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How to Choose a Women's Practice Suit


Women's practice swimsuits need to be fast and durable enough to handle intense swim practices, but flattering and fun enough to wear to the pool. Because practice suits are used for everything from lap swimming, to diving, to water aerobics, to aqua jogging, most practice suits aim to blend high-end performance technology with style. From traditional, thick strapped suits to tiny workout bikinis, your options are nearly endless. This guide explains how to find a practice suit that best meets all your needs.

Traditional Workout Suit

Traditional workout suits are one-piece suits with thick straps and fairly modest back and leg cuts. They are made of stretchy, comfortable fabric. Traditional workout suits are popular among older women, indoor swimmers, and open water swimmers because of their comfortable fit. Common features of traditional workout suits:

  • The thick straps and coverage will provide more support than minimalist cuts, cutout backs, or two-pieces.
  • Suits come in LYCRA® fabric (forgiving and comfortable) and polyester (durable and colorfast).
  • Traditional workout suits are extremely versatile and can be used during lap swimming, open water swimming, swim racing, diving, aqua jogging, and water aerobics.
  • Because of the thick straps, lower-cut legs, and less-revealing back style of this suit style, outdoor use will result in more noticeable tan lines.

Minimalist Workout Suit

A favorite style of young or outdoor swimmers, minimalist workout suits feature a sleeker, more revealing silhouette. With skinny straps, high-cut legs, and cut-out backs, minimalist suits lead to more exposed skin and therefore fewer tan lines. Because the open style of these suits creates drag, they are not used in competition. Many swimmers buy a size smaller than they normally would to ensure a tight fit. Features of minimalist workout suits include:

  • Minimalist workout suits provide less support and are more revealing than a traditional lap swimming suit.
  • Minimalist workout suits can come in LYCRA™ fabric (forgiving and stretchier), but are more commonly made with polyester (durable and colorfast).
  • Minimalist suits are used mainly by swimmers who swim outdoors, as skinny straps and cut-out backs result in smaller tan lines.
  • These suits come in a wide variety of back styles, from minimalist to traditional keyhole backs.
  • Minimalist suits often come in funkier, brighter colors and patterns than other suit styles.
  • This style of suit is popular as a training suit with swimmers who don't mind a revealing cut.
  • Minimalist suits are typically used during lap swimming, open water swimming, and diving.

Workout Bikini

For the woman who truly isn't afraid to bare it all — and she who wants to avoid tan lines at all costs — there are many different styles of workout bikinis. Features of workout bikinis:

  • Lap swimmers should be sure to get bikini bottoms that have a drawstring waistband. This will help the bottoms stay on during push-offs and dives.
  • Bikini top options range from sports bra-like to triangle top, but all are designed to be hydrodynamic and stay on throughout a workout.
  • Most workout bikinis are designed to create minimal tan lines, but there are styles with thicker straps, more support, and greater overage to accommodate different body types and preferences.
  • Workout bikinis are typically used during lap swimming and aqua jogging.

You've Got Options

Women's practice suits come in a wide variety of colors, graphics, and patterns. Now more than ever it is possible to find attractive and durable practice swimsuits at affordable prices. Always remember to consider your own body type, how much money you want to spend, and the type of activity you'll be doing when choosing a practice swimsuit.

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Brittney
2 months ago.
I am a college swimmer. My body is kind of disproportionate: my bra size is 32DD but the rest of me can fit in a size 28. If I order my competition suit for my bust, then it hangs off the rest of me, but if I wear a 28, i have to wear a bikini top underneath. This got me DQ'd at my last meet, and I would very much like to not flash people during my race. My polo suitwworked, but it does not allow the freedom of movement I need for racing. Do you have any suggestions?
Swimoutlet.com
2 months ago.
Hi Brittney,

Have you tried going with a size 30? You may also want to go with a suit that has a higher neck. Below are a couple links to those suits. I hope you find something that works for you. Let us know if you have any other questions. Have a great day!

http://www.swimoutlet.com/product_p/21770.htm?color=10970

http://www.swimoutlet.com/product_p/8374.htm

http://www.swimoutlet.com/product_p/34931.htm
Melanie-Ann
2 months ago.
I had to quit my local US Masters team due to an injury. I had my ACL reconstructed and was out of work (I am an EMT) and unable to excercise for several months. Needless to say, I have gained quite a bit of weight from being inactive. I intend to go back. But, I am having trouble finding a suit in my new size (approx 42). What type competition suit would be best for me? Before my injury, I had planned to compete in Auburn with a teammate. This search has been very depressing especially because I was a swimmer in college! Thanks in advance for your help.
Swimoutlet.com
2 months ago.
Hi Melanie-Ann

Below is a link to some competition suits that we have in a size 42. I hope you find something that you like. Let us know if you have any other questions. Have a wonderful day!

http://www.swimoutlet.com/Womens_Competition_Swimwear_s/220.htm
Amber
3 months ago.
I'm looking for a suit that has the most bust support. I am a 34H after having my son and I my usual speedo just squishes my chest, and does nothing for support.
Amber
3 months ago.
I'm looking for a suit that has the most support in the bust. I'm extremely busy (34H) and since having my son, the regular speedo suits dont seem to give me any support, they just squish.

