Swimming Costume Designs: A Guide for Swimmers

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15th November 2023

Swimming is a sport that requires speed, strength and endurance, but also style and comfort. The right swimming costume can make a difference in your performance and confidence in the pool. Whether you are a recreational swimmer, a competitive swimmer or an artistic swimmer, you need to choose a costume that suits your needs and preferences. In this blog post, we will explore some of the factors to consider when choosing a costume, such as:

In this blog post, we will explore some of the factors to consider when choosing a swimming costume, such as:

  • The type of swimming you do
  • The material and fit of the costume
  • The design and colour of the costume

Type of Swimming

The type of swimming you do will influence the kind of swim costume you need. For example, if you are a racing swimmer competting in triathlon for example, you will want a costume that reduces drag and enhances your speed and efficiency in the water. Racing swimsuits are usually made of high-tech fabrics that are lightweight, water-repellent and compressive. They also have a streamlined design that covers more of your body to reduce friction. Racing swimsuits are often expensive and have a limited lifespan, so they are usually reserved for competitions only.

If you are an artistic swimmer, you will want a costume that showcases your creativity and synchronicity with your team. Artistic costumes are usually made of durable fabrics that can withstand chlorine and stretching. They also have vibrant colours and prints that reflect your theme and music. Artistic costumes can be custom-made or bought from specialised stores. They also have to comply with the rules of your swimming federation, such as covering certain parts of your body and not having any accessories or embellishments.

If you are a fitness or leisure swimmer, you will want a costume that is comfortable and practical for your swimming sessions. Fitness and leisure swimsuits are usually made of fabrics that are resistant to chlorine and fading. They also have a simple design that allows you to move freely and comfortably in the water. Fitness and leisure swimsuits come in various styles and sizes to suit your personal taste and body shape.

Material and Fit

The material and fit of your swim costume are important for your comfort and performance in the water. You should look for a material that is:

  • Breathable: It allows air to circulate and prevents overheating.
  • Stretchy: It adapts to your body shape and movements without losing its shape.
  • Quick-drying: It does not retain water and dries fast after use.
  • UV-protective: It blocks harmful rays from the sun and prevents sunburns.

Some of the most common materials used for competitive swimming costumes are:

  • Polyester: It is durable, chlorine-resistant and colourfast. It is also affordable and easy to care for.
  • Nylon: It is lightweight, smooth and elastic. It is also water-repellent and quick-drying.
  • Spandex: It is flexible, compressive and supportive. It is also resistant to abrasion and pilling.
  • Polyurethane: It is thin, slick and hydrophobic. It is also very expensive and delicate.

The fit of your swim costume should be snug but not too tight or too loose. You should be able to move freely without feeling restricted or uncomfortable. You should also avoid any gaps, wrinkles or bulges that can create drag or chafing. You can check the fit of your swim costume by trying it on dry and wet, as some fabrics may shrink or expand when wet.

Design and Colour

The design and colour of your swim costume are a matter of personal preference, but they can also affect your performance and mood in the water. You should look for a design that:

  • Flatters your body shape: It accentuates your best features and hides any flaws.
  • Matches your personality: It reflects your style, mood and attitude.
  • Suits your purpose: It meets your goals, expectations and requirements.


Some of the most common designs for swim costumes are:

  • One-piece: It covers your torso from shoulders to hips. It offers more coverage, support and security than other designs.
  • Two-piece: It consists of a separate top and bottom. It offers more flexibility, comfort and customisation than other designs.
  • Knee-suit: It covers your torso from shoulders to knees. It offers more compression, speed and warmth than other designs.
  • Jammers: They are tight-fitting shorts that cover your hips to knees. They offer more drag reduction, muscle support and mobility than other designs.
  • Briefs: They are tight-fitting underwear that cover your hips to groin. They offer more freedom, comfort and ventilation than other designs.

Further considerations for women when choosing a swimsuit is body shape. Everybody has a different body "shape". Consider the following tips when buying swimwear to eliminate fit problems or discomfort issues:

Women with long or short torsos may want to consider swimwear with adjustable straps. Adjustable straps allow the suit to be adjusted to suit your body shape. An open back design, will allow the fabric to stretch more for women with a long torso.

If you find that the swimsuit straps are digging into your shoulders consider a swimsuit with wide straps. Straps which are 2cm to 3cm wide usually help eliminate this problem, but also consider adjustable straps for those with longer torsos to eliminate the digging in affect.


The colour of your swim costume can also have an impact on your performance and mood in the water. You should look for a colour that:

  • Enhances your visibility: It makes you stand out from the crowd and attracts attention.
  • Boosts your confidence: It makes you feel good about yourself and motivates you to swim better.
  • Complements your skin tone: It matches or contrasts with your natural complexion.

Some of the most popular colours for competitive swim costumes are: 

  • Black: It is classic, elegant and slimming. It also absorbs heat and reduces glare.
  • Blue: It is cool, calm and soothing. It also blends with the water and creates a sense of harmony.
  • Red: It is bold, energetic and passionate. It also stimulates blood flow and increases alertness.
  • Green: It is fresh, natural and relaxing. It also symbolises growth, health and balance.
  • Yellow: It is bright, cheerful and optimistic. It also enhances mood, memory and concentration.


Explore our collection of Tenola swim costumes, where we are dedicated to crafting performance triathlon apparel at budget-friendly prices. Our swim costumes boast the same cutting-edge fabrics as our renowned tri suits. Take a look at our swimwear collection here >

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