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June 01, 2024 4 min read

What does modest swimwear mean?

As someone who has grown up going on retreats, mission trips, and church camps during the summer, it was always known that the girls were asked to dress modestly, especially when it came to swimwear. But the question of – “what does modest swimwear mean?” would undoubtedly stump some of us ladies who were in attendance. The phrase “modest swimwear” can sometimes seem non-specific and subjective with lack of direction. Even a quick search on the internet will show you all the different ways to interpret what modest swimwear means.

Then, once we figured out what modest swimwear meant, the problem was usually finding a swimsuit that had a cute style and fun print while also meeting the standards of whatwasconsidered modest. At times, it would seem like an impossible feat, especially when shopping in-person at a department store. Oftentimes, we would be met with outdated prints, and styles that were plain unbecoming. Thankfully, with the rise of ecommerce and online brands, there are now plenty more examples and options to choose from. And there have been several different bloggers and magazine publications, such as Verily Magazine, who put out articles with guidance on where to find those modest swimsuits.

In my personal experience, modest swimwear means choosing the swimwear option with full-coverage. Sometimes giving examples with visuals is a better way to explain what modest swimwear is, rather than trying to explain it with words. Below you will find both words describing what modest swimwear means, as well as hyperlinks to images of what would be considered modest swimwear.

One-piece swimsuits, such as the Midnight Dip black one piece swimsuit or the Beach Picnic one piece swimsuit, would usually be considered a safe option, as they have good bust coverage and full-coverage in the back, in addition to keeping the stomach covered. The Midnight Dip swimsuit is great because it has adjustable straps with gold details and ribbed fabric that compresses in all of the right spots. Similarly, the Beach Picnic has that compressive fabric but it isoh so softand smooth as soon as you touch it. It also has an elegant key-hole detail in the bust section which adds a little bit of uniqueness to what could otherwise be a typical one piece swimsuit, but it is still considered modest with its overall coverage. The soft blue and white colors in the gingham pattern are also perfect for making a summer tan really pop, which is just an extra bonus point! This swimsuit just belongs on the coast of Nantucket with its nautical blue.

Tankini swimsuits, similar to the Snow on the Beach white tankini top, had a good reputation of serving the girls well too with its full-coverage of the stomach. And the matching Snow on the Beach white high-waisted swim bottoms give plenty of coverage in not only the stomach area, but the back side as well. The white tankini top is great because it has those gold details on the adjustable straps, just like the Midnight Dip swimsuit. The ruffle on the peplum style of the swimsuit top is also great for not only keeping the stomach covered, but also keeping things flattering in general in that sometimes troublesome midsection area. The white high-waisted swimsuit bottoms are perfect because they hit right at the belly button and give just the right amount of fabric in the back, so that you’re fully covered without there being any excessive material. We love a full brief!

Two-piece swimsuits in general could be a little more tricky when it comes to modest swimwear because usually it would leave a lot of stomach showing. However, thankfully the swimsuit industry has come a long way since the days I used to attend those events that called for modest swimwear, because there are several two-piece swimsuit options out there that still give good coverage. 

These darling bandeau and high-waisted swimsuit bottom styles come in many different colors and prints, all while offering full-coverage on top and bottom. These could be considered a midkini since they do show a little bit of your abdomen, but they are still relatively modest. The jet black bandeau swimsuit top and jet black high waisted bathing suit bottoms are super cute, while still qualifying as modest swimwear, thanks to the conservative neckline just below the adorable tie straps and generous coverage in the backside of the swimsuit bottoms. This style is super feminine and youthful. Feel free to take a browse at some other prints in this styleheresuch as the floral bandeau swimsuit top and swimsuit bottoms, the popular lemon bandeau swimsuit top and swimsuit bottoms, and the gray and white striped ones too!

There’s also the Dusty Floral tankini top and bottoms that would definitely qualify as a modest swimsuit with its all-over coverage. We love the muted colors in the floral design. It has an elegant and understated color palette with a classy cut in the style. These bottoms sit almost like a boy short with their slight coverage of the front legs and backside, making a perfect example of modest swimwear.

Lastly, you could go for a more liberal take on what modest swimwear means by wearing a regular bikini top and high-waist swim bottoms. This sea foam green bikini topshows a little more chest on top but it’s matching swimsuit bottoms balance it out perfectly by having a full brief. The high-waist swimsuit bottoms also sit at right about the belly button, so most of the stomach is covered too. We love the contrast of the top and the bottom because it’s an even more modern take on what modest swimwear means.

In short, one could say that the key to modest swimwear is a swimsuit with full-coverage, meaning you keep your chest, stomach, and bum covered. Some words to keep in mind when asking “what does modest swimwear mean?” are: elegant, classy, timeless, and conservative. Each person might have their own reason for choosing modest swimwear, but the most important thing is that you feel comfortable and confident in what you’re wearing.

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