The definitive guide to every bikini bottom style: 19 editor-approved picks

Photo credit: Frankie's Bikinis
Photo credit: Frankie's Bikinis

It's finally warming up, and bikini bottoms have bumped right to the top of our shopping list. After two years of on-and-off travel restrictions, we're ready to finally book that holiday and sit in the sand with a good book and a cocktail. Pass the SPF!

Shopping for bikinis can sometimes feel overwhelming, but we've got your back. Below, we've rounded up all of the various styles of bikini bottoms, from high-leg to full-coverage briefs, thong styles, and everything in between. While you're at it, why not browse our guide to the most flattering swimwear for your body shape, the best bikinis for big boobs, cute bikinis for small boobs, and all the best celebrity bikini moments.

Ready? Let's get into it.

High leg: You can thank the Kardashian-Jenners for making the super high-rise, above the hip bone, Baywatch-style bikini bottom cut a trend.

Tie-side: Bikini bottoms that are tied together at the sides. Often low-to-medium-rise in the popular bikini 'triangle', offering medium coverage at the back.

High waist: Bikini bottoms that sit on the natural waist, over the hips. They can either be low-leg for higher coverage or high-leg for a more contemporary feel.

Thong: this is the ultimate bikini bottom for those who want to get their cheeks as tanned as their tummies. Minimum coverage, full exposure.

Classic brief: In-between the cheeky cut and the boy shorts, the classic brief offers good coverage over the bum, similar to knicker briefs.

Cheeky: cut at the back with just a little more coverage than a thong bikini, these cheeky bottoms do what they say on the tin.

Low-rise: Bikini bottoms which are low at the front, usually on, or below, the hip bone.

Hipster: Hipster bikini bottoms hug the hips with a thick-ish band, generally sit medium-to-low-rise and have slightly less than full coverage on the bum.

Shorts/Full coverage: Short briefs, or swim skorts, offer the most coverage both at the rear, and around the bikini line.


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