We may earn commission from links on this page, but we only recommend products we love. Promise.

All the Different Swimsuit Types and Styles That Exist, In Case Ya Didn't Know

Wow, there are actually a lot of possibilities.

swimsuit types

Swimsuit shopping is tricky as hell. Online shopping has the potential risk-factor of buying something sketchy, and it's equally as frustrating to try on bikinis in an unflattering fitting-room mirror. On top of all of that, you've got a bajillion different types of swimsuits to choose from, complicating things further.

Thankfully, picking out the right bathing suit is about to get easier. First, know that there is no such thing as one swimsuit for one specific body type. Anyone who tells you so is absolutely wrong. For example, you can wear high-waist swimsuits no matter your height. If it makes you feel like that girl, it's the right one for you. OK? So, take a deep breath in and let it out. Feel that swimsuit-season stress leaving your body? Good.

Now, time to do a little fashion homework. You won't be confused or intimidated by all the different styles and categories out there after checking out this list of the many, many types of beach-ready silhouettes to choose from, below. It's got all the bikinis and one-pieces you may encounter on your next bathing suit-shopping adventure!

our top picks for the best swimsuit styles to shop in 2022

But that's not all the swimsuit content we have for ya. We're also happy to introduce you to an endless list of cute swimwear Brands to get you in a great summer mood. And of course, give Black designers the support they deserve by shopping at any of these Black-owned brands that offer gorgeous swimwear lewks. Plus, you can indulge in these retro bathing suits so you can live your best vintage dreams, shop gender neutral swim, and discover your must-have maternity swimsuit. But first, your guide to your perf swimsuit type awaits!

Advertisement - Continue Reading Below
skirt bottom
Frankies Bikinis Marty Plissé Swim Skirt Bikini Bottom

Maybe you remember wearing a swim skirt bikini or tankini as a tween? The playful style has gotten a revamp, and is serving grown-up chic. P.S. Like the practical ingenuity of a workout skort, this flirty style is actually a hybrid micro-miniskirt and classic bikini bottom in one cute package so you can move freely all day (and all summer) long.

portrait neckline top
Andrea Iyamah Mulan Orange Bikini

The portrait neckline is such a romantic shape that looks gorge on dresses or tops, and feels so unexpected and elegant in swimsuit form. This beautifully intricate off-the-shoulder design involves crisp, origami-esque pleats, and it truly looks like art.

ruffle-sleeved suit
Summersalt The Ruffle Backflip

Who's into a little shoulder action? The ruffle-sleeved suit serves up whimsical vibes that one-piece loyalists will love. Typically featuring wider straps with sleeves that flutter outwards, this flirty style tends to balance those slightly covered-up shoulders with a plunging deep V neckline and open back.

scoop top
Aerie Twist Scoop Bikini Top

A scoop top does exactly what it says—scoop! This style is probs one of the most considerate when it comes to tan lines. It's a simple top that's also supportive.

Triangle Top
ASOS DESIGN Mix and Match Tie Front Triangle Bikini Top in Floral swirl print

This term is pretty straight forward, but in case you're still not clear—a bikini top with triangles covering each of your boobs is a triangle top!

underwire top
Revel Rey Uma Bikini Top

A bikini with underwire is one that kinda looks like a bra and offers a bit more lift and support than one without. They can come padded or unpadded, depending on the coverage you want.

Sports-Bra Top
Athleta Malibu Bikini Top

For added support, a sports-bra top is a good bet. And this pink one is a stand out.

One-Shoulder Top
Lulus Light It Up Neon Orange One Shoulder Bikini Top

This kind of suit is asymmetrical, meaning there's just one strap going over one shoulder, instead of straps on both shoulders.

Crop-Top Bikini
Nani Swimwear Cut Back Crop Swimsuit Top - Women's

Swimsuits that look like actual crop-tops are perfect for when you want to do a quick change and grab dinner after a day in the water.

Bandeau Top
Solid & Striped The Tati Bandeau Bikini Top

A bandeau is a strapless top that goes straight across and is your best bet for avoiding odd tan lines (in addition to diligently slathering on sunscreen, obv!). This red-hot one has cinched detailing that's super cute!

Tie-Front Top
Pretty Little Thing Bright Orange Tassel Knot Bikini Top

Instead of tying your bikini behind your neck and at your back, these ones do it in the front for an easy on-and-off situation!

