Do Swimsuits Get Bigger Or Smaller In Water?

I’ve always seen going to the beach as a cool way to get those hanging disturbing thoughts off my head and each time I’m on the water with my favourite swimwears, I usually noticed that my swimwear somewhat gets a bit bigger.

So one day, when I got off the water, I picked my phone where I had kept it and then I googled, Do Swimsuits actually Get Bigger Or Smaller In Water? Surprisingly, I couldn’t find anything worthwhile but here’s what I found later on.

Swimsuits may get bigger or smaller In Water due to a lot of factors like the materials in which they are made of (Materials like Lycra usually expands when wet), swimsuit sizes plus other things I’ll probably talk about somewhere in this article.

Your swimsuits may likely get bigger and then begin to sag while you’re still in the water if you didn’t size up or down properly. It may also get smaller depending on the materials used.

Materials Used In Swimsuits

As it is with other sporty activities, swimsuit does have a blend of fabrics that distinguishes them from other casual wears. These materials may come in different textures and the likes but each of them serves different purposes.

Basically, Nylon and Polyester are the 2 most popular fabrics used for swimwears by brands all over the world.

These fabrics as lucidly stated above have unique characteristics such as the ability for them to either repel water, expands or absorb them, the ability to stretch, resist chlorine and the most obvious, how soft they can be when touched. That being said, let’s dive straight to a few of the popular fabrics used for swimwears and their characteristics.


First on my list of fabrics used for swimsuits is the polyester. Polyester is a renowned blend of fabrics used in producing most competitive swimwear worn by competitive swimmers.

If there’s one thing I like about this blends of fabrics for swimsuits then is in its soft nature, ability to resist or repel chlorine and it can be dyed (an excellent feature most fabrics lacks)

Main Characteristic

The main features of these fabrics are in its ability to repel water, highly resistant to UV and chlorine, dries faster, durable feel soft to touch and can be printed and stretches quite well.


This is the kind of fabrics you’re most likely to see female swimmers in and this is because of its ability to stretch and hug their body so well.

Basically, a blend of Nylon fabrics consists a bit more of Nylon than the stretchy bits. Usually around 80-20%. The stretchy bits ( Mostly called Lycra or spandex) provides greater elasticity to swimsuits even though they constitute a smaller portion of the entire bathing suits.

Main Characteristics

Nylon as a blend of fabrics used for swimwears usually dries very fast, it is soft to touch, it cannot be printed, has mild UV and chlorine resistance can repel water and its durable.

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How To Choose Swimsuits Materials – Expert Tips

Whether you’re a regular swimmer or you just want to hit the beach simply because its summer, its best that you know the exact material you’ll be needing for all of your swimming activities.

Choosing the wrong swimwear material can ruin your swimming activities and may cause you to regret instead of enjoying every bit of the moments spent. For these reasons, I’ve listed a few of what I think you need to look out for before you make that purchase.

Things To Consider Before You Decide On A Swimsuit Material

1. Consider The Fabrics

Every swimmer’s goal is to own a swimsuit that stretches and at the same time, last longer. If this is what you want then it’s best that you consider the fabrics they’re made of.

For these reasons, It’s best that you go after fabrics made of Nylon blends because they stretch quite well, they’re durable and dries very quickly.

Although you may also consider Polyester, the thing about Polyester/Spandex blends is that they’re susceptible to fading and to think that they take a longer time to dry is just so annoying. So generally, a blend of Nylon fabrics will be just okay for you.

2. Stretch Before Making Purchase

Good swimsuits irrespective of the materials they’re made with should be able to stretch to about 60-70 % in all directions.

The best and convenient way to test this is by gently pulling at the fabrics to see whether it will stretch to a reasonable length or not. After stretching, it must also have the ability to regain its elasticity.

While at it, pay close attention to other details like the prints on the SW. Ensure that they’re in their best shape even after being stretched.

How To Pick The Perfect Swimsuits Size So You Don’t Look Like A Scarecrows

Swimming with your favourite swimwear can be fun but if you must get the best out of your water sport, then you should be ready to go after those that actually fit.

