Fitting guide: Best bikinis for swimming

July 03, 2024

Deakin & Blue Best Bikini for Open Water Swimming

What does the word 'bikini' conjure up for you? Itsy Bitsy Teeny Weeny stringy thingies with less support than a piece of Sellotape? Sexy, revealing beach posing? Pressure to lose weight or tone up?

The bikini ought to be about women’s liberation, freedom and self-expression. There’s evidence that women wore bikini-style clothing as early as 5600 BC during competitive athletic events in Ancient Rome. And yet, as late as the 1950s, the Pope shamed the humble two-piece as sinful.

But, as the bikini became normalised from the 1960s onwards, so did pressure to look a certain way. The term ‘bikini body’ came into our parlance in the early 1960s when an American weight-loss salon chain called Slenderella ran ads using the phrase. Rather than being about women’s liberation, wearing a bikini became about fitting beauty standards.

The thing is, two-pieces are really practical and the right bikini that’s comfortable and fits well will make you feel incredible. They’re not only easier to get on and off than swimsuits, but they also feel amazing to swim in – with or without a wetsuit. And, as we have found out, when you feel incredible and you get into a flow with your exercise, the wellbeing benefits are huge.

So, which two-piece should you choose?

Deakin & Blue best bikinis for swimming

The best all-round bikini for watersports 

At the top of our list is the new Sports Swimbra 2.0 bikini. An update on the original Swimbra, this gorgeous bikini is smooth, soft and supportive. It’s not quite running sports bra supportive – it gives you shape rather than squashing your breasts, but it’s sure to hold everything in place while you swim, surf and paddle board.

We love: The beautiful forest green colour in the top and matching high-waisted bottoms.

You love: “I purchased the Sports Swimbra 2.0 Bikini top - Monroe and High Waisted Bikini bottoms Forest Green at the end of May. I wore them both at a recent charity event - Shepperton 24 hr relay swim for Level Water, wearing both for over 2 hours each," said Suzi. "The amount of admiring comments I received was unbelievable… Whilst a bit of a struggle to get into (as advertised), they fit like a second skin and are so comfortable during swimming that you don't know you are wearing them.”

Deakin & Blue Sports Swimbra Bikini for active wear

The best sun-lounger to pool bikini

If you’re looking for holiday versatility, the new adjustable Plunge Bikini is pretty perfect. With its plunging V-neckline, super-soft feel and sumptuous colours, it looks beautiful. But don’t be fooled by appearances – this bikini is made of two layers of extra durable fabric, which, along with clever tailoring and adjustable straps gives you lots of support with no risk of ‘popping out’ as you swim or SUP.

We love:The gorgeous adjustable shape that offers excellent support.

You love:“I’m not usually a bikini person for a number of reasons, but wearing the high waisted plunge bikini is the best I’ve ever looked in a two piece," said Shani. "The colour is beautiful, the fabric is substantial yet comfortable, and the cut, especially with a feminine plunge neckline, is flattering yet securely supportive.”

Deakin & Blue Plunge Bikini for swimming

The best tankini for swimming

Tankinis were invented in the late 1990s to offer the versatility of a two-piece with the coverage of a swimsuit. Our Essential Tankini has just these original qualities, but without any chance of the top riding up or flapping as you swim. Made from thicker, bonded fabric, it’s not only incredibly supportive but also warmer, more protective and more durable than regular swimwear. Coupled with flexible mesh around the neckline and shoulders, and you can freestyle all day long.

We love:The super-soft, chafe-free seams.

You love:“Love my tankini – really supportive and feels well made," said Laura. "Very comfortable to swim in and goes with all my other bikini bottoms.”

Deakin & Blue Essential Tankini