Swimsuit Durability: How Long Do They Last, How Long Could They?

Swimsuit Durability: How Long Do They Last, How Long Could They?

Swimsuits are a major purchase, but it's also one of the most important ones you'll make.  So how long do they last?  What factors affect their durability? Unfortunately, these questions can be difficult to answer because there are so many variables involved.

You may be wondering how long swimsuits last. Unfortunately, the answer to this question is not easy because it all depends on the type of suit you buy, what activities you do in your suit, and how often you wear them.   

Wearing a bikini every day for months will wear out that suit much faster than wearing it once or twice a month. If you want to know more about the life expectancy of different types of suits, then read on!

Swimsuits are a great item to have in your wardrobe. They're perfect for those summer days when you want to be outdoors and not covered up from head to toe. 

But as the weeks go by, it can become harder and harder to find an adorable swimsuit that has been worn one too many times or is just plain old dirty after being soaked one too many times in chlorinated water. So how long do swimsuits last? 

This blog post will help answer this question so you know how long you should keep your current suit before replacing it with a new one!

Swimsuits are expensive. If you buy a swimsuit for $120, will it last five years? What if I want to wear it every day? How much is your time worth, and how much do you value the quality of your clothing? 

This article discusses some ideas on how long swimsuits may or may not last depending on what they're made out of and the level of care taken with them. It also discusses some tips for caring for your suit so that it lasts as long as possible. 

How long do swimsuits last? Well, the answer to this question is quite complicated. Many factors contribute to how long a swimsuit will last. It all depends on what type of material it is made out of and how well you take care of it. 

The average person can generally expect their suit to last about two years if they take good care of it. However, if you're not sure whether your suit has seen its best days, some simple things can help determine its integrity: does the fabric seem thin or worn out? 

Does the elasticity feel looser than before? Is there any visible damage like tears or stains? If so, then time may be running out for your favourite bathing ensemble!

Swimsuit durability is a topic that's been debated for decades. Some people say they last forever, and others say they only last a few swims. 

What's the truth? It turns out there really is no clear answer to this question because it depends on how you care for your suit and what materials it's made of. Read more to find out about different types of suits and their longevity!

Let's dive in!

The Durability of Swimsuits

Have you ever noticed your swimsuit has become loose and turned a yellow or greenish colour? That's a sign of ware and chlorine burn. Some of you may never have had this happen to your swimsuit, while others may be all too familiar. 

Swimsuit durability will depend on a few factors. For example, how often you go to the pool, how much time is spent in chlorinated water, how often you wear the same suit (you should have more swimsuits to alternate with) and of course, the material of the swimsuit.

Swimming for sport usually has a bigger impact on swimsuit deterioration than swimming casually does. 

If you're a serious swimmer, you're likely in the water every day for extended periods, all year round. At the same time, a casual swimmer might go to the pool one to three times a week. 

Casual swimmers that live in a region with a warmer climate will experience faster swimsuit deterioration than those who live in regions with seasonal weather. This is obviously because those swimmers are in the pool all year round versus only four to five months of the year.

If you're a serious swimmer, you want a swimsuit that is durable and worth the money. You'll also want at least two swimsuits so that you can alternate between them to increase their longevity. 

You should also have a different swimsuit for races that you never wear to practice! If you're a casual swimmer (or a sport swimmer going casual) that's looking for swimsuits, you'll usually have more than one, so you can serve up some stylish looks! 

Although many stylish swimsuits aren’t the best quality, they’re still out there! You just have to look. Since swimsuits are expensive, you want your suit to last. To get more bang for your buck, we advise you to get something good quality.

1. Sport Swimsuits

Of course, when buying swimsuits for practice or even technical suits, you want to buy for performance, not fashion. 

Know your materials; check out this article to learn the pros and cons of different swimwear materials. Since we're talking about durability, a material that lasts long and is chlorine resistant is polyester. 

Look for 100% polyester swimsuits (or as close as you can get to 100%). You can find durable all polyester swimsuits at Pro Swimwear!

Best Brands

  • Speedo has an endurance line of very durable swimsuits. According to users, they last between 4 months to a year or longer! Of course, this varies per person as the wear of the swimsuit depends on the person, care and factors mentioned above.
  • Slix is designed and engineered to withstand the harsh effects of exposure to chlorinated water without sacrificing the swimsuit comfort and stretch properties. They also offer race suit repair.
  • Dolfin has a line of swimsuits called Reliance; they are chlorine-resistant suits that provide comfort to perform with freedom of movement.
  • TYR has many suits for your every need, from fitness to training and competition. Their Durafast One™ swimsuits are 100% polyester and 100% chlorine proof.

