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A Guide: Bikini Top Styles

Whether you’re planning a trip to the shores of Santorini or prepping for the perfect backyard staycation, having the right bikini top can help to make your swim time look and feel fabulous. Swimsuits are beach vacation essentials, luckily, there’s a whole world of bikini tops to choose from—including plenty of sexy, supportive, and even sporty options.

But if all the different choices have you feeling like you’re treading water, don’t worry. Some expert bikini guidance is all you need to find the perfect fit to flatter. 

From leopard-print string bikinis to flirty one-shoulder tops, this minimalist swimwear guide will help you find your ideal bikini top styles for every swim, dive, and recline.

#1 Triangle Top

Some things in fashion are truly timeless: a little black dress, a tube of red lipstick, and—you guessed it—the triangle bikini top. This popular and flattering swimwear style uses two triangular pieces of fabric to cover your chest, just like the name suggests.1

Considering this classic bathing duit style? A triangle bikini top usually offers the following:

  • Fit – One of the best features of a triangle bikini is its versatility. Some triangle bikini tops, also known as “string bikinis,” have triangle pieces that can slide and adjust to change the amount of coverage. You can also find triangle bikinis with various strap styles, such as shoulder straps or halter straps.
  • Support – With their simple bathing suit style and silhouette, triangle bikinis offer the perfect choice for someone who prefers light or minimal support and an effortlessly comfy fit. While some triangle bikini tops may come with padding, they usually don’t feature underwire or extreme support. 
  • Coverage – Among your range of bikini top options, triangle bikinis certainly sit on the flirtier side. Most partially or fully cover each breast but feature minimal other coverage on the back or chest. This bikini style pairs perfectly with almost any bikini bottom styles. However, the padding on this type of string bikini top can range in thickness. If you prefer more nipple coverage, you might want to opt for a more padded string bikini top.
  • Style – Good news, fashionistas: triangle bikinis tend to have the most style choices. Take your pick of colors, patterns, and cute details (hello, flirty ruffles). Their minimal design also complements a range of body types. 

#2 One-Strap Top

For anyone who wants to add a little off-the-shoulder elegance to your flirty beach fit, the one-strap bikini is a prime choice. A one-strap top brings attention to the upper body, highlighting your shoulders, collarbones, and upper body silhouette.2

If you love rocking a unique look by the poolside, see if a one-strap top works for you:

  • Fit – Most one-strap bikini tops have a gradually sloped neckline and snug fit. This prevents any “slippage” or over-exposure on the side with no strap. Usually, the single strap is not adjustable.
  • Support – When it comes to support, one strap is better than no straps—but not by a crazy amount. Still, a one-strap bikini often comes with a thicker waistband and some compression to help it stay in place, features that can help to secure and support your chest during low-impact activities. 
  • Coverage – Even with one strap, this style can offer a surprising amount of coverage. The sloped neckline covers a decent amount of your chest, while the band around your ribcage is usually thicker. This makes the one-strap top a perfect option for a sleek but laid-back style, but it may be less suitable if you’re planning on tanning.
  • Style – The singular strap is the star of the show in this top’s style, drawing attention upwards (a flattering feature for pear-shaped bodies). If you’re keen on trends, it’s also a superb fashion-forward option.3 Add extra flair by looking for a one-strap top with small cutouts or multiple adjustable straps to one side. 

Vacay in Style! Find your seaside staple now!

#3 Bandeau Top

If you’re seeking simplicity and effortless sensuality all in one, you’ve come to the right place. A bandeau bikini top is defined by two key features—it’s strapless and fitted. Like a strapless bra, this bikini top style consists of a singular band around the chest, so you never have to question how should a bathing suit fit.

Bandeaus are the chill girl of bikini styles with plenty of cool flair. But because this top features no straps, it’s important to find the right fit to keep “the girls” supported and avoid slippage. 

Typically, bandeau tops offer:

  • Fit – Without straps, bandeaus must fit closely to the skin. Most use fabric ties or metal clasps in the back to stay secured. However, you may also find styles that simply slip on over your head.
  • Support – With zero straps, nearly all the support in this style comes from compression (or potentially underwire). This makes bandeau tops ideal for those who are planning on doing more lounging than beach volleyball, and who only require some light support.
  • Coverage – With zero straps and low necklines, bandeau tops are a superb low-coverage choice. Most rise only a few inches above the bustline. However, if you prefer a bit more coverage, you can find bandeaus with extended torso coverage (like a strapless tankini).
  • Style – With a bandeau, it’s all about that boho-beautiful look. Styles range from minimal fabric wraps to those with flirty cut-outs across the chest. 