Any suggestions?
Swimoutlet.com
2 months ago.
Hi Amber,

Have you tried looking in our D-Cup and Up section? The link is below. I would also recommend getting a suit that has soft cup bra as that would provide the most support. I hope this information is helpful and that you find something that you like. Let us know if you have any other questions. Have a wonderful day!

http://www.swimoutlet.com/Large_Bust_Swimwear_s/600.htm
Linda
5 months ago.
Women's Swimwear one piece suits. Are there brands that run longer than others? I see the Sporti tends to run small and short. Would like to stay in the Women's Swimwear category, rather than the limited conservative group.
Marshniel
5 months ago.
Hi Linda,

Each brand will have a slightly different fit. Speedo and Sporti tend to run about the same. Were you looking for a suit that is long? We do have a section for long torso suits:

http://www.swimoutlet.com/Long_Torso_Swimwear_s/569.htm

You may also want to go with a suit that is made out of Nylon/Lyca vs a polyester suit for the stretch. I hope this information is helpful.
ryan
5 months ago.
am look for 1piece bathingsuit zip up one cant wait to wear it want it bad
SwimOutlet.com
5 months ago.
Hi Ryan,

Here is a link to a couple front zip bathing suits we currently have:

http://www.swimoutlet.com/product_p/44573.htm?color=210
laura
7 months ago.
ok so I am confused . I would like to order the Waterpro Jasmine swim suit however the size that I measure out to be is way larger than I normally take in a swim suit. I wear a 38DD bra and size 12/14 pants. when I measured my bust it measures 47". I know in a regular sized swim suit I would be drowning in a size 24 or 26. I want to get the right size ... please help
Sheila
7 months ago.
I have the same exact question. Your sizing chart has me about 8 sizes bigger than my dress size.
SwimOutlet.com
7 months ago.
Hi Sheila,

I would suggest going off your actual measurements rather than the dress size because the measurements are more accurate. I hope this helps and remember that you can always return it if the size is not right as long as it hasn't been used in the water. Have a wonderful day!
Carol
7 months ago.
I own several suits size 14. I ordered a 16 and it looks like it would fit a ten year old weighing 80 lbs. I thought it was a children's size 16, but reading all these comments, I know their sizing is way off. This has to be sent back and I have no idea what size to order?????
SwimOutlet.com
7 months ago.
Hi Carol,

Do you know your actual bust measurement? I would suggest going off that instead of your dress size because measurements are more accurate. Let us know if you have any further questions or concerns. Have a wonderful day!
SwimOutlet.com
7 months ago.
Hi Laura,

Since your bust measurement is 47" I would suggest going with the size 26 based off the size chart which was given to us by Waterpro. You can always return it if it doesn't fit as long as it hasn't been used in the water. Let us know if you have any further questions. Have a wonderful day!
Theresa
5 months ago.
At least you could find the sizing page. I clicked to "find your size" and got a page of "how to tell" everything except your size. But I do have other swimming websites recommended by the YMCA, so I guess I will check them out.
Anne
7 months ago.
I'm brand new to swimming, I'm size 22W, senior citizen, and short with belly fat (ecch!). Want to swim laps..Suit suggestions for plus-size, out of shape, but trying!
SwimOutlet.com
7 months ago.
Hi Anne,

Welcome to the world of swimming! You will definitely enjoy it! Below is a link to our plus size suits that we have in 22W:

http://www.swimoutlet.com/Plus_Size_Swimwear_s/350.htm#redirect=false&cat=350&page=1&sortby=Newest&allsize=22w&viewall=no

I hope this helps! Have a wonderful day and happy swimming!
dab
8 months ago.
I have a longer torso and usually wear a dress size 8. I tried size 34 and 36 (Speedo, Nike, and TYR) but they are tight on the straps at the shoulders. Is there a suit that's made for longer torsos? Thanks!
Swimoutlet.com
8 months ago.
Hi Dab,

