Perhaps no other fashion garment has gone through so many changes than swimwear. From full-on dresses to barely-there bikinis, swimsuits have defined the decades with various iconic styles so much so that choosing one nowadays can be an overwhelming task thanks to the wide variety of styles that change from year-to-year.
Below we have delved deeper into some of the most popular styles for both men and women, so you can make a splash at your next trip to the beach by purchasing the best swimwear for you.
What are the different types of women's swimwear?
Women tend to get quite anxious when having to pick their bathing suit, however, these come in all forms so you're bound to find something flattering that will make you look and feel good.
The one-piece suit has come a long way since its humble beginnings. Today, it ranges in style and coverage and is known for flattering all sorts of body types. Not feeling confident enough for a bikini?
Go for the two-piece-like one-suit that reveals just enough skin.
The familiar and much-loved two-piece is probably one of the most versatile options since you have the possibility to purchase coordinated tops and bottoms or you may mix and match as you please. Usually, a basic bikini is made up of a triangular shaped top that covers the bust with strings that go around the neck and around the back and a bikini bottom.
Bikini tops: if you thought that all there is to a bikini top is just a triangle top, then think again. Avoid those lines with a bandeau top which has no shoulder straps but has a large and wide piece of fabric to cover the entire bust or an underwire bra if you feel you need the added support and a full cup.
Bikini bottoms: as is the case with the tops, here as well, the possibilities are endless. A full bottom is the main choice for most women since it covers up the entire area while it stays in place no matter what activity you do. In contrast, if you're feeling confident enough, a Brazilian bottom offers enough exposure. A middle ground is offered by hipster or scoop bottoms that sit far below your belly button.
Who says that just because you're sporting a baby bump you shouldn't enjoy swimming? Typically made from a stretchy fabric so you can wear it to term, these bathing suits are ideal regardless of whether you're off to the beach or you're heading to your next prenatal water aerobics class.
Cover-up and skirts
These consist of skirts, over-the-head loose-fitting dresses and sarongs that you can tie around your waist. An important asset to any type of swimwear, these help you cover up when it's time to leave the beach, pop into a shop or have lunch at a restaurant. Ideally, purchase a cover-up that is made out of cotton since this material tends to dry quickly.
What are the different types of men's swimwear?
Without a doubt, women's bathing suits have changed along the years, however, men's swimwear has also transformed. Nowadays men too can select between a number of styles.
A type of swimwear selected by most men, trunks are very similar to shorts and are made from either nylon or polyester which helps them dry fast. Lengths and colours vary so you're set to find something that will suit your taste.
Similar in look and style to cycling shorts, knee-length and tight to the skin, jammers are not typically used by casual swimmers, but rather, they are worn by those who swim competitively or perform water sports. In effect, they are also known as speedsuits and they are generally selected because they reduce drag. Have a look at what these sportswear stores have to offer.
Also known as speedos after the popular trademarked brand, briefs are tight and body-hugging bathing suits that are usually V-shaped to expose the thighs.
Sensitive to the sun? Or rather than swimming idly you prefer enjoying some water sports? If that's the case, then a swimming shirt should do the trick. Also known as rash guard or UV swim shirt, there are several variations to this. For instance, a rash guard has been traditionally used by surfers and its purpose is to protect their skin against rashes that may be caused due to friction. What's more, it can also protect the skin from extended exposure to the sun. Rash vests are also available for children in different designs.
Bathing suits for children
Similarly to that available for grownups, bathing costumes for children come in all forms, yet, not all swimwear is created equal and it's important to consider certain things such as your child's age, swimming abilities and swimsuit durability. Buying something stylish will go a long way, however, as a rule of thumb, stick to items that are practical and robust, whilst stay clear of bathing suits that feel itchy and uncomfortable to your child. You may want to have a look at these kids clothing stores.
How to select the ideal swimwear
The factors that should truly affect your choice should be the style and whether this suits your body, the material and its quality, as well as the colour and style. So go for something flattering such as a one-piece if you want full coverage or if you're planning to exercise,but if you're comfortable showing your midsection off, then opt for a bikini. On the other hand, a tankini is a modest two-piece which can either be snug or loose-fitting. A bikini with details such as ruffles, prints and bold colours will accentuate a flat chest, whereas a supportive top such as one that has sturdy straps will offer additional support if you are fully-chested. Whichever style you decide to purchase, keep comfort in mind.
When it comes to the colour and style remember to choose something that works for your skin tone, whereas if you like wearing jewellery, why not get a swimsuit with built-in elements like beading and silver accents that give the impression of jewellery?
Lastly, it's important to pick a high-quality suit. This means that you should select one that fits like a glove. When trying the bathing suit on, move around to ensure that it moves with you and that it won't come off or expose a part you don't want having exposed. Next, have a look at the materials' thickness to check whether it is durable enough.
Bathing suit materials
The material you choose also plays an important role and when it comes to water sports, it can make a big difference when it comes to your performance. For instance, lycra is very stretchy but it tends to fade, while it can grow quite loose. On the other hand, polyester may be less stretchy but it's more resistant to harsh chemicals such as chlorine. This can be particularly beneficial to those who tend to swim in swimming pools. Polyester blends tend to offer the best of both worlds. In other words, it combines polyester's durability with lycra's stretchy properties. Another option is the fully lined material. Although this is not stretchy at all, it does not wear out, while it is less prone to ever becoming transparent.