Swimsuit tops chart of UK’s favourite swimwear styles


The swimsuit makes it to number one.

Forget the bikini, the one-piece is the swimwear style of choice for UK women, according to the results of our swimwear survey.

An overwhelming 70% of women buy swimsuits compared with 53% who buy bikinis, and for 44% it is the item of swimwear they wear most often. The bikini languishes behind on 33%, followed by other styles such as tankinis and swimdresses.

It’s a bit of a reversal in fortunes for the two styles, as the bikini has dominated the swimwear scene for a while now with the swimsuit traditionally seen as the ‘frumpier’ option. But that has been changing, and the one-piece is very much in vogue, helped by the fact that there are some gorgeous swimsuits available these days. Here are Fashion Bust, we’re all big fans!

It might also have something to do with the new trend for shaping swimwear, which is now worn by more than 40% of women. While you can put shaping panels in a bikini, the extra coverage of a swimsuit makes it a much more effective shaping garment, and brands and retailers are now teaming control elements with other flattering details such as ruching and cleverly placed prints and colours to create some super flattering styles. It all plays into making the one-piece that much more desirable than it may have been previously.

And that’s not the only interesting fact thrown up by our survey. We’ll be delving into it in more detail in subsequent features, but for now we just want to give you some of the highlights.

Considering that swimwear buying and wearing can cause such angst and precipitate extreme pre-holiday diet and exercise regimes, women in the UK are more enthusiastic about it than we might have expected. For a start, we buy quite a lot of it. A quarter of women buy new swimwear for every holiday and the same again buy a new item every year. Only 18% wait until their swimwear has worn out before replacing it.

And we do hang onto it. Close to a third of women own five or more items of swimwear and 34% own three or four. And the oldest piece of swimwear owned is five years old or older for 33%. 15% have swimwear that is four years old. Only 15% of women said the oldest items they owned was a year or less. If you’re a hoarder, make sure you read our tips on how to keep your swimwear in good condition.

We also like to make sure we have choice on holiday. Just 13% go away with only one item of swimwear. The vast majority (65%) take two or three items and almost a quarter take four or more. Which is entirely sensible in our view.

However, that doesn’t mean we have an easy time buying it. While over 60% of women said fit was their number one consideration when buying swimwear, more than 50% said they struggle to find something that fits and flatters. Which could possibly explain why we’re not keen to part with too much cash. The average spend for 30% of women is less than £20, while 38% spend between £20 and £30 per item. But that could be because we’re saving our money for the matching beachwear, which 66% of women say they buy.

But – and this is the big question – do we enjoy buying swimwear? We’ll admit it, we expected a resounding ‘no’. Here at Fashion Bust we may love swimwear, but the process of buying it is not always the most enjoyable. Something about those unforgiving changing room lights….

However, we were surprised. 37% said no, 32% said yes. The rest were not bothered either way. It’s hardly an emphatic ‘yes’, but far from the horrified reaction we were expecting. So possibly that’s why we all seem to own quite a bit of swimwear.

We’ll be taking a more detailed look into our swimwear buying habits in future features, but we hope you enjoyed those few little tasters.

Image via Shutterstock. Copyright Alliance.


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