You can find our section for long torso suits by the link below:

http://www.swimoutlet.com/Long_Torso_Swimwear_s/569.htm

Hope you find one that you like. Let us know if you have any questions. Have a great day!
em
8 months ago.
I am short (5'1") with a very short torso and about a size 4 pr 6 in regular clothes. My problem with swim suits in the straps are generally too long. For recreation, I can buy suits with adjustable straps, but I don't see that option in suits designed for swimming laps. Can you recommend some suits for short-torsoed women? Thanks.
SwimOutlet.com
8 months ago.
Hi Em,

I know it can be hard to find suits. Im about 5'2. I found a couple practice suits that do have adjustable straps. The link is below:

http://www.swimoutlet.com/SearchResults.asp?Search=adjustable straps &checkRealSearchInput=Y#redirect=false&cat=220&page=1&search=adjustable straps&gender=female&sortby=Popularity&viewall=no

Have you tried like a 2 piece or tankini set? That may help as well. We have the Sporti Racerback Solid Tankini Top:

http://www.swimoutlet.com/product_p/40882.htm

And our section for 2 pieces can be found here:

http://www.swimoutlet.com/Two_Piece_s/549.htm

I hope you are able to find something that fits you well! Let us know if you have any questions. Have a wonderful day!
Debbie
8 months ago.
I love to swim laps and I am able to do flip turns. My problem is although my current suit is designed for such swimming, I seem to get an air bubble in the back of the suit upon doing flip turns. I tried a smaller size- but then it is very tight and uncomfortable. Any suggestions?
SwimOutlet.com
8 months ago.
Hi Debbie,

Which suit do you currently have? You may want to try going with a different brand since not all brands have the exact same fit in the same size. If you want to stick to the same brand, try a different style of suit. Or you may want to try a Nylon/Lycra suit in a smaller size if you currently wear a polyester suit. Nylon/Lycra suits tend to be stretchy and may work. It can be hard finding a suit that's perfect since not everyone's body is shaped the same. But I hope some of these tips help you. Let us know if you need any additional help. Have a great day!
DU
8 months ago.
Hi,
I have never worn a swim wear before, but I have to know for my baby girl. I am a 32D and petite size. I am a bit reserved about swim wears.. Will Unitard be a good choice for me? I dont want the bikini/2 piece styles.
If I buy something and dont like it can I return/exchange? What size should I buy?
Any advise is appreciated.
Thanks
DU
SwimOutlet
8 months ago.
Hi there,

Welcome to the world of swimsuits! Unitards provide the most coverage. You may also find some conservative suits in our fitness section as well. Below is a link to our fitness section.

http://www.swimoutlet.com/Womens_Fitness_Swimwear_s/270.htm

Sizing for fitness suits normally go by the womens dress size. We also have size charts found at the bottom of any page that can also help. You can definitely return your suit as long as it has not been used. For more about returns please use this link:

http://www.swimoutlet.com/help/

I hope all this information is helpful. Please feel free to contact us if you still need help picking out a suit. Have a wonderful day!
Elisabeth
8 months ago.
I've been wearing Speedo endurance suits forever. I love the fit and how long they last. I need to buy a new suit though and was curious how speedo compared to other polyester suits, such as NIke, Sporti, Dolphin etc. Since I plan to buy online, I would like to know whether the cuts would be similar and where they differ before I buy. Any imput?
SwimOutlet
8 months ago.
Hi Elisabeth,

The Speedo Endurance suits are great! The cuts will vary depending on the brand. Customer reviews located at the bottom of each product page can help. The fit will also differ depending on the brand. I have heard that Dolfin runs about the same as Speedo, but the polyester styles will run tighter. Nike tends to run a bit bigger than Speedo. I hope this information helps. Let us know if you have any questions. And you can always return suits as long as they have not been used if you do not like the fit. Have a great day!
Kris
9 months ago.
My daughter swims four days a week on a team and,because she is quite busty, needs a suit that is higher cut in the front. She wears technical suits for meets and they fit great but are too expensive and too revealing for practice. All other competition suits are cut low enough to allow water to rush down the front of the suit, not conducive to fast swimming! I have had to buy her more of a water fitness-type suit with a shelf bra which works but is too different for her to feel happy in. Any suggestions, please?
SwimOutlet.com
8 months ago.
Hi Kris,

I would suggest the fitness suits, but since shes not too happy with that have you tried a water polo suit? Its cut higher in the front and is more like a competition suit. Below is a link to our water polo suits. I hope this works out for her.

http://www.swimoutlet.com/Women_s_Water_Polo_Suits_s/243.htm

Have a wonderful day!
Ruth
9 months ago.
I have tried many different types of swimsuits. I swim 1-2 miles 4-5 times per week. Yet I stiill struggle with belly fat and Fat" back. Suits seems to be made for the ideal figure, not us just normal folks. I should mention I am a 34 A so I can't work with inserted cups as they sag and look just stupid. Can you tell me the best suits to disguise these problem areas?
.
SwimOutlet
9 months ago.
Hi Ruth,

