around your neck instead of across the shoulders. It could fasten with a tie or with a clasp, or be of a fixed length that hooks onto the cups at either side. A halter style can have many different styles of cups.

    Tankini

    What is it?

    A tankini style is almost like a vest or camisole – it usually comes right down to your waist.

    Racer back

    What is it?

    A racer back bikini has a specific strap shape at the back. Instead of going straight from the cups over the shoulder, the straps meet behind the neck and join into a single area. The racer back is a cut-away style that exposed more of the shoulders.

    Crossover

    What is it?

    A crossover style bikini has shoulder straps that cross over each other. These could be at the front or the back. They expose more of the shoulders.

    Bikini bottom styles

    High waisted

    What is it?

    High-waisted bikini bottoms have a raised waistband, so they have more coverage of the stomach. They help to give a retro, vintage look.

    Hipster

    What is it?

    Hipster bikini bottoms have a low waistband that sits on the hips. This means they expose more of the stomach.

    Brazilian/cheeky

    What is it?

    Brazilian or cheeky bikini bottoms have a less coverage of the bottom area. They have a more acute triangle shape, with less coverage near the top of your legs. They expose more cheek!

    Brief

    What is it?

    Briefs are a regular triangular shape – usually with mid to high coverage of the bottom. They can be high waisted, mid-rise or hipster.

    Shorts

    What is it?

    Short-style bikini bottoms extend down to the tops of the legs – so they’re more like actual shorts. They provide lots of coverage both in the front and the back.

    Swimsuits

    Cut out

    What is it?

    Cut out swimsuits leave some parts of the body exposed. Cut outs are often at the sides or across the stomach. They can even look like a swimsuit from the front and a bikini from the back. They’re ideal if you don’t want to bare all in a bikini, but you want to wear less than a swimsuit.

    Panelled

    What is it?

    A panelled swimsuit features the insertion of contrasting pieces of fabric to the main body area. Panels of different fabrics may be added at the sides or across the middle.

    Bandeau

    What is it?

    A bandeau swimsuit usually has an unstructured bust part, without pre-formed cups. It may have detachable straps, and a twist or gather at the front of the neckline.

    Asymmetric

    What is it?

    An asymmetric swimsuit has just one shoulder strap, so one side is exposed. They usually feature one thick strap to ensure the body area is fully supported and can’t fall down.