Many people make the mistake of going after swimsuits that fits perfectly well in the fitting room without considering what will happen to them the moment they step into the water.

So to avoid looking like a bag of shame with sagging swimsuits while in water, it’s best that your bathing suits should be a bit tight ( not too tight that you can’t breathe. At least they should be comfortable) on you, that way even when you get into that water, they won’t come off easily.

Still, confused as to the sizing up and down with swimsuit? Below is a video from for you.

Why Do Bathing Suits Lose Elasticity?

There are several instances why you may experience loosen suits. For example, a suit that has been worn for quite some time may tend to lose elasticity in the long run.

A suit can also lose elasticity when it stretches beyond its limits thereby leading to permanent deformation. For example, a bigger person sizing a medium-sized swimwear can often time lead to overstretching of the fabrics which may damage them.

Other instances include putting bathing suits in a dryer. According to a renowned expert, the tumbling effects of the hot dryer on the swimsuits can adversely affect the elasticity of your suits and renders them completely useless.

Also, apart from the elastic effects dryer has on swimsuits, your bathing suits may completely lose its original shape because the stretchy bits (often called Lycra) which constitute about 20% of the entire fabrics has been altered negatively.

Why Do Bathing Suits Lose Elasticity In Water

It’s a well-known fact that swimsuits usually take longer time (if not several months) before they’ll start to lose elasticity but if it happens that you notice a slight change in yours as soon as you get into the water, then this is why.

Swimsuits expand and may look a bit bigger when in water due to the fabrics (Lycra) which expands an inch when it gets wet.

Do Swimsuits Stretch Out Over Time?

Yes, as it is with every other of your wears, swimsuits when worn for a very long while do stretches out and when this happens, your bathing suits may no longer hug you the way it used to be when you first purchased it.

If this is the current state of your swimwears, then its time for you to say goodbye to your old swimwear and a big hello, to a new one.

How Do I Keep My Bathing Suit From Stretching?

Truth is, there’s hardly anything you can do to stop your swimsuits from stretching but there is a way around to keep them to last longer. Below are expert tips to keep them in top condition.

1. Rinse As Soon As You’re Out Of That Water

Chlorinated water is no joke and can invariably do a lot of damage to your suits than you least imagine. Whether you’re sunbathing or you just got out of that water, it’s best that you rinse your suit with water even if you do not plan to wash them immediately.

2. Hand Wash

If you’re keen about adding extra life to your suits, then you need to hand wash them rather than dumping them in the washing machine. Using a washing machine may damage some parts and they may become ill-fitting in the long run.

3. Mild Soap

It is no longer new that using harsh detergents can ruin your suits in a lot of ways. Although they’re some detergent that is great for washing suits, in all, it is good that you wash your bathing suits with a mild detergent such as woolite to prevent them from fading along the way.

4. Avoid Squeezing Too Hard

I know you want your swimwear to dry out fast but squeezing them too hard so that there isn’t any drop of water in them can cause them to worn out pretty fast. So as a rule of thumb, don’t squeeze too hard. You can roll your suits over the towel before air-drying them out.

Note: Never you hung your swimsuits, directly on the sun. sun drying your suits may cause them to fade.

Does Salt Water Ruin Swimsuits?

There are quite a lot that can damage your bathing suit of which salt water is among. Other things that can adversely ruin your suits are hot tubs, chlorine etc.

Wrapping Up – Do Swimsuits Get Bigger Or Smaller In Water

Learning how to correctly choose swimwears that won’t sag while in the water is a gift very few persons has but the truth is, it isn’t that difficult a task as many sees it.

One key to making the right swimsuit choice is to first size up and down, while at it, be sure that the suit fits perfectly and it shouldn’t be too loose. In fact, it’s a good idea to go after suits that are a bit tight than those that loosen because tight suits oftentimes expand an inch the moment they get wet.

So the next time you are planning to hit the beach, always go prepared with the mindset that suits do expands when wet. I hope I’ve been able to answer your question whether or not swimsuits get bigger or smaller while in the water.


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