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One-piece swimsuit fashion, style tips and much more.



One-piece swimsuit definitions
> One-piece swimsuit
> Maillot (one-piece swimsuit)
> Competition swimsuit


History of the one-piece swimsuit
> General
> Competition Swimwear


One-piece swimsuit Styles / Designs
> One-piece swimsuit Styles/Designs


One-piece swimsuit fitting, shopping & other tips
> General one-piece swimsuit fitting tips
> Competition one-piece swimsuit fitting tips
> Competition one-piece swimsuit shopping tips
> Swimsuit washing tips


One-piece swimsuit fabrics
> Aquablade
> Cotton
> Fastskin
> Lycra, Spandex, Elastine
> Neoprene (Neopren)


International One-piece swimsuit size conversions
> Major International Countries
> Japanese Swimwear (Competition swimsuit) Measurements




One-piece swimsuit

A one-piece swimsuit is a usually skin-tight one-piece swimsuit used by women when swimming in the sea or in a swimming pool. The one-piece swimsuit usually covers the genitalia, the breasts and all of the front of the body in between. A special type is however the monokini, which is made in one piece but does not cover the breasts.


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mail•lot (mä-yō')
A coarsely knitted, stretchable jersey fabric.
A pair of tights or a leotard of such fabric, worn for ballet or gymnastics.
A woman's one-piece swimsuit usually cut high on the leg.
[French, from Old French, swaddling clothes, from maille, mesh, from Latin macula.]

French term which has two meanings: 1. A women’s one-piece bathing suit. 1. Tights for dancers, aerobics or gymnasts.

The maillot is the fashion designer's name for a woman's one-piece swimsuit. A maillot swimsuit generally consists of a tank-style torso top with high-cut legs. However, a maillot may also include a plunging neckline, turtleneck-style top, or revealing cutouts.

In addition to describing women’s one-piece swimsuits, the word maillot has also been used to refer to tights or leotards made of stretchable, jersey fabric, generally used for dance or gymnastics. The term maillot was first used to describe tight-fitting, one-piece swimsuits in the 1920s, as these swimsuits had been manufactured from a similar stretchable, jersey fabric. Because the maillot is fairly slimming in its coverage and often more modest than the bikini, it is a favored swimsuit choice of older women.

Modern Usage of Term "Maillot"

In the present day, the phrase one-piece swimsuit has almost completely replaced the term maillot in colloquial language. While the word has now become somewhat obsolete in common language, fashion designers and consumers used it quite often in the early days of the modern swimsuit. It is now most often used to distinguish between several different types of one-piece swimsuits, including the tank maillot and the pretzel maillot.


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Competition Swimsuit


Competition swimsuits differ somewhat from fashion swimsuits in style, fit, and fabric. Because they are designed to stay in place and facilitate swimming speed in the water (rather than flatter the body), competition swimsuits do not generally warrant a huge amount of attention on the fashion swimsuit scene. However, competition swimsuits do come in a variety of styles and boast an interesting history that fits seamlessly with the overall history of swimsuits.

Today, the competition swimsuit market is generally dominated by the swimsuit brand Speedo. While Jantzen and some other swimsuit brands do maintain a tenuous hold in competition swimwear, Speedo swimsuits are now worn by nearly 90% of Olympians, including Michael Phelps and Inge de Bruijn.

The Speedo swimsuit company was launched in 1914 when it expanded its production from underwear to swimsuits. While Speedo swimsuits were somewhat popular in the early decades of the 20th century, it would be their general domination among the athletes at the Melbourne Olympics in 1956 that would provide their entrance to the international market and solidify their current popularity among athletes.

The manufacturers of competitive swimsuits pay attention to several factors that are not generally important in fashionable or recreational swimsuits. Because speed and smoothness in the water are so essential to a good competition swimsuit, manufacturers have paid close attention to the skin of water animals (like sharks and dolphins). A major goal of competitive swimsuit manufacturers is replicating the texture and smoothness of water animal skin in swimsuit fabric. For example, the Speedo brand recently released its line of Fastskin swimsuits, designed to replicate a shark’s skin in the water. While colors, prints, and cut are the most important factors in recreational swimwear, texture and tightness are the most important factors in competitive swimwear.

Competition swimsuits generally contain a high concentration of spandex fabric to ensure a consistent, streamlined fit on the body. Because of the high amount of chlorine competitive swimsuits are required to combat, the fabric is generally treated for chlorine resistance. However, no fabric can be treated for complete chlorine resistance. Thus, competition swimsuits wear out fairly quickly with heavy use.

Competition swimsuits for both men and women come in a variety of cuts and fits. Men’s competitive swimsuits come in every cut from the basic brief style to full body coverage. Women’s competitive swimsuits also range from basic tank maillots to full-body suits. Many serious competitors use the full-body swimsuit style to take advantage of the specially designed texture of the fabric.


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