Is Your Bathing Suit for Swimming or Sunbathing?

It’s bathing suit season. Seriously. Winter is officially knocking on the door in the Hamptons, and summer days at the beach may be a fond memory, but that’s just all the more reason to start thinking about that sunny winter vacation in the surf and sand somewhere hot.   

And when it comes to choosing between bathing suits that are for swimming versus bathing suits that are for sunbathing, there is an absolute world of difference, says Marcia Massa, owner of Wetter or Not in Westhampton Beach.

Marcia explains, “If you are looking to be swimming all of the time with your suit, you definitely need support and over the shoulder straps. If you are a performance swimmer, the suit should be tight so it doesn’t slow you down in the water. Swimming is much more for a Speedo-type suit, where you can glide through the water easily and you aren’t worried about anything falling off.”

Few things are more embarrassing than a bathing suit falling off while swimming at the beach. But if you really are more of a sunbatherMarcia explains, “you are not doing anything strenuous—you are just lying there sunbathing. So you don’t have to worry about straps and you don’t need to worry about anything falling off in the water, so you have many more options. You could do a strapless suit. You could do a two- piece suit or you could do a fancy suit.”

A fancy suit?

“A fancy suit is a bathing suit that has embellishments. They can have gold on them, they can have jewels, ruffles and things like that. The one problem with sunbathing is suntan lotion. They have tried many different materials and there is nothing you can do if you get suntan lotion on your suit. There isn’t a material out there that won’t get stained by sun tan lotion, so you really have to be careful.”

The bottom line is, before you go buy that new bathing suit, be clear as to what you plan on doing while wearing it, says Marcia. “I get a lot of people into my store that say to me, ‘I just want a suit for swimming,’ and when I hear that I ususally don’t grab a designer suit. But with sunbathing, if you want to just look good on the beach, then you have a lot of options.”


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