2. Casual Swimsuits

Those of you who swim for sport pretty seriously surely know the importance of quality. But don't sacrifice quality and swimsuit durability when it comes to buying your casual swimsuits. You can buy swimsuits for fashion without sacrificing style; you just have to know where to look.

Patagonia swimsuits are soft and durable, made with 83% recycled nylon and 17% spandex jersey body fabric. Patagonia is also an environmental and socially responsible brand that has Fair Trade Certified™ sewing. 

They’re also teamed up with Worn Wear. Worn Wear celebrates the stories we wear, keeps your gear in action longer through repair and reuse, and recycles your garments when they’re beyond repair.

TYR and Slix also have cute yet sporty designs; check the product details for their swimsuits. In addition, you can find swimsuits that are 100% polyester.

3. Swimsuit Care

Chlorine continues to affect the fibres in your swimsuit even after wearing it. So after swim practise, we suggest showering in your costume and washing your hair, which allows your gentle hair shampoo to deodorize your swimsuit evenly. 

If you don't wash it while wearing it, rinse the suit well with fresh water after getting out of the pool and changing. Then, do a gentle rinse in cold water after wearing to wash out the chlorine. 

You should never wash a bathing suit in the washing machine since the agitation and detergent will reduce the life of the material.

When drying swimwear, ensure that they are laid flat in the shade with no direct sunlight to avoid fading. Never dry a bathing suit in the dryer since the heat is too harsh on the elastic and will melt.

Which Swimsuits Last the Longest?

There's no better feeling than finding the perfect-fitting swimsuit for an upcoming vacation. But, at the same time, nothing is worse than spending money on something that doesn't last much longer than a said getaway. 

A good swimsuit not only needs to fit well, feel supportive, and stay in place when worn, but it should also be durable enough to last season after season (if you're looking to make a good investment, that is).

Experts agree that the longevity of a swimsuit depends on a few factors: the material, the frequency in which you wear the style, and how often you're submerged in chlorine (during the summertime, we imagine that's quite a bit). 

Since extending the life of a new suit starts even before you buy it, we enlisted the help of a few swimsuit designers and pros to help guide the way: Gionna Nicole of Avid Swim, Brittany Kozerski Freeney of Jade Swim, and Alissa Bristow of L*Space.

What Kind Of Swimsuit Is A Good Swimwear?

The good swimwear fabrics are soft and elastic, and the fabrics are relatively dense in texture, exquisite in cutting, and use elastic threads for sewing so that the lines will not be broken due to movement.

At the time of trial wear, the principle of fit and comfort is too easy to carry water, increasing physical burden and resistance during swimming. But, on the other hand, too small is easy to cause limb marks and cause poor blood flow.

How to choose a swimsuit according to body shape?

1. Men

Men's swimwear style is relatively simple, only divided into triangular swim trunks and swim trunks; men can choose according to their own like.

2. Ms

Flat-foot swimsuit

For women who are unwilling to express themselves, flat-footed swimwear is a bit more conservative, but its disadvantage is that it makes the legs look short, so choose carefully. Klein swimwear is also suitable for people with smaller thighs.

High-waist swimsuit

The woman with a low abdomen and micro-projection should choose high-waisted swimsuits, preferably with diagonal stripes, to lift the waist, and can also use this to divert attention and achieve the effect of the modification.

Two-piece swimsuit

It is a choice of fashionable ladies. A good-looking lady can choose. Wearing it is the best body.


A bikini has always been a patent for a good-looking woman. It is not entirely. Just choose a suitable bikini, and you can cleverly conceal the shortcomings in your body and let you show charming charm.

Tips To Make Your Favorite Swimsuit Last Longer

1. Choose Your Material Wisely

If you select a nice fabric and diligently follow care instructions, a swimsuit should be able to stand the test of time. Right? Not always. 

According to Nicole, polyester is the prime pick when it comes to durability. "Polyester maintains its shape and holds colour in dyes and prints," she said. Nylon and spandex blends are also good fabrics to keep in mind - ideally, you're looking for material that uses high-quality elastic.

