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Article: What is a tankini?

What is a tankini?

What is a tankini?

The term “tankini” is a portmanteau of “bikini” and “tank top,” indicating the product’s hybrid nature. Essentially, it’s a tank top for swimming. 

Quick links:

Benefits of a tankini

What are the different styles of tankini?

Choosing the right tankini

Styling tips and outfit ideas

Which body types suit a tankini?

How to care for your tankini

Tankini and bikini difference

Check out our collection of cute tankinis to choose the perfect one for you. 

For example, our gorgeous Swirl tankini top features a high neckline, built-in bra, and adjustable back closure, you’re sure to feel secure. Pair it with a cute bikini bottom or throw on a pair of shorts and you’re good to go!

high neck fitted tankini

Benefits of a tankini

Tankinis cater to women who want more coverage than a standard bikini top provides. They allow women the flexibility to customize their own swim outfit with an emphasis on modesty. Here are some of the primary advantages that tankinis offer:

  1. Coverage
  2. Adjustable straps
  3. Ample choice
  4. Flexible material
  5. Versatile combination
  6. Slimming effect
  7. Built for movement
  8. UV protection


Our tankini tops are designed to offer extra coverage over typical bikini tops. They extend down to the hips or waist, providing a comfortable fit and covering areas that some may feel self-conscious about.

Adjustable straps 

A great feature of many of our tankinis is the inclusion of adjustable shoulder straps. The straps can be customized to perfectly suit both comfort and coverage preferences. The adjustable strap at the back can be shortened or lengthened to find your ideal individual fit..

Fun designs

Our tankini tops come in a wide range of colors, prints, and patterns allowing for personalized style choices. From solid colors for a classic look to vibrant patterns for a more playful appearance, there's a tankini to suit every taste.

Flexible material 

Constructed from durable and stretchy swimwear fabrics like nylon and spandex, tankinis offer comfort and longevity. These materials retain shape and color, even with regular use.

Versatile combinations 

One of the biggest advantages of a tankini is the ability to mix and match tops and bottoms. This flexibility allows for endless styling options and the ability to tailor the swimsuit to personal preferences and body types.

Slimming effect 

The extended coverage of our tankini tops creates a slimming effect around the midsection for a flattering silhouette. Unlike tiny bikini tops which let everything hang out, the tank-style coverage streamlines the appearance of the stomach smoothly into the bottoms without exposing too much. 

Built for movement 

Designed to stay in place and provide support, tankinis are ideal for active water sports and swimming. Their secure fit ensures that they don’t shift or slide, even during vigorous activities.

UV protection

Our tankini tops block 98% of harmful UVA and UVB rays with their UPF 50+ protective fabric. They provide complete sun protection along with other comfort-enhancing features. The fabric is both quick drying and resists chlorine while remaining soft against skin. More than just stylish, these tops offer safety for outdoor summer fun.

Check out this hourly UV index forecast and to protect yourself from the dangers of UV radiation.

What are the different styles of tankinis?

Our tankinis come in a variety of styles to suit different body types and personal preferences. Some of the popular styles include:

You should choose the tankini style best suited for your body type, comfort level, and personal taste.

How do I choose the right tankini?

Here are some tips on how to choose the right tankini for you:

  • How much coverage do you want? Do you want a cropped tankini or one that goes to your waist? For a more modest look, choose higher necklines and longer lengths that resemble a one-piece bathing suit.
  • When trying on tankinis, select your normal swimsuit size for the best comfortable fit. Our tankini tops and bottoms are sold separately so you can mix and match them. Don't be afraid to choose different sizes on top and bottom until you find the perfect match.
  • Look for tops with features that enhance the fit and functionality. Hidden underwire tankini tops provide lift and support, especially for curvier figures. Thick straps distribute weight and allow for adjustable tightening. A halter neck can be tweaked to customize the bust coverage. Removable padding adds shape and definition.
  • For poolside tankinis, opt for chlorine-resistant fabric, which will extend the lifespan of the swimwear despite chemical exposure. Nylon/spandex blends work well for both stretch and durability.

With so many stylish tankini options, take the time to find the perfect match for your body type, coverage needs, and intended activities. The right tankini makes any water activity comfortable, secure, and chic!

Styling tips and outfit ideas

One of the best features of tankini bathing suits is the ability to mix and match different stylish tops and bottoms. Play with combining floral prints, bold colors, and complimentary patterns to create a unique look that suits your taste.

Women’s One Shoulder Crop Bikini Top “Hawaiian Rainforest”

Have fun playing with different options to accentuate your best assets.

What body types do tankinis work best for?

Each body type has its distinct features and proportions, which lends itself best to certain tankini styles and silhouettes over others for a harmonious, confidence-boosting look.

Let’s take a look!


The triangle type typically has narrower shoulders relative to the width of the hips. The best tankini styles for this shape will add volume and coverage at the shoulder and bust to balance out the proportions.

Check out our high-neck ocean breeze tankini top and pair it with this black bikini bottom for a confident look. 

Inverted triangle

The inverted triangle shape tends to have broad shoulders with narrow hips. The best tankini top style has minimal shoulder detailing to create a more balanced silhouette.


The rectangle body type has hips and shoulders that are proportionally the same. The best tankinis help emphasize the waist to create more curves. 

