What Is a Tankini?

Picture yourself lounging by the pool or strolling along the beach, feeling confident and comfortable in your swimwear. If you're looking for a stylish and versatile option that offers more coverage than a bikini but still maintains a trendy look, then a tankini could be the perfect choice for you. In this ultimate guide, we'll explore everything you need to know about tankinis - from their definition and history to their design features and popular brands.

Definition of Tankini

Let's start with the basics. A tankini is a style of swimwear that combines a tank top with bikini bottoms. Think of it as a happy medium between a one-piece swimsuit and a bikini. The tank top provides more coverage for the torso while still allowing you to mix and match different styles of bottoms.

History of Tankini

The tankini gained popularity in the late 1990s, thanks to the innovative design of swimwear designer Anne Cole. She recognized the need for a swimwear option that offered more coverage without sacrificing style. As a result, the tankini quickly became a popular choice among women who wanted to feel confident and comfortable at the beach or pool.

Advantages of Tankini

Now that we understand what a tankini is, let's explore some of its advantages. One of the main benefits of wearing a tankini is that it provides more coverage than a bikini. This is especially appealing for those who prefer to have their midsection covered or want to protect their skin from the sun.

Another advantage of the tankini is its versatility. With the ability to mix and match different tops and bottoms, you can create a variety of looks to suit your style and body type. Whether you prefer a halter, bandeau, or racerback top, or if you like bikini cut, boy short, or skirted bottoms - the options are endless.

Furthermore, tankinis are suitable for various body types. They offer a flattering fit for women of all shapes and sizes, allowing you to feel confident and comfortable. Whether you have an hourglass figure, a pear shape, or an apple shape, there is a tankini style that will accentuate your best features and flatter your body.

Design and Features

Tankini Top

The tankini top comes in various styles to suit different tastes and preferences. You can choose from options like a halter, bandeau, or racerback style, depending on the level of support and coverage you desire. Additionally, tankini tops come in different necklines, such as V-neck, scoop neck, or high neck, allowing you to find the style that suits you best.

Adjustable straps or tie-back closures are common features of tankini tops. This allows you to customize the fit and support based on your preference and body shape. You can loosen or tighten the straps to ensure a comfortable and secure fit while enjoying your time in the water.

Tankini Bottoms

When it comes to tankini bottoms, you have plenty of options to choose from. Whether you prefer bikini cut, boy short, or skirted bottoms, there is a style that will complement your figure and make you feel confident. Consider the rise of the bottoms as well, with choices of low, moderate, or high-rise, to find the level of coverage that suits your comfort level.

Elastic waistbands or drawstrings are common features of tankini bottoms. These elements allow for comfort and adjustability, ensuring a secure fit when you're swimming, playing beach volleyball, or simply lounging by the pool.

Additional Features

Many tankinis come with built-in bras or underwire for added support. This is particularly beneficial for women with a larger bust, providing the necessary support and lift for a comfortable swim. Some tankinis also feature removable pads, allowing you to achieve the desired amount of shaping and modesty.

Ruching or shirring is another feature often found in tankini designs. These details help create a slimming effect, accentuating your curves in all the right places and giving you added confidence as you soak up the sun.

Tips for Choosing a Tankini

Body Type Considerations

When choosing a tankini, it's essential to consider your body type. Certain styles may be more flattering for specific body shapes. For example, if you have an hourglass figure, you may opt for a tankini with a defined waist to accentuate your curves. If you have a pear shape, you may prefer a tankini with patterned bottoms and a solid-colored top to draw attention upward.

Additionally, solid colors and vertical stripes can help elongate the body, while color blocking and patterns can help camouflage certain areas. Ultimately, choose a tankini that makes you feel confident and comfortable in your own skin.

Support and Comfort

Support and comfort are essential factors to consider when selecting a tankini. If you require more bust support, look for tankinis with built-in bras or underwire. Adjustable straps are also beneficial as they allow you to personalize the fit. Additionally, opt for premium fabrics and linings for durability and comfort, ensuring your tankini will withstand multiple seasons of wear.

Versatility and Style

One of the advantages of tankinis is their versatility. You can mix and match different tops and bottoms to create various looks that suit your style and mood. Whether you prefer bold prints, floral patterns, or solid colors, the choice is yours. Experiment with different combinations to find the perfect tankini that reflects your unique personality and sense of style.

Care and Maintenance of Tankini

Washing Instructions

Proper care is essential to keep your tankini looking its best season after season. Always follow the specific care instructions provided on the garment label. In general, hand washing is recommended for delicate materials, while machine washing on a gentle cycle may be suitable for sturdier fabrics. Avoid using harsh detergents or bleach, as these can cause color fading and damage to the fabric.

Drying and Storage

After washing, it's important to air dry your tankini or lay it flat to maintain its shape and prevent stretching. Avoid twisting or wringing out the fabric, as this can damage the elasticity. When storing your tankini, choose a cool, dry place away from direct sunlight to prevent fading of colors.

Preventing Damage

To prevent damage to your tankini, avoid contact with rough surfaces or abrasive materials. When sitting or lying down, use a towel or beach mat to protect the fabric. Additionally, rinse your tankini thoroughly after each use to remove any chlorine or saltwater residue that can cause discoloration or deterioration of the fabric.

Popular Tankini Brands

Anne Cole

Anne Cole is known for her trendy and fashionable tankinis. The brand offers a variety of styles, prints, and colors to suit different tastes and body types. Whether you're looking for a classic design or something more daring, Anne Cole has options that will make you feel confident and stylish.

Tommy Bahama

Tommy Bahama is renowned for its high-quality fabrics and comfortable designs. Their tankinis often feature UPF sun protection, providing an additional layer of defense against harmful UV rays. With Tommy Bahama, you can enjoy both style and functionality without compromising on comfort.

Lands’ End

Lands' End offers an extensive range of tankini styles, catering to a wide range of body sizes and shapes. The brand is known for its inclusive sizes and commitment to providing options for all women. Look for Lands' End tankinis with tummy control panels if you desire added shaping and support.


The tankini is a versatile and stylish swimwear option that offers more coverage than a bikini while still maintaining a trendy look. With a variety of styles and features to choose from, you can find a tankini that suits your body type, provides the support and comfort you need, and reflects your personal style. By following the care instructions and choosing reputable brands, you can ensure that your tankini stays in excellent condition for many beach and poolside adventures to come. So go ahead, dive into the world of tankinis and embrace the confidence that comes with rocking this fashionable swimwear option.

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