Types of Swimsuits & Bikinis for Every Body Type

Whether it’s summer weekends by the pool or a fast-approaching vacation, don’t forget to put finding your figure’s best swimwear on your to-do list. With so many different types of swimsuits and bikinis to pick from, there are more than a few options out there for every single body type. Which ones will work wonders for you? Here’s an overview:

Types of Bikini Tops

Halter Top Bikinis

  • What It Is: A halter top has straps that tie or fasten behind your neck for a hot, hoisted-up look.
  • Best For: Halter styles are ideal for those with small to average busts, as they’ll enhance your cleavage. They’re also good for those with wider hips, as the narrow cut at the shoulders nicely balances out your proportions.
  • Our Expert Advice: Because the straps on halter top bikinis can vary from wide to thin, make sure you’re able to get the support you need without straining your neck. Be sure to surf our selection of halters with real bra cups built right in.

Triangle Bikini Top

  • What It Is: As the name suggests, two triangles of fabric cover the breasts in this classic take on an itty-bitty bikini.
  • Best For: Triangle tops are terrific on smaller chests, straighter figures or those who are looking to show off a hard-earned beach body. If you’re looking to add to the appearance of your bust size, choose a busy fabric (think florals or stripes) or a triangle top bikini with ruffles.
  • Our Expert Advice: Since the vast majority of triangle bikini tops are adjustable thanks to their string ties, you can customize the fit to your liking. And our curated mix of triangle top bikinis boasts more than meets the eye, like foam-lined cups and bra sizing that let you wear that barely-there shape without skimping on support.

Bandeau Top Bikinis

  • What It Is: A bandeau is a tube top made of one piece of fabric; it’s like the strapless bra of swimsuits.
  • Best For: Bandeau bikini tops complement a straight up-and-down figure or smaller bust.
  • Our Expert Advice: For enough strength to lift and separate a larger chest, pick a bandeau with an underwire—they exist, and Bare Necessities has got them.

Underwire Bikini Tops

  • What It Is: Like their bra counterparts, these bikinis pack an underwire that buoys full busts.
  • Best For: Since they shape, define and support, this classic bikini top style is tailor-made for those with curves. They’re ideal for cup sizes DD and above.
  • Our Expert Advice: Underwire bikini tops are aces because no one’s the wiser. While they may look like typical bikinis, ours seriously function in capital-F-fashion. In fact, many of our favorite underwire bikinis come from the same top bra-makers you wear every day.

Flounce Bikini Tops

  • What It Is: Any suit of any shape that has ruffles and frills would be considered a flounce bikini top.
  • Best For: Adding volume to a smaller chest or a straighter figure is what these tops excel at.
  • Our Expert Advice: If your top is full of fun frills, consider keeping your bikini bottoms simple. Not a ruffle person? Padded bikini tops achieve the same ends through more minimalist design.

Flounce Bikini Tops

  • What It Is: Any suit of any shape that has ruffles and frills would be considered a flounce bikini top.
  • Best For: Adding volume to a smaller chest or a straighter figure is what these tops excel at.
  • Our Expert Advice: If your top is full of fun frills, consider keeping your bikini bottoms simple. Not a ruffle person? Padded bikini tops achieve the same ends through more minimalist design.

Types of Bikini Bottoms

Cheeky Bikini Bottoms

  • What It Is: This style of bikini bottoms features a higher cut across the bum; by cutting across the tush rather than below it, you’re creating the illusion of a curvier behind.
  • Best For: Women who want to highlight a lovely rear view.
  • Our Expert Advice: Pick up a pair in a solid neutral (you can never, ever go wrong with black) to mix and match it with all of your swim tops.

High Waisted Bottoms

  • What It Is: Everything retro is new again! High-cut briefs are as stylish as they are brilliant at figure flattery.
  • Best For: We also happen to love the way high-waisted bikini bottoms cover our tummy and smooth our backsides.
  • Our Expert Advice: So many of our favorite high-waist briefs are designed to be versatile. Scrunch the waistband down or roll it up as needed.

String Bikini Bottoms

  • What It Is: The counterpart to a string bikini top, these bottoms star scant tie-sides of string.
  • Best For: String bikini bottoms are just the thing for straight shapes or absolutely anyone looking to show some skin from the waist down.
  • Our Expert Advice: Remember not to tie too tightly. Otherwise, these sexy bottoms can create unsightly—and otherwise nonexistent—lumps and bumps.

Hipster Bikini Bottoms

  • What It Is: These briefs sit low on the waist, inching toward the hips (hence the name). Hipsters lengthen the look of the torso and let tummies breathe.
  • Best For: Anyone and everyone. These are the foundation of a well-rounded swim wardrobe.
  • Our Expert Advice: Regardless of what you need or want to wear up top, a cute-meets-comfortable hipster in a neutral solid color is a no-brainer; we love them for their effortlessness.

