13 Types of Bikini Bottoms: The Guide to Picking the Best for Your Body

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If you think bikini tops have too many exciting styles and designs, try shopping for bikini bottoms. The slightly less-appreciated half of the two-piece swimsuit has a lot to offer with its various styles, shapes, and designs.

If you haven’t taken the time to decode the types of bikini bottoms there are, keep reading. I’ve looked at those and the kinds of backside they suit best. This is your guide to picking which is the best bikini​​ best for your body.

​Types of Bikini Bottoms

Unlike bikini tops that have several intersecting characteristics, the differences in bikini bottoms are more distinct and easier to point out. Though the design could be mixed around, there are 13 main bikini bottom types.

Some even have popular variations that could almost be considered a style of their own. You could take as much time picking out the bottom as you did picking out the top of your bikini. These are the diverse range of bottoms.

A woman wearing a black bikini stands in the sand

Classic Triangle

A classic triangle bikini bottom is the lower half of a two-piece swimsuit made of solid fabric shaped like an inverted triangle. The band makes up the base of the triangle and tapers down towards the bottom, completing the triangular shape.

Typically sitting below the abdomen, a classic triangle bikini bottom gives just the right amount of coverage so your butt is mostly covered.

The classic triangle cut is what most other bikini bottoms are modeled after, making this the most basic version of a bikini bottom.

Since there are plenty of options out there, you’re bound to find a cheap bikini like this anywhere.

​It easily pairs with anything, regardless of pattern or print, because of its timeless appeal.

With this being one of the most common types of bikini bottoms, it’s not surprising that it’s flattering on various body types, especially women with a skinny figure. However, a classic triangle bikini ​fits women with small frames the most. It has just enough fabric to cover up your most intimate parts, and yet still showcase much of your skin.

​Naturally, the classic triangle bottoms (and ​bikinis in general) have seen some modifications in style over the years. It sometimes comes with ties at the side. However, and even that has different variations under it. Sometimes it’s strappy or riddled with cutouts along the hips or sides. Most of the time, it won’t reveal too much of your skin.

A woman wearing a yellow strapless top and bikini bottom

Classic Triangle with String Sides

​A classic triangle bikini bottom with string sides is made up of two triangle-shaped fabrics. One covers your intimates in front and one covers your butt.

Four pieces of string attach to the triangles—one on each end. The front strings tie up with the back strings, turning into a ribbon at both sides of the hips. This holds the bikini bottom in place.

​There are many versions of a bikini bottom with strings on the side. One has a skimpy version with strings as the band itself. The only coverage you get is from the solid triangle fabric at the center.

Some prefer this for the adjustability that lets you control how tight it’s going to fit. Strings are usually used to make the bottom more accessible to women of any hip size.

Though flattering for a wide range of women, I’d recommend this one for women with a pear body shape. Pear shapes usually have narrow shoulders and wide hips.

This bikini bottom balances out this disproportionate body by having as little fabric on the pelvis as possible. It draws attention to the upper body instead.

Classic Triangle with Ruched String Sides

A classic triangle with ruched string sides is a variation of the inverted triangle bikini bottom. It’s characterized by the ruched fabric at the sides of the band. This effect is created by the pulled strings, which loops vertically through the fabric and simultaneously tightens the bikini bottom on your hips.

As for how this differs from the first version, the ruched fabric provides more coverage than mere strings. In addition, it adds some decoration to a simple cut bikini bottom. Both variations of the string side bikini bottoms are very flexible in fit.

​For the coverage and adjustability, this bikini bottom is ideal for a full-figured woman. The ruched sides add visual appeal to your hips, while still keeping you covered. 

Women with full and drooping butts will also benefit from this style swim bottom.

The combined support of the adjustable side strings and the solid triangle fabric makes it equipped to handle the weight of a bulky butt.

The side strings allow you to control how much your butt will be lifted by the garment. The solid fabric, on the other hand, covers much of your butt cheeks.

This prevents the unsolicited wedgie, among many other mishaps, so you’re not constantly tugging the fabric from your butt crack.

Two women wearing bikinis and looking at the swimming pool

Classic Triangle with Strappy Sides

The classic triangle with strappy sides is a more recent iteration of the classic triangle bikini bottom. It has the same triangular shape. The band either divides it into a couple of strings at the sides or cutouts to create a layer of narrow straps.

String side bikini bottoms have reigned the sexiest among the triangle swimsuits because they have the tiniest therefore sexiest silhouette. The strappy version of the classic triangle bikini hides more skin than the previous version, but that’s what’s appealing about it. It only shows a bit of skin, which makes it the happy medium between sexy and modest.

