31 Bikini Types: The Ultimate Guide to Bikinis

Swimwear fashion has evolved enormously throughout the years. As fashion itself is constantly and rapidly changing, it’s no surprise that new trends will come out one after the other. For bikinis, it can no longer be identified solely as a ‘two-piece swimwear’ anymore because of the vast selection of styles it has come up with!

As a matter of fact, the options can be truly overwhelming for someone still exploring her bikini choices. From the classic full sets to extreme bikini cuts – its vast varieties of styles are too many to mention!

Whether you are new in bikinis or have been collecting it for the past couple of years, it is quite important to know which style is which. Understanding the different styles will make your purchases (most particularly online) more efficient, too.

With the huge collection of bikini styles, you will surely find one that best suits your personal preference. In this article, we are going to cover 31 different kinds of bikinis and their unique features, as well as factors you need to consider in choosing the best beachwear for you.

String Bikini

Let’s start with this year’s biggest swimsuit trend! Fashion magazines like Vogue, as well as Hollywood A-listers, have been spotted channeling string bikinis as this year’s must-have fashion item. It’s still considered as one of the basics, with the bikini itself featuring conventional fabric cuts and slim strings that cling the item to your back and waist. String sets are perfect for pear-shaped, hourglass and athletic body types.

Micro Bikini or Microkini

If you are trying to slide into a more daring bikini piece, you are going to love a micro bikini! It’s a skimpy piece that only features a small percentage of fabric enough to cover your intimate parts. It offers very minimum coverage as it only holds the cover-up fabrics with very slim halters and hip strings. It is quite a revealing piece but it’s still not considered highly extreme. In fact, many public beaches still allow women to wear microkinis. If you want to get a beautiful tan with very minimal tan lines, this one is perfect for you.

Tankini

Do you feel like bikinis are too revealing for your taste? Well, no worries because it’s not always the case! You can still enjoy the style and comfort that a bikini can give without showing so much skin. This is what a Tankini is for. As what the name suggests, it’s basically a tank top that features broad straps to provide support to the bust area. As for its bottom, it has higher cuts that cover a much wider region of the pelvic area.

High Neck Bikini

For those who love halter tops, the high neck beachwear is totally going to suit your fashion taste. High neck bikinis come in many varieties but the most common one would be in the form of halter bikini tops. Just like a tankini, this one is not as revealing as the usual swimwear too. If you’re keen on not showing too much cleavage, then a pair of high neck beachwear should give you enough coverage while still keeping your summer look stylish!

Trikini

The trend of multiple straps embracing the body has become very popular in the fashion runways. Have you seen bikini pieces from fashion swimwear designers like Mia Marcelle and Issa de’Mar last year? Well, if you love a unique and stylish swimwear that you can actually wear comfortably, a Trikini would be your best option. It features triangular pieces of clothing that cover the intimate parts with straps or bands holding the cover-up fabric pieces together. The Trikini is not overly revealing but the straps can give you a bit of a peek for a subtly sexy vibe!

Sling Bikini

This is a one-piece swimwear that features a design similar to a ‘slingshot’. It comes in different designs and some can even be categorized as a type of extreme bikini. The straps that hold the top of the sling bikini goes around the neck and the fabric covering the bust extends along the midriff forming a “V” shape. This leaves the back and the sides of your torso completely bare. For the bottom, it is usually hooked to the “V” slingshot fabric and it can be of a conventional cut or cheeky Brazilian cut. The Sling Bikini makes a great swimwear to those who want to emphasize their beautiful side curves!

Skirtini

If you love watching chick flicks, you may have already come across a bunch of girl-next-door characters channeling their skirtinis! It is cute and it is extremely girly, thanks to the frills that grace the skater skirt bottom. The Skirtini features a very youthful design and with that being said, it also provides decent coverage. It is not as daring as micro bikinis but it still has its own sex appeal. Skirtinis are perfect for those who have a very slim waist since the frills of the skirt add depth and shape to it.

High-waisted Bikini

The high-waisted bikini became immensely popular back in the 50’s due to the rising fame of pin-up icons like Rita Hayworth and Jayne Mansfield. Today, it made a comeback in the fashion scene and it has become a cult-favorite to a lot of women, regardless of what body shape they are in! High-waisted swimwear can be worn by both small-framed and big-framed girls. Additionally, if you’d like to give your waistline superior coverage without losing its shape, this is definitely the bikini style for you.

