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Why the hell do my swimming costumes do this?

95 replies

Silverswirl · 04/02/2022 20:36

I’m beyond frustrated. Can anyone relate / give advice?
I have large boobs so need a non padded, NON moulded cup, underwired swimming costume. (Would never wear bikini)
I get them from figleaves (now simply be I believe) and they look great, fit well, hold everything in place. They arnt cheap but I can’t really find anything as good. All swimming costumes seem to come with moulded cups which do not work with my boobs at all.
The problem is that every flipping costume really quickly goes see through at the bum after a short time. The water degrades it.
I always rinse well with cold water.
I seem to have to buy a new one every year and now with my latest one I’ve only worn it approx 10 times and it’s already completely see through at the bum.
I’m so cross as these costumes cost around £60.
Please tell me someone has an answer to this 😩


If you've found this page in search of swimwear that has been tried and tested by fellow Mumsnet users, you might find our guide to the best swimsuits for women useful. Hope this helps! MNHQ

OP posts:

Am I being unreasonable?

58 votes. Final results.

You are being unreasonable
You are NOT being unreasonable
Silverswirl · 04/02/2022 22:06

Thank you all so much. I will try the speedo endurance - bit sceptical due to on underwire but will get one to try on.
I don’t get on with tankinis - I’m very curvy with a big hip and small waist and I find tankinis just ride up when swimming / walking around to and from the pool / around the pool.
If I buy a bigger tankini it’s loose when walking but then flappy when swimming. If I buy a tight tankini it’s raising up and showing my muffin top.
Also I need high waisted briefs to hold the stomach in anyway which is why I never wear bikinis (I did once buy a high waisted bikini but it looks just weird and ugly when paired with big boobs on top.
I just find I’m constantly worrying about pulling and adjusting a tankini getting in and out of the pool (in kids pools etc with children) which just doesn’t happen with a swimming costume. Just much more comfortable all round.
That’s why I’m so annoyed- the ones from figleaves and so comfortable, extremely flattering, supportive. I actually feel confident in a swimming costume in front of people.
Just a massive shame every single time they go see through in the bum.

OP posts:
bruffin · 04/02/2022 21:56

I had a Zoggs that lasted me years , i was swimming up to 4 x week for about a year and 1 or 2 a week for the rest of the time. I always put it on rinse cycle when i got home and let it dry naturally.
Only thing with Zoggs is that started going away from crossbacks for their range for bigger women. I need crossback because straps slide off my shoulders.
My latest is a speedo but hardly any use between lockdown and the air conditioning blowing up at our local pool.

TheAbbotOfUnreason · 04/02/2022 21:47

DS (also national level) had no problems with his Endurance training kit lasting months. Endurance has vastly improved over the last few years so maybe the early stuff wasn’t so durable? The early LZR suits were good for a few races, the later ones if well looked after lasted much longer.

The girls favoured Uglies for training (lined so double layer and not OK for competition). Mosconi racing suits were the choice of larger busted swimmers.

NoToLandfill · 04/02/2022 21:46

Hi OP it is the chlorine in the water that disintegrates the lycra in the fabric.
Polyester suits dont degrade like this.

And yes you need to properly wash the swimsuit after every swim. DEFINITELY after a hot tub. As these have lots more chlorine in them than a swimming pool.

In a hotel etc just use some shampoo and wash them in the shower/ sink.

supersluthspy · 04/02/2022 21:39

How do you dry it? This has happened to me when I dried it too close to a radiator

IamnotSethRogan · 04/02/2022 21:37

Have you tried Cupshe? They're excellent

OddsNSodsBitsNBobs · 04/02/2022 21:35


I'm 32F and my Speedo Endurance legsuit has lasted me a couple of years now. It has a shelf bra though, not underwired. Currently sold out but they've had it for years, no doubt it'll be back, still available elsewhere:

*@OddsNSodsBitsNBobs* I'm sure OP is not looking for a £350+ racing suit to wear in the hot tub Grin

I was a '90s swimmer,so speedo S2000 was 'the costume' expensive at the time but not comparable to £359. I was referring to run of the mill racing costumes.
Happyhappyday · 04/02/2022 21:33

I would buy from a company that actually specializes in swim, ie TYR, Speedo, Nike. Make sure the suits are fully lined too. You can also buy chlorine neutralizing rinses.

If you really want to push the boat out, my sea folly suit has lasted 10 years but I only use it 10x a year and usually in a less chlorinated outdoor pool/ocean etc.

Former competitive swimmer and I would usually expect to get 3-4 months out of a suit being worn 3 hours/day 5 days a week but I’d also never buy from anything other than a swim company.

OddsNSodsBitsNBobs · 04/02/2022 21:32

Yes, but endurance don't last much longer either. I trained 4 hours X 6 days week unless competing from age 9 to early 20's, a costume didn't see me a month. I had multiple suits and even then I ended up wearing 2 old costumes on top of each other (to save purchase and the advantage of resistance training).

