Celebrate summer by refreshing your swimsuit wardrobe. Swimsuits are broken down into two main categories: Athletic and Fashion.
For competitive and recreational swimmers and aquatic fitness class participants, a good athletic suit increases your efficiency in the water. It also keeps you comfortable during your activity and stands up to chlorinated water better than a typical fashion suit.
Support: Athletic suits offer support through compression. The tight fit gives the swimmer a more streamlined silhouette for better efficiency in the water, reducing drag and maximizing glide time. Women’s athletic suits tend to not have a built-in bra as this extra fabric is thought to increase drag.
Lining: High-level competition suits are usually not lined, as liners are thought to increase drag. For swimmers not at the super-elite level, lined swimsuits tend to last longer and hold their shape and colour better than unlined suits.
Fabric: Most athletic suits are made of a nylon/spandex combination. These materials offer durability, support and comfort. Some manufacturers have developed their own proprietary line of swimsuit fabric that offers enhancements to stretch and support while standing up even better to the effects of chlorinated water.
Style: Most women’s athletic suits are one-piece suits with moderately-cut openings, fairly high necklines and with either a high-cut back or racerback style back. The straps are designed to stay put during intense pool sessions. There are athletic two-piece suits on the market as well that offer many of the same construction points to create a functional piece of athletic swim gear for swimmers who take their sport seriously.
Men’s athletic swimsuits are tight-fitting short trunks or briefs.
Women's Fashion Suits Fashion swimsuits for women come in one-piece and two-piece varieties and are characterized by a distinct form-over-function design – that is, their main objective is to look good and stylish, for chilled out days at the pool, beach or whatever body of water keeps you cool in the summertime. When shopping for a fashion swimsuit, your eye is your best buying guide – you’ll buy what you feel you look best in and what you feel most comfortable in. Bear in mind there are a few styles of women’s fashion suits to choose from:
Tankini: The tankini offers women a two-piece alternative to a bikini. Perfect for women who don't want to show too much but still want the look of a two-piece. The tankini top is longer, ending just above your belly button. If you need support, look for tops with shelf bras. The bottoms can look like regular bikini bottoms or have a "short short" style for more coverage.
Bikini: Show off the results of those winter crunches with a bikini. Look for a wide range of support from reinforced stitching under the bust to compression-style. Bikinis offer minimum coverage for maximum tan.Look for spaghetti straps or wider straps for more support and comfort on both tankinis and bikinis.
Bikini tops come in a variety of different shapes – halter tops that tie around your neck, bandeau tops that wrap around your chest, crisscross straps, tank-style straps, convertible straps - you name it. Women with larger cup sizes should look for tops with wider straps and/or underwire to offer more support. Above all else, always follow the #1 rule of swimsuit shopping: take as many to the fitting room as you can hold in your arms and try them on until you find one that works. And… go easy on yourself.
Bikini bottoms also come in a variety of shapes and cuts, from extra-small bikini bottoms to boy shorts cut a little longer, and everything in between. Once again, what’s our mantra? Try a bunch on. You’ll find one that works for your body type.
A tankini top takes the bikini top and adds a few extra inches of fabric to cover the midsection. Tankini tops are great functional pieces because, out of the water, they can look like a summery tank top, yet you can be ready to jump in the lake whenever the mood strikes.
Women’s two-piece fashion suits can either be sold as sets – that is, the tops and the bottoms come together without the ability to mix and match – or as separates. Separates allow you to combine a top that fits well with a pair of bottoms that fit well, allowing you to nearly ‘customize’ your swimsuit.
One-piece fashion suits look prettier than ever and come in a variety of styles, much like bikinis do. You can find one-piece suits with strapless tops, halter tops or tank-style tops; bottoms cut in a variety of shapes; and beautiful detailing on the fabric so you can swan around the poolside with style. Big floppy hat, oversized shades and toy-sized dog not included.
Men’s Fashion Suits Men’s fashion swimsuits most often fall into the “board shorts” category. Board shorts fit loose and comfortably, with a draw-string or elastic waist for the ultimate in beach- or poolside comfort and style.
Swim trunks are another style of casual suit for men. These loose-fitting swim shorts tend to be cut a little shorter in the leg than board shorts.
Most men’s fashion swimsuits come with an inner mesh lining for comfort and support.
For the most part, swimsuit sizing is similar to one’s regular clothing sizing. If you are unable to try a swimsuit on in-store and are unsure of what size to buy, follow this general guideline: For fashion suits, choose your regular clothing size or, if you’re unsure, go one size up. For athletic suits, choose a suit that matches your regular clothing size or, if you’re unsure, round down one size.