Fringe Bikini

If you have small frames and you would like to add volume to your summer beach-ready look, you are totally going to love Fringe Bikinis. It is basically in the style of the traditional two-piece set, only with fringes attached to the fabric. Some fringe items feature these fringes on the top (over the breast cover-ups) while some have on both the tops and the bikini bottom. It’s great for girls with smaller cups because the fringes give the illusion of a bigger bust.

Flounce Bikini

Let your swimwear dance through the summer breeze with flouncy chiffon fabric! The Flounce Bikini features a unique style wherein it has a hanging soft fabric (preferably chiffon) on the halter top. With its soft material, it beautifully flounces whenever the wind blows and it adds superior shape to the bust line as well. As for its matching bikini bottom, it can come in different varieties – from classic high-cut bottoms to daring thongs.

Bandeau Bikini

Not a fan of straps? If you’d like your entire shoulders to be bare, you can flaunt a sexy bandeau bikini. The term “bandeau” is from a French word that means strip fabric. As to what the term and bikini name suggests, the bandeau bikini is basically a strip of cloth that covers the bust horizontally. Some types of bandeau beachwear have cuts and laces in the middle to bare the cleavage while others are fully covered. It is sensual and revealing but it is not as extreme so it can still be worn to a lot of public beaches.

Strapless Bikini

Just like the bandeau set, Strapless Bikinis do not have straps hanging on the shoulders. Instead, it features clasps or hooks at the back just like how most underwear bras work. The great thing about this product is that while it reveals a lot of skin, it provides proper support for the bust area. Some strapless items also have wires right under the breasts to enhance support, most particularly for big-breasted women. If you are also looking into getting a full-body tan, a Strapless Bikini will help you avoid tanning marks usually brought by shoulder or halter straps.

Monokini

The Monokini is the hippest summer swimwear ever since Instagram models took over social media! Monokinis have been around for a while now but it skyrocketed in popularity in 2016 when popular social media influencers started bombarding our feeds with their perfect summer getaway shots in their monokinis! The monokini is extensively used to describe a one-piece bikini. However, the term monokini describes its resemblance to the lower half of the traditional set or the bikini bottom. In modern design, it features revealing tops that usually bare parts of the bust area such as cleavage, side boob or underboob.

Ruffle Bikini

Its name is pretty self-explanatory. The Ruffle bikini closely resembles the flounce set but only with more pleated frills and more voluminous fabric. The ruffles can be present at the top, the bottom or both. It adds significant volume to the swimwear, which is also ideal for those who share small or straight body frames. It creates the illusion of having a more defined top and bottom and therefore draws attention to your torso. If you are up for a sweet, girly look this summer season, get yourself a pair of Ruffle bikinis!

Retro Bikini

If you are a fan of vintage pieces and you find yourself loving the classic pin-up style, Retro Bikinis should land in your must-have list. Most retro pieces come in high-waisted style due to its popularity back in the late 40s to mid-50s. Some come in sailor swim bottoms or button skirts while as for the top, it usually provides more coverage with only giving emphasis to the cleavage due to its thick fabric. If you would like to go back in time this summer season, go for a retro pair graced with vibrant prints. Take your matching sunglasses and polka headband and you are ready to flaunt it – retro style!

Bralette Bikini

The Bralette Bikini makes an ideal match to women who like full coverage and superior support for the bust area. Think of it as a sports bra that you can wear for swimming! It is not quite revealing but it is still pretty trendy as well. It comes in different varieties, with tops featuring a criss-cross back or a full-covered strip similar to a tankini. It is definitely a great choice for women who like active leisure at the beach because of the comfort and support it gives overall.

G-string Bikini

Of course, we can’t miss superbly revealing pieces when bikinis come into the subject! G-strings are the classic examples of skimpy lingerie and bikini. As for a G-string item, the bottom is mostly comprised of slim strings holding the very small triangular fabric that covers your intimate part. It bears the buttocks and the pelvic area entirely. It is usually paired with a top that has small triangle fabrics to cover the nipples. However, the rest of it is bare, with tiny string straps holding the fabric together. This is a very liberating piece so if you would like to hop onto a more daring adventure, all you have to do is confidently flaunt this G-string bikini!

Halter Top Bikini

Halter tops help draw attention to the shoulders and back while providing modest coverage on the bust line. The Halter Top Bikini is also a perfect piece for women with broad shoulders and larger cups because of its flattering cuts. It features a slim strap that hoops behind the neck which also adds better support to the bust area. It doesn’t show the cleavage unless you pick a style that features a crocheted center. The beauty of halter tops is that it’s very easy to mix and match; you can even pair it with extreme bikini bottoms!