The strappy version of the classic triangle is ideal for petite women. The larger coverage of the straps won’t hide your hips and legs away.

Quite the contrary actually! The cutouts in between the straps will give off a subtle hint of sensuality without going overboard for small women.

Simultaneously, petite women with an inverted triangle body shape benefit from the decorative style of the bottom.

This body shape is characterized by broad shoulders and small hips and waistline.

The abundance of straps decorate these parts of the body, bringing attention to the lower torso. They balance it out with the appearance of the wide clavicle in inverted triangle-shaped bodies.

This isn’t as flattering for those who are bigger or have wider hips because the strappy fabric would only hide away the very assets you’d want to expose. It wouldn’t result in the desired sexy effect. Instead, it would add volume to the hips in a way that just makes it look bulky.

The straps also function as support against the strong current of ocean water. While other bikini bottoms might have the band roll down your hips from the dense water, the abundance of straps will help keep it intact.

Woman wearing a red bikini standing near the beach

Classic Brief or Hipster

The classic brief or hipster is a bikini bottom that reaches low to the edge of your thighs in front, and to the edge of your butt. The shape of the garment at the back is almost like a rectangle, covering the entire backside. In extension of the wide band, the fabric at the sides also comes low, just one or two inches above the lowest part of the bikini bottom.

The classic brief or hipster bikini bottom provides one of the biggest coverages. It comes just a little bit shy of a granny underwear but close to the kind of coverage it gives. This is a conservative bottom for those who don’t care much for looking sexy at the beach.

With its medium-to low-rise fit, it could be considered the middle ground between the classic triangle bikini and a boy short. It just does the job of covering up what you don’t want to be exposed.

The hipster or classic brief is most flattering on a rounded body type. Your body is almost the the same as that of a full figure, with a big bust and full midsection. You may be wearing  bra underneath for extra support and your waistline may be as wide as your chest. Your butt may be a bit flat, but that’s made up by your small thighs and legs​, making it ​appropriate for larger women, including moms who just gave birth.

Since the weight of your body is heavily packed in your stomach area, the abundant fabric of the hipster will transfer the focus onto your hips, especially if it’s in a bright solid color or loud print.

It will also balance out the largeness of your bust with the bulkiness of the fabric down below.

​The full coverage bottom will also work well for women who are not so well-endowed in the butt area. The hipster will be able to cup your entire butt, making it look like there’s more volume to it than its actual size, and even lift it up if necessary. The edges of the bikini bottom, however, keep your entire legs visible, highlighting their thinness.

A woman wearing a red bra top and a black bikini bottom


A Brazilian is the smallest bikini bottom distinguished by a T-shaped back. A small vertical fabric attached to the band slips in between the butt cheeks. Adapted from the classic triangle, the T-back opens to a triangle shape in front as the only coverage for a woman’s intimates.

Invented as a reference to the Brazilian wax, which could be described as “complete pubic hair removal.” This type of bottom requires women to remove excess hair on their pelvis and butt because of its very little coverage.

The two-piece swimsuit wasn’t received well at the time it was first invented. Conservative groups have shunned and even dismissed wearing it, calling it a sin. Out of all bikinis, Brazilian bikini bottoms were strongly disapproved of as they had the most revealing profile.

Soon enough, the style was picked up by and became popular among those who were serious about tanning. Brazilian cut bikini bottoms leave your backside almost naked, making it perfect to even out your complexion everywhere.

It’s largely famous among Latinas. Genetically, they’re blessed with an hourglass-like body, the most ideal shape according to my modern beauty standards. That’s the type of body the Brazilian complements the most beautifully.

They usually have full busts and butts with pure curves in between. The daintiness of the Brazilian allows the hourglass shape to shine through. It exposes the butt in its entirety, revealing its fullness. The dainty fabric also puts attention on their very small waistlines.

That being said, it’s an established style of bikini bottom now that hasn’t lost its hype and probably will never die down. Though it works best for hourglass shapes, this bikini bottom can be manipulated to make other body types look like an hourglass.

If not the most traditional version, there are different variations of the Brazilian. These include g-string, thong, and cheeky, or tanga. Some are less revealing, but all possess equal beauty.

A woman standing in the sand wearing a bikini with a rainbow-colored design


A g-string is an early version of the Brazilian, made with the most minimal amount of fabric for the entire bikini bottom. Typically, the back is only a single string that disappears inside the cleavage of your butt cheeks. The band is also made of a thin string, while the only solid material is the small triangle for the material in front.

