Alternatives to Wearing a Swimsuit

Swimming is a summertime necessity! You are most likely well prepared and have brought one or even several swimsuits if you are on vacation or have made long-term plans. But you might also encounter circumstances during the summer where swimming is suddenly the next activity. Last-minute swims are part of the fun of summer because it’s the season for spontaneity! Unplanned activities can be a lot of fun and exciting. When it comes to swimming, though, this might also mean that you missed the opportunity to get ready and pack a swimsuit. It could also be as simple as the fact that you intended to bring your swimsuit but somehow forgot to do so. 

What do you wear if you want to swim but don’t have a swimsuit? In this article, we’ve listed some of the best and safest alternatives to wearing a swimsuit. 

Considerations when Choosing Clothes to Wear instead of a Swimsuit

Before discussing the fun alternatives, let’s first go through some important considerations when choosing to swim in something other than a bathing suit. You have to consider external factors in addition to shape and material when eyeing for the substitute to wearing your swimsuit. Below are some things you need to carefully consider: 

1. Type of water you will be swimming in  – Will you be in a pool? What kind of water are you swimming in? A lake? An ocean? The river? Strong currents or tides in natural bodies of water could be dangerous if you are not properly dressed. Any loose clothing could be at risk from the underbrush or reeds that can be found along rivers and lakes. Another important factor in this case is depth.

2. Time of day/temperature – Swimming in a fabric that is too constrictive when the temperature is too high may not be ideal. A health risk could arise from being wrapped in cold, wet clothing for even a brief period of time if the temperature is much lower.

3. Activity– Do you intend to swim, or will you just be lazing around in the shallow end? Your clothing should ideally be as similar to a traditional swimsuit as possible if you intend to engage in more strenuous physical activity.

4. Accessibility into/out of the Water – When wearing wet clothing, entering and exiting the water may prove to be more difficult. For a variety of reasons, you may occasionally need to be able to quickly leave the water. You should wear clothing that won’t make it difficult or cumbersome for you to exit the water quickly if the access to it isn’t as simple as walking down steps. 

Accessibility into out of the Water

After reading these important considerations, check out these swimwear alternatives which are perfect for a fun day at the beach:

1. Classic Maxi Dress 

In the absence of a swimming suit, you can always wear your favorite maxi dress and flip flops if you’re unsure. The fabric weight of your dress should be as light as possible. Simply hike up your dress a little or tie a knot at the bottom if you choose to wade in the water and enjoy the coolness.

2. The T-Shirt Dress Outfit 

Your legs could use some sun. Put on a relaxed, airy t-shirt dress and take advantage of the sunshine. T-shirt dresses are great for the summer in general, and the beach is a great place to wear them. It can be worn on its own or to cover up your swimsuit. It can also be worn with a pair of leggings.

3. Printed Shorts Outfit 

If you hate wearing denim to the beach, skip the denim shorts and choose a pair of loose-fitting printed shorts instead. They are not only very comfortable, but if they get wet, they will dry quickly. For the ideal day at the beach, wear your shorts with a tank top and flip flops.

4. Swim Dresses 

The swim dress is a go-to option when it comes to swimsuit substitutes. With a little more restraint, a swim dress uses swimsuit-like patterns. Unlike swimsuits, this attire has a flowing design and is made of lightweight material. To keep you covered even after your skirt rises, it frequently includes shorts.

5. Board Shorts and Tops 

The short and top combo is a great swimsuit alternative you should think about because it looks very similar to wearing a two-piece swimsuit. There are no restrictions on wearing tops and shorts made of various materials to engage in a variety of aquatic activities. On your trips to the beach, you will most likely notice this style more frequently because it is one of the easiest to follow. Fortunately, this style allows for virtually endless combinations. Shorts can be worn with a bandeau, crop top, bralette, or button-up shirt. You can also pair your top with high-waisted, cut-leg, or swim briefs as an alternative.

6. Romper Dress 

When deciding what to wear, consider a romper dress as an appropriate substitute for a swimsuit. You are certain to find one that suits you because this type of clothing is available in a variety of styles. The romper dress is available in print, floral, stripe, or plain. In addition to mixing different styles, you can wear your romper dress with cardigans, utility jackets, or denim jackets. Talk about having fun wearing a free, fashionable, and on-trend outfit.

7. Wetsuit or rash guard 

If you surf frequently, chances are you already have a wetsuit, which is fortunate because on days when you’re not catching waves, you can also wear it as swimwear. Another excellent choice is rash guards, which will shield your skin from the sun and any possible cuts or scratches when you’re in the water. When you’re done swimming for the day, you can always wear them again for their intended purpose, just like leggings and workout attire.

8. Workout clothes

Do you have a favorite pair of sports tank tops or athletic shorts to wear when you work out? There is no reason why you can’t wear them for swimming as well. Once more, make sure they are made of a quick-drying material to prevent them from becoming too heavy when wet. And remember to wash them off afterwards!

9. Leggings 

If they are made of a material that dries quickly, a good pair of leggings can serve as an excellent swimming costume. You only need a T-shirt or tank top to complete your outfit. Leggings offer more coverage than swimsuits, which can be important for anyone who feels self-conscious about their body. For many people, leggings are also more comfortable than swimsuits. Additionally, you can reuse them by washing them in cold water after each use to avoid them becoming overly stretched out.

Final Reminders 

Here are some final reminders to consider when choosing your swimming suit alternatives:


1. Fabric Should Be Water-Resistant 

The first rule of thumb when choosing alternate apparel for swimming is to make sure the fabric is water-resistant. This will help ensure that your clothes don’t get soaked through and become uncomfortable or heavy. There are a variety of fabrics that are suitable for this purpose, such as nylon and polyester.

2. It Should Fit Your Body Snugly 

The second rule is that your clothes should fit your body snugly. This will help reduce drag as you move through the water. It also prevents your clothes from coming off in the event of a sudden impact on the water. For this reason, it’s typically best to choose form-fitting clothing such as leggings or a close-fitting shirt.

3. Avoid risky garments

Avoid wearing the items on the following list in water (for swimming purposes) as they pose extreme safety risks.

  • Jeans
  • baggy attire
  • t-shirts or tank tops
  • Tracksuits
  • Decorative items with rips, cords, and longer extensions that could become tangled or hooked
  • Fleece\sWool\sFlannel


You can choose the ideal alternative clothing for your next trip to the beach or pool by remembering these tips and alternatives. There’s no need to spend money on a new swimsuit each time summer arrives—with a little creativity, anything can serve as swimwear in an emergency!

So, the next time you’re caught without a bathing suit, keep in mind that wetsuits, workout gear, and even leggings and so many other alternatives can all be used as an emergency substitute. Enjoy the water right away by going outside!


No responses yet

Leave a Reply

Your email address will not be published. Required fields are marked *

Latest Comments

No comments to show.