Brazilian Bikini

“Sun’s out, buns out!” – This is one of the most common bikini styles that also influenced the massive popularity of Brazilian hair waxing. It’s a rendition of the classic thong, only much wearable due to its additional fabric. The Brazilian Bikini bottom features a very low cut on the front and a thin strip of fabric at the back baring a portion of the butt cheeks. Depending on your personal preference, you may pick a Brazilian swimwear that only reveals a small area of the butt or go full-on with the entire cheeks exposed.

Thong Bikini

This is a more revealing version of the Brazilian Bikini. Unlike them, Thong Bikinis are usually deemed inappropriate on public beaches and is more suitable for private pools or nude beaches. The top that comes with thong bikinis may greatly vary, with the classic triangle-shaped covers being the common one. As for the bottom, it only involves a very small fabric that covers the intimate part while the rest of it is just thin strips of strings. The thong set may not be everyone’s cup of tea but it sure is sexy and daring!

Underwire Bikini

Unlike underwear bras, wires are not very common in bikinis. However, through the course of time, the Underwire Bikini has become very well-liked among women who want to enhance the shape of their breasts. This product usually features plastic wires sewn beneath the cup to provide a push-up effect to the breasts. This type of beachwear is perfect for both small-cupped and large-cupped ladies. For ladies with smaller cups, this will give the breasts a nice lift, making the cleavage more prominent. On the other hand, large-cupped ladies will absolutely love the shape and support the wire gives.

Balconette Bikini

The Balconette Bikini provides support from underneath the cup, just like the underwire item. Moreover, it does not provide full coverage on the cups and bares the upper portion of the breast. Its bodice and style can be compared to a bustier corset so it is not exactly similar to the Underwire Bikini. It is a beautiful piece for plus size and curvy women who want to add definition to their body shape. The Balconette Bikini also comes in many different designs so depending on your personal taste, you may choose pieces that are vibrant or revealing.

Push-up Bikini

This beachwear is almost similar to the Balconette Bikini. However, the difference is that Push-up bikinis may either feature full or half-cup coverage. You may choose a push-up set that reveals both the side boob and the cleavage or you may also choose one that features conservative cuts. The point of the Push-up item is to provide a lift to the breasts in order to achieve a much fuller cleavage shape. It does not necessarily mean that it has a wire underneath to provide support since some push-up items provide the “lift” using paddings or advanced fabric seams. Depending on what material you are most comfortable with, feel free to choose a push-up bikini that matches your body shape!

Crochet Bikini

This is the newer breed of beachwear that made its name to the fashion scene when the “Boho” trend resurfaced. We’ve seen stars wear it to their fancy beach getaways but you are probably asking, “Can you really swim in a crocheted bikini?” Well, it can truly be puzzling for some! But thanks to fashion’s very fast-forward technology, crocheted swimwear are now absolutely wearable because it features strong, water-resistant yarn threads. You can totally rock that Boho chic look without worries of getting your Crochet Bikini all over the place. In addition to this, they can easily make a perfect style statement when layered with a knitted cover-up!

Extreme Bikini

Slingshot, Micro Euro, and See-through pieces are just some common samples of extreme bikinis. If you are not afraid of risks and you are fully equipped with confidence, you need to at least have one pair of extreme swimwear before you head onto your private getaway this summer! Extreme bikinis come in many different styles but they all have one thing in common – they reveal a lot of skin. They are alluringly skimpy and each one only consists of tiny fabrics to cover the intimate parts. This is also where you’ll find bikinis made from mesh or fishnet to give you that daring sultry look!

Triangle Bikini

This is one of the most common types of bikini that you can easily find in fashion boutiques and retail stores. This swimsuit classic is very easy to wear and style along with other pieces and accessories. The best thing about Triangle Bikinis is that it does not pick a certain body shape to flatter as it is almost universally flattering for all body shapes! It features triangular cover-ups over the breasts and has a fastener that ties behind the neck. The Triangle set is also a favorite among women with smaller cups because it provides the perfect fit without making the chest look too flat.

