different types of bikini top styles

Your Complete Guide to Different Types of Bikini Tops

Finding the right bikini tops or bottoms can be the difference between having the perfect beach day and one where you are constantly readjusting to prevent flashing the hordes.

To avoid the latter, it’s important to know which type of top will keep you secure and confident.

Triangle bikini top

what a triangle bikini looks like

This style of top has two triangular pieces of fabric that can either have adjustable straps over each shoulder or have ties around the neck and back.

Pros: Triangle tops are versatile and universal, as they can have fixed or sliding tops, additional support under the bust, and adjustable straps in place of the ties. These features make it easy to create dozens of flattering and comfortable looks.

Cons: If the top is held together with ties, it can become loose or cause discomfort on the neck, especially for those with bigger busts.

Bandeau or strapless bikini top

what is a bandeau bikini top

A strapless bikini top has a simple rectangle piece of fabric that covers the bust but does not have straps.

Pros: This style is perfect for avoiding tan lines on your shoulders, and it can also easily be worn under clothes for a seamless transition from the water to lunch. It is better suited to those with smaller busts, as it is flattering and will fit securely.

Cons: People with bigger busts might find this style lacking support, especially when having more active beach days as it will slip down without straps.

Halter bikini top

a pink halter style bikini top

A halter top has ties or straps around the neck, with the main fabric creating a triangle across the bust.

Pros: The variety of styles mean you can find one with the right support and cut for you while still getting the same hoisted-up look. Some halter tops come with a built-in bra.

Cons: As a halter top holds the weight of the boobs across the neck, it can cause discomfort for those with larger busts.

Push-up/underwire bikini top

An underwire bikini top is similar in design to a push-up bra and can provide the same support and lift. These can come in a half-cup or full-cup design, with the half-cup creating more cleavage and the full-cup covering the full breast.

Pros: Push-up bikinis have a metal or plastic underwire that holds up the breasts, giving them more support and creating a fuller and lifted appearance.

Cons: It can be uncomfortable or restrictive for some depending on the straps or fit of the top, and the boobs might pop out the top of a half-cup.

Molded-cup bikini top

This type of top has soft cups that help to hold the shape and support the breasts.

Pros: Similar to a push-up top, it can provide better support and create a smooth and flattering shape while being more comfortable under the boob without a wire. It also provides nipple coverage.

Cons: As it is not as structured as a push-up top, it may not fit all body types comfortably. Depending on how the top is made, the padding might slip around inside the fabric or not sit in a flattering position.

One-shoulder bikini top

This style features a single strap that goes over one shoulder and across the chest.

Pros: This style can be the perfect compromise between style and comfort. It is often paired with moulded cups to provide a flattering shape, especially for those with broad shoulders.

Cons: It can be lacking in support for those with bigger busts, as the side without the strap could slip down causing discomfort.

Off-the-shoulder bikini top

The off-the-shoulder top has a band around the bust that carries all of the support, with sleeves or straps that sit on the edge of the shoulders.

Pros: This is a good option for those who want a bit more coverage and support. The portrait neckline of these tops can create a very flattering and romantic look.

Cons: Without supportive straps, this type of top can be less secure and comfortable. It also may not fit all body types comfortably as the straps are rarely adjustable and can limit movement.

Crop-top style bikini top

A crop-top bikini top is a modern and trendy style that mimics a bandeau top but with straps that maintain the stylish look while adding support. Instead of having two cups, it is one area of fabric.

Pros: This style is perfect for those who love the simplistic cut of a bandeau top but who want more support. Often with a square neckline, this style is sophisticated and comfortable.

Cons: Most styles are soft and do not have extra padding or support under the breast for that secure feeling. It may also not provide enough coverage for some as the style is typically quite narrow.

Strappy bikini top

This type of top features multiple straps that crisscross over the chest and back.

Pros: The body of the top can be triangle, push-up or moulded cup, which means you can choose whichever style fits you best while still getting the strappy style.

Cons: It may not be comfortable for prolonged wear due to the straps digging in. Depending on the style, it may not provide enough support as the straps are mainly for design, and it can also create extra tan lines across the back and chest.

Tankini top

A tankini covers the midriff and usually comes right down to the waist, similar in style to a tank top.

Pros: This is a good option for those who want modest swimwear with more coverage but prefer the convenience of a two-piece suit.

Cons: As the top is not connected to the bottoms, it may ride up when swimming, and the styles are more limited due to the popularity of bikini tops.

Longline top

This is the in-between of a bikini and tankini, as it extends a couple of inches further down the torso than a traditional bikini top.

Pros: The extra coverage provides more support while still maintaining the bikini look and creates a smooth and lifted appearance for all bust sizes.

Cons: There is a lack of variety in cut, as it typically has a triangular shape with over-the-shoulder straps.

Racer back bikini top

A full-coverage bikini top with a high front and a back that forms an x-shape, like a sports bra.

Pros: A race back top provides good coverage and support, which is perfect for activities like swimming and playing beach sports.

Cons: These types of tops generally lack structure to support the boobs and keep them in place.

Short-sleeve or long-sleeve top

A bikini top with either short or long sleeves.

Pros: These tops are perfect for extended sun exposure, especially the long-sleeved ones, and they can be a comfortable and modest option.

Cons: They may not be as comfortable or breathable in hot weather, and the long-sleeved ones can be difficult to put on and take off.

Scoop top

A scoop top is a simple and classic bikini top but with one piece of fabric with a u-shape rather than two separate cups.

Pros: These are a flattering and comfortable design that can be very supportive with the right straps.

Cons: As it is just one piece of fabric, there might not be the right support to keep the boobs in place and stop them from moving around.

Jessica is a freelance writer and editor, with a passion for all things style and fashion. She enjoys sharing tips on how to find clothes that make you feel your best.

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