How To Pick The Right Swimming Costume

Selecting the right swimwear for that next pool party, swimming practice or pool exercise that you have in mind can be difficult especially that there are numerous options to choose from nowadays. To narrow down your options, it is essential to prioritize comfort, occasion, comfort level, body type and more. But where do you start?

Whether you are swimming at your own pool or somewhere else, it is best to wear the appropriate swimwear to let you perform at your best if you are practicing, to give you the utmost comfort if you out and about with friends and make you feel good about yourself. All of these can be achieved without compromising the safety and cleanliness of the pool.

​If you are planning on purchasing a swimwear or you are currently ransacking through your cabinet hoping to have a good find, here are some guidelines to help you pick out the right swimming apparel.

​​The Environment

​​The Environment

​This may not be one of the first things that you would think of when choosing the right swimming clothes. But for several reasons, the environment should be one of your priority factors to fully maximize the swimwear of your choice and your swimming activity.

​​Check The Weather Conditions

​​Check The Weather Conditions

​If you are planning on going on a swimming trip during daytime, then you should check how the weather will be on that day. The ultraviolet (UV) rays from the sun, especially during peak hours from late morning to early afternoon, are harsh on the skin. These rays can cause common skin diseases such as sunburns, rashes, or can even heighten the risk of skin cancer. So, if you are going on a hot, summer's day, then it would be a smart move for you to choose swimwear that covers the parts of the skin that will be exposed directly such as the upper part of your body. On the other hand, if you are planning on having an evening swim, also consider the nighttime temperature. The temperature and the breeze at the end of the day can be really cool and you might feel uncomfortable wearing skimpy swimsuits.

​​Know For How Long You Are Going To Use It

​Knowing how much activity you are going to engage in while you’re on your swimming attire is essential. This is because of the materials of different swimwears tend to lose their elasticity on prolonged used underwater or can fade when exposed to too much sunlight. If you prefer lightweight swimwear that dries quickly, then polyester and cotton would work for you.

The downside of this, however, is its quality degrade faster over time than other swimwear made of different materials. There are other swimwears which can also last for quite some time. This is because they are made of heavier duty materials such as spandex, or was a right combination of different materials such as spandex plus polyester and cotton. When these materials are combined with each other, the amount or percentage of material in the overall swimwear sets its most outstanding quality.

There are a lot of fabrics used for swimwear out there. But swimwear that has a good combination of spandex, and a little amount of polyester and cotton are considered to be durable, light, and fast-drying. Also, it has been proven over the years that this combination among others is quite popular for its durability.

​​Your Personal Preference

​After considering the environmental conditions of your home pool and your swimming purpose, then it's probably best to consider what you want. You would not want to buy swimwear that is conducive for the place but is not of your style and preference. It is important to remember that as long as the basic factors are not being compromised, comfort and aesthetics should be the next priority.

​​Your Cultural And Religious Beliefs

Even though we now live in a modern world wherein everything and everyone seems to be liberated, there are still a lot of cultural and traditional differences that need to be respected. If there are religious, cultural, or traditional responsibilities you have to adhere to, then it's alright to do so. However, this should not restrict you from enjoying a swim. You just have to know which swimsuits work best for your tradition.

There are some religious practices wherein women are not allowed to wear swimsuits that show most of their skin. You shouldn't worry much about this because there are a lot of culture-inclusive swimsuit designs that are available in the market today.

​Muslim bathings suits, for example, are widely available and cable purchased online. This consists of three pieces - a cap, a coat or rash guard and a pair of swimming pants.

​​The Shape Of Your Body

​​The Shape Of Your Body

​Swimwears are important to be tightly-fitted as much as possible in order for you to have the ability to maximize mobility while on the water. Therefore, it is a necessity to choose swimwear that would match your body type the best.

If you are a woman who's looking for the right swimming attire for her frame, then here are some of the basic body types and which kinds of swimsuit will be best for it.

​Different Body Types And The Suggested Swimsuit Styles

Suggested Swimsuit Styles

Pear-shaped
If you have slender shoulders, a well-defined waist, and your hips are broader than your shoulders, then you have a pear-shaped body. This means most of your shape is concentrated on the lower part of your body rather than on the upper part. You should take note of that because you would want to draw attention to the top half of your body in order to balance it out. You can achieve this by wearing swimwear that emphasizes your chest and shoulders. Swimwear necklines with halter cuts, bandeau tops, and push-up bras will be perfect in balancing it out. Choose one-piece swimsuits that are heavily patterned, decorated or accessorized in the top area. For the lower part of your body, you'd want to go to go for pieces that are plain so not as to draw much attention to it.

