How Long Should a Swimsuit Last?

How Long Should My Swimsuit Last?

As summer slowly approaches, thoughts turn to the joys of warmer weather like long days, backyard barbeques, camping, a bountiful garden, family road trips, beaches, pools, and water sports. Then your thoughts wander to imagining an amazing summer day off and how you might spend your time. Following along, you start to make plans of where to go and what you will do. If you are a planner you will then begin your mental list of how to prepare.

Making sure you have a good, flattering swimsuit on hand to be ready to hit the water leads you to your dresser. You pull out your suits and wonder:

Only you can answer the first two questions.

Is It Time for a New Suit?

First, consider whether or not you need a new swimsuit. A quick look will tell you whether or not it is worn out.

  1. Look for pilling, thin spots, color fading, loose stitching.
  2. Test the elasticity of the leg openings, shoulder straps, and back straps.
  3. Check to make sure all of the closures work right.
  4. Try it on and look at the condition of the suit while it's being worn.
  5. Have someone else look too and ask for an honest opinion of the condition of the suit.

When you are figuring out how long you have had that tankini swimsuit, favorite bikini or tummy control swimsuit keep in mind it may have been longer than you realize.

If you don't have a record of the purchase, try and jog your memory. What prompted the purchase?

The final question, "how long should my swimsuit last?" can, also, only be answered by you. These are things to consider:

Quality And Size

What quality of swimsuit did you buy? Keep in mind this is not necessarily reflective of the price you paid, but rather of the material it is made of and the actual sewing (manufacturing) of the bathing suit.

Regardless of what your regular size is, is it a size that fits you? If it's too small, it can stretch. The same is true if it is too big because when it is wet it will sag from the weight of the water.

Time Wearing Your Suit When Wet

How often did you use it: did you put it on a few times over the summer, once a week, or even every day? Do you attend regular water exercise classes or swimming lessons?

Also, think about how long you had it on each time whether it be a couple of hours or from morning until night.

Environmental Conditions

What conditions did you subject your modest swimsuit or your favorite one-piece swimsuit to?

  • Sun and Sunscreen
  • Chlorine-Water, Salt-Water, Fresh-Water
  • Hot Water or Hot Environment (hot tub, attic storage, car trunk)
  • Detergent, Fabric Softener, Fragrance, and Make-up
  • Surfaces (concrete, wood, dirt, any other rough surfaces)


How did you care for it? While care instructions are listed on garments for a reason, sometimes life gets in the way. Sometimes, getting the laundry done is more important than making sure it is done exactly to manufacturer and industry guidelines.

Other care of your swimwear:

  • Rinsing until wet before getting in
  • Rinse after getting out of the water
  • Rinse again after taking it off
  • Keep time stuffed in a bag when wet to a minimum
  • Air dry flat (especially if sopping wet)
  • Keep it out of direct light when not wearing

You Determine How Long Your Swimsuit Lasts

A general rule of thumb is that a swimsuit should last somewhere between three months to a year. Ultimately though, you are the only one who determines how long a swimsuit should last.

The life of your swimsuit varies depending on the quality of swimwear you started with the size your bought and how it was used and cared for after that. You can do things to help it last longer. You can decide that making it last longer isn't at the top of your priority list.

Either way, enjoy!


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