Equal parts performance and style, one piece swimsuits are the perfect option for when we’re setting out for parts unknown. Comfortable, with just the right amount of coverage, women can move, groove and make waves in a one-piece suit that’s up for the challenge.
So, what is an athletic one piece swimsuit?
More than a typical swimsuit, an athletic one piece swimsuit is made for – you guessed it – swimming, diving, surfing, paddleboarding, and just about any aquatic sport. Athletic one piece swimsuits are designed for women athletes making some serious moves in the water. You’ll never have to adjust your suit or worry about anything popping out.
Whatever water sport you're into, choosing the right swimsuit can make all the difference in how you move and how you feel. That's why we love athletic one-pieces. They give us a boost while we freestyle, stay put through every wave and wipeout, and provide better coverage than a two-piece swimsuit would.
Of course, we can't talk about one-piece swimsuits without mentioning Australian swimmer Annette Kellerman: the woman who pioneered the athletic one-piece we all know today. She designed the first form-fitting one piece to be more aerodynamic to power her swim across the English Channel (she was the first woman to ever attempt this – a total badass). The one-piece, known at the time as the "Annette Kellermann," changed women's swimwear forever.
What activities are best to wear a one piece swimsuit for?
The short answer? Most anything women can do in a bikini or tankini
, women can do in a one piece swimsuit. But one-piece bathing suits are especially good sporting swimwear for days that demand a low maintenance choice, high sun coverage, or support and coverage in all the right places:
- Going for a swim? For lap swimming, look for a high neck sporty swimsuit with built-in support that’s no frills (forget the lace-up, bandeau or ruched options here) and all performance. Bonus points for a chlorine-resistant fabric.
- Hitting the surf? Long sleeve full-coverage one-pieces can be the just-right choice for women who surf—especially when a wetsuit is too much, and a rash guard
is too little. Look for swimwear made of high-performance quick drying swimsuit fabric with UPF 50 protection, or, if you need a little extra warmth, look for neoprene options. Unlike a bikini and rashguard combo, choosing a one-piece means you never have to worry about losing your bikini top
in a wipe out.
- Beach bumming it? Swimsuits one piece or bikini, can both work for hanging around the beach. Look for on-trend bathing suits silhouettes like ruched, cheeky, cross-back, cut-out, and twist-front options. Don't forget to check for support (no matter your boob size) for those pick-up beach volleyball games or beach path bike rides.
There are so many reasons why we keep reaching for one-piece swimsuits, but it all comes down to these three:
1. Functionality. One piece suits are designed for movement and performance, so no matter what the waves have in store, your athletic swimwear is literally built to keep up.
2. Coverage. One-piece swimsuits provide a range of coverage options and levels of support. For all our girls itty bitty to DDD, there's a bathing suit for you that'll do exactly what you need it to. Plus, with more coverage than a two-piece, your skin's better protected from the sun's harsh UV rays.
3. Style. There's a reason why one piece suits are back in style. Whether you like it solid, striped, floral, halter, high neck, V-neck, open-back, or with cutouts, there's a piece that totally speaks to you. T9's collection of one piece suits come in a variety of designs and colors with sport-level support and coverage, so there's no compromising.
Is a one piece swimming suit good for competition?
Yep, many of our athletic swimsuits are great swimwear for sports like triathlons and competitive swimming. When shopping for sporty swimwear for women, there are a couple of key features to look for:
- Fit: One piece swimwear should be form-fitting, but not so tight that they restrict movement or interfere with proper form. The right size swimsuit should also prevent chafing (one that's too big can rub and irritate while on a swim)
- Material: A quick-drying, chlorine-resistant, technical fabric (with UPF protection if you’re competing outside) will keep you comfortable and chafe-free. Check out swimsuits made with SurFlex™
, our resilient, colorfast, stretch-resistant UPF 50 swim fabric.
- Style: Look for swimwear styles with crossback, racerback, or narrow set shoulder straps (so your suit straps won’t slip off while you swim) and bottoms that provide ample butt coverage (to avoid mid-race wedgies).
Can an athletic one-piece swimsuit be worn for triathlons?
You bet. T9 one piece bathing suits are quick-drying, have a compressive, sporty fit, and help you glide through the water. You can seamlessly move from the pool to the track and the bike in any of our one-piece swimsuits.
