Ok, so you have found yourself a stunning new swimsuit which will ensure you look and feel great on the beach this year. However, you know that there is a problem just around the corner. You're going to be wearing it at the beach, around the pool and it will be exposed to strong sunlight (hopefully), probably salty sea-water and liberal amounts of suncream (again, hopefully). After a couple of weeks of this abuse the material starts to stretch a little so it fits a little looser and the colours will probably start to fade. You also start to get those little balls of fabric forming on the surface of your suit which makes it feel old to the touch.
You are probably resigned to the fact that you will have to splash out on another new swimsuit or bikini next year. However ,there are some things you can do to get a little extra life out of your beachwear and swimwear. All you have to do is take a little more care of it.
The main problem is the fabric your swimsuit is made from is probably Lycra as this is the stuff which makes it fit so nicely in the first place and makes it feel so sexy and smooth. The problem is that Lycra is quite a fragile fabric and all the abuse it gets from the elements and other things we have already mentioned means that its properties start to break down. Add to the mix that you need to keep your swimwear clean by using detergents, hot water and tumble driers and Lycra can eventually end up all but completely destroyed.
Here are our top ten tips for looking after your swimsuit or bikini. Follow as many as you can and you should be able to get more wear from your swimwear than you normally do.
1 - steer clear of machine washing your swimwear. Always use a gentle detergent and wash it by hand in only warm water, not hot.
2 - never use a tumble drier or an iron on your swimwear. Heat is bad. Hang it outside to dry
3 - keep an older suit handy for when you can't avoid hot water such as using a hot tub
4 - salt and chlorine are the enemies of Lycra. Always rinse yourself and your swimwear in clean fresh water after a swim in the pool or ocean
5 - if you are going to allow your swimwear to dry while you are still wearing it, then lie out in the shade. Direct sunlight will fade the colours, especially when your swimsuit is still wet
6 - if you have got changed out of your wet swimwear, don't wrap it up in your towel as your towel likely contains lots of the chlorine from the pool or salt from the sea that you have just tried to rinse away meaning that it will now be transferred back to your swimsuit.
7 - have more than one swimsuit. If you let your swimsuit dry properly for 24 hours it will regain its proper shape. This won't happen if you wear it day after day. Anyway, it looks good to have more than one outfit!
8 - use your dry towel or something similar to sit on. If you sit on the edge of the pool or a rocky outcrop this will probably have a rough surface and will easily damage your Lycra swimsuit
9 - the sun causes more damage to your swimsuit or bikini when it is wet, so do your sunbathing first, then go for a swim. If you have to do it the other way around, consider having two separate items of swimwear and beachwear so you can change into a dry bikini for sunbathing afterwards.
10 - consider paying a little more for swimwear made from advanced fabrics and weaves. Some are much stronger than Lycra and some are resistant to chemicals such as chlorine. However, the strength of some of these may affect their elasticity and so they may not be nearly as comfortable. Some advanced microfibre swimwear such as tan through suits are machine washable, chlorine and salt water resistant and fast drying, all of which will help prolong the life of the suit. It may be more expensive in the first place but in the long run it could save you money by lasting longer.
At the end of the day swimwear is going to be abused more than most other items of clothing that you wear and so inevitably it isn't going to last for ever. However, if you follow our top ten tips for swimwear care then you should get maximum wear out of your beach gear and it will continue to fit properly and look good and will ultimately keep you feeling great on the beach for longer.