This is quite a good match for those with an athletic body build. Toned muscles aren’t exactly considered the most feminine quality. Women with an athletic build don’t usually have curves. Usually, their torsos are straight. The breasts and hips, which are usually the common assets bikinis highlight, become secondary to toned arms, abs, and legs.

A g-string is an extremely revealing bikini bottom that will even out the heavy mass of your muscled body. It gives your body type more of a feminine touch, and balances out proportions in the process. It’s also the perfect tool to expose a perfectly toned butt. Embodying the less is more mantra, the full exposure of the g-string will showcase your best asset. (Pairing this with a full on push-up bikini top will take it even further.)

Skin exposure isn’t the only way a g-string could highlight your butt. Some are even embellished with pearls, beads, and other rocks reminiscent of beach stones you find by the shore. It’ll be the perfect bottom to your beach outfit.

A woman with ponytail wearing a white bikini in the swimming pool


A thong is a combined variation of the Brazilian and the classic triangle. From the Brazilian cut, it has a wider fabric at the back, which usually ends up slipping in between the butt cheeks.

The rest of the bikini bottom follows the classic cut of the triangle bikini bottom, with the band and the panty making up an inverted triangle shape.

More familiar to Americans, a thong is a only slightly different from a g-string in terms of the thicker fabric that it uses for the butt. It’s not a string-like fabric, but regardless, thongs still disappear between your butt cheeks.

It’s widely popular because it doesn’t seem as risqué as the g-string but functions and almost looks the same.

Like the g-string, thongs are good for those with a boyish figure. Those who have a straight torso with equal measurements across the bust to the waist and hips. This bikini bottom has just the right amount of fabric to cover up your intimate parts. It doesn’t add up more volume to your pelvis, and instead uses ample skin exposure to exude a sensually feminine vibe.

The additional benefit of this bikini bottom is that it suits a flat butt just as well as a full one. The teeny bottom creates curves where there’s none.This is because the fabric that slips into your butt crack gives off an illusory effect to make it look bigger than it is.

A back view of a woman wearing a yellow bikini in the beach

Tanga or Cheeky

The tanga or cheeky bikini bottom belongs under the Brazilian variety, but it also cuts close to the classic triangle type. It’s made with a wide band and two inverted triangle fabric, a wider one in front that copies the silhouette of the classic triangle. The one at the back is a little more elongated and thinner with the center of the fabric slipping in between the butt cheeks while the edges peek out.

This version of the Brazilian is more common among Americans who are not all blessed with an hourglass figure. It’s actually ideal for those with a pear shape with a simultaneously flat booty.

The minimal fabric of the tanga exposes more skin than the classic triangle, which can add up to the sensual appeal of your wide hips.

The fabric at the back also works with what you have. It incorporates your actual butt in a way that makes it look like an extension of the garment. This gives the illusion of a fuller one.

Some tanga-style Brazilian bikinis will even have vertical ruching or seaming at the center. This is called a pinched detail, which makes your butt crack more prominent. In effect, your butt appears larger.

Those who already have big butts should skip this one and go all-out with a g-string. The fabric might just end up seeping in between your butt anyway and you don’t need the ruched illusion to make your butt look full.

Two women wearing different kinds of bikinis in the swimming pool

Boy Short

The boy short is a full coverage bikini bottom with a rectangular shape. A wide band sits low on your hips, while the bottom edges of the shorts come parallel to it. Imagine cycling shorts, but instead of ending an inch or two above your knees, its edge ends at the top inch of your thighs.

The complete opposite of the Brazilian, boy short bottoms provide the most coverage of all bikini bottom styles.  Boy shorts have a tomboy vibe to it from the name alone. It’s an athletic style used mostly for beach and water sports like surfing, beach volleyball, and wakeboarding.

The boy short is appropriate for pear-shaped women. Those who would benefit have full hips and full thighs. The boy short style conceals a huge part of your hips and the top part of your upper leg. As an effect, it cuts down its size, if only in appearances.

A woman walking in the sand while wearing a red bikini

High Waisted

A high-waisted bikini bottom is a modern take on the retro bikinis of the ‘50s. It has a style cut with wide sides and high-rise thick bands that go up to either the rib cage or the belly button.

Once upon a time when the two-piece didn’t exist yet, all women had to wear for the beach or the pool were one-piece bathing suits. The ‘50s saw the birth of two-piece sets. They looked like a one-piece because of how high-waisted the bottoms were.

More than half a century later, here I am again with the high-waisted bikini bottom trend. Only this time, it’s looking like they’re here to stay. The modern version incorporates the retro vibe of the original and the sleek and sexy silhouettes of my time.

