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Can You Swim in a Sports Bra?

by Assessor

One of our readers recently asked if it’s possible to wear a sports bra instead of a bikini top for swimming. While they may appear similar, sports bras and swim tops have distinct purposes. So, can you really wear a sports bra as a bikini top and blend in at the beach? Let’s explore the topic and consider a few factors.

Why Consider a Sports Bra?

There are some valid reasons why a sports bra can be a suitable substitute for a bikini top:

  • Superb Support: If you have a larger bust, finding a bikini top that offers adequate support can be challenging. Sports bras, on the other hand, excel in providing the necessary support, especially when engaging in vigorous water activities.
  • Ultimate Comfort: When it comes to comfort, sports bras reign supreme. Unlike underwired bikini tops that often dig into your skin, sports bras are designed without those uncomfortable metal wires. Instead, they feature flexible plastic boning that offers shape and support without any pain.
  • Fashionable Options: Gone are the days of unflattering sports bra designs. Nowadays, brands create sports bras that can even pass as trendy bikini tops. Whether you prefer a sporty look or one with stylish crisscross details at the back, you can find a design that suits your style.

Factors to Consider

Despite these benefits, there are some downsides to using a sports bra as a bikini top. It’s essential to weigh these factors before making a decision:

  • Durability Concerns: While sports bras are designed to absorb sweat, they are not as resilient as bikini tops when it comes to chlorine and saltwater exposure. This means that sports bras may be more vulnerable to damage in pool or seawater.
  • Drying Time: Unlike hydrophobic and quick-drying bikini tops, sports bras tend to dry slowly and can feel heavy and dragging when wet.
  • Care Instructions: Pay close attention to the care instructions for your sports bra. Some may not be suitable for chlorine exposure, as it can fade the colors and degrade the elastics over time.
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Tips for Wearing a Sports Bra for Swimming

If you decide to go ahead and wear a sports bra for swimming, here are some tips to enhance your experience:

  • Color Choice: Avoid white or light-colored sports bras, as they tend to become see-through when wet. Opt for darker or vibrant colors instead.
  • Care Instructions: Always follow the care instructions provided with your sports bra. If it advises against chlorine exposure, it’s best to avoid wearing it in pools.
  • Rinse After Use: Regardless of the care instructions, rinse your sports bra with freshwater as soon as possible after swimming.
  • Consider Material: Look for sports bras made with at least 70% polyester. Polyester fabric is strong, chlorine-resistant, and quick-drying. If you’re sensitive to polyester, consider a blend of 50% PBT and 50% polyester for added comfort and durability.
  • Fit Test: Before swimming, try on your sports bra while it’s soaking wet to ensure it feels comfortable and manageable in the water. Avoid sports bras with a high cotton content, as cotton absorbs water and is sensitive to chlorine and saltwater.

In the end, if the drawbacks of using a sports bra for swimming outweigh the benefits, it might be best to stick with a dedicated swim top. But if you find a sports bra that meets your needs and can withstand water exposure, go ahead and enjoy your swim!

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