The maillot cross-tension is another of those unusual species whose province is neither clear nor ordinary. It is easily confused with an X-side or side-ring miokini as well as the pretzel-slingshot species.
The drawing illustrates the intent of the costume and what makes it different: a cross-cross X-front that, like the slide-side soutien-gorge, pulls tension diagonally and across the front of the body, suspending the top of the swimsuit from a diagonal support above the breast, and anchoring the support to the waistband. In the diagram a crisscross string tie in front of the neck accentuates the vertically of the suspension cord. In an alternate relationship a shoulder straps are employed.
A number of backside configurations are possible: the neck straps can loop around the back of the neck halter style, or descend to attachment points lower; the straps to the side of the breast and under the arm can be gathered together at the center of the back, or continue their descent to the waistline and connect there.
It is not unusual for this species to possess no fewer than seven edges.
Aside from a rare sample from the early 1980s (RS8101), when there is a flurry of experimental maillot activity, cross-tension samples are more a product of the early 1990s, once again a period when designers are seeking new and extreme alternatives to the minimalist bikini (KA93F0BS). But it is not a silhouette that is easy to manufacture, fit, wear, or for that matter, remove, and thus the more streamlined pretzel and slingshot silhouettes have crowded it out and enjoy a much larger market share among the novelty crowd.
The cross-tension is easily confused with the pretzel and slingshot, as well as the miokini.