Take for example a high-waisted Brazilian bikini bottom. It combines the cheeky cut of the almost-naked butt and the high-waisted band. Regardless of the cut or style at the back, a high-waisted bikini bottom never sits mid- or low-rise.

This is a favorite among plus-size women as it can cover up the excess bulges of the stomach. With the right styling, you can even transfer the mass of your stomach towards the hips, especially if you’re skin is loose around that area.

The high-rise fabric will disguise and manipulate the shape of your body to an hourglass or pear shape, preventing stomach rolls from showing even when seated.

A woman wearing a black bra top and a bikini bottom with a pineapple design


A fold-over bikini bottom is a variation of a high-waisted bikini bottom. Instead of a smooth fabric to cover your stomach and abdomen areas, the topmost part of the bikini is folded outwards when worn. Most of the time, the folded fabric creates a ruched effect or layers of pleats for decoration.

Most of these fold-over bikini bottoms reach up to the rib cage in their original form. This way, when it’s folded, the band still comes up to the belly button.

This is particularly good for women who are bulky at the stomach or core of the body, particularly those with an apple shape. 

The weight of your body will likely be focused on the stomach and upper abdomen, to which this bikini bottom style will be beneficial for.

A fold-over bikini bottom will cover up your midsection within the folded fabric and the ruched design will transform your bulky bulges into something fashionable.

This is a very modern take on this vintage style bikini bottom, one that’s more up to date with my modern taste.

It’s elevated from the original high-waisted bottom from the ‘50s.

Woman in a yellow bikini with floral design standing in the sand

High Cut

​A high cut bikini bottom is an elevated version of the classic triangle, and it usually incorporates a Brazilian silhouette at the back. Instead of a horizontally straight band, the sides of the band sit high up your waist, creating a deep V shape in front called a scoop front. The swim bottom is made of the solid triangle fabric and extends to a single string of fabric that goes between your butt.

​If you’ve ever seen the kind of bikini bottoms the Kardashians wear, you’ve seen a high cut bikini bottom. This is probably one of the sexiest bikini bottoms because most are also in a Brazilian style at the back – also like the ones the Kardashians wear. The high cut already shows a lot of skin in front, and in combination with the Brazilian, it’s probably the most revealing bikini bottom available.

​The high-cut bikini bottom accentuates an hourglass shape the best. It enhances the shape by highlighting where the curves are, so you look good on the beach. The sides of the band sits on your tiny waist. The shapely deep V of the band gives the same sensual effect of a deep neckline and adds to the curvy illusion.

Additionally, a high-cut bikini bottom accommodates those with a straight body type or those with a rectangular torso. Since you don’t have many curves at the waist, bust, and hips, the V shape of this bikini bottom will give the illusion that you do.

Simultaneously, this bottom showcases legs in their full form. Full skin from the side of the hips are exposed, which helps in giving out the illusion of longer therefore taller figure. It’s perfect for women who weren’t blessed enough in the height department.

Styles and Designs of Bikini Bottoms

StylesBikini bottoms types
Style 1Classic triangle
Style 2Classic triangle with string sides
Style 3Classic triangle with ruched string sides
Style 4Classic triangle with strappy sides
Style 5Classic brief or hipster
Style 6Brazilian
Style 7G-string
Style 8Thong
Style 9Tanga or cheeky
Style 10Boy short
Style 11High waisted
Style 12Fold over
Style 13High cut

Frequently Asked Questions

Does the Bikini Color Matter?

Yes, the bikini color matters almost as much as the style matters. Keeping in mind that darker colors give a minimalistic illusion, bikinis with darker colors tend to make people look slimmer.

On the other hand, brightly-colored bikinis tend to make people look fuller. That means you should pick a bikini color that brings out the illusion you want.

Are There Alternatives to Bikini Bottoms?

Yes, there is a variety of other swimwear you can wear instead of a bikini bottom. For instance, you can look simple by matching a bra with a pantie instead of a bikini bottom.

Also, you can wear a sundress, swim skirt or even knee-length shorts matched with a t-shirt.

Can the Type of Bikini Bottom Affect My Swimming Performance?

Yes, the type of bikini bottom you wear can affect your swimming performance. For instance, keeping in mind that nylon is smooth, wearing a full-coverage bikini bottom made of nylon can reduce friction and drag.

This reduces water resistance and improves your forward motion efficiency, improving your overall swimming performance.



Bikini bottoms shouldn’t be left as a secondary to bikini tops. These different styles have a lot to offer that transforms your two-piece beach outfits. With overlapping styles, these bring some unique flavor that you’d want in a garment that should last you a couple of summers and vacations.