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by The Professionals at All-American Swim Supply

October 14, 2009

Swimmers come in all different shapes and sizes, and so does swimwear. When purchasing a new swimsuit, there are a few important factors that should be considered. Most importantly, you should consider …

  • Size
  • Cut
  • Material

So how do you decide? Here are a few tips to help you when purchasing swimwear.

What size do you wear?

Because there are so many different cuts of swimwear and different materials offered, it is hard to know exactly what size to purchase. Height and weight are our primary determining factors in selecting the right size swimsuit. Males, of course, are easier to fit than females. For male sizing, one should rely heavily on waist size. For female sizing, it is best to compare suit sizes to dress sizes. Always remember that suits need to be tight to reduce drag, and depending on the fabric, suits may stretch. Below is a sizing chart that will be helpful when determining your suit size.

What about the cut?

There are many different styles and cuts of competitive swimwear. For males, there are three popular styles of swimsuits: the jammer, the square leg suit and the brief. Jammers reduce water resistance and are great if you prefer more coverage. Square leg suits are form fitting and are slightly longer than briefs. Briefs provide the least coverage, but are great for competitive swimming and diving. All male swimsuit styles are equally efficient and depend most on your preference and the purpose of the suit.

For females, there are many more choices. You may prefer a more traditional thick-strapped proback suit for competition, or a more fashionable cut, such as the Speedo flyback or the Nike racerback. For those who prefer more coverage or support, you may prefer a thicker-strapped suit with lining or cups, or a more conservative knee-length suit. It is recommended that adult swimmers try on a variety of different styles and cuts to see which is most comfortable.

What material should you choose?

Most suits are made of a Lycra or polyester blend. Lycra or Lycra-blend suits are made of an elastic synthetic fiber. They’re durable, but not as long lasting as polyester suits, which often explains the slight difference in price. Polyester suits, made from synthesized polymers that tend to be more resilient than Lycra fabrics, are meant to fight chlorine and endure countless practices. Both fabrics are water-resistant and lightweight. Other materials include nylon and spandex, which may be blended with Lycra or polyester materials in swimwear.

Female Swimwear Size











Dress Size



00 to 0

0 to 2

2 to 4

4 to 6

6 to 8

8 to 10

10 to 12

12 to 14

      *For males, measure about 1 inch above the natural waistline for approximate sizing*                



























All American Swim Supply’s website currently lists over 20 different styles and cuts. At All American Swim Supply, sizing customers and finding the perfect fit is second nature. We feel confident that these tips can help you when making a swimwear purchase. Please view the table above for additional help with sizing.