Different Swimsuit Types and Styles for Every Woman

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  • If you want to accentuate your bust, a one-piece suit with a plunging neck will be perfect.
  • If you’re looking to downplay your “flaws,” go for a high-waisted bathing suit.
  • Wanna splash in the sea but don’t want to show any skin? Try on a burkini.
  • Wish you could make your bosom look bigger? Go for a floral triangle top.

With the summer season slowly approaching, women’s swimsuits are retaking the spotlight. With so many different swimsuit styles available to women today, choosing the right bikini top or swim bottoms can be a real pain in the neck.

Which particular bathing suit style fits you best is a matter of personal choice — your fashion sense, your one-piece or two-piece preference, how covered you wish your body to be, and so on.

Swim tops with a plunging neckline or rash guards — what you choose to wear is up to you, and you only. Since more and more swimwear brands are coming to terms with size inclusivity, women of all body types and sizes can find the right fit, feeling as comfortable as ever.

The choices are aplenty, from long sleeves to swimsuits designed for competitive swimmers to string bikinis. Read on to discover the perfect swimsuit for your body.

What Are Swimsuits?

woman floating on pool

Swimsuits come in all shapes, sizes, and styles. From leisurewear to activewear, beach apparel is made of fabrics that are breathable, dry quickly, and are UV-resistant (in most cases). In essence, bathing suits can be broken down into two separate categories: one-piece swimsuits and two-piece swimsuits; the latter is better known as bikinis.

The two categories encompass a variety of different styles and cup sizes to help women feel confident and comfortable in their own skin. Depending on your own preference, you can easily find a swimsuit that’s:

  • Strappy
  • Sporty
  • Ruffled
  • With a plunging neckline
  • Showing more skin
  • Covering up what you’re looking to conceal.

You have your retro, one-piece swimsuits, your hip swim dress, revealing halter top pieces, a tankini top, a crop top… you name it!

10 Different Types of Swimsuits

Among all the types of swimsuits, you can find swimsuit tops that deliver different coverage for your upper body part. For instance, a two-piece swimsuit usually covers up less than a monokini. On the other hand, one-piece cover-ups can feel like a second skin and deliver full coverage regarding your midsection and partial (or total) coverage for your upper and lower body.

As per usual, the bikini top is still the hottest swim top, even though not all swimsuit tops are bikinis. Recently, sustainable swimwear for women has been gaining a lot of popularity among eco-conscious women, too.

Let’s look at the different types of swimsuits:

Triangle Top

The triangle top is probably the most commonly-known bikini top. A classic style, the triangle top is made of two triangular pieces of fabric, connected by strings tying on the back and halter-style around the neck.

In general, women with smaller busts enjoy wearing a triangle bikini top because they offer just the right coverage. To complement the classic bikini style, you can pair the top with high-waisted bikini bottoms (if you want to cover up your lower body section more).

  • Best for: Triangle tops are an excellent choice for women with smaller breasts and A-line figures. However, women with a more voluptuous body type can also rock a triangle bikini top if they want to show off their beach bod. If you want to spice things up, choose a triangle bikini top with ruffles or a floral design — it will visually enhance your chest.
  • Why we like it: The fact that most triangle tops can be adjusted by elastic string ties tying at the back makes the triangle bikini tops a good fit for almost all body types and chest sizes. Plus, these bikini tops boast cups lined with foam-like fabric that dries easily and doesn’t make your bikini top see-through.

High-waist Bikini

woman sunbathing

Everything retro is new again! High-waisted swimwear is taking over beachwear! High-cut swim briefs are back in style and are an awesome choice that flatters any figure, especially fuller bodies.

The main purpose of high-waisted bottoms is to cover up most of the area around the waistline. You can find a model that rises up to your belly button or goes over it. In essence, high-waisted briefs are similar to mid-rise bikini bottoms, except that the latter won’t generally cover the belly button and are more cut at the crotch.

  • Best for: High-waisted bikini bottoms are the go-to choice for fuller bodies looking to add more coverage in less flattering mid-section areas and smoothen their backside.
  • Why we like it: If you aren’t sure high-cut bikini bottoms are right for you, you can consult a swimsuit size chart. In any case, high-waist briefs are specially designed to be as versatile as possible and deliver nice lower-body coverage.

Floral Prints

The fact that floral patterns have been gracing women’s bodies for decades makes these types of swimsuits a category of their own. You can find a traditional one-piece swimsuit in floral or two-piece swimsuits designed with the fan-favorite floral pattern.

As a rule of thumb, floral prints are usually associated with a halter bikini top style of bathing suits and crop-top style swimsuits. Yet, lately, swimwear designers have incorporated the floral print into bikini bottoms, tankinis, and even swim shorts to add a touch of playfulness.

  • Best for: Petite body frames looking to visually augment their chest size can have the most fun with a floral patterned swimsuit or a bikini top. Also, fashionistas will enjoy sporting a floral, v-neck one-piece, knowing their beachwear is on trend.
  • Why we like it: Retro floral prints are causing major hype on runways, and we’re glad to see the trend transfer to beachwear! We’re all for finding a pair of bikini bottoms or tops in florals to welcome summer in style!

