What Is a Bikini and When Should You Wear One?

You can’t go wrong with a bikini. And no, we’re not talking about the two-piece swimsuit –– in the context of undergarments, a bikini actually refers to a style of underwear bottoms. Here at TomboyX, we have a wide variety of bikini underwear.

If you’re new to the bikini bottom style or just hoping to brush up on your underwear knowledge, here’s everything you gotta know:

What Are Bikini Bottoms?

Bikini bottoms are some of the most popular types of underwear. They are cut in the same way as a classic pair of swimsuit bikini bottoms –– that is, a Y-shape in front, with mid to full coverage in the back. Bikini bottoms offer a decent amount of coverage with minimal risk of pinching or wedgies while still allowing plenty of flexibility.

A Brief History of Bikini Bottoms

In a way, you can trace bikini underwear all the way back to the loincloths and leather undergarments of the Ancient Romans and Egyptians. But the history of underwear did not follow a linear path. In the Middle Ages, women didn’t wear underwear at all but rather sheer linen garments called shifts. 

It wasn’t until the 19th century that wearing underwear became common in Europe and the United States. Even then, the long drawers they donned were a far cry from what we know today. For women, drawers were actually open between the legs.

Over time, underwear became less plain. Although they weren’t meant to be seen by the general public, many drawers and bloomers of the late 1800s were elaborately decorated with lace, ruffles, and bands. By the turn of the century, closed underwear had become the norm.

It wasn’t until the 1950s that briefs became popular amongst all genders. This nearly coincided with the introduction of the string bikini in swimwear in the 1960s. Underwear continued to shorten until the 1990s when thongs became all the rage. Today, people generally sport short underwear. Amongst all the different styles, bikinis are a must-have mid-coverage staple for many.

What Are The Pros And Cons Of Bikini Underwear?

There’s a style of underwear out there for everyone. The use of bikini underwear is especially widespread and for a good reason. This simple, attractive style suits a whole range of needs and preferences.
However, there are pros and cons to everything. If you’re trying to figure out if bikini bottoms are right for you, consider these factors:

Pros of Bikini Bottoms

Listen, we might be a bit biased here, but there are a lot of reasons why bikinis just won’t go out of style. Here are some reasons we (and people across the globe) love bikini underwear.

Cheeky (But Not Too Cheeky)

Bikini bottoms are a widespread wardrobe staple style for a reason. They cover all the important bits while still leaving some room for the thighs, hips, and tummy to breathe. If you are looking for a more cut-out style, try the cheeky bikini bottom. 

This style of underwear follows the lines of the pelvis for a naturally form-hugging fit. It’s the perfect mid-ground between thongs and boyshorts.

Flexibility and Movement

Because of its sleek cut and minimalist design, bikini bottoms allow for a wide range of motion. You want your underwear to sit securely without pinching or restricting you. Bikinis do just that; an elastic waistband makes sure everything stays in place while you do your thing.

An Array of Different Styles

Bikini underwear bottoms have been around for a while –– that means that there are tons of styles nowadays to choose from. Nudes, bold colors, classic patterns, animal prints, lace accents, and more are at your disposal when choosing your bikini. It’s important to feel good in your underwear as you do in your tees and hoodies. Finding a look you adore can be especially empowering. 

Comfortable and Flattering

When it comes down to it, don’t we all want two things from the clothes we wear? Number one: it feels good. Number two: it looks good. The order may vary, but bikini underwear fulfills these two needs pretty universally. No matter your size, shape, or gender orientation, the right pair of bikini bottoms is a go-to.

Cons of Bikini Bottoms

There aren’t any universal cons to bikini bottoms –– it’s really more about personal preferences and whether this style aligns with yours.
Here are some things to keep in mind:

Bottom Coverage

While bikini bottoms offer more coverage than, say, a strappy thong, they still leave the thighs, tummy, and part of the hip exposed. Depending on the size of your hips and bottom, they may also have a bit more or less coverage there than you desire. If you’re looking for full coverage, trending boyshorts might be more your style.

Low to Mid-Waisted

Bikinis usually hit a couple of inches below the belly button. This is great if you want an uninhibited style, but some might prefer that their underwear sit a bit higher.

