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From the balmy beaches of Bali to the cerulean coves of Capri, the right summer swimsuit can have you feeling ready to take on any coastal adventure with confidence. But finding a bikini stylethat’s stylish, high-quality, and sexy can seem like a tall order. 

Fortunately, the number of different bikini bottom styles out there means that the perfect option for you does exist. To find it, you just need a little minimalist swimwear savvy.

Knowing how should a bathing suit fit can affect the style you choose. Whether you prefer to flaunt your curves or cover up with a bit of fabric, the right swimsuit bottom is waiting to complete your seaside ensemble. In this guide, we’ll take a look at the wide world of bikini bottoms to help you find your most perfect and fabulous fit.

The Thong

If sexy is your goal, a thong bathing suit bottom is the way to go. With a triangle of coverage upfront but a minimum of coverage in the back, a thong bikini bottom differentiates itself from other bathing suit bottoms with its barely-there backside.1

Within the category of thong bottoms, you might encounter a few different variations, such as:

  • Classic – The classic thong features a modest triangle of fabric in the front connected to a teeny triangle of fabric in the back. The side straps for this style of bikini bottom range in width from thin to wide, and can be fixed, tied, or adjustable with a ring.
  • Tonga – With slightly more modest coverage than the classic thong, the backside triangle of a tonga thong is usually just a little larger, covering a hint more of the upper curve of the derriere. Did we mention the difference is slight? A tonga is still a pretty skimpy, sexy bathing suit bottom.
  • T-Back/V-String/G-String – The most minimal of thongs, string thong bikinis have little to no fabric triangle at the back. Instead, the side straps are strings that come together into a single string to pass between the cheeks. Usually, this cheeky bikini bottom style also offers minimal coverage in front as well, making it the pinnacle of sultry. The difference between a t-back, v-string, and g-string has to do with the way the side straps come together above the butt.

A thong bottom is the perfect option for anyone who wants minimal coverage in the back. To ensure a perfect fit, look for a thong with adjustable side straps. As a bonus, you can also look forward to minimal tan lines.

The Cheeky

When you want a little more coverage than a thong, but less coverage than a brief, reach for a cheeky bikini bottom.2 Cheekies are still plenty cheeky, leaving a large portion of the lower curve of the butt cheeks exposed. A cheeky bottom typically has a wider band than a thong while still revealing a generous amount of buns to the sun.

If you want a little more definition, you can also find cheeky bottoms with stitching or ruching along the seam in the center of the backside. This feature can help to highlight curves and add a fun extra element to the style.

You can find plenty of variations on this cheeky bottom style as well, such as:

  • Drawstring sides
  • High-waisted cheeky bottoms
  • Cheeky bottoms with cutouts

Thanks to their in-between coverage, this style of bikini bottom pairs well with a wide range of swim tops. Try pairing it with bikini top styles that finds a similar balance of coverage.

Vacay in Style! Find your seaside staple now!

The Brief

For those who prefer a cute and classic cut that suits any occasion, you won’t have to search long with the brief. 

Offering a touch more coverage than a cheeky or a thong, a bikini brief typically offers wider front, side, and back panels.2 But don’t assume brief means boring. Available in a wide variety of cuts, briefs can be a flirty, fun bikini bottom option, especially when paired with a triangle or bandeau top. 

Popular cuts that can make a classic brief swim bottom even more eye-popping include:

  • Low rise – The term rise refers to the waistband of the swim bottom. A low rise implies less coverage, less material between the belly button and the suit, and a low fit around the hips. These bottoms have a surfer-sporty vibe that never goes out of style and are a great choice if your beach day is filled with swimming, running, and beach volleyball.
  • High leg – Offering a throwback to bikini bottom styles of the 1980s, the leg bands of high leg and ultra-high leg bikini bottoms curve up above the hip bone, making a dramatic arch. A pair of high leg brief bottoms are the perfect choice if you’re looking to accentuate the length of your legs.

The Hipster

If full-bum-coverage-but-not-your-mother’s-suit sounds like a dream fit, a hipster bikini bottom may be well-suited for you. Wider around the hips than a brief but still distinctly teeny bikini, the hipster bikini bottom style has a retro flair and looks fab on all body types. 

