Swimming suits are required clothing if you wish to visit a public beach, pool or other locale where you may engage in water sports. They are optional, however, at nude beaches, certain clothing-optional resorts and at private pools that specifically permit nude bathing. Swimsuits come in a variety of colors and designs, and even their cuts and fit vary. Function usually determines the fit.
Swimming Suits for Pleasure
You may enjoy sunbathing, swimming and beach sports while wearing a standard swimsuit. For example, the Billabong sands athletic one-piece swim suit is modest for even younger wearers, but at the same time allows plenty of free movement for enjoying a variety of water sports and beach activities, such as beach volleyball. The men's versions are the Patagonia surf trunks that are made from polyester, and they provide comfort during beach and water activities.
Competition Swimming Suits
Look for competition swimming suits from specialty manufacturers that market to athletes. A good example is the body skin style of swimwear made from Lycra that acts like a second skin. Unlike bathing suits you might wear for pleasure activities at the beach, body skins focus on the tightest fit possible to eliminate virtually all water resistance. Usually these kinds of swimsuits are unisex, cover the entire body and are very expensive. If you plan on bettering your odds by wearing a competition swimming suit at the next event, be sure to check the rules of the swim-meet organizer before investing in such swimming gear. Some organizers consider the suits to offer unfair advantages to the individual athletes and therefore do not allow them.
Religiously Approved Swimsuits
A new development in the design of swimming suits is the loosely fitting burkini. A mix between a burqa and a wetsuit with optional top, the burkini allows Muslim women to enjoy a day at the beach while still remaining properly dressed. These swimsuits are made from polyester, and you may choose between a modest fit, which is slightly baggier, and a slim fit that is more skin tight.
Alternative Swimming Suits
The basic swimming suit design is undergoing constant additions and subtractions. This leads to a wide array of alternative swimwear designs, such as the swim dress with its attached dress portion that makes it popular with plus-sized swimmers, or the bandeau swimsuit that features a basic one-piece bathing suit without the straps. Other variations include the monokini, which is a very revealing one piece bathing suit and, of course, the bikini, which is a two-piece suit.