Mid to High-Waisted

If that’s more your speed, check out some mid- to high-waisted underwear styles. While it isn’t the typical bikini style, high-rise bikinis are a time-honored favorite that first popped up in early swimwear.

High-waisted bikini bottoms were the swim bottoms of choice for men during the 1940s and became a staple of women’s bikinis during the 1950s to 1970s. The high-cut or high-leg bikini bottom was a staple in 1980s beachwear. We love how this previous poolside favorite moved from bathing suits to retro-inspired underwear.

When Should You Wear Bikini Bottoms?

Is there a right and wrong time to wear a particular style of underwear? Well, that’s up to personal preference, of course. Ideally, you want a pair of underwear that will get you through most any day. While bikini bottoms will do that for most people, there are some circumstances in which this underwear style comes especially in handy.

Check out these instances where we think bikini bottoms are the way to go!

When You Work Out

Bikini bottoms are well suited for an active lifestyle. The full range of motion provided by the hip-hugging leg holes means that you won’t ever be held back.

When you’re doing yoga, running, dancing, or engaging in any kind of sport, you don’t want to be too aware of how your underwear feels. Bikini bottoms feel snug yet invisible: the perfect athletic combination.

When Wearing Tight Clothes

Certain types of underwear can appear overly bulky or visible when you wear tight-fitting outfits. Wearing bikini bottoms is a good way to avoid that issue.

This type of underwear is sleek and contours to the natural shape of the pelvis, which means you don’t have to worry about bulging, scrunching, or awkward peek-a-boo moments.

In Hot Weather

Sometimes, you want the extra coverage that styles like boxers or boy shorts provide. However, when the sun is sweltering, you want to stick to whatever –– well, whatever won’t stick to you. If you want to avoid clingy, sweaty, or overly warm fabric, the minimalist cut of bikini bottoms will do the trick.

Plus, who said that bikini sets were just for the poolside? Swimsuits are great for beating the heat outside; the classic polka dot bikini underwear is fantastic for those days when the air conditioning just can’t cut it. 

Slip on your favorite floral print crop top or sarong-type cover-up along with your fav bikini bottoms. Or echo those triangle bikini top vibes with a colorblock or matching bralette and sip lemonade, and watch your favorite summer movies. 

In Your Day To Day

Bikini bottoms are an underwear drawer staple for a reason. They work well on most any occasion. Their discreet, stretchy, comfortable design means that they rarely show up in any type of clothing. Versatility is one of the bikini’s greatest strengths.

What Is a Leakproof Bikini?

If you experience periods, you might be wondering if a bikini has enough coverage to get you through your monthly cycle. Most bikinis can comfortably accommodate pads and other menstrual products; not only that, but you can find leakproof bikinis meant specifically for your period. 

Leakproof bikinis are designed for use by people who menstruate or deal with incontinence. They have the same look and fit as other TomboyX bikini underwear, but they feature a thick protective liner that can hold up to eight tablespoons of liquid.

With a growing need for accessible, reusable, and sustainable period products, leakproof bikinis are a comfortable, hygienic way to go. Plus, they’re odor-repellent and antibacterial.

What Is a Tucking Bikini?

A tucking bikini has the same shape as a regular bikini but is designed for extra compression in the crotch. It features a double-layer that comes with one-way stretch; this ensures a secure yet comfortable fit.

The tucking bikini also has a slightly wider center than a regular bikini for a more accommodating design. Elastic around the legs and waist further makes for a snug fit.

Essentials Wishlist

Of course, a pair of underwear is only as good as what it’s made of. That’s why here at TomboyX, you can find bikinis made of 100% OEKO-TEX certified cotton and polyester, as well as sustainable TENCEL™  Modal, and just a hint of spandex for a snug yet stretchy feel. Combined with the ever-beloved bikini cut, you can’t help but feel comfortable.

The bikini is a classic, universal style of underwear with a wide range of applications. A combination of minimal fabric and medium coverage means that pretty much everyone can get down with this design.


Menstruation: Environmental impact and need for global health equity | International Journal of Gynecology & Obstetrics

A History of Women’s Swimwear | FIT

What does TENCEL™ Feel Like | TENCEL™

Caesar Undressing: Ancient Romans Wore Leather Panties And Loincloths | Forbes