A JOLYN Crash Course in Bikini Styles

Sometimes it feels like there are endless bikini styles out there. And there probably are. And while it may seem excessive to have a name for every single minute variation of the bikini, we have to take into consideration that the modern bikini has been around for nearly 80 years.

Fashion is a fickle lady, and so it’s no surprise the original design of the bikini has evolved to meet various needs and desires of its wearers. So if you want to take a quick roundtrip in the world of bikini styles, keep on reading.

How it all started

The history of the modern bikini begins just after World War II. The joy of freedom was abounding and fashion, as always, evolved to react to the new, liberated mood of post-war Europe. But it wasn’t just a matter of bringing something fresh to the old swimwear styles; fabrics were in short supply and quite costly.

So, in 1940s France, fashion and scarcity gave birth to what would later become known as the bikini. Quite famously, the name of this style of swimwear has nothing to do with being composed of two (bi-) pieces. Rather, it is named after the Bikini Atoll in the Pacific, which was the site of US nuclear tests.

Famously dubbed ‘the atom bomb of fashion’, the bikini went from causing a bit of a sensation to becoming a true staple in every woman’s wardrobe and a symbol of female liberation. Since its beginnings, it has spawned numerous styles and variations, which we’ll be looking at today.

Bandeau, aka strapless bikini

This fancy French term describes a bikini top that is strapless, sleeveless and off the shoulder. Usually made from an elastic material, bandeaus wrap around your breasts and may or may not feature a fastener.

They are quite popular amongst recreational swimmers and beachgoers because they’re ideal for avoiding strap marks on your tan. If seamlessly bronzed shoulders and upper back is what you’re after, grab a bandeau top!

String Bikini aka the tie or stringkini

When you hear someone refer to string bikini, they usually mean a bikini style where the straps that go around your body or over your shoulders are thin like shoelaces. And much like shoelaces, these styles are usually fastened by tying the straps together.

They are usually more revealing than a regular bikini, but they’re also among the most popular and most widely worn styles.


The original monokini, designed in the 1960s was less of a fashion item and more of a fashion statement. That is because instead of a traditional bikini top, the monokini featured two laces that tied behind the neck, leaving the breasts completely exposed!

Some like to describe the monokini as a symbol of the sexual revolution that was brewing in the 60s, yet the world perhaps wasn’t quite ready back then.

Nowadays, monokini can refer to a variety of styles, but most commonly, it means a one-piece swimsuit that covers the breasts but features large cutouts on the sides, back, or front.

The Triangle

The cups of the ladies’ triangle bikini top are cut out in the shape of the triangle, rather than the more classic round shape we are used to seeing.

The cups tend to have no wire and no padding, meaning they are more comfortable to wear and accentuate the natural shape of the wearer’s bustline without making it too conspicuous.

Brazilian aka cheeky bikini

The term Brazilian bikini describes a style of bikini bottoms that is designed with less coverage of the bottom, exposing more skin. Some people just like to be cheeky when hitting the beach.

Sure, the Brazilian bikini might not be the most suitable style for professional swimming, but there’s a time and place for almost everything. If you got it, flaunt it. After all, we’re only young once.

So which one do I pick?

Well, you’ll be happy to know that all you need to do in choosing a bikini for you is to get the one you like. Simple as that. The most important thing is that you feel good in it. But if your question is more of the ‘which bikini for which figure’ kind, why not check out our simple guide to help you figure out the best kind of swimsuit for your body type?

So, that was our bikini crash course. To simplify matters for our customers, we categorize JOLYN swimwear according to simpler, more easily understandable criteria. Why not hop on to the main page and get a new pair of bikinis? The coming winter is no excuse!

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