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Wednesday, May 20, 2015


I finally purchased a new swimsuit after wearing the same black one-piece for over 10 years.  Buying
a new swimsuit is tough.  There’s the whole body shape, what’s your most flattering style debate.  I’d like to avoid that topic completely.  I stressed so much over this last purchase that I ended up getting swim shorts and a halterkini top.  Given how hard of a time I had purchasing a new suit for myself, I don’t feel qualified to discuss style options for others.  What we want to do is discuss the three most common fabric options for swimsuits -- nylon, spandex, and polyester -- and the pros and cons of each.  After all, summer is quickly approaching, and we want you to be informed as you head out looking for this season’s suit.


Nylon is the most common fabric used in swimsuits.  The material is strong, and it fits smoothly over the body.  It doesn’t absorb much moisture, so suits made of nylon will dry faster than others.  On the downside, repeated exposure to both chlorine and sun will cause both the color to fade and the fabric to become weak and fray.


Spandex, also known as Lycra or Elastane, is found in nearly every swimsuit because of its elasticity, comfort, and form-fitting look.  The typical swimsuit is not made of spandex alone but instead a blend of both spandex and usually nylon.  Typically, competitive swimsuits contain a higher percentage of spandex as compared to those designed for fun.  Unfortunately, it too doesn’t hold up well to repeated exposure to chlorine, and the fabric loses its elasticity over time and begins to sag.


Polyester suits aren’t usually found in department stores but rather in athletic stores or on specialty swimwear sites.  There was conflicting information out there on the uses for polyester suits.  One site indicated that they are designed to be fast enough for competition and tough enough for training, while another site stated that they are never used in competition but make great practice suits.  Polyester suits may be difficult to find.  But if you find one you like and don’t mind that it feels more like clothing material and less like a swimsuit, then you can enjoy the benefits of it holding its strength over time, standing up to chlorine, and lasting for years.

When choosing a swimsuit for this upcoming season, we recommend that you go what you are comfortable with.  Suits are typically made of a combination of fabrics, and the benefits associated with each fabric will be present.  Keep in mind that cheaper is not always better; many times you get what you pay for.  A higher quality suit will hold its shape better and look nicer, longer.  As with any garment, we recommend you follow the care label’s instructions when washing your suit.  Now get out there and enjoy the sunshine.

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