A tankini could be called the more modest sister of the bikini. The tankini is a two-piece swimsuit that features a tank top, instead of the bra top common in bikini styles. The style first began to appear in the mid 1980s and has gradually gained in popularity. This is especially the case when top and bottom may be purchased separately to accommodate different sizing needs for the upper and lower halves of the body.
The tank top of the tankini may still reveal some skin, depending on its style. Some versions end at the waist leaving several inches of skin exposed. Some styles of the tankini fit exactly to the waistband of the bikini bottom, providing greater skin coverage and a more sport swimsuit look. The bottom piece can vary from boy leg, swim short, low-cut bikini, high legs bikini or g-string backs; so the tankini can be variable in the amount of coverage it provides.
This two-piece style can also vary from very simple single color designs with few extras to lots of wonderful colors and styles. For those who like to minimize their waist, a ruched tankini top cinches in at the waist producing a more hourglass appearance. A tankini top may also feature built in shelf or cup bras to give greater breast support.
The tankini has been the boon of women with long torsos who may find that a one-piece swimsuit construction is simply too short. It does give the illusion of a shorter torso and is more comfortable to wear for many women. The tankini also provides more security than the bikini bra top, and leads to fewer accidental exposures because it covers more skin. It is not universally flattering, and those with shorter torsos may find that the tankini’s break between tank top bottom and the bikini bottom top is not the most attractive look for them.
For curvy women who want to choose the tankini, it’s a good idea to look for the type where skin coverage between the two pieces is at its maximum. This can be best achieved by finding tank top styles that are slightly longer, or bottoms that reach the waist. With a shorter tank top or bottom, extra skin or fat around the middle may unattractively bulge out and create an unflattering look. If you are looking for a skin revealing suit, a newer version of the tankini called the camikini features a low-cut camisole type top, and is often paired with a string bikini bottom.