2. Avoid the Washing Machine at All Costs

Listen, we're all guilty of wanting to take the easy way out and toss our suits in the washer, but doing so could severely deteriorate the suit - mainly by causing the dye to fade and the fabric to pill. 

Swimwear should instead be rinsed in cool water and then air-dried. "Handwashing will prevent stretch, bleeding washout, and pilling on softer fabrics," Nicole said. 

When handwashing, Bristow recommends filling a basin with cool water, adding your bikini and a few drops of bikini wash (or gentle detergent), and gently kneading the soap into the fabric. 

"Make sure to avoid loosening the fabric by aggressively wringing out the wet suit, too," she added. "Let the suit soak for 10-15 minutes, then hang or lay flat to dry in a shaded area." 

If you absolutely must use the washing machine, make sure to at least switch the cycle to delicate, use a gentle detergent, and do not tumble dry under any circumstances.

3. Rinse ASAP

Mary Marlowe Leverette points out suits need a rinse even after sunbathing.  Sunblock and the body's oils can do damage.  Rinse immediately after being in a hot tub or pool that uses chlorine.

4. Wash Your Swimsuit After Each Wear

Suits should be washed after each use. Leaving them wet in a sink or hanging on a drying rack leads to unwanted odour. Believe it or not, your body's natural oils can still wear down your swimwear even if you don't take a dip in the water. 

Of course, sometimes it's not always possible to wash your suit after each wear - especially if you're travelling. If this is the case, gently rinse it under cool water and lay it flat until you can properly wash it with soap. 

It's crucial to flat-dry your suit because putting a wet suit on a hanger enables the chemicals and chlorine to accumulate at the bottom and decrease the quality. The weight of the water can also stretch the suit out of shape.

5. Hand Wash

All the experts we found recommended hand washing. But, one pro said, the issue with washing machines is that they agitate all the delicate parts (like the cups, padding, ties, etc.).  All this movement can damage a delicate suit, leaving things bunched, stretched, or otherwise ill-fitting.

6. Soap Up

The retail website SwimsuitsForAll.com recommends washing a suit with a block of mild hand soap, while Allure suggests a detergent meant for delicates.  

Either way, a standard laundry detergent is too harsh.  Make sure you rinse all soapy suds out. And, I mean rinse. You don’t want to see mounds of foam the next time you hot tub.

7. Invest in Shape-Retention Technology

Just like all articles of repetitively worn clothing, swimwear will experience natural wear and tear. The best thing you can do to avoid stretching? 

Look for suits with spandex and shape-retention technology that will sculpt and shape the body after every use, Freeney said. As the name suggests, shape retention helps the suit retain its shape no matter how much activity it goes through.

8. Dry Off

Resist the urge to wring out every last drop of water. Doing so can damage the fibres leaving your suit sagging in all the wrong places. 

Hanging a swimsuit (especially by the ties) can stretch it out, too.  Instead, lay the suit out on a towel, roll the towel up and squeeze gently, then lay your swimsuit out to dry. Avoid drying it in the sunshine, which can fade the colour, says Leverette. Always dry the suit out completely before putting it away.

9. Rotate Suits

Spandex is a "memory fabric," meaning it needs a full day to snap back to its usual position. So if you're on vacation or wearing bathing suits often, it's essential to have more than one so that each suite has 24 hours to bounce back (not to mention the time to wash and dry it completely).

10. Keep Cool

Hot water is bad for swimwear.  Never wash your bathing suit in hot water, and avoid too many dips in the hot tub with a favourite suit.  Hot tub daily? Allure recommends reserving one suit just for the hot tub — and make it your cheapest suit!

11. Be Careful With Chlorine

Sadly, chlorine is extremely damaging to swimwear. "Chlorine eats away at the fabric and washes away the colour when it's excessively exposed to the sun," Nicole said. 

It breaks down the yarns and affects the elasticity, too. So regardless of how long you're underwater, the chemicals will negatively impact the fibres of your suit long afterwards. 

Look for brands that offer certified UV Ray protection fabrics, or try soaking your suit in freshwater before exposing yourself to chlorinated water to prevent it from absorbing high volumes of chlorine.

12. Prep A New Suit

Swimsuit designer Vix Swimwear recommends prepping a brand new suit before taking it to the beach or a dip in the hot tub.  A 30-minute soak in a vinegar and water mixture (one tablespoon white vinegar per quart of water) should prevent the dye from bleeding.  Especially important if you're wearing a new suit in a hot tub.

