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Cute & Affordable Swimwear: 20 Fab Tankinis, Monokinis, and One-Pieces


Cute and affordable swimwear: monokinis, one-pieces, and tankinis
Photo Credits: 1, 2

Over the past week we’ve been talking about cute, affordable swimwear to flatter your body shape. We all know that bathing suit season can be a stressful time, so if you’re going to feel your best, it’s essential to find a bathing suit that flatters your body AND fits your budget.

In case you missed the last two articles in this series or just need tips on what to look for in a bathing suit, see part one of this series: How to Buy the Best Bathing Suit for Your Body Shape. Or if you’re looking for a cute bikini to flatter your body shape, see 16 Cute Bikinis for Different Body Shapes.

From tankinis and monokinis to classic one-piece bathing suits, I found 20 great swimsuit options that will fit your body and won’t empty your wallet.

* Tankinis

The last post on bikinis got tons of requests in the comments section for cute and affordable tankinis, and it’s really no wonder – tankinis are a hugely popular style. If you carry weight around your midsection and feel self-conscious about showing your stomach off, a tankini can suck you in and draw attention to parts you like better – namely your legs and chest.

Here are some cute and affordable tankinis available online right now:

Cute Tankinis

Product Information (left to right): Side-Cinched Tankini ($24.50) and Side-Tie Bottom ($24.50) – dELiA*s, Tie-Back Tankini ($24.50) and Ring Hipster ($24.50) – dELiA*s, High-Waist Halter Tankini ($19) – Spiegel, Black Print Halter Tankini ($10) and Black Print Bikini Bottom ($10) –

* Monokinis

If you’re tired of a basic bikini and want to show off a fabulous figure, the monokini may be your perfect swimsuit. It’s a hot bathing suit trend that has been super popular over the past few summers.

A little bit of warning, though: if you’re not confident enough to rock a bikini, do NOT attempt a monokini. Bikinis are usually more flattering and easy to pull off, while monokinis require lots of confidence and can easily look trashy and unflattering.

If you’re ready to rock this trend, here are some budget-friendly options for Summer ’09:

Cute Monokinis

Product Information (left to right): Billabong Jessica Swimsuit ($59.99) – Tilly’s, Pin Dot Monokini ($24.50) – Wet Seal, Criss Cross Monokini ($24.50) – Wet Seal, O’NEILL Surfin’ Safari One Piece Swimsuit ($69.99) – Tilly’s

* Basic One Piece Bathing Suits

The last post on bikinis also received many comments requesting one-piece bathing suits, so I thought I’d feature some cute ones here. If you don’t want to show your stomach this summer for whatever reason, don’t worry – there are a few one-piece bathing suits out there that won’t make you look like a grandma.

If you want to keep it simple with basic colors, here are a few cute, minimalist one-piece bathing suits:

Basic one-piece bathing suits

Product Information (left to right): One-Shoulder Swimsuit ($50) – TopShop, Outeniqua One-Piece ($198) – Anthropologie, Gathered One-Piece ($29.99) – H&M, Swim Systems Navy Dot Shirred Tank ($92) – Canyon Beachwear

* Retro One-Pieces

One of the trendiest looks when it comes to one-piece bathing suits is the retro one-piece. With a halter neck and extra coverage on the backside, retro one-pieces have been everywhere this season. They channel a look that’s oh-so Marilyn Monroe, and who wouldn’t want to look like her?

A quick tip on figure-flattering: if you have an hourglass figure, a retro one-piece is your best friend. It’ll play up your curves and flatter all your best features without revealing too much.

One piece bathing suits with a retro vibe

Product Information (left to right): Lorelei Halter ($268) – Anthropologie, Retro Halter One Piece ($14.95) – American Eagle, Jasmine Guiness Spot Swimsuit (£22) –, Shirred Halter Swimdress ($39) – Spiegel

* Ring/Teardrop Detail

To draw attention to a smaller chest, look for a one-piece bathing suit with ring or teardrop detail. This extra detailing will draw the eye upward and bring the focus to your face and décolleté, while bringing attention away from your bottom half and balancing you out.

A quick shopping tip: make sure you buy this style of suit in a basic, solid color – ring details on printed suits scream “way too much going on”! Overly busy swimsuits are never, ever cute.

Keyhole/Teardrop Detail One-Piece bathing suits

Product Information (left to right): 1 Piece Swimsuit ($50) – TopShop, Aerie Nautical Onepiece ($19.95) – American Eagle, Deckwork Suit ($188) – Anthropologie, Charm Ring Swimsuit ($10) –

What do you think?

You’ve seen my choices for cute and affordable swimsuits that aren’t bikinis. Now I’m curious – what is your favorite style of bathing suit? Which type of swimsuit flatters your figure best? Any favorite brands? Let us all know in the comments section below.