 Pro tip: Go for a two-piece swimwear, choose a printed bandeau or halter top and a high-waist bottom in solid colors.

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V-shaped
If you have a built that is more athletic, you should have broader shoulders than that of your hips. If this is the case, then you have an inverted triangle body type or a V-shaped body. For this, you would want to emphasize your neckline to give an illusion that you have narrow shoulders. Choose tops that have thin straps to draw the attention to your cleavage rather than your shoulders. Aside from the cleavage, you should also give emphasis to your bottoms. Go for bottoms that are decorative and loud like side-tied, fringed, or patterned bottoms. These patterns shall keep the focus off to the lower part of your body, balancing out the heaviness of the top part. If, however, you're opting to go for one-piece swimsuits then choose swimwear that has a plunging neckline.

Pro tip: Whether you are going for a one-piece or two-piece swimwear, find the one with a ruffled bottom to add an illusion of wider hips.

H-shaped
If your shoulders and waist are equal in width and there's a little definition in your waist area, then you have a rectangle body type of H-shaped body. The right swimwear for you is a swimsuit that redefines your waist and adds volume to the upper and lower parts of your body. For this body type, you can have both a graphically-designed or attention-getting top and bottom pieces. You should be able to choose statement pieces that are not plain enough to accentuate your body. If you prefer one-piece swimwear, then you should select a deep-cut neckline and is fairly printed. Monokinis with side cuts are also an excellent option for your body type.

Pro tip: If you have this body type, maillots and monokinis with open sides will accentuate your waists.

O-shaped
If you have full-blown curves, a rounded tummy and a waist with little definition, then you have an apple-shaped body or O-shaped body type. You should choose a swimming attire that would give emphasis to your cleavage and waist. This look is achievable with plain balconette bra tops. You should try to stay away from loud colors so as not to give so much attention to your upper body. For the lower half of your body, high-waisted bottoms are perfect for you. These bottoms provide definition to your waist. If you are keen on choosing a one-piece swimsuit, then almost all of the one-piece swimwear looks good on apple-shaped body types. Make sure that the straps of the tops are thin to complement your whole look.

Pro tip: A colorblock black swimsuit with lighter shades on the chest and hip area can make your waist look smaller.

X-shaped
If your shoulders and waists are of the same width but have an accentuated waist, you have an hourglass body type or often called the X-shaped body type. You should not have any problems with choosing the right swimsuit for you because your body is mostly proportioned. With your body type, you can try on different tops such as triangle, bandeau, halter, balconette, fringed and the like. While for the lower part of your body, you can opt to choose a high leg and Brazilian cut bikini bottoms. Low-waisted and side-knotted bottoms will also accentuate your shape.

A close variation of the hourglass body type is the 8-shaped body. If your shoulders and hips are aligned, and you have an accentuated waist, plus you are a bit more of on the curvier edge with rounded bust and hips, then you have an 8-shaped body type. To make your swimwear work, choose tops that can support your bust. An underwired balconette or halter-top neckline can do the job for you while giving your upper body a nice boost. You can play with colors and different designs. For the bottom part, you can choose either low or high-waisted bottoms. High-waisted bottoms will accentuate your waist, making you look good as no one else could be.

Pro tip: Vintage-looking swimwear looks great on x-shaped body types.

Men’s Swimming Attire

Men’s Swimming Attire

​For men's swimming attire, only the length of the swimwear and the looseness of its cut should be given emphasis to. You may have heard of the term trunks, boardshorts, swim-briefs and the like but what does it really mean?

Trunks

​Trunks are the most commonly used swimwear for men. These are very much similar to the shorts you use at home or when you go out. The only difference is that the fabric these are made up of are from light and fast-drying materials and has a tighter-fitting lining than your regular shorts.

Boardshorts

​Boardshorts, on the other hand, is the longer version of swimming trunks. These often reach up until past the knee. If you want a swimming attire that hugs your torso, then boardshorts are for you because its waistline is usually made up of a non-elastic material. These are also the swimming attire used for surfing and paddle boarding.

