Swimsuit facts for kids
In New Zealand English and some areas of Australian English, swimsuits are usually called togs. This term is less common in other parts of the Commonwealth where it can also refer to clothes in general. Swimsuits are often lined with a fabric that prevents them from becoming transparent when wet.
In Western culture, men's swimsuit styles include boardshorts, jammers, swim trunks, briefs, or "speedos", thongs, and g-strings, in order of decreasing lower body coverage, and women's swimsuits include one-piece, bikinis, or thongs. While they go through many trends in pattern, length, and cut, there is not much modification to the original variety of suit. A recent innovation is the burqini, favored by some Muslim women, which covers the whole body and head (but not face) in a manner similar to a diver's wetsuit. These are an updated version of full-body swimwear, which has been available for centuries, but conforms with Islam's traditional emphasis on modest dress. In Egypt, the term "Sharia swimsuit" is used to describe full-body swimwear.
(also known as rash vest or rashie)
|A type of athletic shirt made of spandex and nylon or polyester, used to protect against rashes from abrasion (like wax-based chafing from sliding on and off of a surf board) or sun exposure. Rash guards may be worn as an alternative to wetsuits during warmer weather. They may also offer UV protection.|
|Wetsuit and Dry suit||Wetsuits and drysuits are insulated, close fitting suits designed for prolonged immersion, usually in the context of snorkeling, scuba diving, or surfing, and other water boardsports. Made from neoprene, they come in different thicknesses and styles. Wetsuits keep the wearer warm by trapping a thin layer of water close to the skin which heats up due to body temperature.|
|Drag suits||A pair of shorts or any loose shirts worn over a swimmer's inner swimsuit to increase resistance against the water and build up the swimmer's endurance.|
|Racing suits||Swimsuits made of technologically advanced fabrics biomimetically designed with a surface that mimics the rough shark denticles to reduce drag along key areas of the body . The characteristics of the fabric improve shape retention and increase muscle compression to reduce vibration and retain muscle shape to reduce fatigue and power loss. Available in a variety of cuts such as bodyskin, legskin, high cut swim briefs, and kneeskin.|
(also known as tank suit, maillot)
|Probably the most common form of swimsuit, this is the inspiration for the tank top as a mainstream article of clothing. The name "tank suit" is also supposed to be derived from the term "swimming tank", an obsolete term for what is now called a swimming pool.|
(also known as two piece)
|Bikinis are available in stylistic variations.|
|Burqini||Covers the whole body and head (but not face) in a manner similar to a diver's wetsuit.|
(also known as racing briefs, speedos, competition briefs, bathers, brief or low rise sungas, racer bathers, trunks)
|Swim briefs, often made of wool and held in place with a military-style canvas belt at the waist, go back at least to the 1930s. They can be seen in hundreds of print ads, worn by muscleman Charles Atlas, and were very popular. Although in a style that today appears similar to underwear briefs, it is likely that the swimwear preceded the underwear, A nylon version (without the belt), pictured at left, was launched at the 1956 Melbourne Olympics by Speedo. Swim briefs are now often made of a nylon and spandex composite, while some longer lasting suits are made from polyester. The style varies from a full seat to thong or g-string. Most swim briefs have a beige or white lining on the inside front made of a similar fabric.|
|Boardshorts||Boardshorts are a longer version of trunks that come to or past the knee. They usually have a non-elastic waistband, and will give a tight fit around the torso. Boardshorts were originally developed for various "board sports" such as surfing, paddleboarding, Wakeboarding. The looser fitting design provided less material that could catch as one mounted their board.|
(also known as boardshorts in Australia or shorts in UK)
|In the US, this describes a loose, mid-thigh style of swimwear, made of 100% polyester or 100% nylon fabric. They are usually shorter than boardshorts but longer than boxer shorts. They feature a polyester liner inside the shorts. Although trunks have been used as swimwear since the 1940s, their heyday was in the 1990s when they were highly popularized thanks in part to TV shows like Baywatch. Today, they have been eclipsed by boardshorts among teenagers and young adults. They remain the norm with older age groups and young children.
In other cultures (particularly the UK), the term "trunks" is used to describe swim briefs, although it has been increasingly common for any men's swimwear to be generically described as "trunks".
|Jammer||A type of men's swimwear worn primarily by competitive athletes, somewhat resembling cycling shorts or compression shorts.|
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Swimsuit Facts for Kids. Kiddle Encyclopedia.