Riot Swim Kingston One Piece-Coconut

Why not both? Monokinis are a hybrid of one- and two-pieces. They generally have cool cutouts and show more skin than a traditional one-piece.

Leila One Piece Swimsuit

Basically, a suit that covers your top and bottom all in one.

Sports Suit
Nike Core Solid Swimsuit

If you're trying to just get your laps in, this is the style you need. No frills, no fuss, just the ability to stay in place and be hydrodynamic.

Longline Top
Aerie Twist Longline Scoop Bikini Top

This cut of suit has a crop-top like feel too, hitting a little lower on the rib cage than most other bikinis.

Stella Jean X ROXY One-Piece UPF 50 Surf Jumpsuit

This is a silhouette you'd expect to see on a surfer, scuba diver, snorkler, and water-skiers/wakeboarders/what-have-you water-sporty person. The all-in-one piece (usually designed with a mock-neck) can sometimes also have attached pants depending on how cold of a swim the wearer's expecting.

Tie-Side Bottoms
Doss Swim Starfish Mila Bottom

You guessed it—these have strings that tie at the side, which typically function to adjust the size and keep things in place. But they can also just be fashion details that don't serve any purpose other than looking good!

Scoop Bottoms
L*SPACE Cabana Bitsy Bikini Bottom

Bottoms with this cut are typically curved hipster styles that are lower in the center and higher above the legs. The scoop can be more subtle, like the one here, or more extreme, like you'd expect from ’90s-inspired looks.

High-Cut Bottoms
Seafolly High Cut Bikini Bottoms in Tropical at Nordstrom, Size 4 Us

This ’80s- and ’90s style typically sits above the hip bone and makes your legs look really long too.

Cheeky Bottoms
Rielli CÉLINE Bottoms

This one kinda has that wedgie look—without the annoying feeling—for those who want to show some extra cheek.

High-Waisted Bottoms
Andie Swim The High Waisted Cheeky Bottom

Generally, these hit right at, above, or just below the bellybutton.

High-Neck Suit
Sweaty Betty Vista High Neck Zip-Up One-Piece Swimsuit

These suits don't have any plunge. Take a look at this crew-neck style here to see what I mean.

Full-Coverage Bottoms
Victoria Secret Crinkle High Waist Shortie Bikini Bottom

If modesty is your priority in a two-piece, this is the style of bottoms you'll want to get. Like the name implies, not a lot of extra skin is shown.

Rash Guard
O'Neill Basic Skins Long-Sleeve Crew

Rash guards can come in long-sleeve styles or short-sleeve styles and are typically used in sports, like surfing. Nowadays, many people use them instead of or over their regular swim tops to help prevent harmful UV ray damage too.

Note: If that's your plan, just make sure the style is tightly woven. If you spread it and can see light through it, it's possible for the sun to still reach your skin underneath. Many of these come with certified sun-protection ratings, so look out for those!

Ruched Bottoms
Venus Ruffle Scrunch Back Bottom

This little detail in the center of many swimsuit bottoms helps create a bubble-butt illusion and can be found in all types of two-pieces or one-pieces, from thongs to full coverage.

Boy-Short Bottoms
Summersum Mesh Rhinestone Swimwear

Basically, these look like short shorts that hit just below the curve of one's butt cheeks. They're great for sporty activities, like playing beach volleyball!

Thong Bottoms
Kiki Thong Bikini Bottom

If showing off that ’donk is a big priority for you, you'll want to wear this style.

Wondering why you should trust Cosmo?


Cosmo’s team of digital fashion experts—which includes Fashion Features Director Rachel Torgerson, Fashion Editor Tarah-Lynn Saint-Elien, and Contributing Fashion Features Director Alexandra Ilyashov—have decades of combined experience in the industry. They spot relevant trends on the runway before they even hit your TikTok FYP or Insta Explore Page and conduct research across retailers of all kinds—testing many brands IRL—to bring you the best clothing and accessory picks for every season. Basically, we’ve curated the internet to bring you the chicest options like it’s our job (because it is, heh).

Each of our shopping articles adheres to the 15 Percent Pledge and includes products for all sizes. These swimsuit styles were chosen based off of trends and their own individual histories.

This content is created and maintained by a third party, and imported onto this page to help users provide their email addresses. You may be able to find more information about this and similar content at piano.io
Advertisement - Continue Reading Below
More From Style