Skirted Bikini Bottoms

  • What It Is: Your typical swim bottoms go incognito when sewn underneath a flippy or wrap-style skirt made of the same bathing suit fabric.
  • Best For: A skirted bikini bottom imparts modesty and helps conceal your tush, hips and thighs, all the while looking incredibly feminine.
  • Our Expert Advice: A skirtini is not outerwear. Keep the skirt fairly short for cool, unfussy concealment.

Types of Swimsuits

One-Piece Swimsuits

  • What It Is: The time-tested one-piece swimsuit (a.k.a. a maillot or tank suit) has two straps, chest, stomach and lower-body coverage. It's versatile, easy to wear and provides coverage while also helping to accentuate your favorite body parts. For example, if you’ve got a full bust, look for V-neck styles or those with built-in bras. What makes one-piece swimsuits so versatile is that they’re the aquatic equivalent of the bodysuit, a fashion staple. So not only can you wear your swimsuit on the sand, you can throw on cut-offs and head to happy hour, too.
  • Best For: One-piece swimsuits fit and flatter every figure. They’re particularly ideal for sporty pursuits because they’re so secure.
  • Our Expert Advice: What’s more, many of our one-pieces are constructed with ingenious extras, like bra sizing—particularly key for the DD+ swimsuit crowd—and slimming fabrics.


  • What It Is: A bikini is a two-piece swimsuit that exposes the torso.
  • Best For: Don a bikini on days spent lazing in the sun or splashing around at the beach or pool.
  • Our Expert Advice: Although a bikini can seem intimidating, know that two-piece swimsuits offer a level of customization so personalized, they can often be the most flattering choice. Our tops and bottom are sold individually so you can get the sizing you need; they’re also available in a lot of cuts and combinations (a triangle top and boyshort bottoms, for instance) to suit you. And you can always guarantee a confident, ready-for-anything look by picking up your suit’s matching cover-up.

Active Swimwear

  • What It Is: Sports bra- and high-neck swim tops provide the support you need when your workout takes you way beyond the gym.
  • Best For: Athletic endeavors that let you get wet, from stand-up paddleboarding to a seaside jog or some beach volleyball.
  • Our Expert Advice: You know the importance of wearing a sports bra to the gym; the same holds true when you’re sweating it out somewhere more scenic. Athletic-inspired suits also are a major trend at the moment; design details like colorblocking and racing stripes earn serious style points. Finally, because active swimwear offers above-average containment, you can easily take it off the beach—say, with running shorts and sneakers for pounding the pavement.


  • What It Is: This tank top take on a two-piece swimsuit strikes the perfect balance between a bikini top and a full-coverage one-piece. The longer top obscures and smooths a tummy at the same time.
  • Best For: Tankinis suit on-the-go women who appreciate the flexibility and ease of a two-piece but don’t necessarily wish to show too much skin. If you’re chasing around the kids, swimming and sunning or over having to pull up a wet one-piece, consider the tankini. Further, if you tend to find the torso length on standard swimwear too short, a tankini makes it a non-issue.
  • Our Expert Advice: Some of our favorite tankini styles feature built-in bras for a nice, close fit and adjustable-length sides that let you cinch it up for some sun on your stomach or wear it all the day down for the seamless look of a one-piece.

Swim Dresses

  • What It Is: Featuring a skirted bottom, this sweet fit-and-flare style plays up your bust while covering your hips, waist, thighs and behind. Swim dresses are a great way to save space when packing for vacation since they don’t require a separate cover-up.
  • Best For: Women looking for the most modesty and coverage in swimwear can turn to the swim dress.
  • Our Expert Advice: Today’s chic swim dresses are nothing like the muumuus grandma used to wear. That’s also true of the latest iteration of the swim dress, the swim romper, which lets you wear shorts and a tank to do anything you would ordinarily do in a swimsuit…except give how your body looks a second thought.

With so many different swimwear options, there’s no question the perfect piece or pair is out there waiting for you when warm weather hits. Not only does Bare Necessities have a slew of chic, supportive bikinis, tankinis and maillots, coordinating cover-ups and accessories help you create a head-to-toe look you can feel good about wherever your travels take you.

Bare Necessities: Bra Fit Expert Ashley

From the desk of: Our Bare Necessities Bra Fit Experts

We take fit personally! With over 20 years of experience, we know how the perfect bra should fit and feel. Our Bra Fit Experts stop at nothing to find you the perfect fit. Chat online or call 877-728-9272 (select option 4) for a complimentary bra fitting or personal shopping advice.


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