Skirtini (Swimsuit): Definition, Styles, Facts & More

What is a Skirtini?

A skirtini is a type of swimsuit that combines elements of both a bikini bottom and a skirt. It features a standard bikini-style top paired with a bottom that has a short skirt flowing down over the bikini bottom underneath.

The skirtini bottom starts with a regular bikini bottom made of stretchy swim fabric. The bikini bottom portion sits low on the hips per usual bikini styling. Over the bikini bottom is an attached skirt overlay that drapes down further to provide more coverage over the front, sides, and rear. The skirt layer is semi-sheer and made of lightweight swimsuit fabrics like chiffon, mesh, or lace to allow the bikini bottom underneath to show through.

This innovative hybrid swimsuit style merges the support and security of a classic two-piece bikini with the stylish feminine flair of a sheer mini skirt. The breezy skirt overlay provides extra coverage on the lower body while still allowing the skin to be partially seen beneath.

Is a skirtini a swimsuit, a skirt, or something else?

While incorporating mini skirt-inspired styling, a skirtini clearly falls under the swimsuit category as its primary functionality remains enabling swimming and aquatic activities. The entire ensemble is made of swimsuit materials engineered to get wet. Yet the fabric skirt grants versatility to also wear a skirtini casually outside the water. Ultimately, a skirtini innovatively fuses the freedom of a skirt with functionality of water-ready swim bottoms.

Below are the details confirming a skirtini’s classification as a swimsuit:

  • Made entirely of lightweight, quick-drying swim fabric able to withstand chlorine, saltwater, and sunscreen
  • Sold by swimwear brands alongside bikinis and one-piece swimsuits
  • Lower body provides secure coverage during rigorous water activity
  • Top allows mobility and adjustability for active movement and water submersion
  • Designed specifically for beach, pool, vacations, not everyday wear

A skirtini borrows styling from the skirt family, but remains firmly categorized primarily as a type of women’s swimsuit. The mini skirt layer differentiates its appearance from a conventional bikini without compromising on the fundamental performance functionality expected of swimwear.

How skirtini is different from a traditional skirt or a bikini

Skirtini’s hybrid design makes it distinct from regular skirts and bikinis in several ways:

Fabric – While regular skirts are often made of heavier woven fabrics like denim or cotton, a skirtini uses much lighter, sheer fabrics designed for swimming and beachwear. The bottom is usually a flowy polyester or nylon skirt in sheer, semi-transparent fabrics ideal for water and heat.

Cut – The skirtini skirt is intentionally cut shorter and narrower to enhance mobility in water. Lengths range from micro mini to mid-thigh, all shorter than a typical skirt’s knee or calf length. Silhouettes tend to be body-conscious, often with built-in panty-like liners to prevent transparency when wet.

Waistline – The skirtini skirt’s waistband hits higher on the torso, similar to the rise of a bikini bottom. This allows pairing with the matching bikini top. A regular skirt waistline usually sits lower on the hips. Higher waistlines also provide more security while active in water.

Function – The skirtini serves as swimwear, designed specifically for wearing in and around water. While swimsuits aim for functionality, regular skirts prioritize fashion and coverage over aquatic performance. The layers and lengths of a skirt hinder mobility in water.

Leg coverage – Unlike skirts that fully cover the legs down to at least the knees, a skirtini leaves much of the upper thighs and hips exposed. This improves freedom of movement for swimming, especially helpful when inverted or tumbling underwater.

Rear coverage – Skirtinis offer minimal coverage in the back, allowing a peek at the rear just like a bikini bottom. Standard skirts provide full seat and rear coverage for modesty. The open back also facilitates sitting on wet surfaces.

The skirtini cleverly fuses design elements of skirts and bikinis to create hybrid swimwear. The shorter hemlines, strategic cutouts, and aquatic-friendly fabrics optimize functionality in water beyond a regular skirt. The skirtini ultimately provides more coverage than a bikini alone while maintaining a flirty, feminine look.

