From an early age I always loved being in and around the water. A lot has changed since, yet I still can’t seem to pull myself away from it.
When I transitioned to live as female in 2015 one of the first things I knew I needed was to continue swimming socially. All I wanted to find was some reliable and comfortable swimwear to reflect my decision. I was not prepared for how hard this task could be, and certainly not for the five years it took me.
As a woman I’ve tried on over 100 pieces of swimwear including Bikinis, Tankinis, Racing Suits, competition and leisure swimsuits. I’ve sampled different brands, styles, leg cuts, swimbacks…
What I’ve learned is that picking an ideal piece of swimwearis tricky for many women so below is advice I follow when I decide I need (or want) a new piece.
When it comes to choosing swimwear I first think about where I am going to wear it. Am I heading for a lake, competition pool, waterpark or even a spa resort?
I consider my range of movement and the support it provides, ease of taking on and off, colours and patterns. Of course price plays a part too!
Talking style, as a general preference, I tend to focus on darker colours or dazzling patterns for swimwear, especially when looking for briefs of a bikini. This gives me the confidence I like to have while being in and around the water and reduces any shadows that could appear when the garment becomes wet.
It is important to consider the leg cut of each suit when purchasing as this can affect how comfortable each piece is depending where you are swimming. I’ve found the more time I’ll spend swimming in the water horizontally the higher I’d like the cut.
My preference for the top half of any suit or bikini top haven’t changed much over the years. I love diving into the water so all my suits need to have a minimum level of support around the chest area unless I’m shopping for resort wear only.
One constant in life is that bodies grow and change shape, especially during periods of transition. It is good to get in the habit of taking accurate measurements of hips, waist and chest before ordering. That said, I’ve found the waist measurement will almost always be unnecessary and unhelpful as a guide unless it is much larger than your hip measurement.
A good suit just fits – it should be tight to your skin when dry but not restrict movement or dig in at the shoulders or hips. Once wet, most swimwear will loosen up so keep this in mind if you feel you are between two sizes.
Whether shopping in store or ordering online I recommend you try on a variety of different suits that you like the look of. This has not only helped me understand the sizing of the brand but also has brought about pleasant surprises seeing how my body and style preferences have changed since my last purchase of swimwear. If you’re shopping with Speedo.com you can take advantage of the 60 day free returns if something isn’t quite right for you*.