For example, pair this scuba blue tankini top with a swirl bikini bottom to show the best part of your figure. 

Women’s High Neck Fitted Tankini Top “Scuba Blue”


The oval body shape has narrow hips and shoulders with centralized weight in the midsection. Women with this shape should choose a tankini that helps elongate that midsection. 


The hourglass shape tends to be curvy with proportional hips to shoulders and a narrow waist. The best tankini for women with this body shape should emphasize their curves.

How to care for your tankini

Proper care of your tankini can significantly extend its life and maintain its appearance. Here are some detailed steps to ensure your tankini stays in great shape:

  • Rinse immediately: after use, rinse your tankini in cold water to remove chlorine, saltwater, and lotions, which can damage the fabric over time.
  • Hand wash: gently hand wash your tankini using a mild detergent. Avoid harsh chemicals like bleach, as they can break down the fibers of the swimsuit.
  • Avoid rough surfaces: sitting on rough surfaces can cause pilling of the fabric. Place a towel down before sitting on the pool deck or any abrasive surface.
  • Dry properly: after washing, lay your tankini flat to dry in a shaded area. Avoid wringing out the suit, as this can stretch the fabric. Do not use a dryer, as the heat can damage the elasticity and fabric.
  • Alternate swimsuits: if you swim frequently, rotate your swimwear to give each piece time to regain its shape and elasticity.
  • Stain treatment: treat any stains on your tankini as soon as possible. Spot clean with gentle soap or use baking soda for organic stains.
  • Storage: store your tankini in a cool, dry place away from direct sunlight. Ensure it is completely dry before storing it to prevent mildew and odor. 

By following these care instructions, you can help your tankini retain its color, shape, and structural integrity for future use.

Tankini and bikini difference

A tankini is a two-piece swimsuit that consists of a tank top and bikini bottoms. The tank top provides more stomach coverage than a typical bikini top.

While both tankinis and bikinis are two-piece swimsuits, a tankini offers more modest chest and torso coverage with its tank-style top. 

Choose Swimzip for your swimwear

At SwimZip, we offer a range of tankini tops that are designed to make you look and feel your best. Our tops are not only fashionable but also provide complete sun protection, blocking 98% of the sun’s harmful UVA & UVB rays. They are made of the highest-rated, most comfortable UPF 50+ sun-protective fabric, and are quick-drying and chlorine-resistant.

Whether you're planning a beach day, a pool party, or a casual walk around town, our tankinis are a must-have addition to your wardrobe. They are available in a variety of colors, styles, and sizes, ensuring there's a perfect fit for everyone.

For example, this Swirl one shoulder tankini top features a modern and sleek silhouette with one shoulder, cut out at the front, and an adjustable back strap. This cute top will look great everywhere you wear it! Make it your own by pairing it with an array of our high-waisted bikini bottoms, skirts, shorts, or leggings…and maybe even your jean shorts! 

Check out what our purchaser has to say about this amazing colorful tankini top.


Tankini FAQs

What is the point of a tankini?

The point of a tankini is to offer a swimwear option that combines the coverage and modesty of a one-piece with the convenience and flexibility of a bikini. It caters to those who want more coverage while still enjoying the benefits of a two-piece swimsuit.

What is the difference between a tankini and a bathing suit?

A tankini is a type of bathing suit. Or, rather a type of bathing suit top.

Tankinis were introduced in the late 1990s by Anne Cole and are considered by some to provide modesty closer to a one-piece suit. They are particularly popular as children's beachwear and among women seeking more coverage without sacrificing the convenience of a two-piece suit. You can even wear a tankini with boy shorts.

A bathing suit, also known as a swimsuit, is a general term for any swimwear. Bathing suits come in different types and may be worn by men, women, and children. Women's bathing suits can range from one-piece swimsuits to two-piece bikinis, and they can vary greatly in terms of coverage and style.

Who should wear a tankini?

Tankinis are suitable for anyone who prefers a two-piece bathing suit with more coverage than a bikini. They are particularly popular among those who want the convenience of a two-piece with the modesty of a one-piece.

Are tankinis still in style?

Tankinis remain as popular as ever thanks to their flattering fit for most body types and ability to mix and match tops and bottoms for customized looks. Our tankini collection offers the coverage women seek with straps and fabrics made to last summer after summer. From colorful prints to solid colors, our tankinis provide the comfort and flexibility every woman wants for her aquatic adventures.

What features do your high-neck tankini tops have?

Our tankini tops have amazing features:

  • Sporty, high neckline at front for optimal sun protection
  • Flattering ruching at front chest
  • Internal bra with moderate support
  • Removable cups
  • Adjustable s-hook closure at back
  • Void cut out at back

Can you wear a tankini as a top?

Our tankini tops adapt well into cute crop tops paired with anything from shorts to skirts. Their supportive structure and thick straps lend well to wearing as casual sleeveless shirts outside the water too.

Can you swim laps or do water sports in a tankini?

Our tankinis are designed for versatility and can be worn for swimming laps or engaging in water sports. Their secure fit ensures they stay in place during active use.

How much coverage do tankinis provide compared to a bikini?

Our tankinis provide more coverage than bikinis, especially around the midriff area, as the top extends down to the hips or waist. This makes them a preferred option for those seeking more coverage than what a bikini offers.

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