Because of its wider side straps, the hipster is an excellent option for a flirty style that stays put despite any pool-diving or ocean-swimming activities. They pair well with just about any top, but make an especially fantastic fit with a sportier bikini top.

The High Waist

For a swim bottom that calls back to all the classy swimsuit trends of the past, look to the sleek silhouette of high-waisted bikini bottoms.1 With a high cut waistband situated at your true waist, or around belly button level, this bikini bottom style is universally flattering—especially if you’re lucky enough to have a natural hourglass shape.

Thanks to their versatile design, aa high waisted bikini bottom can be used in conjunction with any of these bikini bottom styles:

  • Thong
  • Cheeky
  • Brief

Want a little more coverage over your tummy but the flirty feeling of a thong? You can find it all with the right high-waisted bikini bottom.

The String

Meet one of the many beach vacation essentials know as the the string bikini bottom: a style just as alluring as a thong, but with its own uniquely sultry style. The “string” in question refers to the waistband of the bikini, which is literally a string of material, a very thin strap, or even a fabric rope.1 The front and back panels of the bottoms can be either permanently fixed to the string with stitching or attached as a slide so that you can adjust coverage to your preference.

One common variation of the string style is the tie-side bikini bottom. Tying on one or both sides, these bikini bottoms offer the maximum flexibility in terms of sizing (plus, that little bow on the side is super cute). 

For the ultimate combination of sexy and flexible, look for a string bikini bottom that features both adjustable panels and side ties. Due to its distinct style, this bottom pairs best with a string bikini top.

The Boyshort

At the opposite end of the spectrum from the thong bikini style is the boyshort bikini bottom. With mid-rise coverage at the waist and plenty of front and rear coverage, a boyshort bikini bottom can be attractive and functional on its own or can be used as a summer coverup for a skimpier suit bottom.

But don’t let the coverage fool you—paired with a halter top and a pair of strappy sandals, this style of bikini bottom can be particularly cool and sexy. You’ll especially appreciate the confidence this suit offers when diving through waves or drifting on a surfboard.

Tips for Pairing Your Bikini Bottoms

Many bikini bottoms are sold as part of a set with a coordinating top, but you can also buy bottoms on their own. Purchasing separates can be a fun way to add longevity, character, and style to your swim look. 

When pairing bikini separates, the following tips can help create a unique, creative wardrobe:

  • Combine prints and patterns – A solid top can look stellar when paired with a printed bottom (or vice versa). Or, try mixing two different prints that share a color scheme.
  • Contrast colors – Solids in complementary or contrasting colors can look amazing together. If you’re unsure of how the colors play, brush up on your color theory with a peek at the color wheel.3
  • Pair similar shapes and coverage styles – When choosing a bikini top to match your bottoms, you have plenty of options in terms of finding the right style. However, you pair them, aim to keep coverage consistent from top to bottom. One easy way to do this is to match the width of your straps on top and bottom.

Look Gooseberry Gorgeous in Our Seaside Collection

Whether you’re splashing on the shores of Santorini, hot-tubbing in Hanalei, or simply lounging on your own backyard deck, a well-designed, high-quality bikini bottom that makes you feel confident and sexy is a must.

At Gooseberry Intimates, we’re devoted to helping you find exactly that suit and helping you learn how to wash a bathing suit.

Inspired by the island of Bali, our Seaside Collection features everything from teeny thongs to sculpted high-waisted bottoms. Our bikini bottom styles are available in alluring and saturated shades, from coconut and caramel to rosebud and peach.

Individually handmade by artisans in Indonesia, our swim bottoms are double-lined for snug, comfortable thickness and are studded with high-end details like gold rings and extra-long ties.

So no matter when your sunny adventures take you, take along Gooseberry’s Seaside swimwear for a look that has enough sass for your splash.


  1. WhoWhatWear. My #1 Bikini Pick in Every Category, From Thong to Full-Coverage. 
  2. Cosmopolitan. The definitive guide to every bikini bottom style: 19 top picks to shop. 
  3. Artists Network. Beginners: An Introduction to Color Theory.

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