Choosing The Right Swimsuit – Do’s & Dont’s

Goodbye Summer – Hello Swimwear

As summer fades into fall, many swimmers begin their competitive seasons. Once swim practice schedules are posted, inventory your swim gear to make sure you’re essential equipment is intact: swim goggles, a kickboard, a pull buoy, and any other gear you’ll need to up your game.

Lastly, and perhaps most importantly, don’t forget to carefully analyze your swimsuit situation.

First, A Reality Check

The suit worn for summer fun doesn’t always fit your needs when you resume competitive training or fitness swimming. In other words, suits that look cool on the beach aren’t always cool for swim workouts.

  • Guys: Time for the boardshorts to go back in the drawer.
  • Gals: The beach bikini won’t last 50 meters in the pool – hang it up.

Don’t Get Caught Without The Right Swimsuit

Despite the huge variety of swimsuit styles and swimwear fabrics on the market, swimmers of all dimensions can purchase appropriate fitness and competitive swimwear that is durable, supportive, and comfortable.

Keep these Do’s & Don’ts in mind when shopping for a suit – or when you’re packing a suit for your next pool session.

The Do’s and Don’ts of Swimsuit Selection


  • Don’t wear suits with zippers.
    • Zippers cause scratches to yourself and anyone who comes in contact with you.
    • Although zippers may make it easy to don and doff swimwear, they’re unsuitable for the pool and often cause unwanted wardrobe malfunctions.
  • Don’t wear suits with pockets. Pockets, especially slit pockets that lack closures, tend to billow out and fill with water, causing unwanted drag.
  • Don’t buy or wear over-sized suits.
    • Modesty may cause swimmers to choose loose fitting swimwear. This strategy doesn’t work. Loose suits will only increase in size and trash attempts at modesty.
    • Besides being uncomfortable and unsupportive, ill-sized suits tend to wear out sooner than properly sized apparel.
  • Don’t wear your vacation suit.
    • Exposure to sun, chlorinated pool water, and extreme ranges of athletic motion quickly damage fashion suits that are better suited for pool parties and other more leisurely activities.
    • These expensive fashion suits often features metal clasps, rhinestones, sequins, and other decorative appointments that quickly find their way to the bottom of the pool. Suits of this nature are best left behind and reserved for the beach.
  • Don’t wear triathlon gear to swim practice.
    • Pads in multisport apparel absorb water, causing chafing and unwanted drag in sensitive areas.
    • Even if you don’t mind swimming tri gear, keep in mind that this expensive apparel isn’t designed for extended pool use, and is meant for shorter swims in open water (and frequently worn under a wetsuit). Save tri gear for multisport training.


  • Do choose swimwear that offers a close, supportive fit that covers your body appropriately.
    • Suits that leaves you overexposed will not be comfortable or practical and often makes fellow swimmers uncomfortable.
    • Suits featuring ornamental holes or accents are undesirable and are a poor option for athletes. Same thing goes for rips & tears – repair or replace!
  • Wear opaque suits that will not become translucent when set. 
    • Purchase swimsuits made from darker color swimwear fabric – avoid white and tan colors.
    • Suits with single or double-layer linings provide swimmers with more wear time before a suit becomes unacceptable to wear in public.
    • Can’t bear to part with your see-through suit? Add layers strategically for drag and coverage.

What tricks have you learned for picking the right swimsuit?

About Robin Kiefer

Robin Kiefer is the Grandson of Adolph Kiefer, the Founder of Kiefer Swim Products. Today Kiefer Swim Products is a multifaceted company focused on serving the aquatic industry, lifeguards, and swimmers.

3 Comments on “Choosing The Right Swimsuit – Do’s & Dont’s”

  1. I loved that you mentioned summer fun swimwear will not be the right fit for competitive training. My husband is thinking about swimming as his new hobby, and we are looking for advice to help him find the right gear. I will let him know about your recommendations to help him get the best gear for competitive training.

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