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
skirt bottomFrankies Bikinis Marty Plissé Swim Skirt Bikini Bottom Read More
portrait neckline topAndrea Iyamah Mulan Orange Bikini Read More
ruffle-sleeved suitSummersalt The Ruffle Backflip Read More
scoop topAerie Twist Scoop Bikini Top Read More
Triangle TopASOS DESIGN Mix and Match Tie Front Triangle Bikini Top in Floral swirl print Read More
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!
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.
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.
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.
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.
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!
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.
For added support, a sports-bra top is a good bet. And this pink one is a stand out.
This kind of suit is asymmetrical, meaning there's just one strap going over one shoulder, instead of straps on both shoulders.
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.
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!
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!
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.
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.
This cut of suit has a crop-top like feel too, hitting a little lower on the rib cage than most other bikinis.
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.
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!
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.
This ’80s- and ’90s style typically sits above the hip bone and makes your legs look really long too.
This one kinda has that wedgie look—without the annoying feeling—for those who want to show some extra cheek.
Generally, these hit right at, above, or just below the bellybutton.
These suits don't have any plunge. Take a look at this crew-neck style here to see what I mean.
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 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!
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.
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!
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.