May 29, 2012

The Swimsuit Dictionary

Each summer season, designers surprise us  with swimsuits in various new shapes and models, but did you know that each type of bathing suit falls into a cathegory, making it easier for you to choose the perfect swimsuit to flatter your silhouette?

Check it out!

Maillot (Classic One-piece)

The classic one-piece,  also called a maillot, typically describes a swimsuit featuring a tank-style torso and high-cut bottom part. It may include a plunging neckline or other types of cutouts and it generally has two straps that go over each shoulder or connect behind the neck, which may vary in thickness from a couple of inches to spaghetti straps.

Bandeau Swimsuit 
The bandeau describes a strapless top, often featuring pleated and gathered fabric along the breast area. It is recommended for a smaller bust, thanks to the way in which it can enhance its appearance, to make it look fuller. It can have detachable straps that can be attached in different manners, from halter to criss-cross style, but may very well be worn as is, due to the fact that it always features a non-slip lining.



Initially created as a swimsuit that left the beasts completely exposed, the monokini began to gain popularity only when it was redesigned to provide more coverage. The less revealing type of monokini describes a type of one-piece swimsuit which the sides nearly or completely cut out, resembling a two-piece connected by a thin piece of fabric over the abdomen.


Just as the name suggests, the swimdress is a swimsuit with a built-in skirt, which makes it resemble a tiny dress. It provides excellent coverage for an imperfect abdomen or imperfect thighs, all the while providing the wearer with complete freedom of movement.


Also called “the slingshot bikini” or “the suspender bikini”, this type of one-piece is amongst the most revealing, featuring a bikini bottom with extended straps that go upward to partly cover the breasts and go over the shoulders, leaving the torso exposed. The straps may go over the shoulders to connect into one section which continues downward to become a thong bottom, or simply encircle the neck while another set of straps pass around the midriff.

Racerback Swimsuit/Bikini

Originally designed as competitive swimwear, the racerback swimsuit has gained popularity due to the fact that it allows full movement of the wearer’s arms. Also a popular style is the racerback bikini bra, paired with a bikini bottom.

Classic Bikini

The classic bikini features a top part resembling a traditional bra, with straps going over the shoulders, connecting to the band that goes across the back and a bottom that offers full coverage, but has high cut legs.

String Bikini

Probably the most popular type of bikini, the string bikini consists of two inverted triangles of fabric connected by strings which tie at the back of the neck. The bottom part also has strings which tie at the sides. The string bikini’s popularity lies in the fact that it is sufficiently revealing, without being vulgar. Louis Réard, the man credited with inventing the string bikini, claimed that a two-piece swimsuit was not really a bikini unless it could be pulled through a wedding ring.

Halter Top Bikini

The halter top features a plunging neckline and straps which come together to tie around the back of the neck, offering the cleavage a boost. Due to its lifting factor, it is a good choice for women who want to make their breasts appear fuller.

Bandeau Bikini

Just like the bandeau one-piece, the bandeau bikini features a strapless top that stretches along the breast area, usually, but not necessarily gathered in the middle. It is a very versatile bikini, making small breasts appear larger, especially if you choose a model that has ruffles or appliqués, but may also minimise a big bust, making it appear smaller, if you choose a plain top, without the ruching in the middle.


The tankini features a tank top instead of a classic bikini top, providing more coverage, both of the breast and the stomach area. It also provides the flexibility or a to-piece swimsuit, all the while being flattering for any kind of figure

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