The tankini is one of the most popular bathing suit styles today, even though it is a relative newcomer in the market first coming out in the late 1990?s. It is basically a tank top made of spandex/cotton or Lycra/nylon material and a bikini bottom, and combines the freedom of a bikini with the coverage of a one-piece bathing suit. With its variety of styles, colors and shapes, it is the answer to many women?s anxieties about swimwear.
The fact that the top of a tankini covers part or most of the belly is a major selling point for those who want to hide less-than-perfect midsections, or feel too modest to wear bikinis. Those whose are more daring but still uncomfortable in a bikini can opt for shorter, midriff-baring tops. For the bottom, one can choose from traditional bikini, skirted, boy shorts, string or even thong styles.
This kind of swimwear is suitable for most body types. Pear-shaped women usually need more volume and width to shoulders and chest, and for this, they can wear strapless, bandeau or racer back styles. Women with hourglass figures can wear almost any style, but they can emphasize their waist, if they want to, using shorter tops.
Shoulders on women with an inverted triangle body type can be shown off with a bandeau or strapless tankini or be downplayed with a halter-top style. The midsection is usually a problem area for apple-shaped women, but an illusion of a waist and trimmed down midriff can be achieved with designs that have deep necklines or ruching and shirring at the sides and middle. A rule of thumb for choosing colors and prints: wear darker colors near problems areas such as the waist and brighter colors near areas to be emphasized such as toned arms and shoulders.
The desired coverage is the main consideration for choosing bottoms. Go for dark colors or vertical stripes for a slimming effect and bright colors and horizontal stripes to give an illusion of a fuller figure. Also, choose high cut bottoms for longer-looking thighs and legs and boy shorts for fuller hips and butt.
Another reason for the popularity of the tankini is its versatility. Two sets can be mixed and matched to come up with four different looks. Like the bikini, it is not necessary for the top to match the bottom.
It is also popular with parents who buy them for their children?s beachwear. Women wearing this kind of swimsuit do not need to worry about losing their top, so they can use it for athletic activities such as rafting and playing volleyball. Also, its two-piece design is less restrictive in terms of movement than one-piece designs such as maillots.
Many women who have less-than-perfect figures or have gone through mastectomy are finding that the tankini is their best option in swimwear. For women with gymnophobia or fear of nudity, a looser top coupled with a sarong may be used. Even pregnant women can wear this style, usually the ones with a top that is split in the middle and exposing the navel.