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Sweet Suits: Swimwear for All Occasions

Vanessa McGrady Avatar Image Vanessa McGrady
Sweet Suits: Swimwear for All Occasions Hero Image

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.

Sun Protection

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.

Long sleeve swimwear by Coolibar keeps you sleekly protected.

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.

Robin Piccone Clarissa One-Piece Bathing Suit, Bloomingdale’s, becomes a whole other outfit when paired with a sarong.
Ralph Lauren Kailua Striped Swim Trunk double as lounge shorts.

Athletic Activities

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.

Bikini in Creamsicle from Roxstar stays in place so you can keep your eye on the ball.
LZR Fit Jammer – PowerPLUS from Speedo will move exactly as you do.

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.

Missoni Mare Off The Shoulder Ruffle Bikini Set at Moda Operandi is good fluffy fun.
Vitali Rocks trunks from Vilebrequin truly do rock.