Common skirt lengths and silhouettes for skirtinis

Skirtini swimsuits utilize skirts of varying lengths and silhouettes to deliver the desired blend of coverage, mobility, and style. Some common options include:

Micro Mini – Quite short with hemlines hitting high on the thighs. Ranges from 2 to 5 inches below groin. Offers minimal leg coverage but maximum mobility.

Flirty Mini – Falls approximately 5 to 7 inches below crotch with flirty flutter hem. Covers most of rear and reveals part of thighs.

Short – Hits mid-thigh about 8-10 inches below groin. This versatile length flatters most figures. Allows free leg movement.

Surf Skirt – Features longer hemline around 13-15 inches in length. Great for active water sports with constant motion like surfing that risks exposure.

High-Low – Shorter in front but dips longer in back for extra rear coverage. Hemlines range from mini to calf-length.

Handkerchief – Asynchronous diagonal hemlines create a handkerchief-like look. Often features high side slits.

Sarong – Wraparound skirt with adjustable waist ties. Provides customizable coverage.

Bodycon – Fitted pencil skirt silhouette that hugs hips and rear. Made of stretchy fabrics.

A-Line – Wider through the hips and narrows towards hem creating an A-shape. Flatters wider waists.

Pleated – Loosen box pleats add flowy volume while maintaining a shorter hemline. Popular mini length.

In addition to varied hemline lengths, skirtinis utilize draped fabrics, geometric cutouts, lace-up details, and layered ruffles to create stylish designs. Strategically placed open slits enhance mobility. The athletic swim skirt silhouette uses lightweight, fast-drying mesh fabrics for maximum water performance.

History of the Skirtini

The origins of the modern skirtini date back to the 1950s when glamorous Hollywood starlets would wear skirt-like swimsuits on and off camera. In the late 1990s and early 2000s, swimsuit designers began experimenting with detachable skirts to layer over bottoms. By the mid-2000s, the skirtini emerged as a defined swimsuit style. Now skirtinis come in endless variations of colors, patterns, fabrics, and skirt lengths to suit any personal style.

Typical price range for skirtinis

When shopping for a skirtini, expect to find price points covering the full spectrum from budget basics to quality designer labels.

Most quality skirtinis fall within the mid-range bracket of $50 to $150. This provides a nice blend of stylish design, good fit, and technical performance without the markup of high-end brands. Mass retailers like Target and Walmart carry more affordable skirtinis from around $15 up to $40. Top designers release skirtini collections each season priced at luxury levels of $200 or more.

The lowest budget skirtinis can be purchased for under $20 as simple nylon bikini separates with an attached skirt layer. But these tend to look cheaply made and wear out quickly. Investing in the $50 to $150 range provides a much nicer balance of quality, function, and enduring style.

Pros and cons of skirtinis

Skirtinis merge the style of a skirt with the functionality of a bikini for the best of both worlds. This hybrid design allows women to enjoy aquatic activities while maintaining desired coverage.


  • Provide more modest coverage over the bikini bottom
  • Hide flaws or problem areas on lower body
  • Enable confident participation in active beach sports
  • Reduce risk of swimsuit riding up or shifting
  • Offer sun protection for upper legs/thighs
  • Flatter a variety of body types and shapes
  • Easily coordinated into swim sets or as separates


  • Less skin exposure for tanning purposes
  • Extra body fabric can cling when wet
  • Looser styles are prone to blowing about in wind
  • Skirts in lighter colors turn see-through when saturated
  • Loose skirt may come off or get pulled down
  • More fabric equals longer drying time after swimming
  • Often cost more than traditional two-piece suits

How should a skirtini fit?

A properly fitted skirtini swimsuit should provide full comfort and security while accentuating your best assets. The areas to evaluate for ideal skirtini fit are the top, waistline, and skirt.

