Browse around for retro swimsuits, sexy bikinis and tips to enjoy your next beach holiday.

Posted on Friday, January 27, 2012
Rihanna wearing a silver monokini swimwear on a cruise in Hawaii

Monokini swimwear is one of the more revealing types of swimsuits. Looking at it from the back, it's easy to mistake it for a bikini. Seen from the front, however, its deviation from the usual bikini is readily apparent . It doesn't leave the midriff totally uncovered; instead, the swimsuit's top and bottom pieces are connected, usually along the midriff and leaving the sides of the torso bare. This is why it is also known as a cutout swimsuit.
First topless monokini bathing suit design from Rudi Genreich
But during the monokini's early days, only the wearer's bottom part was covered. When Austrian-American designer Rudi Gernreich launched the original monokini in the early 1960s, it caused quite a controversy since it left the breasts uncovered. It consisted of just a bikini bottom that covered the stomach and part of the upper thighs, and two attached thin straps that went around the neck.

Today, monokini swimwear generally covers the bust area, although there are still designs that remain true to Gernreich's vision and leave the chest bare. These are mostly seen in areas where topless bathing is permitted. Those who prefer not to go topless but still want to show off their figures in a revealing swimsuit have plenty of other design options to choose from.

Various monokini bathing suits are available from both top-notch fashion designers, which can cost hundreds of dollars, to more affordable versions from mass retailers like Wal-Mart. Both resources are popular among countless women.

AnnaLynne McCord in a neon pink cutaway monokini swimsuit

As an example, there's TV actress AnnaLynne McCord, who has been photographed wearing designer monokinis from brands such as Juicy Couture and Calvin Klein. However, there's also a picture of her wearing a $13 monokini that she bought from Wal-Mart. Then there are also photographs of singer Rihanna in Hawaii clad in a revealing silver monokini (see top picture).

There are numerous monokini variations that a woman can choose from in order to draw attention to the best parts of her body. Some monokini bottoms are high cut, exposing a lot of thigh, while others are more modest. The rear part may be cut in the g-string style to bare the buttocks or be like the more traditional bikini to provide more coverage. Monokini swimwear tops are available in a variety of styles as well: from bandeau cuts to halter tops to deep-vee necklines that go down to almost the navel.
Posted on Friday, January 20, 2012
Heidi Klum modelling one piece swimsuits for women for Sports Illustrated Magazine

With all the varieties of bathing suits available out there, one piece swimsuits for women remain a firm favorite among many. The number of styles have increased and evolved since this type of swimsuit's emergence into popular culture almost one hundred years ago and today women can choose from among practically hundreds of cuts and designs, some of which have been featured in magazines such as Sports Illustrated.

Modern one piece bathing suits: Rag & Bone Elizabeth One-Piece Swimsuit, Lisa Marie Fernandez The Farrah Maillot, Vpl Swimsuit

The basic one-piece bathing suit design is also known as the maillot (from the French phrase maillot de bain, meaning bathing shirt) or tank suit. The most familiar design would be the one that covers the torso, has straps that go over the shoulders, and a scoop or square neckline. However, there are numerous variations to this basic design. Some swimsuits have halter-type straps, some have sleeves or no straps at all. Some have deeply plunging necklines or expose the abdomen; some provide full or extensive back coverage while others don't.

The bottom parts of one-piece bathing suits for women also come in various styles. Some designs are modest-looking, covering the hips or in the case of boy-cut suits, even go down to cover the tops of the thighs. French-cut swimsuits, on the other hand, are more revealing since the leg openings are cut high to show the hips.

Black Pretzel one pice bathing suit with cross front and back, wide straps, high cut legs and full rear coverage

Generally speaking, one piece swimsuits for women are thought to be more conservative than two-piece swimsuits or bikinis. This isn't always the case, however. Two styles, called the "Pretzel" and the "Slingshot" can show just as much skin -- or even more -- than a bikini does. These suits leave very little to the imagination since they expose much of the buttocks, breasts, hips and abdomen.

Ines Sastre wearing a one piece bathing suit

Since single-piece swimsuits are available in such a wide variety of cuts and patterns, it isn't surprising that many women of all ages, body types and sizes have at least one in their wardrobe, since the right one can flatter any physique. Plus size women, pregnant women, young girls, celebrities: they can all be seen looking sexy and comfortable in one piece swimsuits for women.
Posted on Friday, January 13, 2012
Sun protective swimwear UPF 50+ from Hydrochic

People baring large amounts of skin while on the beach or by the poolside is a common enough sight, but it isn't always the best idea. With skin cancer being the most common form of cancer in the United States, it's in one's best health interest to wear sun protective swimwear more often.¹

This type of swimsuit does more than just protect from sunburn, it also shields the skin from harmful ultraviolet (UV) rays.

Threepio UPF 50+ sun protection bathing suit with UV blocking

Bathing suits and other sun protective clothing are made from fabrics such as nylon, cotton, and spandex. A UV-protective swimsuit covers a lot more skin than a bikini does, but design and stylishness are not compromised.

Women shoppers can choose from among a variety of rash guards, halter-type tops, short sleeved tops, swim shorts and swim skirts. Some outdoor clothing brands, such as HydroChic, offer UV-safe swim shirts, skirts, shorts and skorts that can be worn by themselves, without the need to wear a swimsuit underneath for reasons of modesty.²

Sun protective bathing suits for the whole family from Australian clothing company Stingray®

Rash guards, long sleeved swim shirts, and board shorts that protect from UV rays are available for men. Similarly, there is no shortage of options when it comes to sun protective swimwear for children and infants.

How can you tell if your swimsuit is providing sufficient UV protection? The best way would be to learn about the fabric's Ultraviolet Protection Factor (UPF) rating. A number of countries have implemented standards for sun protective fabrics, and in the U.S. these standards were introduced in 2001. According to the American Melanoma Foundation, clothes that has UPF ratings of 40, 45, and 50+ offer excellent protection since they block up to 98 percent of UV rays.³

With the knowledge that overexposure to UV rays can have very harmful health effects, it makes perfect sense to protect yourself and those you love from them. Wearing sun protective swimwear, no matter what your age or gender, and whether you choose to play in the water or just lounge around on the beach or poolside, goes a long way toward achieving this goal.
Posted on Friday, January 06, 2012
Freya Swimwear Disco bikini from the 2012 collection
Shopping for swimsuits is a nightmare for many women, but it doesn't have to be that way. The secret to looking fantastic in a bathing suit lies in finding one that fits perfectly, emphasizing the body's best assets and drawing attention away from problem areas. Fortunately, there are options today like Freya swimwear that make choosing swimsuits a fun and satisfying experience for women of all sizes.