What Does it Mean When a Swimsuit Is Lined?

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If you’ve ever shopped for swimsuits online, you’re sure to have come across either fully lined, partially lined, or front lined swimwear. There are even swimsuits without any lining. So, what does it mean when a swimsuit is lined? And does all swimwear actually need lining?

What Does it Mean When a Swimsuit Is Lined?

If you take a look at your swimsuit you’ll easily be able to tell if it’s lined or not, and which areas, if not all of it, has a lining. 

A swimsuit that’s lined means that there is extra fabric sewed on the inside of the suit giving you two layers of fabric. This can be referred to:

  • Fully lined, where the entire suit has an extra layer of fabric
  • Partially lined, where only certain areas have an extra layer of fabric, such as the bra and panty area
  • Front lined, where only the entire front part of the swimsuit is lined with an extra layer of fabric
a woman wearing a black lined bikini

When shopping for swimsuits online, it’s important to read the description or details before making the purchase. You may not always be able to tell just by the picture that the swimsuit is lined, or know which exact areas are lined. 

The lining is an important part of a swimsuit. It can prevent the garment from being see-through when wet as well as add support to the overall structure of the swimsuit. A swimsuit with two layers of fabric will be able to last a lot longer and can even be better for supporting your breasts and concealing excess belly weight. 

Partial lining is for women who only need an extra layer of support in some areas. Partial lining is usually in the chest to prevent the areolas from being visible once the suit is wet. You can also find it in the panty area for the same reason.

A front lined swimsuit is better when you only need support in the front and don’t want it in the back. This can be a good option for those who want less fabric on their backside

What Material Is Used for Swimsuit Lining?

The material that’s used for swimsuit lining is typically a blend of polyester and spandex. This blended material is sometimes thinner than the outside layer of the swimsuit. 

Swimsuit lining can come in light colors like white or beige for light-colored suits, or black for darker colors. This is typically the cheaper method when adding lining to swimwear.

What Does It Mean When a Swimsuit Is Self-Lined?

A self-lined swimsuit is when the lining is used with the same fabric as the outer layer. This means that the inside layer will look almost identical to the outside layer. You can naturally wear self-lined swimwear inside out, as the seams will not be visible if it’s fully lined. 

Some styles of self-lined swimwear use the same material for both layers, though they might use a different color or pattern. That way you can choose from two different patterns in one suit. 

A self-lined swimsuit is usually more expensive than other lined swimwear. This is because the fabric that’s used for self lining is much thicker than the standard polyester/spandex blend that’s used for most swimsuits.  

Is Lining a Swimsuit necessary?

If you have unlined swimwear, then you can understand why swimsuit lining is necessary. Unlined swimwear can often be see-through and clingy. 

A swimsuit without lining might seem fine when dry, however, once you get in the water, no matter if the suit is a light or dark color, everyone’s going to be able to see through it This is because a swimsuit with no lining isn’t thick enough to cover up your body. 

The thin material on an unlined swimsuit will stick to you and allow every part of you, big or small, to show. The fabric will get into tight places and have you constantly pulling the suit away from your body. An unlined swimsuit can also easily highlight cellulite and other imperfections you wish to hide. 

How Do You Put Lining in a Swimsuit?

Adding lining to a swimsuit is easier than you may think. If you have an unlined swimsuit that doesn’t support you as much as you’d like, adding lining can turn it into your favorite suit!

a woman jumping on the shore wearing a polka dot bikini

To add full lining to a swimsuit, follow these steps below:

  1. Once you’ve purchased the lining fabric you wish to use, lay it down on the floor, or wherever you prefer to make the cut. 
  2. Place the swimsuit, facing the front, on top of the lining fabric. Make sure you have enough fabric under the swimsuit and that the fabric is bigger than the swimsuit. 
  3. Cut exactly along the silhouette of the swimsuit so that the lining fabric is the same size and shape as the suit. Once you have cut the fabric you should have a lining that matches the shape of the front of your swimsuit. 
  4. Now turn your swimsuit inside out and either hand sew or use a sewing machine to sew the lining on the swimsuit. Make sure only to sew on the seams of your swimsuit. 
  5. Once you’ve sewn lining into the front of the swimsuit, repeat these same steps for the back. 

Types of Swimsuit Lining

TypesSwimsuit lining
Type 1Fully lined
Type 2Partially lined
Type 3Front lined

Frequently Asked Questions

How Do I Stop My Swimsuit From Riding Up?

You can stop the swimsuit from riding up using swimsuit tape that will provide extra support and help you stop the swimsuit from riding up.

Swimsuit tape is a special tape, normally taped around the edges, that is designed to compact between the swimsuit fabric and your skin.

How Should a Proper Swimsuit Fit?

It is advisable that you wear a swimsuit that contacts your skin to prevent your body from dragging in the water while swimming.

If your swimsuit is bunching up around the seam, it means that your swimsuit is oversized and may cause drag in the water.

What Makes Swimsuits Disintegrate?

If you swim in chlorinated water, your swimsuit is most likely to disintegrate and become buggy. Chlorine is a chemical commonly used in most public pools to kill germs.

Most swimsuits are made from polyester and spandex, which tend to lose their color, texture, and elasticity when it gets in contact with chlorine.

100 Years of Bikinis | Glamour


Lining in swimsuits is often a mandatory regulation of public pools and beaches. Most policies will require a swimsuit to be at least partially lined in the private areas, so make sure to look for lined fabric when purchasing a swimsuit if you intend to wear it in public places.