The top should fit similarly to a standard bikini top, with the bra cups fully encasing the breasts without spillage or gapping. Straps should not dig in or slip off the shoulders. The band under the bust should lay flat all around the torso with room to breathe comfortably. The cups should lift and support your bustline. If the top feels too loose, tighten straps or go down a cup size.

The skirtini’s waistband should fit snugly without pinching or rolling. It should sit horizontally around your natural waistline, not slumping or hiking too high. Make sure the waist fully covers your lower abdomen without exposing any flesh between top and skirt. The closure ties or hook at the back should have balanced tension to stay put.

The skirt length and fit largely impacts the visual effect of the skirtini. A narrow skirt cut just below the hips gives a modern flair. A wider, longer skirt with added volume or ruffles makes a retro statement. The skirt hem should graze mid-thigh at minimum for coverage and movability. When standing straight, walking, bending, and sitting, no exposure of the bikini bottom or buttocks should occur.

Should I wear skirtinis?

When deciding if a skirtini suits your needs, assess your priorities around stylish coverage, comfort level baring skin, activity levels, and venue appropriateness.

Body shape

FLATTERS: Pear, hourglass, athletic, tall, petite, plus size

DOWNSIDES: Boyish figures lacking curves, very busty on top

Skirtinis balance proportions and create curves on straight figures. Pear shapes appear balanced, not bottom-heavy. Athletic builds get an hourglass effect. Fuller busts look contained.

Coverage & Modesty

GOOD IF: You like retro modesty with stomach coverage.

NOT IF: You don’t mind minimal skin exposure. Avoid skirtinis if you dislike full bottoms under sheer panels.

Skirtinis provide discretely sexy style, ideal for those wanting vintage flair without baring much. The skirt overlay lends an illusion of coverage.

Mindset & Attitude

GOOD IF: You like feminine retro looks. Leaning modest but still stylish.

NOT IF: You dislike “frumpy” styles. Want modern minimalist look.

Skirtinis channel Old Hollywood elegance. Wear them if you appreciate feminine vintage allure, not modern edgy cuts.

Activity Level

FITS: Lounging poolside, light swimming, leisurely beach walks.

NOT FOR: Hardcore swimming, water sports, high activity levels.

Skirtinis work for relaxed recreational activities, not intense sports with lots of motion. Avoid vigorous running and jumping.


APPROPRIATE: Family vacations, pools, resorts, cruises.

NOT IDEAL: Club nights, parties, risqué adult events.

Skirtinis suit family friendly environments. The look reads as more conservative than itsy bitsy micro bikinis.


EASY IF: You don’t mind adjusting skirts when wet. Reapplying creams often.

HARD IF: You dislike finicky outfits requiring touch-ups.

Skirtinis need minor maintenance like smoothing skirts when soggy and reapplying sunscreen under sheer panels.

The flirty retro flair of the skirtini offers a middle ground for women seeking stylish swimwear with a hint of sensuality, but full coverage of problem areas. But the multi-piece layered outfit works best for laidback recreational activities, not extreme sports.

Alternatives to skirtinis that offer similar coverage and style

Hipster Bikini Bottoms

Hipster bikini bottoms sit low on the waist, 3-5 inches below the navel, with medium to full seat coverage in back. Their moderate cut provides more coverage than a standard bikini bottom while shaping and contouring the hips and rear. Popular styles include ruched, foldover, and ruffled details along the waistband to add feminine flair. These bottoms work well for ladies with wider hips or a pear body shape. Their medium seat coverage also suits women wanting a touch more modesty while still showing some leg.

High Waisted Bikini Bottoms

High waisted bikini bottoms feature a waistband that extends up to the navel or even above, similar to vintage swimsuit silhouettes. This higher cut provides more coverage over the stomach, hips, and buttocks than a standard low rise bikini. These retro-inspired bottoms commonly include cute accents like buckles, belts, ruffles, and buttons along the waist. Their tummy control effect also slims the midsection. For women seeking a touch more coverage without a full skirt, high waisted bottoms deliver a comparable look.

