What is a bikini?
I thought I knew what a bikini is, but the term seems to encompass more than what I consider one. Also it may come down to your location. Merriam-Webster definition of a bikini is “a woman’s scanty two-piece bathing suit.” Then for guys it states “a man’s brief swimsuit.” With those definitions that would make what a bikini is a broader category.
My Thoughts on a Woman’s Bikini
For women the word scanty kind of throws a wrench into it. So a woman’s bikini is skimpy and skimpy is in the eye of the beholder. The other part says a woman’s bikini is a two-piece swimming suit. A woman’s bikini has a top and a bottom, which I think we can all agree on that. Since there are also tankinis out there, I think we could agree the belly area is going to be exposed in a bikini for women. I think the bikini bottoms are what needs to be defined for women. I see many women calling their swimsuits with a thong bottom or some just call the bottom cheeky (still pretty much a thong) a bikini, which fits the two piece definition. For me a bikini isn’t a thong/cheeky bottom cut.
A bikini to me has rear coverage. Typically, I think the back coverage would be more cover than a half back. More in the 3/4 to full coverage range. The sides of the bikini aren’t going to be much more than 2″. I think approaching 3″ it is entering a brief style bottom. That is kind of what I think of when I hear a bikini for women.
If we stick with the two piece definition for a bikini then maybe there are sub categories under it. So we’d have the thong bikini and g-string bikini. Then there would be a Brazilian bikini, Rio bikini, traditional bikini, brief bikini, hot shorts/boy shorts bikini. Seems the woman’s bikini has encompassed more than it used to at least in my head.
My Thoughts on a Man’s Bikini
For men the definition stated a brief swimsuit. Doesn’t take much to be brief compared to what most guys wear. A square cut is pretty brief compared to most swim shorts. Guess also you could look at it as saying a swim brief swimsuit. Though in my opinion that still isn’t a bikini. A swim brief is a brief. Bikinis have narrower sides like I mentioned with the ladies. Much over 2″ is more in the swim brief category.
Basically, a guy’s bikini is going to meet the same criteria as a woman’s bikini. The difference is a men’s bikini is going to have room for the package up from be it a contour pouch or a fabric that will stretch to accommodate them.
I’d probably define a traditional bikini as a bathing suit or underwear bottom with sides about an inch to two inches wide with 3/4 rear coverage and moderate frontal coverage. That is kind of what comes to my mind when I hear a bikini. Of course there is movement in either direction on the coverage.
My conclusion is a bikini is more a general term than a specific cut. For women it covers a wider range of styles with it being a two piece swimsuit. For guys it can be narrowed down somewhat between a thong and a brief. I do think a bikini requires a word descriptor or two before it to really give you an idea of the cut of it. What do you think of when you hear the word bikini?