What is a swim dress | Lands' End

What is a Swim Dress?

A swim dress is a swimsuit with the silhouette of a minidress. It is similar to a one-piece bathing suit but offers more coverage over the thighs. Whereas a one-piece leaves the entire leg exposed, a swim dress will cover the upper part of your hips. This offers an alternative for those who may not feel comfortable with the exposure of a traditional bathing suit. The loose-fitting bottoms and added coverage of the swim dress will help you feel comfortable and confident this summer. It also provides extra sun protection.

Why Choose the Swim Dress?

The swim dress has many benefits, besides being a great-looking bathing suit. With so many different bathing suits to choose from, here is why you should consider a swim dress the next time you make a swimsuit purchase.

  • Flattering: They are form-fitting in the right places while still leaving much to the imagination, perfect for those looking for a bit of modesty at the beach or pool. Since the bottom of the dress is loose and flowy you don’t have to feel self-conscious about your not-so-toned thighs. If the midsection is your place of concern, our swim dresses come with tummy control to help smooth while keeping you comfortable. Our swim dresses are made with underwire shelf bras that help lift and support. Although the underwire bra is built-in, the soft cups are removable so that you have the option to wear your swim dress with or without cups. Aside from the built-in bra, the adjustable straps are another feature that helps lift to give you the perfect fit.
  • Versatile: Celebrating a more formal occasion by the water, or simply hanging out at the beach with your friends, swim dresses can be worn for any occasion. The best part about a swim dress is that you can do both without having to change. You can go from a formal occasion by the water to jumping in the water.
  • Protection: The added coverage of a swim dress will help protect the upper thighs from harmful UV rays. If made with high-quality material such as our LYCRA® Xtra Life™ spandex, your swim dress will last 10 times longer than regular spandex. The fibers in our LYCRA® Xtra Life™ have the resistance to protect against chlorine, sunscreen, and sweat.
  • Sunbathing: You have control over how much sun your thighs get. Soak it up the way you want to. If you’re familiar with our swimwear then you know that your swim dress is made with fabric that provides UPF 50 sun protection. 

Styles to Wear

Like traditional swimwear, swim dresses come in many different styles and shapes. They also offer many of the same options as a sundress, including a variety of necklines, straps, hemlines, prints, and colors. So which color should you choose? Here’s a quick guide on the best color options based on your skin tone:

  • For cool skin tones, dark colors work best. Colors such as black, emerald green, burgundy, navy, and dark purple. Since the goal is to create an alluring contrast, you should go dark to compliment your skin tone. 
  • For warm skin tones, deep earthy shades such as olive greens, rust color oranges, and brownish clay colors. Whatever color you choose, be sure to pick something warm to complement the warm undertones of your skin. 
  • For darker skin tones, just like cool skin tones, you’ll want to choose colors that contrast your skin tones beautifully. Colors such as whites and yellows pair perfectly. Any bright or pastel colors work best. 

These colors are just suggestions. You should always wear the color that you feel most comfortable in. A great way to mix colors that you love but don’t compliment your skin tone is to find a swim dress with a pattern that combines both so that you can have the best of both worlds. 

Does a swim dress have a bottom?

The answer to this question is yes. As mentioned at the beginning, swim dresses come with bottoms that can cover down to mid-thigh. The bottoms are comparable to bike shorts that are attached underneath the skirt, similar to a skort. Another great feature about these bottoms is that they include pockets! Just be sure to empty them before you take a plunge because there’s nothing worse than losing your keys or even your phone at the bottom of a pool.

Can you swim in a swim dress?

The answer is yes! Because a swim dress comes with shorts you don’t have to worry about the skirt rising. It’s also made with lightweight fabric so you won’t feel bulky or bogged down. Not only can you swim in it, but you also don’t have to worry about changing out of it since you can go from the pool to run errands and no one would know the difference (between you wearing a regular dress or one meant for swimming). Whether you leave the pool wearing a pair of sneakers or sandals with your swim dress is up to you but the best part is that you can’t go wrong with either.

Where can I find swim dresses?

Here at Lands' End, you will find a variety of stylish swim dresses that offer both great style and full coverage. Browse our extensive collection of women's swim dresses, including plus sizes. Our swim dresses will offer you elegance without sacrificing style. No matter the occasion, your dream swim dress can be found here. We also have a variety of cover-ups that will pair beautifully with the extra coverage you’re looking for. Throw on our Tasseled Sarong Cover-Up Scarf or the Cotton Poplin Button-Down Kaftan Shirt Dress Swim Cover-up that looks great when left open. Since no look is complete without the perfect accessories, you can add a sun hat, a tote, and a pair of chic sandals for the ultimate beach or pool party look.

What are you waiting for? Purchase your first swim dress with us knowing that we got you covered, pun intended.

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