how should a one piece swimsuit in the right size fit me

How Should A One-Piece Swimsuit Fit

Let’s explore the right fit of one-piece swimsuits and what we can do to avoid getting ill-fitted ones!

How should a one-piece swimsuit fit?

what a perfectly fit one piece swimsuit feels like

Generally, your one-piece swimsuit should have a “nice tight” fit, it should feel secure and snug but not pinched or poked by straps or seams.

Additionally, some areas, such as the chest, should get enough support and coverage while still allowing for comfortable breathing.

Lifestyle fit vs athletic fit

If you are a pro athlete, your primary concern should be your ability to swim fast. Milliseconds can make a difference in how fast you move, so you have to minimize hindrances. For the sleekest fit, competitive swimsuits are tighter than regular ones. 

Lifestyle swimsuits are for wear in and out of the water. You wear them for sunbathing, lounging, swimming, and more. Thus, their design isn’t focused on performance. Instead, they emphasize body flattering, comfort, and style. 

How tight or loose should it be?

should i go for a tight fit or a relaxed fit

Here are some fitting cues to look out for when shopping for your one-piece swimsuit:

A relaxed fit

Your swimsuit should fit smoothly against your body. Ideally, no matter your shape, the swimsuit should hug your curves smoothly, with no bagginess in the breast area or the bottom. Also, there should be no bunching-up of the fabric. 

Remember, your swimsuit becomes stretchy due to water weight. So, the right fit means there won’t be a bagginess distraction when you get wet.

A tight fit

A one-piece swimsuit with actual compression, including the “zones,” such as the tummy, offers compression all over. But again, it shouldn’t hurt or be uncomfortable. 

Some swimsuits have compression fabrics, so ensure it has a nice “held in” feeling. You can liken the sensation to how you feel when you get a car seat belt. It should be a nice tight that feels secure but shouldn’t hurt or dig. 

How to avoid getting a one-piece swimsuit with the wrong fit

Justine Leconte has a wonderful video on choosing swimsuits for various body types

Sometimes you might pick the wrong swimsuit size because of different factors like the body shape, fabrics, top-bottom sizes, etc. Here are two key indicators that a swimsuit isn’t the right fit:

Your swimsuit shouldn’t leave marks on your skin

If your one-piece swimsuit leaves painful indentations or marks on your skin, that’s a sign that you have the wrong size. A “nice tight” shouldn’t hurt.

Size up instead!

The swimsuit shouldn’t be difficult to put on or get off

Like underwear and leggings, a tight swimsuit requires a little wiggling to get on and off quickly. Granted, getting out of a wet swimsuit is more challenging too. However, putting on or taking off your swimsuit should result in a full-on contortion that may lead to you injuring yourself. 

If your one-piece swimsuit is a perfect fit, it should go on and come off with a reasonable amount of ease.

Always measure yourself

If you don’t want to get it wrong with your swimsuit size, you must take measurements and know the size of the suit you need. Also, know the designs that complement your shape and offer comfort and a great fit. 

Double-check the swimsuit’s listed measurements

how bikini brands lists swimwear measurements
Usually brands will tell you whether their swimsuit runs true to sizees, the measurements of the model, and the size she’s wearing in the product photos.

Double-check the measurements to pick the right fit when shopping for your swimsuit. That way, you’ll be sure to pick one that flatters your body and is comfortable no matter your activity level. 

Also, identify fabrics with ample stretch that hold well in a chlorinated pool or beach because swimsuit fabrics become stretchy when wet. 

The most important measurement for a swimsuit is the waist. When bending side to side, the natural waist is where the body bends. This measurement is important in obtaining a flattering and comfortable fit. The waist measurement is critical in a one-piece suit.

Visit a physical store and determine your ideal one-piece swimsuit measurements before ordering online

Even when you think you know your swimsuit size and you’ve double-checked with a swimsuit size chart, always try on swimwear before buying one. 

If there’s a free return, buy two and return one

Some retailers allow free returns for swimsuits on condition that they’re unworn, unwashed, and defective-free within 60 days of the shipment date. Other retailers also process exchanges at no additional cost.

Order swimsuits with high elasticity and adjustable fit/straps

Rubber elastic is the best swimwear elastic. It holds up well and is resistant to chlorine, salt water, UV, and sun tan oils. Braided elastic doesn’t hold up well like rubber and isn’t suitable for swimwear.

Should you size up or down for a one-piece swimsuit?

Pick the smaller size if you can fit between two one-piece swimsuit sizes. Swimsuits lose their elasticity and become less tight when wet so that the smaller size will stretch out. So, as long as you’re comfortable, pick the smaller size in this dilemma.

For different sizes on your top and bottom, consider a two-piece swimsuit

Some people have two different sizes, which may make buying a one-piece swimsuit a nightmare. Perhaps you’re petite on the top and have wide hips. Or maybe a thin straight torso but with a full bust? If this is you, don’t despair.

A two-piece swimsuit (bikini) allows you to mix and match different sizes and styles. And if you’re not comfortable showing off your midriff, choose a tankini to achieve that one-piece look with the sizing flexibility of a two-piece.

What to do when you get an ill-fitted swimsuit

Here are the signs of an ill-fitting swimsuit:

  • It’s uncomfortable because it’s slightly bigger or smaller
  • It doesn’t offer enough support as required
  • You don’t feel confident enough in the swimsuit
  • The swimsuit’s bottom rides up, giving you a wedgie, meaning the swimsuit is bigger
  • Its cups squeeze your boobs
  • You need a tighter band on your swimsuit if your current band rides up on your back
  • The panel between the boob cups should sit on your chest and not your boobs
  • Straps falling off your shoulders
  • The swimsuit bottoms are saggy

It can be a frustrating experience.

If you happen to receive or buy a swimsuit that doesn’t fit properly, no worries; there are a couple of things you can do to fix the situation.

Return or exchange

The first option is to return or exchange the swimsuit. Many online retailers have return policies allowing you to return items that don’t fit. Before making your purchase, read the return policy so you’ll know what to expect if the swimsuit doesn’t fit.

Have it altered from a local tailor store

If you prefer to keep the swimsuit and alter it to fit better, taking it to a local tailor store is a good option. A professional tailor can alter the swimsuit to fit your body better, making it more comfortable and flattering.

Remember that altering a swimsuit can be more challenging than altering regular clothing due to the fabric and design. Be sure to choose a tailor who has experience with swimwear alterations.

Sophia is a Los Angeles-based writer who covers pop culture, gender, media, history, and plus-size fashion. With her keen eye for detail and a unique perspective, Sophia's writing captures the essence of the world around us, bringing it to life through her words.

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