The Tankini Evolution In Swimwear

By Jennifer Cermak



Tankini’s have a bad reputation, most likely from the late 90’s when they introduced them to the market as mid-drift showing tops paired with regular bikini (skimpy) bottoms followed shortly by the extreme opposite – the high scoop neck with light shelf bra paired with a skirt, or better yet… shorts. Please. No fashion minded woman, kids or no kids is going to go for either look. Lucky for us, designers have figured out this staple swimwear piece and now design cute options with where style meets function. And, it is a beautiful thing.

Sport tankinis generally are very simple and include a light shelf bra for minimum support. These suits are popular among the paddleboard enthusiasts (which is a top sport on our 10,000 lakes).


Prana, Anita, Next by Athena, Carve

Contemporary tankinis are generally designed for the mass market and fit sizes 0 to 12, A to C cup. If you are lucky to fall in this range, you have options galore when choosing a style. Any department store will offer these and price point and fit are generally good.


Trina Turk, EcoSwim, Magicsuit, Ralph Lauren

Trend fashion is becoming more popular, and designers are starting to include tankini’s in their collection offerings. Popping up with hardware details, peek-a-boo cut outs and peplum and zippers we know fashion has now accepted the tankini as a standard style option for the consumer.


Coco Reef, Michael Kors, Badgley Mischka, Karla Colletto

Solution and problem solvers in tankinis are gaining media press and becoming noticed and requested by consumers.  My most requested solutions (besides pregnancy…) are junior/ young styles, tummy control, port coverage, and plus swimwear.


Becca (junior), Profile by Gottex (Tummy Control), Magicsuit (port coverage), and Sorella (Plus)

Busty bra swimwear has been making waves into the swimwear world – testing the limits of support and offering fit solutions for those of us who are rather beyond blessed in the chest (D to H). Brands that start in foundations are definitely worth playing with, and no longer look just like a bra!


Curvy Kate, Freya, Fantasie


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