There are pros and cons to both one-piece and two-piece swimsuits. If swimsuit shopping is on your list for the near future, you’ll want to keep them in mind to find a great suit. So…let’s get started!
Modern women have an Australian swimmer named Annette Kellerman to thank for the classic one-piece swimsuit. In 1907, she wore an early version of one which was considered scandalous because the swimsuit showed her arms, legs, and neck. Conveniently, for those of us who like our traditional one-piece suits, cultural norms in most societies have changed a bit since then.
One-piece suits can be either modest or daring, depending on how they are cut. Necklines are available, including high, round, square, and V-necks. The leg line of a suit can be cut lower or higher, depending on your preference. The back of a suit can also be cut high, medium, or low, depending on the style. If you need extra support, you might want to consider an underwire swimsuit. One-piece suits are also available with bust minimizing and tummy control features. If you are tall or long-waisted, you might want to consider a long-torso one-piece swimsuit.
A classic one-piece swimsuit is just that—a classic. Advantages of a one-piece include having instant tummy coverage, usually more coverage from the sun, and a one-and-done decision about what suit to wear. In a world with too many choices, sometimes a great-looking one-piece swimsuit or swim dress is a breath of fresh air.
One-piece swimsuits can feel hotter than their two-piece counterparts because your mid-section is always covered with fabric regardless of the weather. If you like a cinched look at the waist, this may be harder to find with a one-piece swimsuit. If you need to use a public restroom, a one-piece swimsuit can be a bit of a bother.
The two-piece swimsuit has been around almost as long as the classic one-piece swimsuit. In 1913, designer Carl Jantzen made the first two-piece swimwear. It was a close-fitting outfit with shorts on the bottom and short sleeves on the top. The bikini came about in 1946 partly due to material rationing after World War II and has been with us ever since. In the 1950s, famous actresses, including Rita Hayworth and Ava Gardner, wore bikinis. It wasn’t until the 1990s that Anne Cole developed the tankini as a great option for women who like a swimsuit that lands between a traditional one-piece and a traditional bikini.
Two-piece swimsuits are often considered less modest than one-piece swimsuits, but that all depends on the suit you choose. Tankini swimsuits are an especially flexible type of suit as they can come with traditional swimsuit bottoms, shorts-styled swimsuit bottoms, or swim skirt styled swimsuit bottoms. The tops of tankinis also vary in their level of coverage. For a looser silhouette, consider a blouson tankini top. You can also get shorter or longer tankini tops. Some tankinis feature an underwire, tummy control, and chlorine-resistant fabric.
Two-piece suits often feel cooler and more breezy than one-piece suits because you don’t have your entire midsection covered with clingy fabric. You can also buy tops and bottoms in different sizes, which can be a boon for women who aren’t evenly sized from head to toe. Because the two-piece is made from two pieces, you can also mix and match tops and bottoms to create more swim outfits if you enjoy variety in your swimwear. Navigating public restrooms in a two-piece suit can be more convenient, too.
The main disadvantage two-piece swimsuits have over one-piece swimsuits is the possibility of wardrobe malfunctions. Although the top of a one-piece can shift in an awkward way and suddenly reveal more than you intended, there really is no way to accidentally lose the bottom of your one-piece suit. If you opt for a two-piece suit, both top and swim shorts, wardrobe malfunctions are a remote possibility. Be sure both pieces fit properly and are built to be worn during a variety of activities, including vigorous swimming. Two-piece suits sometimes have thinner shoulder straps. Be sure all straps on your suit are properly anchored for real life.
Explore the pros and cons of one-piece and two-piece swimsuits and find a suit that is just right for you. Swimsuit shopping is fun!