Swimwear guide

Swimwear guide

Do you love the water or are you looking to make time in your schedule for a water sport? Great choice! Not only does swimming (or any water sport) tone your muscles, improve your core strength while being gentle on your joints, it also requires very little to get equipped. All you really need when you take up swimming is a bathing suit. As for accessories, swimming goggles and a bathing cap may also be required.    

But, taking up a water sport does not mean that you must settle for a drab bathing suit. Oh no, definitely not! Swimsuits are available in a variety of beautiful designs and manufactured with state-of-the art technology.

Here’s what you need to know to make an informed choice.

What you need to consider:

Before purchasing a swimsuit, it’s important to factor in the following:  

With these things in mind, it'll be easier for you to decide which swimsuit is best for your needs.


Whether it’s an X, U, Y, O, V or even an H-style swimsuit, there’s no shortage of options when it comes to the different styles of women’s swimsuits. One is not necessarily better than the other but what it boils down to is you making a choice based on your specific needs, and more importantly, on your own preferences.

Here are some highlights you can expect from each style:

O : Lower water resistance provides improved performance

: Offers good support for the occasional swimmer

: Works very well with all different body shapes

U : Easier to put on

H : Provides good support

V : High back provides good support

Aqua fitness swimwear not only includes the styles and highlights listed above, it is also lined and usually includes the following features:  

This type of swimsuit maximizes the ease and freedom of movement in the water. Gabar and Tyr are two well-known aqua fitness swimwear manufacturers with many swimsuit styles.

Men can choose from different styles such as trunks or boxers for the occasional swimmer or regular or long swimming jammers for competitive swimming.

Different technologies

Who would have guessed that a simple piece of fabric would have so much to live up to? It’s because all competitive swimwear (or for watersport activities) is regulated by FINA. Swimsuits must comply with numerous regulations and at the same time, optimize performance.

From a technology standpoint, there are requirements relating to the compression of the body for buoyancy, welded seams and chlorine and UV-resistant fabric.

Here are other components of this technology:

Most of these features come from unique manufacturing processes using Lycra (Spandex) for comfort and polyester for chlorine resistance. However, if you swim competitively, it’s better to get a swimsuit with a greater percentage of polyester (closer to 100%) rather than Lycra.

Many manufacturers such as ARENA, an Italian product, Speedo, or TYR, a company which makes its swimsuits in Canada, have used proprietary processes to develop a blend of the two materials to ensure their training swimsuits deliver on comfort and durability. New players on the scene such as NIKE and ADIDAS have become very popular in the swimsuit market.

Ecological footprint

Some manufacturers such as Speedo create their swimsuit collections from recycled materials. Their H20 Active swimwear line is produced with material made from 78% recycled fishing nets. There’s also the QS360 line, a new division of the Quebec-owned company Quintsoul, which produces polyester swimsuits made of plastic bottles retrieved from the ocean.

Olympic flair

Every year several swimsuit designs, each one more beautiful than the other, are showcased in the retail world. These designs are all about reflecting the season's hottest trends. For example, some swimsuit designs sport an Olympic look. With the upcoming Tokyo Olympics, we’re seeing lots of swimsuits with cherry blossoms, geometric patterns and pandas.  

But in the end, you need to choose a swimsuit that meets your needs. Be sure to check out the web sites for the different name brands available to learn more about their processes or you can even ask an associate for further guidance when you go in store.  Whichever brand you choose, what’s important is that you get the best swimsuit for your needs.