Posted on on June 22, 2009 / Filed Under: Shopping / Tags: , , , , , , , , , , ,

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19 Responses to “Cute & Affordable Swimwear: 20 Fab Tankinis, Monokinis, and One-Pieces”

  1. 1
    June 22nd, 2009 at 5:09 pm

    love this post! i am def taking some of your pointers for my swimwear shopping spree this weekend ;)

  2. 2
    June 22nd, 2009 at 5:13 pm

    I love the tankinis and Monokinis so cute and a good way to show off the thinks that make you feel confident.

    I love the retro white one-piece so freaken cute

    Thank You

  3. 3
    June 22nd, 2009 at 6:16 pm

    Um, this post is about affordable swimsuits (apparently!) and you feature one-pieces priced at $268, $198, and $188, PLUS others as much as $60 and $70? Are you freaking kidding me?

  4. 4
    June 22nd, 2009 at 6:49 pm

    I love this post! Thanks a bunch…
    I have to partially agree with you, Anna… but I think she did her best, don’t be so harsh —in Zephyr’s defense …there are a bunch of affordable ones as well, like the ones shown in the retro section ..

  5. 5
    June 22nd, 2009 at 7:14 pm

    I’m glad that you showed some really nice examples of bathing suits that aren’t bikinis! But I’d have to disagree with you on the monokinis – I think they’re much more flattering that bikinis and don’t require as much confidence to wear because you’re showing less skin.

  6. 6
    June 22nd, 2009 at 9:44 pm

    good post. you should try and notice more if the bathing suits you are putting up have more than one size in stock. you put the suit up here then readers get excited and they only have a large in stock. booo. a lot of them are kind of expensive but bathing suits are expensiveotherwise pretty good choices.

  7. 7
    June 22nd, 2009 at 10:55 pm

    nice blog post!

  8. 8
    June 23rd, 2009 at 1:13 am

    I really liked How to Choose the Right Suit for Your Body Shape. I figured out my “shape” and then went out and bought a new suit for summer, and I love it! Thanks!

  9. 9
    June 23rd, 2009 at 2:19 am

    Great post. I prefer tankini’s and one pieces to bikinis. That red polka dot one is lovely. I’ve actually had my eye on it from ‘oli’ and am planning to buy it as soon as I have a holiday planned.

  10. 10
    June 23rd, 2009 at 11:39 am

    ooh! i want a retro suit, how cute would that be lounging around hte pool? i feel like I’d just want to do photoshoots in it :)

  11. 11
    June 23rd, 2009 at 12:10 pm

    Cute!! To be honest I prefer bikinis because I have problems with one pieces, at 4’10” it’s hard to find one short enough to fit properly. I really wish I could find one! That criss-cross one from wet seal might do the trick, and it’s cute!

  12. 12
    June 23rd, 2009 at 12:33 pm

    these are great!! been waiting for this post!!! i seriously thought uve let us down with all the skimpy bikinis and what not. hahaha. no but really thankss! these are very helpful!!!
    u rock! [like always <3]

  13. 13
    June 23rd, 2009 at 11:14 pm

    Great post. I can’t believe that I actually like something from wet seal. I thought I’d outgrown it, but that black&white monokini is pretty cute! thanks!

  14. 14
    June 24th, 2009 at 9:36 pm

    awesome post :) I normally wear bikinis but I’m going on a family vacation and wanted to get something that covered up a little more but still looked good (my family is more on the conservative side) so I bought a one piece that looks almost identical to the “charm ring swimsuit” from old navy (the purple one on the right of the very last group) from H&M. I used to always think one pieces were either purely sporty or grandma-ish so I’m happy to find that I was wrong! :)

  15. 15
    June 25th, 2009 at 7:54 am

    I usually wear bikinis, but the retro swimsuits are terribly cute! I’m thinking of buying one, I especially like the polka dot one and the purple one.

  16. 16
    March 25th, 2010 at 2:55 am

    I love them so much they’re look pretty and in-trend some look classic and cute I might buy some of them for this summer.

  17. 17
    March 31st, 2012 at 9:19 pm

    I prefer bikinis for the beach but sometimes I prefer a 1 piece (at the lap pool, when with conservative people, indoor pool). I think a 1 piece is much more flattering than a tankini. Most tankinis are too long and frumpy around the waist and not flattering – some are okay if they show a little skin above the bottoms.

  18. 18
    April 23rd, 2012 at 11:16 pm

    Love the swimsuits! So darling

  19. 19
    May 5th, 2012 at 11:56 pm

    I would like to see an article with tankinis, monokinis, and one-pieces appropriate for each body type. I am an hourglass and cannot seem to find a bathing suit that is modest and that flatters my body type at the same time.

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