A good bathing suit is a summer staple, whether you’re taking a dip, gearing up for beach sports, planning your pool party entrance or slamming in a sandy game of volleyball. But your lounging-by-the-sea suit might not go the distance on a sunset hike; a functional, athletic suit might be all wrong for the transition to evening cocktails. Here are some ideas to keep you covered and stylish for your summer activities.
All clothing protects covered areas from the sun to varying degrees, depending on the fiber’s density. Look for suits with a “UPF” number on the label, which stands for “ultraviolet protection factor,” though know that a Consumer Reports study found a special UPF 50 rash guard offered an actual protection of 174 when tested; a different shirt of the same material, without a UPF rating, turned out to provide an even higher UPF. In addition to regular bathing suits, swimmable skirts and cover-ups, Coolibar has men’s and women’s knee-length and full-length trunks, swim tights and rash guards that you can wear alone or over another bathing suit.
Day Into Night
The key here is to find an interesting fabric that is swim-ready, but also can double as regular clothing when you add it into the wardrobe mix. For women, a maillot works wonders with a simple sarong and light cover-up or kimono; for men, longer board shorts transition to resort dinner wear when paired with a button-up shirt.
The main mission: keep the suit—as well as all your body parts—in place, despite rigorous, sustained movement. Look for secure, snug straps for women’s one- and two-piece suits, and for men, shorts should be tight enough to fit well, but still allow a full range of motion. Imagine yourself going from your swim to the gym and back.
Just Looking Good, Nothing Else
There are some swimsuits so exquisite that their design overrides any functionality. It’s hard to resist the fun frivolity of a ruffled top, a bandeau that will only stay in place when you perch just-so on the lounge chair, or a suit that evokes thoughts of James Bond or one of his women, emerging from the sea.