22nd May 2017. Diving into the water for a swim is both an easy option for developing physical fitness and an excellent way to have fun. A significant advantage to swimming over some other forms of exercise is the low entry cost: you don't need any special equipment to start immediately. Some accessories, like goggles, do become essential as you go deeper into your efforts. However, at its most basic level, all you need to begin is a good swimsuit. For women, though, a trip to shop for swimwear can turn into an afternoon of frustration too often. With so many choices out there, how can you tell which is the right one for you? There are a few important steps to consider taking when you look for new swimwear. Whether you're seeking a modestly cut swimsuit for use at your local public pool or something stylish for a vacation, there's plenty of information to think about before you make a purchase. Let's look at some of the specifics and walk you through developing a plan to find the swimwear with the right fit and function for your swimming activities. We should begin by thinking about where and when you'll want to swim in the first place.

Where will you use the swimwear?

Different types of swimwear are appropriate for different situations. As a very basic example, you wouldn't want to wear a fashionable bikini when you get into the water to swim laps for fitness. Not only will you find it uncomfortable, but it won't provide you with any additional help in the water. On the other hand, a swimsuit designed with lap swimming in mind can help you gain speed and move more efficiently through the water. Others, like whole body suits, are best used in race situations when reducing friction is the most important consideration. Obviously, where and how you plan to swim matters. Before you start your shopping trip, sit down and think about your swimming goals. Are you going on holiday? You might want only to seek out the most comfortable swimwear that aligns with your personal style. If you're already a fitness swimmer, it can be a good idea to pack something in which you can practice your backstroke. If you're instead planning to begin an intensive training regimen in the pool, just one suit won't be enough. You'll need to plan to purchase two or more so you can always have a fresh option. More than one swimsuit also provides the chance to experiment with different features ? but we'll discuss those in more detail shortly. One important thing to keep in mind: swimsuits destined for the beach are very distinct from those suitable for pool usage. Beach swimwear is excellent for quick dips in the ocean, tanning, and looking good ? but it won't earn you any points in the pool.

The different swimwear styles out there

We just briefly touched on the various types of swimwear for women you'll encounter, but let's now take a closer look at each style. By looking at the pros and cons of each type, you can narrow down a wide field of choices to something more manageable. Generally speaking, ladies will find there are three to four main type types of swimwear available. How to Choose Swimwear for Women StylesFirst up: the traditional one-piece swimsuit. These have been making a comeback in fashion lately, showcasing a wide variety of prints and patterns. For those with a sense of style, one-pieces offer a good mixture of form and function. They help reduce friction within the water, but they also allow you to maintain good freedom of motion with your arms and legs. For many swimmers, this is the ideal suit to use in all kinds of situations. Next, there are of course the ubiquitous two-piece swimsuits. Not all these are bikinis like you've come to know them. Some feature a less revealing cut and thus can be snugness without as much covering as a one-piece. However, many two-piece suits feature a design that's more about the visual effect than swimming efficiency. These are better for wading or, as mention, spending time on holiday. Any fast swimming will see a struggle to keep them on your body. Finally, there is swimwear we call the "legsuit," which you may also know as a bodysuit. If you've ever watched Olympic swimming, then you've seen these before ? competitors wear them. While they can give you a definitive speed advantage in the water, they cost more and tend to be specialised. It's not something you can easily pick up and buy off the rack. When you get serious about swimming, or you want to compete, though, this is the best option out there. Besides these basic types, though, what are some specific things you should look for in swimwear?

Functionality and features to look for in women's swimwear

One of the most important features to examine when buying women's swimwear is the type of fabric used. The wrong type of material could lead to a reduced swimming experience and a garment that you struggle to keep in good shape. For example, many bikinis use materials that can quickly degrade with repeated exposure to chlorinated pool water. These fabrics can quickly begin to fray, too. Not only does this look unsightly, but it makes the swimwear less effective in the water. Nylon and other similar synthetic fibres should be what you want. Nylon especially is ideal in swimwear due to its ability to dry rapidly and to retain its original shape even after stretching. A stretched-out swimsuit won't fit you well and can fill with pouches of air or water as you swim. That slows you down and creates discomfort. Instead, look for elastic and form-fitting swimsuits that can keep you gliding through the pool session after session. As you shop, you may also notice some swimwear that advertises other features, like anti-microbial coatings. These are helpful for keeping your suits clean and free from bacterial growth. While regular washing helps, this coating will provide added protection during the time the fabric is close to your skin. Other swimsuits might advertise the ability to swim faster, or moisture-wicking capabilities. Examine labels carefully and do some online research to see which claims are reliable.

Building up a swimwear wardrobe

To recap: picking out swimwear involves knowing where you'll swim, what type of swimming it will be, how often, and what you need the swimwear to do for you. It might seem like a large number of factors, but the "dos and don'ts" are actually easy to follow. What's important, as we've already mentioned, is that you avoid relying on a single swimsuit. Not only will it wear out faster, but it could mean trying to squeeze back into a wet suit before it's fully dry. More two-piece suits today feature cuts with fitness swimming in mind. If you enjoy the feeling of your holiday swimwear, these can be worth an investigation. However, it is also a good idea to keep at least one one-piece suit in your closet. After all, the water isn't always going to be warm. Sometimes you'll prefer the added warmth and coverage the one-piece can provide. If you intend to swim in cold water outdoors, though, the legsuit might be the best option. You won't find the perfect suit just by reading about them. Shopping and trying them on in person is the best way to find your gear. While it's not always easy to know how it will feel in the water, look for visually appealing swimwear that fits well when dry. Avoid suits that fit too tightly, though, as they can become uncomfortable once wet.

Find the ideal swimwear and head to the pool

While it can seem like a lot to think about, finding the right women's swimwear doesn't have to be a difficult task. Just remember to start by asking yourself where and when you want to swim. After that, it's all about trying suits on and looking for the most comfortable fit. If you're entering races, though, a trip to your local athletics store and a chat with a professional salesperson could do you good as well. Don't be afraid to rely on the experience of others ? ask around and see what swimwear your friends enjoy, too. With that, you should be ready to make a splash during your next trip to the pool.