Swimsuit Care and Purchasing Guide
Finding the Correct Size
If you have never purchased competitive swimwear before, it can be an intimidating experience. The sizing is unfamiliar and the fit is different that even casual swimwear. When possible, we always recommend trying on your swimwear. If you are still unsure, having an experienced swimming parent or one of our helpful staff assist you might make things a little easier.
For males, the sizing is related to waist circumference. If you're measuring, it would be the natural waist measurement around the belly button. Suits are designed to sit low on the hips and be very snug. This may be uncomfortable for some at first.
For females, the sizing is related to chest size. It can be hard to use one measurement for female suits because the length of the torso can be an important factor. Measuring the body loop, or from one shoulder between the legs and back around can be helpful for getting an idea.
We have some sizing charts available on the website that might be helpful. These will be your best resource if you are unable to try anything on, or as a good starting place if you plan to come to our retail location.
Why the Correct Size is Important
The most common mistake in purchasing a suit is incorrect sizing. Buying too big is often what happens. This could be for many reasons.
It is understandable that someone might be uncomfortable in a properly sized competitive swimsuit at first. Competitive swimwear is designed to fit like a second skin. This may make some swimmers uncomfortable. Please understand that purchasing a suit that is too large will cause the suit to wear out faster, and will actually slow the swimmer down in the water. The extra fabric will create drag, absorb extra water, and the looser fit may allow water inside the suit.
It is also important to understand that purchasing a suit to 'grow into' will not likely work out. Competitive suits are designed to be worn very tight. Even when sized properly, the exposure to pool chemicals over long periods of time causes the suit to lose its elastic properties. This is only exacerbated by a suit purchased too large. A competitive swimsuit will NEVER be tighter than it is when you try it on. It will only ever stretch out. That's why it is unlikely that someone will 'grow into' a swimsuit.
Lycra vs. Polyester
Lycra fabric has been the gold standard in swimsuits for decades. The material is highly elastic and has some natural water-wicking properties, making it ideal for competition(prior to the advent of newer technical suit materials). It is important to note, however, that Lycra suits used for regular training will stretch up to a size and a half in as little as 2-3 months.
Polyester is a more chlorine resistant fabric. It does not contain the same amount of elasticity. Polyester suits last noticeably longer than Lycra suits, especially when used for training. It is a more expensive fabric, but you're paying for durability.
Caring for Your Suit
After swimming, rinse your suit in clean, cold water and hang to dry in a well ventilated area. Allowing pool chemicals to stay in the fabric will decrease the life of your suit. Do not leave your suit wrapped in a towel. It will not dry thoroughly and may mildew. Cleaning solutions are available that are designed specifically to clean swimwear. Never wash your suit in a washing machine, or dry it in the dryer. Do not use detergent or fabric softener on your swim suit. We also do not recommend the use of suit spinners that are available at some pools.