Welcome to our Modest Swimwear Guide
Modest swimwear is gaining broader appeal beyond the religious community, with sunburn protection being a major consideration. No longer a niche market, it appeals to both men and women.
Gone are the days when modest swimwear was dowdy and embarassing, or looked like it was from the 1920's (maybe it's retro). If you prefer stylish modest swimming clothes over skinny swimsuits you can still look good and have a lot of fun, possibly even more.
Mix and Match
Breathable, lightweight clothes are becoming popular as modest swimwear. The comfy swim clothes on this page cost very little, avoid sunburn, feel pleasant in the water, and dry quickly in the breeze after your swim.
Matching anorak and pants make this a practical outfit on land or in the water. Combine different tops and bottoms for a new look every day. This swimsuit packs into a small pocket that you can take anywhere, just in case you fancy a swim or other fun in the sun.
You can find these generic suits in the adventure or rain wear section of good sports shops or department stores. Check also the boating, golf or hiking sections. You can sometimes buy them cheaply in the local markets, even second hand. Cost ca. €20 to 40.
Tops with no zip or just a short zip are better, as long zips add bulk.
They are a bit easier to swim in.
Some suits have a zipped chest pocket so you can keep a locker key or small change in it.
Several new manufacturers have launched a sun safe collection of elegant modest swimwear for Christian and Muslim women,
made from modern fabrics like polycottons and Lycra.
Not Much For Men
Travel Advice for South and East Asia
Modest swimwear is the norm in most of Asia. From Pakistan up to Korea and all the way to Indonesia local people swim in clothes. Modesty is one reason, the other is that they don't want a tan and look like they work in the rice fields.
As a polite traveller you do well by following these customs out of respect for their traditions. This will be much appreciated by the locals.
Go CasualCasual clothes are the modest swimwear of choice in most of Asia for both men and women. A tan is often avoided because pale skin is considered more fashionable. Modesty and sun protection are major considerations. Wet clothes keep you cool in hot weather. No need to get changed when you want to go for a swim.
Modest Swimsuit Advantages
- Wholesome style with sun protection.
- You can wear it when you're not swimming.
- Comfy loose fit feels great both wet or dry.
- Dries quickly while you wear it.
- Pockets take keys or money.
- Folds into a small stuff bag and to take anywhere.
- Pools like it as man-made fibres shed no fluff that blocks filters.
Look out for a soft breathable fabric. Most suits are made of a silky soft nylon or polyester fabric. The better ones are made of windproof Pertex, also very soft. The fabric should be quick drying and breathable. When used as modest swimwear waterproof is not important, so focus more on the feel and fit of the fabric.
Cool CottonCotton shirts and jeans are ideal for warm climates as they dry slowly and keep you cool. Dark shirts provide better cover against sunburn. Sweatshirts, hoodies or anoraks go well with T-shirt and jeans. They just feel awesome when wet.
Fit and Feel
Apart from the right fabric, a good fit is very important.
Arms and legs should be your normal size, not too long or short.
Your modest swimsuit should be loose fitting to feel good.
Too loose and it gets in the way,
too tight and it restricts your swimming movements or may rip.
Sun Lotion Alternative
Modest swimsuits are a comfortable alternative to traditional sun screen products. They remain wearable after you've been in the water and feel pleasant as they dry in the breeze. A wet swimsuit with loose fit keeps you cool on hot days with good air circulation due to the loose fit.
Muslim women may enjoy these modest hooded suits.
People in Asia don't want to get a tan, as it looks common and downmarket,
so these sun suits provide a great solution for playing on the beach and in the water.
If you have sensitive skin, you may want a hooded sun suit,
which provides protection for the head, no need to carry a hat which could get lost.