I am sorry to hear that you are having an issue trying to find a suit. Have you tried Nylon/Lycra suits? They tend to have more stretch than a polyester suit. You probably would also want to go with a print design which helps camouflage any problem areas. I also found the Speedo Endurance Shirred Tank One Piece which has a shirred front to hide the tummy a bit. Below is the link to that suit:

http://www.swimoutlet.com/product_p/22409.htm?color=18011

I hope this helps! Have a great day!
Candice
10 months ago.
I would like to order a bathsuit from you guys via a personnel shopper at myus com and I need size info for a 42/ 44 french equivalent with a bust of 36DD IN US SIZE. I'm interested in any rod bettie fashion suit or other brand which might suit me in one pieces! THANKS
Candice
Kelly rogan
11 months ago.
I was wondering how the sizes work. My daughter is a size 38 in her suits, would this be the same size for women or would she need a smaller woman size suit.
SwimOutlet
11 months ago.
Hi Kelly,

In order to determine the proper fit please take the actual bust, waist, and hip measurements and then compare them to our sizing charts. Sizing charts can be found at the very bottom of any page you are on. In general, Women's Competition suit sizing is comparable to the actual bust measurement in inches. For example, a bust circumference of 36" would likely be a suit size 36. Please be sure to measure around the fullest part of your bust rather than using your bra band size. Competition suits are designed to fit snug, you may wish to size up depending on the fit you desire. For reference, here is the URL to our Sizing Charts:

http://www.swimoutlet.com/sizing/default.asp

I hope this information is helpful to you. Have a wonderful day!
mary
1 year ago.
what is the US equivalent to Nike Swim Womens sz 40? - 8,10,12?
SwimOutlet.com
12 months ago.
Hey Mary -

Please refer to our Nike Swim size chart here: http://www.swimoutlet.com/size-charts/Nike-Swim/Womens_Fashion_Swimwear_s_379

We hope this helps!

- SwimOutlet.com
Megan
1 year ago.
I swim on a team for two hours most days a week and pretty much year round. I am looking for suits that would be very durable/ wouldn't stretch out too much and would have fun colors/ designs. Any recommendation of brands?
SwimOutlet.com
12 months ago.
Hey Megan -

I would suggest looking for a suit that is made mostly of polyester, which is durable and maintains it's shape. Here is a link to our women's suits, you can look through to find your favorite color/design!

http://www.swimoutlet.com/Womens_Competition_Swimwear_s/220.htm

Hope this helps!
- SwimOutlet.com
Brittany
1 year ago.
I was wearing a kids 30 so what size would i be in womens?
SwimOutlet.com
1 year ago.
Hey Brittany -

I'm not sure what you mean by you are are wearing a kids 30, are you an adult looking for an adult sized suit or are you looking for another kids suit?

You can review our guide to Women's suits here: http://www.swimoutlet.com/guides/understanding-women_s-swimwear

Please let us know.

Thanks,
SwimOutlet.com
Connie Esten
1 year ago.
I am having a hard time finding a suit for a very long torso. My torso measurement is 74 inches. and I wear a 24w. I have one suit by Longitude and it is better than most. I usually have to by a tankini but then the top is almost midrift. Help
SwimOutlet
1 year ago.
Hey Connie -

I would suggest playing with the suit size. I am 5'11'' and 27 waist and wear a 32-34 suit size. We also have a section specific for finding a suit for a long torso, you can find it here: http://www.swimoutlet.com/SearchResults.asp?Search=long torso&checkRealSearchInput=Y

Hope this helps!

- SwimOutlet.com
Holly
1 year ago.
I am looking for a polyester tank swimsuit in a size 16 with a short torso (my torso measurement is only 61"). Do you carry women's swimsuits that are petite in torso length?
SwimOutlet.com
1 year ago.
Holly -

Great question! At the moment we don't have any fitness suits in specifically petite lengths. I would suggest browsing our selection and using the size charts and reviews to get a sense of whether or not a suit runs short or long in the torso. Here's a link to our polyester fitness suits: http://www.swimoutlet.com/Polyester_Fitness_Swimwear_s/570.htm

- SwimOutlet.com
Glenn Ingouf
1 year ago.
I'm looking for chlorine resistant suit.
SwimOutlet.com
1 year ago.
Hi Glenn! I would recommend a swimsuit made out of polyester. Suits made of 100% polyester are more chlorine resistant and long-lasting.
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