The Different Types of Swimsuits & 10 Bathing Suit Shopping Tips
Is there anything more intimidating than bathing suit shopping? If you don't have a swimsuit you like (or even one that fits), it can feel like the storm cloud on a trip to the beach. Don't miss out! Put an end to the frustration with our guide to the different types of swimsuits, tops, bottoms, and some tips to keep in mind before you hit the water.
Types of Swimsuits
Description: a two-piece bathing suit, typically with a bra-cut top and bottoms that cut below the navel
Best for: showing off your figure and mixing and matching colors, types, and patterns
Description: one-piece bodysuit, oftentimes with cutouts in the middle to lower back
Best for: overall support and more coverage
Active Swimwear
Description: one- or two-piece bathing suit made for water activities like swimming or diving
Best for: staying in place and not riding up, even during activity
Description: two-piece bathing suit consisting of a top that covers the navel and your choice of swim bottoms
Best for: better coverage but with the versatility of a two-piece
Description: one-piece bathing suit with an attached skirt
Best for: the most coverage, especially in the butt and thigh region
Types of Bikini Tops
Triangle: adjustable straps around the neck and back, the quintessential bikini look, best for smaller chests
Halter: straps that fasten around the neck, offers more support for bigger busts, wider coverage all around
Bandeau: strapless top that typically includes soft cups or boning to remain in place, good for small to medium chests, fewer tan lines
Underwire: top with bra-shaped cups for support and lift, can run from big to small, can offer push up
Flounce: top with bra-like straps that are adjustable, flowing fabric in the front, can both increase the appearance of a chest or make a bust look smaller
Types of Bikini Bottoms
Cheeky: bottoms that cut low, exposes your rear, gives the illusion of a fuller booty
High waisted: covers tummy, sits at natural waistline, slims overall silhouette
String: low-rise bottoms, ties on both sides, helps elongate legs
Hipster: sits comfortably on your hips, offers good coverage, stays put
Skirt: bottoms that skirt over the thighs, good coverage for booty and thighs, retro vibe
Swim shorts: short bottoms, modest coverage for booty and thighs, ideal for activities

10 Bathing Suit Shopping Tips

  1. Always choose black. Not only is it slimming, but black also attracts the sun so you'll feel hotter, physically and metaphorically.
  2. Size down. Bottoms should be on the snugger side when purchasing because the water will stretch them out over time.
  3. Keep it sanitary. Always try on bottoms first with your underwear (a thong is fine) for cleanliness.
  4. Opt for versatility. Choose tops that have removable pads so you choose whether or not you want an extra chest boost.
  5. Go pattern crazy. Tops with intricate designs can give the illusion of a larger chest.
  6. Think ahead. Buy a top with several clamps around your chest and shoulders so you can tighten over time, if needed.
  7. Take cover. Consider purchasing a coverup to easily throw over your suit whenever you're on the go.
  8. Stay classic. If you're looking for longevity, stay away from trendy patterns and prints. Solid colors will last longer.
  9. Wiggle a bit. When deciding on a suit, hop around or bend over to see if you have the support needed for activities.
  10. Be confident! Every body is "beach body ready." Pick a swimsuit you feel the most yourself in. It will show—trust us.