Glossary of Women’s Swimwear Terminology

Bikini Top Terms

Bandeau Tops

A strapless bikini top. This style is best suited for cup sizes A-C. The bandeau top typically comes with a detachable neck strap. Most have removable foam-shaping pads. Back adjusts with spaghetti loop.

Tankini (also known as a Bandini)

A strapless top with belly coverage. The back remains open with a spaghetti loop tie. Many tankinis come with shelf or underwire bust support with side stays and removable foam shaping cups for support. Many also have a detachable neck strap.

Contoured Tankini

 Top with wide elastic band under the bust, contoured shaping seams (to fit and shape the bust), open back with belly coverage. Comfortable sash ties at neck with spaghetti loop tie at back.

Enhancer Top

Enhancer tops are designed to add a full cup size to your bust. Each style includes molded foam cups that support and enhance the bust line with either underwire “plastic in the case of a swimsuit” support or shelf style support.

Bra Style Bikini Top

A bra top with shoulder straps that enhances the bust and adds cleavage. The world famous enhancer bra top includes molded foam cups, underwires and a sliding adjustable back strap. Removable push-up pads for A-C cups and adjustable elastic shoulder straps for a perfect fit.

Triangle Top

A classic style that offers minimal coverage with two triangular pieces of fabric over the bust. The triangles can slide along a bottom string or remain attached. Many have removable cups for shaping. Spaghetti straps tie behind the neck and back. Suitable for all bust sizes.

Full Cut Tops

A swimsuit top with continuous or separate underwires, shoulder straps and strong closures for maximum support. Ideal for larger cup sizes.

Bra Style Bikini Top With Continuous Underwire

Underwire that runs under the bust, detachable center bow or accent, wide elastic adjustable shoulder straps and contoured cup seams. Adjustable bra hook closure at back. Designed for or larger bust sizes.

Bra Style Bikini Top With Separate Wires

Top includes separate (sometimes referred to as broken) underwires with contoured fabric seams, wide adjustable elastic shoulder straps (may be worn crossed in the back for added support) and no added padding. Adjustable bra hook closure at back. Designed for or larger bust sizes.

Sash Bikini Top

Top with a wide soft fabric band under the bust, ties at back and neck with sash, includes removable foam cups for shaping.

Sport Top

A bikini top designed for flexibility and support with more coverage than a traditional bikini top. Typically has no underwires and no padding for comfort and flexibility. Sash ties at neck with an adjustable hook bra closure at the back. All cup sizes but best for  C-D. Some models have side stays for additional support support.

Wrap Top

Custom fitting top with straps that cross over at the front and tie at the back so coverage and hold / support can be adjusted. Considered in the exotic bikini top category.

Halter – Top with neck strap, no underwires and no padding for comfort and flexibility. Sash ties at neck with an adjustable hook bra closure at the back. Cup sizes C-D have side stays for support. Ring Detail.


 Top with triangle cups that slide along a bottom string, removable foam cups for shaping. Also called a “long” triangle, depending on the fabric may have a wide neck sash or spaghetti ties behind the neck. Depending on the fabric, may have 3/8″ adjustable elastic strap under bust or spaghetti tie.

Underwire Bikini Top

Top with contoured fabric coups and underwires for support. Ties behind the neck with spaghetti strings and either has adjustable back sash ties or adjustable bra hook closure. Sizes A-C have removable push up pads. Comfortable, thin elastic ties at neck for cup sizes D-DD.

Bikini Top Summary

Style Application Bust Size Negatives
Bandeau Top Tanning  / General Use A / B / C Not good for sports or larger bust sizes
Tankini Top Tummy Coverage / Support All Not good for tanning
Enhancer Bust shaping / Deeper cleavage A / B / C Not good for larger bust sizes
Bra Style Support / Increase in size All None
Classic Triangle Classic look A / B / C Limited support
Wrap Top Exotic look A / B / C Little to no support
Sport Top Freedom / Support All Not good for tanning
Classic Underwire Support / Enhancing All None

Bikini Bottom Terms

Banded Bottoms

These bottoms have an elastic band that gives the front panel a flat, sleek look. Moderate rear coverage.  Low rise styling. Offers tummy coverage and control.

Boy/Hot Short

Short, mid-rise shorts with a fold-down waistband that transforms the shorts to low-rise. Includes non-elasticized legs and fully lined front and back. Offers slightly less than moderate rear coverage.

Brazilian Bottoms

Bolder look with high-cut legs. Overall, less coverage than the popular moderate coverage bottoms

Folded Waist Moderate Bottoms

This style has a mid-rise bottom with the waistband up, or a low-rise bottom when the waist is folded down. Features moderate rear coverage.

