It’s finally summer, and whether you live by the beach or are planning a vacation, it’s time to treat yourself to some gorgeous new swimwear! Of course, swimwear can be a tricky thing to shop for – it shows off far more of your skin and adheres to your shape like pretty much nothing else you normally wear outside – so you should put some effort into picking something you feel great in so you can enjoy your beach time with confidence!

Bikini Tops

If you have decided you want to get some sun on your midriff by opting for a two piece bikini rather than a one piece swimsuit, then choosing the style of bikini top will make a big difference to how covered you are, how supported your chest is, and how your upper body looks. There are a huge number of different styles available, so here we look at some of the most common and who they look best on:


After bra shaped and triangle string bikinis, tankinis are probably the third most common shape you will find. The top is essentially a tank top, and you can often find plus size tankini tops as an option in ‘mix and match’ bikini top and bottom sets. The tankini covers most or all of your belly, depending on how short the style is, and is one of the most conservative two piece options. It is a good choice if you don’t really like your belly area on show, but prefer a two piece for convenience and to be able to pull the top up for tanning. Tankinis are a safe option that suits just about everyone, though look for styles with built in support and wide straps if you have a big bust.

Rash Guards

If you want even more coverage than a tankini, a rash guard – that is a long sleeved swimsuit top, usually worn by surfers, is the best choice. It is designed to wear in the water so you won’t feel like a kid who’s worn a t-shirt into the pool or ocean, and can look cool, sporty and fashionable. It is great if you don’t like your upper arms or need to protect as much of your skin as possible from the sun. Of course, it isn’t so good if you are seeking a tan, but you can always wear a small bikini top underneath so you have both options.

String Bikini Tops

The classic ‘two triangles and a piece of string’ bikini is easy to find in just about any color or print, and you don’t have to worry too much about sizing – as long as you are happy with the coverage of the triangles, you can adjust it to fit you. It can create cleavage and look good on larger busted women, however offers very little support so isn’t the most comfortable choice, and also creates more risk of ‘falling out’. This style doesn’t work well on small chested women, because it doesn’t create any shape or volume. Essentially, while this style is great for tanning, it tends to only flatter people who are young enough not to need support and with a medium bordering on large bust.

Bra Shaped Tops

Bra shaped bikini tops are a good choice for most people. They can offer support and padding if needed, are comfortable, and look nice. They are also usually sold in bra sizes, so are easy to shop for. Choose wider straps if you have a big chest or are worried about ‘fat rolls’ on your shoulders. Go for a padded or push up style with detail on the bust to create the illusion of a bigger chest. Look for designs equivalent to minimizer bras or sports bras to support and play down very large boobs.


Bandeau style bikini tops are the strapless, tube type designs. These tend to be the hardest to wear as they offer no lift or support at all. This means if you have a big chest your boobs can look too low on your body. If you have a modest chest, then this style can also look quite bad, making you look skinnier and boyish. It can be a fashionable style, but remember that while you are avoiding tan lines on your shoulders, you have to compromise a little on how your figure looks. Perhaps consider this style for tanning but have some others in your arsenal for looking great at social occasions on the beach!

These are the most common types of bikini tops, and their pros and cons!