My Search for a Modest and Hydrodynamic Swimsuit for Swimming Laps

While sitting on the beach in Hanalei Bay, HI last year, I was shocked and repulsed to see that bikinis have become little more than strings on the top and bottom, leaving a woman’s entire body exposed. There’s a whole lot to say about the cultural implications. Social critiques aside for now, let’s focus on the fact that hypersexual trends make it frustrating and agitating for me to shop for swimwear – in particular, swimwear that I can wear while, you know, swimming.

To be clear, I am not into swimsuits with plunging necklines or bottom halves that ride up my front side or back side. Quite simply, it’s nobody’s business what is up here or down there, unless I specifically say it is. In addition, I will not alter my body to accommodate fashion, such as by shaving my nether regions to get “swimsuit ready,” as the magazines like to call it. (The Brazilian wax will never, ever, ever happen on this body.)

For years, I was craving the hydrodynamics of modern racing swimsuits while simultaneously yearning for what Wendy Shalit might dub “a return to modesty,” in this case, in the form of one-piece swimsuits with skirts or shorts. With some intensive searches at stores and online, I tried a few different styles and brands. One-piece swimsuits with skirts, I discovered, are terrific for the Jacuzzi or beach, but are a bit cumbersome for swimming laps.

What worked well for laps was Tirain brand’s “one-piece boxer boyleg swimsuit racerback halterneck athletic swimwear tankini,” which I found online through Amazon. Not only is it modest, comfortable, and easy to swim in, but it’s also stylish and cute! Bonus points. I wasn’t into the boob pads, which kept getting scrunched up, so I removed them; but mind you, I have no patience to hand-wash the swimsuit, as is recommended. Had I followed instructions, the pads might not have been an issue. It also can be a bit challenging to get in and out of the swimsuit, especially when it’s wet, and in particular if you have wrist sensitivity. But for me, it’s a small price to pay for the overall comfort and performance of this swimsuit, which gets an “A” in my book.

The second suit I ordered doesn’t fit as well as the original one, though it is the same brand, model, and size. It rides up my legs; and I keep having to pull the shorts down. I’m not sure if this, too, is a function of my washing and drying the swimsuit in machines. All I know is that I have cared for both swimsuits the same way, with different results. Still, I’m happy with the swimsuit overall, and I recommend it for those seeking a modest and effective option for swimming laps.

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