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8 Cute bathing suits you can actually wear for swimming

These suits are made for swimming

Swimsuit shopping can be such a chore. While barely-there triangle bikini tops and ruffled "retro" one-pieces are adorable for laying out in the sand, they aren't very practical for swimming laps or riding the waves. What's an active girl to do?

Turns out, you're in luck! There are plenty of cute suits out there for those of us who like to, you know, actually swim at the beach. The beach and the pool are about more than just tanning and looking cute. Swimming is incredible exercise, so make the most of that and choose a swimsuit with some staying power. Here are our eight picks for fashionable, swimmable one- and two-piece suits.

1. Underwire one-piece

1. Underwire One-Piece

Despite what advertisers would have you believe, we are not all rocking A-cups. An underwire provides support that's typically absent from the average flimsy bathing suit. If you've got a lot going on up top, choose a suit with more substantial coverage. This one from Miraclesuit is sexy and will stay up when you get knocked down by a huge wave (Nordstrom, $154).

2. Athletic zip-up

2. Athletic Zip-up

So maybe you don't want to sacrifice style for a full-on wetsuit, but that doesn't mean you're willing to bare it all in a teeny bikini. This half-sleeve rash guard with raglan sleeves is not only super cute, it comes with 50+ UV protection, protecting your shoulders from the sun. Rock it over your bathing suit for extra coverage, or pair it with a bralette (Lime Ricki, $41).

3. Racerback two-piece

3. Racerback Two-Piece

Who says a designer bikini can't also be practical? Athletic girls like to have fun too, and this two-piece from Juicy Couture hits two birds with one very trendy stone — a sports-y look from the full-coverage top and bold black piping, with a sweet baby blue shade that's high on style (Bloomingdale's, $124).

4. Trendy rashguard

4. Trendy Rashguard

When you hear "rashguard," you probably think of surfers. If you are one, you might reconsider your typical board-wear. Take this colorful long-sleeved one-piece, for instance. There is no way this thing will slide even an inch out of place while you're riding the waves, and the sherbet color scheme will draw extra attention to your cool moves (ModCloth, $73).

5. Sailor stripes

5. Sailor Stripes

Like a Petit Bateau T-shirt but in rashguard form. If you want to move effortlessly from a poolside luncheon to a power swim, this is a great top. Pair with plain bikini bottoms for an effortlessly styled swim look that will look just as good after you swim. Who says that the only sexy bathing suits are the ones that reveal a lot of skin (J. Crew, $78)?

6. Tankini

6. Tankini

Ah, the tankini. Don't try and tell me you didn't own one of these back in middle school, because I sure did. This black option by Gottex is all grown up, but definitely not dull. Just look at that mesh detailing and plunging back! You'll have no trouble executing a perfect butterfly stroke in this outfit (Bloomingdale's, $136).

7. Mesh cut-outs

7. Mesh Cut-outs

Cut-outs are in. Zip-up swimsuits are in. Fitness is in. All three converge on this navy blue one-piece with mesh cut-outs on the waist and at the bosom and a zip front to hold you in place. Sure, you run the risk of some weird tan lines, but since you'll be wearing plenty of sunscreen, you shouldn't let that stop you (Urban Outfitters, $265).

8. Swim shirt

8. Swim shirt

Maybe bathing suits aren't really your thing but you love to swim. Maybe you need to dress to impress. Either way, this Mara Hoffman rashguard is practical but will look great whether you're in your own backyard or doing a swan dive off the board on a fancy vacay. With a pattern that pretty, you'll hate to put it away at the end of the summer (Anthropologie, $148).

More about swimwear

Steal vs. splurge swimwear: Flirty and floral
The ultimate swimsuit guide: Finding the best shape, color & style
Hot product alert: Stylish swimwear for active women

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