Agapornis · 04/02/2022 21:31

I'm 32F and my Speedo Endurance legsuit has lasted me a couple of years now. It has a shelf bra though, not underwired. Currently sold out but they've had it for years, no doubt it'll be back, still available elsewhere:

@OddsNSodsBitsNBobs I'm sure OP is not looking for a £350+ racing suit to wear in the hot tub Grin

TheCanyon · 04/02/2022 21:29


Dont wash in fabric softener it kills lycra and elastic. Same goes for tights

Today at age 35 i learned.

Why though? I don't need a scientific explanation, just what's so bad with f.c that it does it?
Porfre · 04/02/2022 21:29

I thought it was a great idea that's what I do.

Wear a swim costume and shorts alongside

Keepingthingsinteresting · 04/02/2022 21:28

It’s the Lycra being degraded by a combination of chlorine, sunlight and other chemicals (hot tubs are especially bad due to the heat). I know you say you have big boobs, so do I but I find speedo endurance are by far the best- two layers so mor support and less affected by degradation - I can make them last a few years or swimming 4/5 times a week, and they go in the machine on a cool wash. Not as attractive as a Proper bar, but much the better solution for me.

Roadtripconcept · 04/02/2022 21:26

As mentioned above , a lot of costumes are designed for a holiday by the pool and don't do well in chlorine .
I'm another vote for Speedo . I buy tankini top and shorts . I wash them on the rinse cycle and air dry out of the sun .
As they get a little bit worn I will use that costume for hot tub/sauna and get a new costume for swimming .
The heat of the sauna destroys costumes as well .
A benefit to having separate top and bottom is that if the bottoms perish I only need to replace half the costume .

Summersnake · 04/02/2022 21:24

I swim every day ,I buy a costume usually 1 to 2 sizes bigger than I need ,but not to big I’m gaping anywhere .
I rotate 3/4 costumes ,they go in machine with detergent after every swim…they last absolutely ages ,all from simply be ,their own make

millymae · 04/02/2022 21:24

I swim 4 or 5 days a week and always wear Zoggs or Speedo swimsuits that have a double layer over the bust which provides a bit of extra support.
I am certainly not small in the chest area (wearing gg bras) but this type of swimsuit gives me a not too bad shape.
When I get out of the pool I initially shower with my costume on then take it off, wring it out and once I’m dry wrap it in my towel. When I get home I either hang it on the line to dry or in the bathroom. None of my swimsuits have ever seen the inside of my washing machine or had a proper wash and they’ve never worn over the bottom area.
My swimsuits are all colourful but they are not what you’d call fashionable - they are intended for sports rather than leisure and are advertised as being chlorine resistant (or words to that effect)

Hobbes8 · 04/02/2022 21:23

Thank you @Dahlietta and @BloomingInformation

That’s all I wanted.

RhymesWithOrange · 04/02/2022 21:22

I swim most days in the sea, barely look after my swimsuits (rinsed in cold water or in the shower while I'm still wearing it) and they're at least 12 years old, still fine.

They're speedo brand.

foobio · 04/02/2022 21:22

Try Deakin & Blue costumes for good chlorine resistance and the fit you've described

SynchroSwimmer · 04/02/2022 21:21

I think you might want to search specifically for Chlorine Resist swimwear - which really do last ages, not necessarily from here, but some examples:

Have the same problems as you with the tops - if I find something just right, I buy 4 at a time…

Gladioli23 · 04/02/2022 21:18

I wear a 34G and usually use a sporty slazenger one. I swim 4x a week and have three cheap costumes, and then one costume that's more for lounging that swimming. They last about 18 months I reckon?

The slazenger ones I use don't have cups at all but everything is so elasticated that once hoiked into place nothing is going anywhere.

TheAbbotOfUnreason · 04/02/2022 21:18


Ex national swimmer here, a racing costume say Speedo only has around 30 hours life.....

Endurance training costumes aren’t racing suits.

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GettingThemFromHereToThere · 04/02/2022 21:15

The fact it's only happening on the bum indicates it's not a problem with the material/washing; otherwise you'd find it in other places too.

I'm wondering if the suit could be a tad too small and overstretching over your bum? I would get a tankini and buy the larger bottoms and see if that helps 🤞

NoLongerTroels · 04/02/2022 21:15

Get a Lands End one they are bullet proof practically. Mine never went thin on the bum, maybe a bit silly from sitting on the rough cement poolside when the kids were small. They also are called Tugless, they don't ride up and show butt cheeks. They also do Tankini if you prefer. I used to buy bigger top and smaller bottom in a tankini.

confusednortherner · 04/02/2022 21:14

I'd disagree about putting it washing machine. My children swim a lot, ds swims 6 days a week and we never put swimwear in machine. Good rinse in cold water every time and they last fine. Though in saying that we only but Arena, Speedo etc.

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