13. Sit On A Towel

Whenever you’re sitting on the ground next to the hot tub or pool, on a wooden bench, or on any other rough surface, try to sit on a towel, suggests the blog Life With Three. 

Those impromptu seats can snag and tear the material. If carrying a towel 24/7 seems too high maintenance, simply wrap up in a sarong when you leave your lounge chair — you'll never even have to think about where you're sitting (though the sarong will take the brunt of the blow, so make sure you won't mind snagging it).

Understanding Competition Swimsuit Fabrics

Shopping for competition swimsuits can be confusing, especially if you don't know what you’re looking for. To best select a swimsuit, you must first determine the right fabric. 

Each material feels and fits differently in the water, so choosing the right fabric to fit your needs is important. This guide will explain the pros, cons, and purposes of each competition suit fabric.

1. Nylon


  •     Ideal for drag suits and training suits.
  •     Very common fabric in swimwear.
  •     Often blended with Spandex for elasticity.


  •     Offers a lightweight, smooth fit.
  •     One of the strongest manufactured fibres.
  •     Quick-drying and low-water absorbency.
  •      Lower-cost.


  •   Has poor resistance to prolonged sun exposure so that the fabric will fade and fray. (To help, rinse with cool fresh water after each use.).

2. Spandex


  •   Ideal for competition suits.
  •   Also known as Elastane or as brand name LYCRA®.


  •   Form-fitting fit.
  •   Mid-range cost.
  •   Commonly used because of its durable elasticity.
  •   Excellent elasticity and stretch, so even a small amount is vital for swimsuits.


  •   It can be itchy if not blended with other fabrics.
  •   Does not hold up well in chlorine. Rinse with cool fresh water after each use.

3. Xtra Life LYCRA®


  •   It is often blended with other fabrics.


  •   Longer-lasting than LYCRA® Spandex.
  •   Comfortable material.
  •   Retains colour and shape.
  •   Chorine-resistant.
  •   Stronger elasticity than Spandex/LYCRA®.


  •   More expensive cost.

4. PBT


  •   Best for outdoor swimming.
  •   PBT stands for polybutylene terephthalate, a texturized polyester.


  •   Cost-effective and durable.
  •   Chlorine- and heat-resistant.
  •   Great stretch and elasticity, similar to spandex.
  •   Quick-drying and low-water absorbency.


  •   More expensive cost.

5. Polyester


  •   Ideal for competition suits.
  •   A durable alternative to Spandex.
  •   A common alternative to Spandex is competition swimsuits.


  •   Form-fitting fit.
  •   Chlorine-resistant and colourfast.
  •   Durable material, even if not cared for properly.
  •   It doesn't stretch as much as Spandex; it holds shape well.
  •   2-3 times longer lasting than Spandex.


  •   Not as comfortable as Spandex.
  •   Higher cost.
  •   Not super stretchy, harder to put on at first.

6. Cotton


  •   Ideal for fashion swimwear or cover-ups.
  •   It is not recommended for competition swimwear.


  •   Soft, comfortable material.


  •   Absorbs water.
  •   They are not fitted to the body.
  •   Water will cause it to lose its shape.
  •   Rare to find in swimwear.

Keep in mind that there are different blends of these fabrics in competition swimsuits. While one material may not have good shape retention, the other blended fabric will. Compare the materials listed to ensure you are getting exactly what you need.

There’s plenty of fabric and fabric blends available, but it is up to you to determine which composition best fits your swimwear needs. Now that you understand the differences between swimsuit materials, you’re ready to get out there and choose.


  1. Additionally, what are competitive swimsuits made of?

Swim briefs are most often made of a nylon and spandex (Lycra) composite, while some longer lasting suits are made from polyester and still others from other materials. In addition, most swim briefs have a beige or white front lining made of a similar fabric.

  1. Why is swimwear so expensive?

Another reason swimsuits are costly? They're stretchy. Stretchable fabrics, which revolutionized women's swimwear in the 1960s, are more expensive than many other materials (such as the sturdy nylon or cotton used in men's swimwear). Swimsuit material is also expensive because much is required of it.

  1. Is Speedo owned by Nike?

Speedo Holdings B.V. owns Speedo; in North America and the Caribbean, Speedo is licensed exclusively to Warnaco Swimwear Inc., a wholly-owned subsidiary of PVH Corp.

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