Full Bottoms

These bikini bottoms have moderate-cut legs, a high waist and a full cut with full front and rear coverage. Depending on the style, may feature a fabric waistband and a center back seam or comfortable elastic waist with or without an accenting sash belt.

High-Cut Bottoms

Bottoms offering varying degrees of coverage, but with high-cut legs.

High-Waist Bottoms

Bottom that sits on or close to your natural waist.

Hidden High-Waist Full Cut

These bikini-style bottoms have a hidden elastic waistband for more support, center back seam and high-cut legs. Has full rear coverage.

Hidden High-Waist Moderate

These bottoms have a hidden 1-inch elastic waistband that hugs the body for additional support through the tummy. Center back seam and high-cut legs. Offers moderate rear coverage.

Moderate Bottoms

Bottoms with classic “American” coverage.  Not too much, not too little.  Perfectly sexy.

Low-Rise Bottoms

This bottom style sits low on the hips and straight across the front, with moderate rear coverage. Available with side ties.

Mid-Rise Bottoms

This style hits midway on the hips and has moderate rear coverage, but with less scoop in the front than other moderate bottom styles. A classic style that’s not too low or too high.


One of the most popular bikini bottom styles, with a sexy scoop front.


The scuba style offers a mid-rise bottom with moderate coverage. A belt or wide waistband is included.  Also known as a surf bottom.

Skirted Bottoms

Skirted swimsuit bottoms with attached bikini.

Tie-Side Bottoms

Bottoms with tie or string sides.

Surf Bottom

Low-rise bottom with moderate coverage and a belt.  Also known as scuba bottom.

Thong/Tonga / G-String Bottoms

These bikini bottoms have high-cut legs, a scoop front and “barely there” rear coverage.

Bikini Bottom Summary

Style Application Body Type
Banded Tummy coverage / control Longer torso / tummy bulge
Boy Short Shaping / Coverage All body types
Brazilian Cheeky elongating look All but especially sexy on shorter legs and torso’s
Folding Waist Band Adjustable wait height All body types
Full Coverage Classic appearance / Full rear coverage All
High Cut Variable degrees of coverage All
Low Rise Tummy exposing Slim to medium body types
Scoop Popular / Tummy exposing Slim to medium body types
Thong Rear exposing / very popular All
G-String Slightly less coverage than a thong All
Tanga / Tonga Slightly more coverage than a thong All

One-Piece Swimwear Terms


One-Piece – One-piece suit with one shoulder exposed.  High fashion look.

Halter Top One-Piece

One-piece suit with straps that tie or hook behind the neck in a halter style, not shoulder straps.  Typically with a bare shoulder look with good support.

High Neck

A tank swimsuit with a higher neckline that hits above the collarbone.

Keyhole Tank One-Piece

One-piece suit with a round cut out exposing the skin.  Keyhole may be at the neckline, exposing skin between the breasts or in the back, revealing a very sexy bare back.

Mitered One-Piece

One-piece suit with stripes in a mitered, or “V” design that slenderizes and flatters your figure by tricking the eye.


One-piece suit with the feel of a bikini.  Usually a minimal amount of fabric connects the top to the bottom. Very sexy styling.

Seamless One-Piece

One-piece suit manufactured with seamless technology.  No side seams, this garment is created as a tube of fabric with high tech machines.  Seamless is sexy and comfortable.

Tank One Piece

One-piece suit that has clean, simple lines with moderate coverage and typically has shoulder straps for support.  May have straps that tie behind neck.

Shelf-bra One-piece

One-piece suit that has a separate shelf bra sewn inside the suit for shaping and support.  May have foam cups sewn into a fabric shelf or removable cups inserted in pockets.  Usually has plush wide elastic under the bust for support.

Bandeau One-piece

One-piece suit that has totally bare shoulders.  Bandeau style bust attached to classic tank body.  Not recommended for busts larger than size C.

Cut-out One-piece

One-piece with very sexy styling with large cut outs of fabric, revealing lots of skin.

Ruched One-piece

One-piece with flattering ruching (gathers) that hides figure flaws.

Cross-back One-piece

One-piece with criss-cross back straps . The criss cross is a sexy design element but also adds functionality in that it cinches the waistline of the suit, creating a flattering waistline.


Another name for a one-piece swimsuit

Belted One-piece

One-piece suit with belt.  Belt may be a tie on sash or a constructed belt.  Usually suit may be worn with or without the belt.

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