If you want to be more agile when swimming, then swim briefs are for you. These are tight swimsuits that cling right into the bottom of your body. Swim briefs are usually V-shaped and are commonly used in professional swimming.

 It's more of like an extended swim brief that covers your waist up to the upper portion of your thigh. These give you a boxy-frame and is less revealing than swim briefs.If you want to have the same range of motion but is feeling a little bit on the conservative side, then square-cut shorts are for you. These shorts are not as loose as board shorts so your range of motion while in the water is extended.

Jammers

​Jammers are knee-length, skintight suits. These swimsuits are specifically designed for competitive swimmers and water sports athletes because it reduces drag while underwater. These are very much similar to bike shorts, except that jammers do not have a padded crotch area.

​​Wetsuits And Drysuits

​Another specific-to-use swimwear for men are wetsuits and dry suits. These are insulated overalls that are designed for a prolonged stay under the water. These are perfect for activities such as snorkeling, scuba diving or any water sports that require you to stay an extended time than the usual underwater.

After going through your personal preferences, then you might just have the perfect swimming attire in mind by this time. The next thing for you to do now is to match these designs with the right fabric that will cater to your liking. The choice of material for a swimwear is far more complicated than you think. Each fabric will make your swimming experience feel a little bit different than the other, so you have to pay close attention to what you want.

Swimwear Fabric

Swimwear Fabric

1. Nylon
Most of the swimsuits that are readily available off the racks are made from nylon. It is lightweight, stretchy, and can be dried easily. Nylon swimwear usually cost cheaper than any other swimsuit made from different fabrics. However, when it comes to long-term use, nylon swimwear can fade easily due to the ultraviolet exposure.

2. Spandex
When you buy a swimsuit that is made from spandex, you will not see that it is made 100% from it. It is usually mixed with other types of swimsuit fabrics. However, this doesn't mean that it has lesser quality or that you have been ripped off with your purchase. Spandex increases the elasticity of the swimwear. So if there is a greater percentage of spandex material in your swimsuit, then it's probably stretchy and hugs your body even more. Elasticity is important especially when it comes to competitive swimming. Having a swimsuit that is stretchy widens the range of motion and feels lighter on the skin. Since it hugs your body in all the right places, then anyone will look slimmer in this material. The downside is, when exposed to chlorine (a cleaning agent used in pools), it can wear of the elasticity of the material over time.

3. Polyester
Swimsuits that are made from polyester look a lot like those that are made from nylon. However, polyester swimsuits are less stretchable than nylon ones. There are two kinds of polyester available in the market today - there's the man-made polyester and the modern polybutylene terephthalate or PBT. The man-man polyester is recommended for just recreational swimming because it absorbs too much water and might slow down your speed, making it a non-efficient material for competitive swimsuits. The modern PBT on the other hand, is mostly where the competitive swimsuits are made of because it effectively reduces absorbency which speeds up drying times and makes the swimsuit more elastic.

4. Cotton
Cotton has been around in the swimwear industry for the longest time. Early swimwear attires are made from either cotton or wool. Even though advancements in clothing technology may have changed over time, cotton is still used for swimsuits. Cotton, like most regular clothes, are comfortable to wear. However, swimsuits made from cotton are not as form-fitting, stretchy and cannot last long enough to endure the harshness of chlorine. To solve this dilemma, cotton is usually mixed with either spandex or polyester. In turn, these swimsuits are comfortable, yet made perfectly for swimming.

Final thoughts:
There are other additional considerations when choosing the right swimsuit. One of which is the level of your activity. You have to figure out how much time are you going to spend in the water and if you're doing it for recreational or competitive swimming. After you have gotten it worked out, then you should choose swimsuits that are made from the right materials that could cater to your swimming needs. At the end of the day, the choice is up to you. These are the guidelines that could help you choose the perfect swimwear. Again, there are a lot of swimwear choices available in the market today, so you won't have to worry about compromising factors such as style, comfort, price, and your personal preference for one swimsuit. There is always that perfect swimsuit that is suitable to your needs. So, there is no need for you to get worried about your next swimming trip. Now it's time for you to go to a store or browse the internet and make yourself a good buy.

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