Beach visits are a hallmark of warmer weather. With summer break coming up, you are probably planning to take your kids to some waterside location, such as the coast, an island, or the local lake. Or perhaps you just know you'll end up spending many weekends at the neighborhood pool. Wherever you are planning to go, you know you'll need to make sure swimwear is packed and available, not just for yourself but for everyone else too.
Your bathing suit aside, what do your kids need? Kids' clothes can be cute while being appropriate. Swimwear is the same. There is a kid's swimsuit style out there for every kid. But what are your options, and what should you take into consideration?
First thing's first: if you need to go shopping, definitely consider taking your child with you or, if shopping online, getting their input. Most clothing choices end up being a negotiation between you two anyway, so it's only fair to give your child a say in their bathing suit. Your child can tell you exactly what they will (or will not) wear, and you can advise for or against certain kinds of swimwear depending on what you feel is suitable.
That said, some kids don't care about what they look like as long as they can play freely. In that case, arm yourself with your child's measurements and get ready because you are on your own. Here are some different styles of bathing suits to explore.
Bright colors and patterns are super trendy and look adorable on children. Solids and muted colors may feel slightly out of step with a child's lively nature, especially on a fun beach trip. Lighter shades have more of a warm-weather feel compared to darker shades. But deeper jewel tones can work too, particularly for colors like green and blue. If your child has a favorite color, looking for bathing suits with that color as the base for the pattern will probably be a good move.
For girls, polka dots, flowers, and fruit are classic patterns. If you aren't sure which direction to go color wise, lighter blues and pinks as base colors are pretty safe. For boy's swimsuits, there is less bathing suit in general, so stronger colors don't feel as overwhelming. Here is where jewel tones like emerald are excellent in palm patterns and florals or deep azure blue to set the stage for an underwater reef scene. Stripes are another great nautical pattern that can go well for girls or boys.
What can completely change the feel of a bathing suit is the cut. An added layer of ruffle or a shorter shorts length can change the feel of a particular piece. A simple cut is easiest on the eye and might make the most sense if combined with a powerful pattern. But, if the pattern is made of smaller or more delicate elements or is concentrated in the middle, changing up the cut can help a swimsuit look more interesting.
For girls, one-pieces are popular, though an occasional girl's tankini may make its way to the pool. If you are in any kind of natural water like the ocean, a one-piece is your best bet. Strategically placed ruffles on the sleeve, on the chest, or zig-zagging down the body can give a dramatic flair to a bathing suit. And, of course, ruffles on the bottom or a true swim dress works beautifully as a stylish choice. Boys pieces don't have as much flexibility as girls, but there are some spandex swim shorts out there. They look a bit like compression shorts or a swimmer's racing suit, which could suit your son and help him to stand out. Ask him and see!
Even the cutest swimsuits need to serve their purpose well. If you are going to be in some rougher waters, that pretty ruffled two-piece may get carried away with the waves. If there are reefs, you may want thicker materials to minimize the risk of rips or tears.
For girls, look for razorback girl's one-piece swimsuits so that their arms are free for swimming, straps are less likely to slip, and bottoms will stay securely on no matter how active they are. For boys, properly-fitting board shorts with a waist tie will keep them covered. Board shorts are made with fabrics that are often a little thicker and a little longer, which is ideal for durability.
The last thing you'll want to think about is a full-body reapplication of sunscreen every hour. So consider picking up a boy's swim shirt. It could make your life easier and remove the threat of severe sunburn from your waterside relaxation.