The Best Swimsuit Is…


After being a swim instructor for more than 40 years I think it’s safe to say, “I’ve seen it all”. But don’t place any bets…just yet.  HA! I have definitely seen my share of fashion bloopers and socially awkward moments.

Not that long ago a lifeguard bent over right in front of me and her swimsuit split up the backside.  Whoops.  I quickly walked to the guard shack and got a towel out of lost and found for the poor girl.  So what if it was stiff and stinky?  Do you think she cared?  She gratefully grabbed the towel I offered and briskly walked to the women’s locker room.  Hey!  No running on the deck!  Rescued with seconds to spare!  So, what is the lesson here?  Check your swimsuit for paper-thin, see-through areas’.  You can do this easily when you swimsuit is wet. Often, your suit will look fine when dry.  (Sort of the same as when a shirt goes from dry to wet in a wet t-shirt contest)  If you see any area that is thinning at all, this is a clue that it’s time to get another swimsuit. This one is kaput.   Done.   Does not spark joy.

FYI: Have you ever wondered why the swim team kids wear two swimsuits?  They wear two suits during practice for ‘drag.’  When they get to swim meets they wear one and feel lighter and faster than during practice.  Using your old, funky, thin and worn out suits for ‘drag suits’ is very ingenious. Swimsuits are expensive and swimmers can increase the lifespan of their suits by doing this…Aren’t you glad you asked?

What about a tankini?  Is that a typo?  Nope…A tankini is a two-piece swimsuit where the bottom is usually a bikini bottom and the top is a tank top with thin straps. Women often were these that don’t want to wear a one-piece suit but want more coverage than what a bikini offers.  Tankinis look pretty good on dry land.  On dry land, gravity is your friend. However, when you go in the water, the top balloons up, fill with water, and stays up. If you aren’t careful you will have a Janet Jackson type malfunction in the water.  In conclusion, tankinis are wonderful swimsuits for sitting in a lounge chair, drinking tall drinks with umbrellas in them and stylin :-)

Do I have your attention?  Wait for it…now we have a…SWIMMINI ™ . (Yep, this one even has a trademark)!  What the heck is a SWIMMINI™?  It is simply a swimming skirt that can come in different lengths and is paired with a tankini or halter top. The swimming skirt here comes with ‘attached panty’ and will lift up when ‘swimming’.  You will look fabulous walking to the pool, lake or ocean in this swim skirt. Maybe paddle boarding, kayaking or beach volleyball are on the menu.  In the water, the swimming skirt is not the greatest, so don’t plan on wearing one of these if you are going to be doing a lot of swimming.

Then there’s the bikini.  In my opinion, I am positive that bikinis are not intended for physical activity of any sort.  And that’s all I have to say about the bikini…

So what should you wear when s-w-i-m-m-i-n-g?

Seriously, if you want to SWIM, I suggest you wear a one-piece swimsuit. Any one piece suit is your best bet. A one-piece is appropriate for swimming-whether its learning how to swim, doing laps, or long-distance swimming. Wearing a one-piece suit streamlines your body and make swimming comfortable.  For men, well-fitted swim trunks, swim briefs, or jammers are best for swimming. Choose no pockets, as those will just cause drag.  Swim companies even make ‘drag swimsuits.’  They are new and not see-thru!  Wow!  Wearing a one-piece suit can also guarantee no embarrassing moments or malfunctions that will result in a horrifying picture on social media :-(

In conclusion, you need to decide what you will be doing when you go to the pool or the lake before you can smartly choose you best swimwear option.  Will you be splashing around in the water, swimming, walking around the deck, visiting with friends at the beach, going to the snack bar (tall drinks with umbrellas in them!), working on your tan, trying to impress your crush…maybe you need more than one suit for different occasions!

Guest post by Barbie Nelis

About Author

Production engineer and certified swim coach. Full-time IT consultant, spare-time swimming aficionado. 2 sons, 2 daughters and a wife. President of the Faroe Islands Swimming Association. Likes to run :-)


  1. Pingback: The Best Swimsuit is… | Talking To The Fish

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