Two of my swimsuits went all transparent and saggy on me at the end of last summer so I am in serious hunting mode. I have a couple beach vacations coming up in May and, knowing how long it normally takes me to settle on a swimsuit, I need to start trying on options NOW.
If you’re one of those people who goes to the beach to lay in the sun in a tiny string bikini and take long walks at the edge of the surf, then I totally support your life choices; however, you and I require very different swimwear.
I like to get rolled around by the waves and make an attempt at body-surfing with my boys. I learned the hard way (Spring Break 2001) that I need swimsuits that stay put.
After much Googling this week, I realized what I really need is active swimwear (despite the fact that “active” is generally not a word I would use to describe myself). The problem is that most active swimsuits are super utilitarian-looking. That’s fine if you’re getting ready to go swim the English Channel in record time or something, but I’d like to keep my top under wraps while also looking somewhat cute, you know?
After MUCH searching, I rounded up these 15 active swimsuits that give the best of both worlds — coverage and control with a big dash of chic.
1. A Wetsuit for All Occasions
I love this wetsuit vest SO MUCH. I know wetsuits aren’t exactly the sexiest of beachwear (and they usually mean cold water — no, thank you) but when you crop it down to a colorful vest? You’ve got a perfect top you can fearlessly wear out surfing or to win the high dive contest at the local pool.
2. Color Block Perfection
I’ve come back to look at this suit like 18 times. The colorblock kills me PLUS a sports bra style top is exactly what I want.
3. A Slimming Tankini
I love the pattern on this Athleta tankini! They have TONS of good options for active swimwear on their website. It’s a little pricey but worth a look!
4. Not-So-Classic Speedo
I had swimmer friends in high school who all wore those ubiquitous Speedo one-pieces. They’re known for their quality, their durability, AND their ability to stay put. This racerback bikini is a little smaller than those classic one pieces but it promises to stay up and keep up with you no matter how hard you play!
5. A Bikini Look with Shoulder Coverage
I already own and love a Roxy rashguard that has saved my modesty more times than I can count. This cropped version is perfect for girls who want a bikini look but total bust and shoulder coverage (perfect for when your shoulders and chest are fried but you can’t stand to miss out on another day at the beach!).
6. Swimwear That Sticks
Hive Swimwear’s tagline is “Swimwear That Sticks.” Um, please and thank you. I love the pattern on their tea tree collection!
Get this swimsuit at Hive Swimear, $15
7. Trust Surf Girls
Whenever I stumble across small surf brands, I think to myself, “Oh, I can trust them. Surf girls wouldn’t put up with their tops going wonky.” Honey Girl tops are reversible (sweet!) and the light padding is sewn into the lining so it won’t scrunch up on you (hallelujah!). Plus they come in several really cute Hawaiian prints.
Get this swimsuit at Honey Girl, $32
8. Party in Back
This top comes in SEVEN colors and features a super cool criss-cross rear view. It promises that it won’t budge during your beach workout AND it’s a great price!
9. Feminine and Functional
I love the delicate print and colors on this tankini! Don’t let it fool you though — it’s built for active use!
10. Tried and Tested
The gal behind Calavera designs and tests her suits for surfing (i.e. a sport that’ll rip the swimsuit right off you if you don’t have the right one!). The straps are designed to keep your top securely on your person while also letting water flow off without dragging your suit with it. If you need a super secure (and super cute) swimsuit, this one is a darn good bet.
Get this swimsuit at Calavera, $49
11. Back to Basics
Another sports bra style top! I love how they mixed up the colors on the top and bottoms.
12. Cute and Cropped
This isn’t technically an active swimsuit but the crop top styling offers every bit as much coverage and support as most of the others on this list.
13. Not Going Anywhere
I’m actually not 100% sold on this top. BUT you better believe your girls aren’t going ANYWHERE. The description says it’s customizable for your beach experience.
14. Chic and Sporty
I love how comfortable this suit looks! It has adjustable straps that make it perfect for water activities. Don’t feel compelled to lay helplessly on your towel — get out there and run into the waves!
15. Perfect in Purple
This bandeau comes with underwire and you order by bra size, which ensures a perfectly supportive and comfy fit. Not to mention it’s SUPER affordable.
Get this swimsuit at Lands End, $7.99