One-piece Bikini

One-piece sets are usually preferred by women who do not wish to bare much of their lower body but, would like to keep their curves prominently enhanced. One-piece swimsuits are included in the first wave of bikinis back in the 1910s and since then, they have been consistently modernized into many different styles – from conservative to daring. While one-piece bikinis are usually associated with being “conservative” due to its ample use of fabric, its modern versions also involve superbly revealing styles. Some come in plunging necklines to bare the bust and belly button while others feature a Brazilian cut back that exposes the butt cheeks. Your one-piece bikini choices are undoubtedly endless!

Mini Bikini

This product is also a growing fashion trend among young ladies today. Like what the name suggests, mini bikinis offer minimum coverage as it only features small and thin fabrics held together by super slim strings and straps. Mini bikinis can be loosely identified as “extreme” because it also comes in many different styles. Some are overly revealing, while some can pass for public beaches. If you want to show your curves off and get more of your skin under the summer heat, then a minikini is for you!

Wrap Bikini Top

The Wrap Bikini Top is a more conservative yet still stylish take on the classic Trikini. It features strips of fabric that wrap around the rib area just right underneath the bust line. You can easily adjust the fit because it allows you to tie the strips from behind – or depending on how you want to style it! Its skimpy fit is a way to enhance the shape of your upper body while providing proper support to your breasts. The Wrap Bikini Top is usually paired with daring bottoms like thongs, G-strings, and Brazilian swimwear.

Crop Top Bikini

Crop tops are so in this season! It’s a perfect casual wear that millennials love to wear on their casual days. Well, it also made its way to the bikini department and based on what we saw on the runways last year, the Crop Top item is here to stay! It is basically in a form of a crop top T-shirt that provides full coverage of the chest area. It leaves the torso bare and is usually paired with a high cut or boy short bikini bottom. This also makes a great beachwear piece for those who love to do active sports at the beach because of the coverage and comfort it gives!

Strap Bikini

This particularly pertains to the bikini bottom. It comes in different styles and may feature classic, high cut or cheeky Brazilian cuts. Furthermore, the Strap Bikini can be identified with the straps or bands that connect the front and back part of the set. Early this year, a designer launched a unique Strap Bikini style that features clear straps; giving the illusion of having pieces of fabric hanging over the body! It’s not as extreme if you ask us, but it’s definitely unique enough to turn heads!

Factors to consider when choosing the best bikini

True enough, the bikini trend has grown enormously and more designs are consistently innovated. Now that we have gone through this in-depth list discussing many different styles of bikinis, there are still a few more factors that you need to consider before you make your purchase.

  • Body Shape – You have the freedom to flaunt your features! Choosing a bikini without considering your body shape may lead you to actually hiding your best assets. For instance, if you are big-breasted, donning a dramatic ruffled top may only make your bust look bigger and therefore lose depth for your lower body. On the other hand, if you are blessed with curves, embrace them by showing them off with a bikini that bares them!
  • Budget – The price does not always determine the quality of the product. This heavily applies to bikinis as well. Do not settle for something that is too cheap because you may compromise quality in the process. On the other hand, going for top-quality beachwear does not also mean that you have to splurge on it. This is where proper research comes into significant play. Plan your budget and do some digging on which bikini types would last long on you, quality-wise.
  • Comfort over Style – Don’t we all love fashionable bikini pieces? Some extremely fad designs are hard to resist but you have to keep your personal comfort in mind. Beach activities will cost you a lot of movements, most particularly if you are the active type of beachgoer. With this being mentioned, being comfortable in your bikini will allow you to enjoy the most of your summer! Avoid pieces that will make you too conscious. Meanwhile, if you are the type of girl who loves daring pieces, then be confident to flaunt it. Comfort stems from confidence, after all!
  • Pick a swimwear that perfectly suits your size – Bikinis come in flexible stretchy materials. However, this does not mean that it’s a one-size-fits-all kind of thing. The perfect fit is very important for superior comfort springs from that factor. The right fit will also contribute to the longevity of the fabric material of your bikini in a way that a fit that’s too tight or too loose will undeniably affect its sturdiness.

Final advice

Do not let these long list of bikini styles overwhelm you! We know, it is pretty difficult to narrow your choices down especially if most of these gorgeous bikinis fall under your personal style. Well, nobody is really stopping you just in case you would like to add all of them to your shopping cart. It all boils down to knowing and understanding which ones work for you.

Do not let fashion trends define you because while new designs come out rapidly, you do not always have to keep on following them just to look good. Be confident in your body and don’t be afraid to channel a bikini style that speaks to you on a spiritual level!

We hope you find our ultimate guide helpful in letting you choose the perfect style of bikini for you. Which ones quickly landed on your favorites list?

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