one piece vs two piece bathing suits how to choose

One Piece vs Two Piece Swimsuit: Which Is Best for Me?

There are so many varieties out there, and deciding which swimsuit style best suits you can be overwhelming. 

You’re torn between picking a one-piece or two-piece swimsuit. Your choice between a one-piece swimsuit or a two-piece swimsuit depends on a few factors; the activities you wish to engage in and how comfortable you are with the amount of skin you expose.

Which are better, one-piece or two-piece swimsuits?

While the assumption is that bikinis are more popular, most American women opt for one-piece swimsuits. 

one piece versus two-piece swimsuits statistics_
Data on women’s bikini styles of choice, CivicScience survey, 2021

One-piece swimsuits are a great option if you prefer the traditional version of swimsuits.

Annette Kellerman, an Australian swimmer, wore an early version of a one-piece swimsuit in 1907, which led to its entry into the market. 

Over time one-piece swimsuits have evolved, and you can choose between a modest one or being daring, depending on the swimsuit’s cut. 

Depending on how you like it, you can select a low, medium, or high cut at the back of the one-piece swimsuit.

one piece bathing suits with both high medium and low cuts at the back

One-piece swimsuits are great if you prefer more coverage and better UV protection. Your choice doesn’t have to be too boring, but it’ll give you a more modest appearance at the beach. 

Conversely, two-piece swimsuits are a great choice to flaunt more skin at the beach. Most of the time, two-piece swimsuits feature fun designs, and you can also sample different cuts and shapes.

Furthermore, you can choose a tankini style or have a longer top, so you’ll test both worlds. 

Differences between a one-piece swimsuit and a two-piece bikini

Although one-piece and two-piece swimsuits vary depending on coverage and style, the most obvious difference between the two lies in the number.

The one-piece swimsuit is, just like the name suggests, one piece. Two-piece swimsuits are two pieces. 

One-piece bathing suits

one piece swimsuit

All one-piece swimsuits have a single garment covering the whole torso. There aren’t any gaps between the swimsuit, even though you’ll find cutout options in the market.

Two straps are a common feature in classic one-piece swimsuits, along with coverage for the bust, torso, and hip area.

Still, despite their similarity, there are plenty of different style varieties. You can find them in the following:

  • Lingerie-style 
  • Off-shoulder and strapless options
  • Halter one-piece swimsuits
  • Plunging neckline designs, etc. 

Two-piece bikini sets

a two-piece bikini set with a floral print_

Carl Jantzen, a designer, made the first two-piece swimsuit in 1913. It had short sleeves at the top and a short one at the bottom.

Come 1946, the bikini came into the picture, partly instigated by material rationing during World War II, and has been with us ever since.

Anne Cole designed the tankini in the 1990s for women who love a swimsuit that falls between a transitional bikini and a one-piece swimsuit. 

Alternatively, two-piece swimsuits consist of a separate top that covers the breast area and a bottom piece that covers the lower part. A bikini bottom’s front wraps around the pelvic region, revealing the navel, while the back piece covers the buttocks.

Their designs can be like the classic bikini, then tankinis and crop tops. 

When to wear a one-piece swimsuit

There are several reasons why wearing one-piece swimsuits is your best bet:

when should I buy a one-piece swimsuit?

When taking part in water sports

Whenever you’re wearing a bikini, you must be conscious enough to keep adjusting it, ensuring it stays in place.  That’s not what you want, especially when engaging in water sports.

One-piece swimsuits are comfortable and ideal when engaging in vigorous activities. They allow you to relax and enjoy them.

You desire more coverage

One-piece swimsuits offer better coverage than two-piece swimsuits. They also provide better sun protection while leaving you looking appealing.

While you may argue that wearing sunscreen takes care of the exposed skin, it might not necessarily mean you’re in the clear from UV rays. 

When you want to wear your swimsuit and forget about it

Wearing a one-piece swimsuit means you don’t have to keep on adjusting it. You just need to wear it and enjoy your off time.

Also, you don’t have to worry about forgetting any part of the swimsuit when packing or losing a part of the swimsuit when you jump into the pool.

They’re cheaper than two-piece swimsuits

In most cases, one-piece swimsuits are cheaper than two-piece swimsuits. Purchasing just one item means you save some money.

And when buying a two-piece like a bikini, you must pay for both the top and the bottom. So, when you want to buy a swimsuit on a budget, opt for a one-piece.

There’s no need for an extra coverup

Because two-piece swimsuits are pretty revealing, you’ll need to cover yourself on most occasions, especially when walking into restaurants or stores.

You don’t need to worry about cover-ups when wearing a one-piece suit because you won’t have to carry so much extra luggage as you head to the beach. 

When to wear a two-piece set

Here are the ideal times to wear a two-piece swimsuit when swimming or taking a stroll at the beach.

when you should buy two-piece bathing suit sets

When you wish to remain as flexible as possible

Two-piece bathing suites allow you to remain as flexible as possible compared to one-piece swimsuits that keep you held from your shoulders down to the hip area.

They are unbelievably flexible, and they let you show off your skin without feeling constrained.

You have varying sizes at the top and bottom

If you have a small torso area and a wider hip area, then two-piece swimsuits are ideal because you choose a top part that fits you perfectly and matches it with a different bottom portion for the perfect fit.

Your body has a unique shape

Our bodies are different, and the choice of swimsuits we make is also different, and they can also be our worst enemies as we shop for swimwear.

Two-piece swimsuits let you pick separate top and bottom sizes to suit your shape. For instance, if you need to keep your midsection firm, you’ll choose a high-waisted bottom and match it with an ideal top. 

You’re confident showing extra skin

If you love flaunting extra skin, two-piece swimsuits give you precisely that.

Choosing more miniature bottoms shows off your legs and rear section, and embellished tops keep attention on your bust area. Also, you can opt for side cutouts at the swimsuit midsection to help sculpt your body. 

The decision is up to you

At the end of the day, the swimsuit style you choose between a one-piece swimsuit and a two-piece swimsuit makes or breaks your vacay mood.

So, choose one that feels comfortable and fun. Also, embrace your body type and select a swimsuit that whispers to your soul.

When you choose a swimsuit that aligns with your day’s activities at the pool or beach, you’ll make the most out of your outdoor day. 

So, go find a swimsuit that amps your style!

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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