women's swimsuits

What’s the Difference Between a Tankini and Bikini?

With the new onslaught of swimwear trends, there’s a million different new bathing suit styles and lingo. For example, what is the difference between bikini and tankini swimwear anyway?

Fear not, fashionistas, we’re here to help decode this style slang and define these two styles of swimwear. Let’s dive into the differences between a bikini and a tankini and why it matters for your swimsuit selection.

So, What Is a Tankini?

Bikinis and tankinis have been around for a long time, but there’s a (somewhat) distinct difference. Both tankinis and bikinis are styles of skirted two piece swimsuits. A bikini refers to a two-piece swimsuit that stops just below the chest. It might have some fringe or fun accessory, but in general, the top fits more like a bra than a shirt.

On the other hand, a tankini is essentially a two-piece bathing suit that has a tank-top-like top. This means that the bathing suit top extends below the breast area. The result is a swimsuit top that has extended coverage below the breast. Tankinis come in all shapes and styles (we’ll dive into that in a minute), but the one thing they have in common is they provide extra coverage.

A Tankini is a Bikini but ...

Wait, hold on. So does this mean that a tankini is a bikini? Yes. In fact, a tankini is a style of bikini. However, most of the time, tankinis offer more coverage. Don’t get us wrong, women’s bikini tops can still offer plenty of coverage, but tankinis are more like tank tops than sports bras.

When it comes to describing a tankini, typically stylists will refer to a tankini as a style of a bikini but a bikini is not a style of the tankini. In essence, you should consider a tankini a substyle of a bikini.

Types of Tankinis

Long gone are the days of just a handful of swimsuit style choices. When it comes to specific tankini styles, the sky is the limit. You can have open backs, tight fits, loose fits, sheer material, anything goes! Today’s modern tankini brings a variety of silhouettes, shapes, and styles to the table. From modest tankinis to various cuts, there are countless styles from which to choose.

Patterns and colors add even more options for personalization. The classic black tankini never goes out of style. Or you can opt for bold solids, chic patterns, or expressive prints. For as many styles of tankinis that exist, there are even more patterns and colors to match.

Is a Tankini Right for Me?

Swimwear isn’t about selecting the suit that fits your body type, it’s about styling a swimsuit that you love to wear. Any age, any shape, and any size body can wear a tankini.

More active water enthusiasts may want to select a tankini that has a tighter fit in order to create less drag in the water. Otherwise, the choice is yours! With so many different styles, you may want to head to the store and try on a few to get a feel for what makes you shine.

How Do I Choose the Right Swimsuit?

There’s only one rule when it comes to choosing the right bathing suit and that’s to wear the one that makes you feel good. Personalized self-expression is the new norm, so there’s no need to worry about staying on trend in the wonderful world of swimwear. Just pick what sparks joy in your heart and wear it. A great way to tell if you’ve chosen the right bathing suit is to look at your face in the mirror. Are you smiling? Well, then it looks like you’ve found the one!

The main difference between a tankini and a bikini is in the silhouette. Tankinis are marked by their fabric below the breast line, while bikinis lack any material below the chest. However, it’s more important to sport a bathing suit you feel great about than to worry about all of the nitty-gritty details. When it comes to deciding between a tankini and bikini, go with what makes you feel like your true, authentic self.

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