Before you actually decide to purchase a swimsuit, you need to make sure what it would be used for mainly. Depending on whether you are a casual swimmer or a serious swimmer, the types of swimsuits you are going to buy from will vary greatly. For serious swimmers, your best friends are going to be: Speedo, TYR, Arena, and FINIS brands.
If you happen to be a varsity athlete in the swim team, you want one of the best swimsuits for training that is durable whilst being comfortable for the rigorous exercises you will have to perform during practices. Besides training you will also have to consider purchasing racing swimsuits for meets and competitions.
If you are a casual swimmer and not really serious about your swim times and technique, you can get more of a casual swimwear that is suited for your needs. Usually they look like long shorts, however, they are very comfortable and pretty durable. The mesh and the inner material are made for comfort and the outer material for durability. Since casual swimwear is mainly made for comfort and durability, you are going to experience some drag whilst swimming.
Sizing for swimsuits can come bigger or smaller than expected, usually smaller. It mainly depends on your body type and how fitting you want it to be. One of the risk with going with your exact waist measurement is that sometimes it can be too tight, so I always advise people to get 1-2 sizes bigger for some level of comfort and likelihood of fit. Competition swimsuits can be a little tricky when it comes to sizing. The tighter it is, the more likely you will swim a tad bit faster, but you run the risk of rips and tears.
There isn’t much to worry about when it comes to casual swimsuits, since it’s made for comfort, usually they should come in true sizes. Even if the sizing is a little bit bigger or smaller than expected, you can make minor adjustments that will fit your body or give it time to break in. There is much more leeway with casual swimmers.
Not a lot of people focus on material, but to get technically scientific, depending on what kind of material your swimsuit is made out of, it can last for a whole season or two, or break apart after a few uses. Most athletic swimsuit brands are always improving their durability, but the general rule of thumb is that Polyester=durability. If you prefer flexibility, spandex is more suited for your needs. I’ve used Speedo Endurance+ for many years, and is probably one of the best.
Regarding competition swimsuits, since 2008’s Beijing Olympics, FINA has put restrictions on swimsuit length and material, so you always want to be careful to purchase FINA approved swimsuits. Look for FINA approved markers when deciding to a competition swimsuit. Materials in competitive swimwear vary widely, as different brands have different technologies and opinions that they think is the best. Some prefer carbon fiber while others prefer more conservative materials such as Nylon, textiles, etc. Just go with whatever makes you feel good in the water.
You won’t have to get too technical with material if you swimming casually. The best recommendation I can give you is to go with chlorine resistant durable material such as polyester and whatever feels comfortable on your skin.
For athletes, you won’t have much wiggle room when it comes to comfort compared to casual swimmers, (obviously). Material comes into play; spandex and nylon are usually more comfortable, however not as durable, so if comfort is important to you, you will have to spend more in the long run. If you are broke, you do have a choice from choosing durable swimsuits with different lengths. People’s preferences vary, so some people prefer longer length such as jammers for while others prefer briefs for training purposes, whatever works for you.
When it comes to racing swimsuits, you can kiss comfort goodbye as you will require 30 minutes to put your gear on, maybe even an hour for the female athletes. Competitive swimwear is very restricting and tight. I am sure your love for the sport will negate the brief discomfort you will have to go through during competitions. Good luck!
You can go as comfortable as you want. If your neighborhood pool allows it, some even swim with their underwear or shorts. So you can choose from many different options. If you do decide to buy casual swimsuits intended for swimming, make sure it feels comfortable in the groin area and hip area most importantly. Certain material can make you itchy or give you burns!
The style of your swimsuit in a sense is your personality, so go with whatever you think represents who you are. Do you prefer conservative, more “professional” look? Then the either solid leg square and jammers are up your alley for guys. More darker colors such as navy blue, black, and grey are generally going to give you that look.
However, if you happen to have a vibrant personality, you can always go with more flamboyant colors such as pink, rainbow, orange, and such. Sometimes even a mix and mash of all the bright colors can give you the joyful and outlandish look. Take a look at TYR Avictor for instance.