Keep on swimming: Menstrual swimwear gains popularity

Keep on swimming: Menstrual swimwear gains popularity
Credit: Réjeanne

Swimming at any time when menstruating has long been a problem for women, but the onset of summer emphasises that issue. Thankfully, building on the success of menstrual underwear, clothing brands are developing swimwear that can provide women with the freedom to enjoy the beach and the pool without concern.

Menstrual swimwear is not a new trend but its arrival in the late 2010s was met with a muted response by consumers. Now, as it has gained in popularity, brands have started to produce stylish versions which dispel the myth that all menstrual fashion has to be bulky and oversized.

In recent years, menstrual underwear has led the way by providing women and teenage girls with more comfort, confidence and protection throughout the year, while paving the way for swimsuits. Brands have been looking toward replicating this in their swimsuit lines for the last three years and this summer could be seen as the season where menstrual swimwear gains ground.

A recent survey showed that two-thirds of women refused to go swimming on holiday due to having their period and more than half even prevented themselves from going to the beach during the time. Suffice to say that menstrual swimsuits appear, more than innovation, as a real revolution.

Design, style and ease

The designs now on the market are similar to any bikini or one-piece but have a very discreet, waterproof core, which can contain the flow and avoid staining. Brands are constantly innovating to offer new, functional or responsible materials while improving their ability to cope with all levels of flow. But at present, menstrual swimsuits are most often recommended at the beginning or end of the cycle when the flow is lighter. Otherwise, it is advisable to use swimwear with menstrual products.

These designs which are constructed with the lighter phases of menstruation in mind are not only practical but also economical and ecological since they avoid the use of menstrual products throughout the cycle and wash very easily.

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As well as offering protection and confidence, they are increasingly stylish with cuts, materials and colours all coming into line with the most fashionable swimwear styles.

Brands like Moodz, PliM, dans Ma Culotte, Réjeanne and Petites Culottées all offer many different styles to fit all body types and use organic material, and in some cases recycled cloth.

Now periods no longer have to compromise the enjoyment of a swim on holiday.

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