Women's Swimwear Styles Change As You Travel Around the Globe
At first glance women's swimwear seems to have just a few options: one piece or two piece. However, different countries around the world favor a variety of different styles of women's swimwear, and it can be surprising how many variations of women's swimwear are available.
There isn't a right or wrong way to dress for the beach or pool, but tourists may want to be informed as to the local swimwear taste so they know how to prepare for their trip. It is important to note that while the following trends are typical of each region, there are always exceptions and (almost) never a hard and fast rule as to what women should or shouldn't wear to the pool or the beach. The following list is ranked from least to most conservative swimwear styles:
1 - Brazilian Bikinis
The country of Brazil is all about skin. In fact, there is even a style of bikini named specifically for this country. The Brazilian cut bikini features string ties for the top and bottom and a thong style bikini bottom. While revealing bikinis are in style, it is illegal in Brazil for a woman to be completely topless. Other places that favor string bikinis include large, tourist-driven US cities.
2 - High Waisted Bikinis
A high waisted bikini with a full coverage top is a great way to show a little skin while still maintaining some modesty. Many countries around the world tend to prefer this style of swimwear. Despite the Land Down Under's reputation for surfing and beautiful beaches, many women in Australia and New Zealand are quite conservative in their swimwear. They tend to choose full coverage bikinis and tankinis with high waists and modest tops.
3 - Tankinis and One Piece Suits
Tankinis get their name from mixing traditional Bikini with a Tank top. These swimsuits are two piece suits with a full coverage bottom piece and a longer top piece. The majority of US women tend to choose conservative swimwear styles including one pieces and tankinis. This is a safe choice in swimwear that is culturally acceptable almost anywhere. One piece suits come in a variety of styles as well. They range from very modest with full coverage to suits that have fabric covering the midsection but leave the back open.
4 - Full Coverage Swimwear
Many Asian countries place a high cultural value on light skin as opposed to tan skin. Because of this, most women in Asian countries tend to favor much more conservative swimwear to avoid exposure to UV rays. They will typically cover their skin by staying in the shade, wearing large sun hats, and keeping their skin covered with light sleeves and long pants. It is very common to see Asian women at the beach or pool wearing swim jackets, hats, shorts, and even face masks. In general, Indian culture is also much more conservative than in other parts of the world, and the trends in women's swimwear reflects this. Women will typically wear long shirts and pants to the beach or pool, including the traditional sari or salwar kameez.
5 - Burkini
The burkini is a full body women's swimwear option that covers the body completely except for the face, hands, and feet. While many Muslim countries, such as Afghanistan, are land locked, Muslim women do still enjoy a day at the beach. There are mandates in place that they remain fully covered, and their choices in beach or pool attire reflect this. In these countries, travelers will see women wearing a burkini or even a full burqa as their swimwear. This style of swimwear was recently banned in some French cities, but these bans were later overturned in court.