What styles of athletic one-piece swimsuits are available?
All T9 suits are designed for all women making waves in and out of the water, without compromising fit, support, or performance. But depending on your sport of choice, there may be a better a swim style for you:
- Racerback: A classic style worn by all swimmers, from Olympians to the everyday freestylers. Racerbacks often have wider straps for better support, and a small cut-out in the back that never makes us feel like we're showing too much skin.
- High-neck: When we want more UPF protection on our chest, we go for a high-neck piece. It keeps the girls snug and secure, and lets us cruise through the water with zero interruptions.
- Zip-front: An easy-on, easy-off situation that's equal parts stylish and sporty. Zip-up pieces are great for paddleboarding, SUPing, or just lounging under your umbrella.
- Cut-out: When you want to show just a little bit of skin, a one-piece swimsuit with minimal cut-outs is an easy (and pretty cute) choice.
- Plus-size: T9 swimsuits are available in plus-sizes so more women can do what they love outside in swim that feels made for them.
How do I choose the right size for an athletic one-piece swimsuit?
There's a few ways to make sure your one-piece will fit just right. First, consider your body type and shape, and the type of water activity you do most. Women doing higher-intensity activities usually go for more support and coverage, compared to lower-impact movements. Athletic swimwear has a compressive fit, so you'll want your piece to fit comfortably snug out of the water. If it's too tight, it's too small, and will affect your performance underwater.
Support is everything in sport, so look for a one-piece swimsuit that checks all the boxes: adjustable straps, wired or wireless, built-in bra, and compression. Materials like nylon and elastane are going to feel best on skin—wet or dry—and provide support that lasts, swim after swim.
How long do athletic one-piece swimsuits typically last?
Your one-piece swimsuit will last longer with the right washing and care techniques. As soon as you wrap up your swim, surf, or paddle sesh, rinse off with cold, fresh water. Never wash your piece in the machine with hot water, bleach, or regular clothing. Always air dry your suit to keep it fitting and feeling like new.
What are the most popular brands for athletic one-piece swimsuits?
Most athletic brands design swimwear specifically for water sports. That said, you don't want to buy your one-piece swimsuit from just any brand. At T9, we test all of our swimwear on our T9 athletes—women who get after the waves, day after day, and push our suits to the absolute limit. So when you buy any one of our suits, you know it'll keep up with your every move.
What materials are best for an athletic one-piece swimsuit?
The best swimwear materials include nylon, spandex, or elastane. They're quick-drying, have a high elasticity, and are more durable. Here at T9, all our bikinis, tankinis, and one-piece swimsuits are made with both nylon and elastane, as well as recycled nylon and built-in UPF 50.
How can I tell if an athletic one-piece swimsuit is suitable for my body type?
The best one-piece bathing suits for your body are the ones you feel most comfortable in. There's a piece out there for all women, for every body and every activity. But our rule is, if the coverage, support, and compression feel just right, and the style speaks to you, then you've got yourself a winning piece.
What are the benefits of long sleeved swimsuits?
Long sleeve swimsuits have tons of perks:
- They have built-in sun protection (especially if they’re made out of a fabric that’s UPF 50+).
- They’re an easy one-and-done choice (forget digging through drawers to find your matching sun shirt
- When you're headed out for water activities, these long sleeved one-piece swimsuits are just a bit warmer in chilly water. (Every little bit counts!)
Is a one piece bathing suit more supportive?
Gone are the days of thin, show-everything bathing suits—many of T9’s one-piece swimsuits have built-in shelf bras and removable soft cups for coverage and support in flattering fits, from strappy, crisscross one-pieces to ruched, floral, skirted one-pieces. Adjustable straps, halters, and back ties can also help customize your fit and level of support, while high-neck and underwire options can help keep the girls (no matter their size) under wraps.
When searching for the ideal sporty swimsuit, a one-piece suit is an all-around winner in our books. Its compressive, sleek fit helps us glide through the water, while giving the support, coverage, and stay-putness us women need to keep going.
If fuss-free movement, comfort, and easy-peasy suiting is your jam, grab any of our swim and surf-tested one-pieces for a swimsuit that's functional, stylish, and always its their A-game.