Tankini: The Pros and Cons

It’s officially time for your vacation and you need new swimwear. The only problem is that you don’t feel body confident in bikinis - particularly the B-C cup non-wired options sold on every high street, and you also can’t get excited by a traditional one-piece. This is where a tankini comes into play. By combining the comfort of a one-piece with the youthful appeal of a bikini, a tankini is a great middle option. Check out our full collection of tankinis in store now.

A Fresh Take on Tankini Swimwear

You'd be forgiven for underestimating the current popularity of tankinis, with 22,000 monthy google searches for the word ‘tankini’ in the UK alone. And it’s no mystery why: they’re available in an array of bold colours and prints, underwired, non-wired, soft cup, moulded cup, and can be worn with bikini bottoms or shorts of any shape. And yes, they are more practical for bathroom breaks than a one-piece...
[Above: Lingadore Zanzibar Tankini to F cup]


One of the main reasons why more and more women are embracing the tankini is because they offer ample support to your bust, whilst skimming over the tummy area. Depending on the cut of the tankini, they can be a lot more forgiving than a one-piece. Think of a tankini as a tank top with a bra inside and you start to see the appeal. We recommend that women with fuller busts opt for a tankini in cup sizes which have a concealed underwired bra, leaving non-wired tankinis with soft internal support panels to women wearing A-E cups. Yes, bra sized tankinis cost more, but we need to be realistic – a HH cup bust and a thin piece of fabric submerged in water just isn’t conducive to support!

Length Variety

Another great advantage to the tankini is that they come in a variety of different lengths. Standard tankinis are 39cm–42cm long (side seam measurement from under arm). So if you are tall, or long in the body, look for a tankini which is around 44cm or longer on the side seam. Sunbathers can roll them up while sunbathing and down when walking on the beach.

Team with Briefs, Shorts or Swim Skirt

You have the option to choose from a variety of different bottoms when you are shopping for tankinis. Instead of relying on bikini bottoms you can find shorts, classic briefs and skimpier tie-side briefs, depending on your own personal preference. For women keen on more coverage, there are now really cute skirted bottoms with integrated brief available. It’s confidence-boosting coverage with a feminine flair to their swim suit. Women who have heavy thighs and are concerned about leg chafing in hot weather often opt for Lycra shorts to the knee to team with their tankini top. The freedom to wear different bottoms with your tankini only helps to add to the customisability and value for money. That might mean mixing and matching a new tankini with existing bottoms or sports shorts.

When One-pieces Just Won't Do

One of the most regular complaints about one-piece suits is that they don’t fit taller women and the bust area is in the wrong place for shorter women. This can be allayed somewhat by always choosing a one-piece with adjustable straps and buying one size larger if you’re long in the body or carrying extra weight. On the other hand, a tankini can be comfortable for women of any height. Taller women can opt for a longer tankini and team it with shorts or high waisted briefs perhaps. For the shorter women, a 38-40cm length suit would be the best option. 

Comfortably Secure

Most of us have encountered a situation where our bikini tops have been pulled down by the weight of the water, causing what we like to call “accidental exposures”. The vest-like proportions of a tankini helps to avoid that particular hazard, giving you far more comfort and security than a standard bikini, but do beware of cheaper tankinis made from jersey-like fabric which become heavy in water, and tankinis which include cheap padding in the bust area – both could be dragged down by the weight when water is absorbed. Our recommendation for fabric is to look for 80% polyamide and 20% elastane. It’s practical and luxurious to the touch. Nylon tankinis sound old fashioned, but do hold up well to chlorine – fine for those looking for good value swimwear to use regularly at the local pool. Nylon swimwear is prone to creasing when dry however and doesn’t feel as soft as polyamide. Not a factor for exercising at the local pool, but probably not the look you’re aiming for on a luxury holiday.

Mastectomy Tankinis

There are some soft, flattering post-surgery tankini styles available from several brands. At Airy Mary we stock Jamu Australia, a mult-award winning post-surgery design house. Jamu products are luxurious and combine the attention to detail you'd expect from premium post-surgery swimwear with stunning colours and prints. Tankinis are available in sizes UK8/EU36 to UK18/EU46.

mastectomy swimwear tankini

Jamu Keita Gemmie Tankini

Figure Smoothing

Of course we all like to know that we look good, especially when we’re in our bathing suits. With tankinis, it’s relatively impossible for anyone to look bad. With the correct choice, you can easily accentuate your positive features and disguise or conceal areas you don’t want on show. You won’t have to worry about excess bulging, the dreaded back fat or flashing the world a generous cleavage! Not to mention that it will disguise any excess weight around the tummy area that you may wish to conceal. Look for tankinis with ruching and flattering colour blocking (dark panels on the outside) if you’re concerned about your tummy area.
Tankinis are incredibly versatile and provide women with an array of benefits. Whether you need swimwear that allows you to be more active without exposing yourself or if you simply want to pep up your holiday wardrobe with bright, youthful colours, the options are relatively endless.

Ready to shop for a tankini? Brands which cater to fuller busts include Fantasie, Pour Moi, Curvy Kate, Panache and Moontide.

Shop the Airy Mary tankini collection now.

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