Sporty One-piece

Also known as the tank suit or maillot, the one-piece swimsuit is usually designed with two straps, offering almost complete body coverage regarding the tummy and chest area. The main reason it’s called sporty is that swimming athletes usually wear this type of swimsuit when competing.

  • Best for: Everyone can wear one-piece swimsuits, but the level of security these types of swimwear offer is best for sports activities like competitive swimming.
  • Why we like it: Swimwear brands design one-piece swimsuits with customizable bra cups and body-friendly fabrics, and we’re here for it!

Strapless One-piece

Women that like to look and feel retro all the way should try a strapless one-piece and feel like a ’50s movie star on the beach. This type of swimwear covers the torso and rests nicely under your collarbone.

A one-piece swimsuit without straps is just the thing for line-free tanning. While on the strapless matter, there’s a variant of this swimsuit style that comes with a single strap holding the swim top, known as a one-shoulder suit.

  • Best for: A strapless one-piece swimsuit or a one-shoulder bikini top is perfect for fashionistas with smaller chests.
  • Why we like it: A bikini top with one shoulder makes the perfect beach party outfit! On the other hand, those looking to avoid tan lines at any cost would really enjoy wearing a one-shoulder bikini top or a one-piece with no straps.

Bandeau Top

Bandeau tops are practically strapless tops and are perfect for eliminating tan lines. A bandeau bikini top can be designed in many styles: with a sweetheart neckline, a cinched, or other neckline styles.

  • Best for: Women with smaller to average bosoms and rectangle-shaped bodies can make the most use of a bandeau bikini top. However, we love the fact that women with wider hips choose bandeau bikini tops to complement a high-waisted bikini bottom model.
  • Why we like it: There are bandeau tops that come with an underwire to support a fuller, larger chest!

Nautical Palette

Typically made of white and blue-colored fabrics, a swimsuit in this color palette flatters most slim body shapes. The reason for this is that the stripes tend to elongate the body, making it appear fuller, which is why voluptuous women avoid stripy swimsuit patterns.

You can also find a classic bikini shape with black, gold, and red accents, and it also isn’t unusual for the bottom to be designed in a nautical palette and the top in another solid color.

  • Best for: Nautical one-piece swimsuits are perfect for an hourglass silhouette and average-sized bosoms.
  • Why we like it: The maritime motif never truly goes out of style! Pair your swim dress in nautical colors with a straw hat, and you’ll look fresh out of Monaco!

Skirtini (Two-piece)

Mix and match a skirt with a bikini, and you get a two-piece skirtini, hence, the name! The bikini bottom in a skirtini is intricately sewn into a wrap-style or a ruffled bottom in the same swimwear fabric. A skirtini bathing suit is perfect for modestly covering up your underbelly area.

  • Best for: Body-shy women looking to conceal their hips, thighs, and derriere while not sacrificing style and femininity. Pair a skirtini with plain-looking bikini tops, and you’ve got yourself a stylish outfit.
  • Why we like it: A skirtini is perfect as kids’ swimwear and is as flattering as a bikini bottom on slimmer bodies as is on more curvaceous physiques.


woman wearing a burkini

For some time now, burkinis have been trending globally. No longer intended for Muslim women only, burkinis are now a preferred swimwear for women looking to conceal their bodies due to having skin conditions and so on.

  • Best for: Women looking for total body coverage while still wanting to enjoy a nice swim. The upper part of the burkini delivers the support of a sports bra without accentuating unwanted body features.
  • Why we like it: Burkinis offer superb UV protection, are super light to wear and can be worn by every type of body.


A tankini is a ’90s staple that revolutionized the beachwear culture for good. As a combo of a tank top serving as a bikini top, and bikini bottoms, the tankini unifies the modesty of a one-piece and the convenience of a two-piece swimsuit.

  • Best for: Tankinis are the go-to choice for women that want to experience a swimsuit without showing off too much skin. For some time now, tankinis have been also worn as plus-size maternity swimsuits by new moms.
  • Why we like it: You can find tankinis that offer the support of a sports bra so you can rest assured your twins stay in place even if you chase after your kids on the seashore.


And there you have it — the rundown of the most common swimwear styles and types to suit any woman’s body. From slim physiques to full-figured bodies, there is a style for everyone.

Whenever you find yourself doubting the look of your go-to beachwear, you can always revisit this article and find a one-piece, an off-shoulder bikini top, or even a tankini for your next beach outing.


1) How do I choose a swimsuit for my body type?

The best way to decide is to use a body size chart and see which type of swimwear flatters your type of body the most.

2) What type of swimsuits do swimmers wear?

Professional swimmers always wear sporty one-piece swimsuits. You’ll rarely see a professional aquatic athlete wearing a tankini or a bikini.

3) What kind of swimsuit makes you look thinner?

High-waisted swimsuits in darker colors are perfect for creating a slimming illusion.

4) Which is better: a tank top bikini or a one-piece swimsuit?

It all depends on the shape of the body and personal preference. In general, fuller bodies feel more confident in a one-piece, whereas a tank top bikini, or a tankini, is perfect for concealing the midsection of the body.

5) Which swimsuit best suits plus-size women?

Luckily, a lot of swimwear brands adopt size inclusivity and create different swimwear lines to flatter most body sizes. In essence, plus-size women would feel more like themselves in a curvaceous one-piece or a strapless bodysuit.