#4 Sports Bra (or Full-Coverage) Top

Hitting the jetski or planning to jog by the ocean? A sports bra bikini top will do the job. Like a waterproof sports bra, these bikini tops offer high coverage and high support. But they can also come with loads of cute style. 

Add a sports bra bikini top to your wardrobe for these perks:

  • Fit – Stretchy and comfy, a sports bra bikini top should fit like a glove. Most have a scoop or V-shaped necklines, as well as backs with clasp fastenings, crossed straps, or zero openings for a secure fit. 
  • Support – Jump, swim, or snorkel—you can do it all in a sports bra bikini. These tops give you maximum athletic support. Some even come with pads or molded cups for an extra boost (pro tip: the thicker the straps, the more support).
  • Coverage – This design typically features more coverage than other options, but that doesn’t mean you don’t have choices. Most types cover anywhere from mid-chest to your collarbones, with either thick straps or full back coverage. For an option with a little less coverage, look for a V-neck style or a scoop-neck that hits low on the bust.
  • Style – Sporty-cute is the mood here. This style comes with the bonus of confidence about your support and coverage while catching frisbees or diving through waves. For extra style, look for cute colors, creative strap designs, and a flattering neckline.

#5 Longline Top

Can’t decide between sand and sea? We can’t solve that for you, but there is a bikini top option that gives you the best of both worlds in style and coverage. 

Longline bikini tops might feature any style of neckline or chest coverage, but partially cover your torso with swimsuit fabric that extends down past your chest. Just like the beautiful fit of a longline bra, this swim top style toes the line between flirty and modest. 

When choosing a longline bikini, consider this style’s main features:

  • Fit – The upper portion of a longline bikini can vary from one strap to high-necked. However, the bottom half includes a few inches of stretchy, form-fitting fabric. Most designs stop a few inches above your belly button.
  • Support – Because of the added fabric, longline bikinis can be a little more supportive than a triangle top or bandeau. However, this may vary between the different options. If you prefer more support, look for thicker straps, underwire, or options with some padding.
  • Coverage – If you want some balance between coverage and cleavage, longline bikinis have your back (literally). These pieces keep the freedom of a two-piece while covering a few more inches of torso and back.
  • Style – Cute but subtle, longline tops add a demure flair to bikinis on all body types. Play with different neckline heights and styles to mix it up!

#6 Underwire Top

Yes, we do mean underwire like a bra. But that doesn’t mean you’ll be uncomfy on the beach—in fact, you’ll probably feel more support.

Underwire bikini tops are made to give your chest that extra lift. If you’re looking for higher support and defined curves, then see if this design will work for you:

  • Fit – Essentially, underwire bikinis look and fit like underwire bras. Each cup has a firm yet flexible built-in wire that supports the breasts from below. Cups can also come molded (with foam or lining) or without molding (like a bralette). An added benefit is that this design usually comes in bra sizing, letting you find the perfect fit.
  • Support – This is where underwire bras shine. Underwire basically puts your breasts on perma-lift, even in the water. For extra support, look for details like molded cups, thicker shoulder straps, and wider waistbands.
  • Coverage – Extra support doesn’t mean less fun. Underwire bikinis can still be flirty and fun, offering plunge, demi, or full chest coverage. Most have thicker straps and bands to help with lifting.
  • Style – Think “beach goddess glam.” Underwire bikini tops offer a curvy, feminine look to any swim style. Go for the full va-va-voom look with molded cups and a halter neckline. For a more laid-back feel, opt for unmolded cups.

A cool plus for underwire? This top’s cup style can blend with almost any other of the different types of bikini tops. To combine that extra lift with your other favorite styles, look for underwire versions of your favorite triangle top, bandeau, longline bikini, or even a one-strap top. With this top be sure you know how to wash a bathing suit, so you don’t mess with the fit.

Find Your Bombshell Bikini with Gooseberry

Everyone deserves a bikini that makes them look and feel like a bombshell. Luckily, you don’t have to look far.

At Gooseberry, we combine quality materials, timeless designs, and on-trend details to make essential bikini pieces. Take your pick of our versatile looks, from sexy underwire triangle tops to laid-back longline bikinis. Our styles are comfy-meets-chic, wrapped in a waterproof package. 

Ready to take the plunge? Dive into our Seaside collection today.


  1. Masterclass. 21 Types of Swimsuits: A Breakdown of Swimsuit Styles - 2022.
  2. Harper's Bazaar. 7 Swimsuit Trends That Will Rule Summer 2022.

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