Swim Skirts and Sarongs

For full lower body coverage, wear any bikini bottom paired with a coordinating swim skirt or sarong wrap skirt. Swim skirts come in flowing maxi lengths or shorter knee-length cuts with built-in briefs or lining. Sarongs wrap around the hips and tie at the waist or hips to provide an adjustable length skirt. Both swim skirts and sarongs deliver similar coverage to a skirtini in a two-piece format. This gives women the ability to mix and match different bottoms and skirts for customized outfits. The skirts conveniently cover up hips and rear when desired.

Swim shorts and swim trunks

Swim shorts and swim trunks provide coverage comparable to swim skirts but in a sportier silhouette. These shorts made of lightweight swim fabrics feature a loose fit with an inseam length between 3-5 inches. The leg holes range from mid-thigh to below the rear depending on preferences for coverage. Some include an inner brief lining for extra security and opacity. For athletic women who favor shorts over skirts, swim shorts deliver comparable rear and hip coverage to a skirtini in a shorts format.

What kind of bikini tops look best with a skirtini?

The right bikini top is key to pulling off a stylish and flattering skirtini swimsuit look. Certain bikini silhouettes and features work especially well with a shortini bottom.

Bikini tops that pair beautifully with a skirtini include:

  • Sporty crop top bikini styles – Cropped, athletic-inspired bikini tops lend a casual vibe perfect for a skirtini. Opt for sporty racerback, crossback, or halter neck variations. Cropped lengths showing some midriff skin match the short skirt length.
  • Vintage-inspired sweetheart bikini tops – Sweetheart bikini tops with a center gathered notch have a retro pin-up vibe. The sweetheart shape provides bust support and lift. For a lower-cut look, try the sweetheart crop variation.
  • Bikini tops with ruffles or flounce – Tops with ruffles, flounce trims, or sculpted cups interface beautifully with a skirt. The juxtaposition creates a soft, romantic profile. Frilly details feminize the sporty skirt.
  • Bandeau bikini tops – Streamlined bandeau bikini tops allow the cute skirt to take focus. Neutral-hued bandeaus act as blank canvases for colorful, patterned skirts. For support, choose bandeaus with light interior boning.
  • Halter bikini tops – Knotted halter bikini tops are both flirtatious and functional for active use. The bare shoulders and back perfectly balance the extra coverage below. Tie-halters offer adjustable fits.
  • Demure bikini tops with straight necklines – Simple straight-across scoop or square bikini necklines provide a modest complement to the covered-up skirt. These shapes flatter most bustlines.
  • Bikini tops with central cutout details – A teardrop, oval, or geometric cutout underneath the collarbones adds tempting peek-a-boo style. Cutouts break up solid tops.
  • One-shoulder bikini tops – A one-shoulder or asymmetrical bikini top creates intrigue by blending color-coordinated separates. Offsetting the symmetry amplifies the look.
  • Push-up bikini tops – Enhanced, push-up bikini tops provide accentuated bust cleavage and lift. The skirt balances the exposed upper cleavage for a bombshell style.
  • Underwire bikini tops – Underwired tops offer sturdy support and structure for larger busts. The reinforced foundation prevents bouncing during active wear.

For balanced proportions, match petite swim skirts with cropped bikini lengths and avoid overpowering volume on larger busts. Coordinate colors, patterns, and textures between the bikini top and skirtini bottom. The bikini top should provide feminine complement to the short skirt panel in a harmonious balance.

Avoid overly plain triangle tops, very skimpy string bikinis, or minimalist bandeaus. The idea is to keep visual interest up top through elements like ruffles, cutouts, varying necklines, and flattering silhouettes. This creates a cohesive, flirty two-piece skirtini swimsuit look.

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