Women's swimwear

The sun is shining, the days are getting longer, and summer is right around the corner. You can almost feel the heat now and the cool refreshment a dip in the pool provides. Before you dive in, though, you’re going to need a swimsuit.

Swimwear shopping doesn’t have to be a dreadful experience. In fact, it’s a great thing to do online, far from the harsh fluorescent lights of a department store.

Depending on your plans, you’ll want to choose from one of the following categories of swimsuits: competition, fitness, or fashion. While you can wear any of these suits for any purpose in a pinch, you’ll be more comfortable and find the features you need if you stick to the right category. Sierra Trading Post has outlined these categories and gathered information from our swimwear vendors to provide you with a useful guide to approaching this annual rite of spring.

Because swimsuit sizes can differ from lingerie and dress sizes, it’s a good idea to measure yourself every year before buying a swimsuit. This is easy—all you need is a measuring tape and a mirror... and as few clothes as possible. Remember to keep the tape measure straight, not twisted, and keep it pulled snug, but not so tight that it’s pinching skin

1. Start with your bust. You’ll want to measure around the fullest part of the bust. Always round up if the measurement is between sizes, to the nearest whole number.

2. Next, measure your waist. Bend to one side to identify your natural waistline. Mark it with your finger. Now straighten up and measure around the waistline, keeping tape snug.

3. Now measure your hips. Measure just below the widest point of your hips, right under the hip bone

Now that you’ve taken your measurements, you’re ready to find your size. Just like every woman is uniquely beautiful, every swimsuit manufacturer has their own set of size guidelines. We’ve compiled size charts from several vendors to give you a better idea of how sizes vary. Match your measurements to the appropriate chart below.

Important note: If you are in between sizes, go with the larger size in the fashion or fitness suit category and the smaller size if you’ll be racing in it. For aerodynamics and support, a racing suit should fit snugly.

This part is strictly up to you, no measuring tape needed. The kind of swimming you’ll be doing will determine the type of suit you need to purchase. Swimsuits are generally broken up into three categories. They’re each defined for you below, along with the particular brands you’ll find at Sierra Trading Post.

If you’ll be swimming competitively or training at that level, you’ll benefit greatly from a competition specific suit. These suits perform by maximizing your speed, reducing drag, and increasing water flow to improve your lap times. And you thought you were doing all the work!

Remember: Competition suits fit much tighter than fitness or fashion suits because compression is essential. If you won’t be racing in your competition suit, you’ll want to go one size up for a comfortable fit. Don’t despair this doesn’t mean you had too much pie at Christmas, just that competition suits are meant to be tight.

Support: Competition swimsuits don’t have internal shelf bras or any added support. Instead, they incorporate a tight fit for a streamlined shape. Racing suits will be unlined, but some training suits may feature a front lining for longer life and extra durability.

Fabric: Durable, performance nylon and a high Lycra® spandex count is the norm for competition suits. These days, most are chlorine resistant and therefore last longer before wearing out.

Shape: All competition suits are one-piece style. Most have moderate leg openings, fairly high necklines, racerbacks or high backs for security.

Speedo
So you want to order a Speedo? This name brand leads the heat at most every swim meet. As you compare your measurements to the chart below, keep in mind that it will be tight and you’ll want to go up at least one full size for training or leisure. If you’re in between sizes, consider going up a size and a half. Buy true size for racing only.

TYR
Worn by Olympic athletes, TYR swims laps around other competitive swimwear brands. As with all competitive swimwear, TYR swimsuits are tight and run small. Compare your measurements to the chart below and add one full size for the most comfort. Buy true size for racing only.

Zoot Sports
Built for competition and triathlon training, suits from Zoot Sports offer performance features in aerodynamic packages with modest coverage. Be sure to go up one size if choosing a Zoot swimsuit. Compare your measurements below. Buy true size for racing only.


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