In a world of diverse swimwear, the tankini is an ever-popular option for all ages. It’s easy to see why. A tankini combines the best of both worlds: the coverage of a one-piece swimsuit with the ease of a two-piece bikini.
Two-piece swimsuits have had their place in the US ever since the 1940s when glamorous Hollywood starlets like Rita Hayworth donned these somewhat risque garments. However, the tankini as we know it today became popular in the 1990s as a more modest –– and practical –– response to the bikini; ever since then, it has been a fashion favorite for those who crave a two-piece with extra coverage.
These days, there exists a vast array of tankini styles to choose from. For your next swimwear shopping trip, consider some of these questions and guidelines when you pick the one that’s right for you.
What Are the Pros of Wearing a Tankini to the Pool or Beach?
Flattering on Everybody
If you feel a little self-conscious during swimsuit season (and let’s face it, who doesn’t?) the tankini has got you covered. It’s more modest than a bikini, but not as restrictive as a one-piece can be. In a tankini, you are able to play more with shape and pattern, creating the most flattering look for any body type.
Mix and Match
Opting for a two-piece instead of a one-piece opens up a whole array of diverse mix and match options. When switching up pieces, keep a rule of thumb in mind: pair complex with simple. This means that, if you wear a top with a pattern, pair it with a solid-colored bottom, and vice versa. This way you will always look put together.
Easy and Practical
Most of us know the struggle of peeling off a wet bathing suit, especially one that is tight or has confusing straps. With a tankini, you don’t have to worry about a struggle every time you go to the bathroom –– it’s as easy as slipping off a pair of underwear. Getting dressed and undressed will be a lot quicker than with a one-piece suit.
A lot of tankinis incorporate shapewear elements to ensure comfort, security, and a flattering fit. For example, built-in padding around the bust can provide an extra lift. Many tankinis also feature a tank-top underlayer that smoothes the tummy, or waist-cinching belts and ties.
Question To Ask When Picking a Tankini
What Will You Be Doing in Your Tankini?
The obvious answer to this is, of course, swimming. However, the exact occasion still plays a role in what exactly you choose to wear. For example, an Olympic swimmer will wear something sleek and athletic, while someone heading to a pool party might opt for a fun, flirtatious look.
Think about where you will be going and how you are planning on spending your time there. If you plan on taking a break for a picnic, for example, consider a pair of swim shorts to throw on for extra comfort.
What Should Your Tankini Style Say About You?
A lot of us already have a strong sense of personal style –– you know exactly what you want and what works best for you. For others, it can be helpful to elevate your personal style by asking yourself who you are and how you can best present that to the world.
Are you fun and feminine? Maybe a floral pattern would be your preference. Modern and feisty? You may feel right at home in a leopard print. Whatever your personality, have fun and make it part of your wardrobe.
What Everyday Clothes Are You Most Comfortable In?
Most of us don’t buy swimwear as much as we buy our everyday clothes. When the time to buy a bathing suit does come, try pinpointing what it is about your regular clothes that draws you to them. For example, many of us feel most comfortable in layered or loose-fitting clothes. You might think that doesn’t translate well to swimwear, but you would be surprised –– plenty of tankinis come in a layered or tiered style. Make sure you’re shaping what you wear to your personal comfort, not the other way around.
What Kind of Neckline Do You Prefer?
Different necklines can make a big difference in any garment. Tankinis come in a huge assortment of necklines. A high neckline can be more modest and also offer extra sun protection. A lower neckline, like a sculpted sweetheart neck, can emphasize the bust and help you get your tan going. Keep in mind what neckline you prefer when making your choice.
What Style of Tankini Are You Looking For?
This is a big question. Sometimes it can only be answered by browsing around and seeing what catches your eye. In order to prepare yourself for the world of tankinis out there, however, it can help to get a sense of what options you have. While fashion is always evolving, here are some different types of tankinis you might consider.
A basic tankini is about what you would imagine: a two-piece swimsuit that consists of bikini briefs and a tank-top style swimsuit top with two straps. While patterns and necklines differ, this is a classic look.
Two Tier Tankini
The two-tier tankini adds another layer to the basic tankini design –– literally speaking. Two layers of fabric, sometimes pleated or ruffled, make up the top of the tankini. This style is great for creating a flattering shape, as it splits up the torso at the waist for an hourglass effect.
Triple Tier Tankini
The triple-tier tankini is like the two-tier, but with an extra layer. The extra ruffles provide coverage and a fun sense of movement.
This tankini features a bandeau top –– which means that it is either totally strapless or has removable straps. The bandeau tankini usually features a straight-across neckline and bust support for comfort. This style is especially useful for getting an even tan across the decollete area.
The blouson tankini is ideal when you prefer loose-fitting garments. Blouson tankinis have a relaxed fit at the waist and usually involve some tying or cinching at the hip.
High Neck Tankini
A high-neck tankini switches up the classic tankini style somewhat by featuring a higher neckline. Often they will also have a small accent, like a keyhole at the neck, for added detail. This style is wonderful for showing off your shoulders.
While most variations of the tankini feature a variation on the top, some offer a different take on the bottoms –– in this case, the briefs or shorts are switched out for a swim skirt. Opt for this style if you prefer extra coverage, as well as some feminine flair. Skirtinis are also great for pool parties, as they can double as an outfit on their own.
The faux tankini creates the illusion of being a two-piece tankini, while actually being a one-piece bathing suit. The top and bottom are connected –– which avoids any riding up of the top or slipping of the bottom –– while still giving you that two-piece effect.
With all the tankini options out there, there’s no doubt that you will find the perfect one for your beach and poolside wardrobe. If you’re still unsure about your options, ask your friends for their opinion, or try it on and see how you feel. Give this comfortable and stylish look a try!