Diving Into Islamic Swimwear

Since I have begun wearing hijab, I have not yet really felt the necessity to go swimming, and therefore have not needed to look into getting a full-coverage swimsuit. But, being that we have just decided to go to Turkey next week (I know, really crazy to decide at the last minute!), getting a swimsuit has become necessary. Well, necessary as long as I want to enjoy the beautiful Turkish Aegean and Mediterrenean beaches– which I do!

Let me just clarify quickly, that this is my choice and not a necessity due to Turkey being an ‘Islamic’ country. Actually, when I was in Turkey last summer, I got to see that most people actually dress the same on the beach as they do here in the U.S. It is, however, more normal and acceptable to see people dressed in Islamic swimwear in Turkey.

The last time I wore a bathing suit was last year while in Turkey. It caused a lot of anxiety for me, especially leading up to the trip, as I decided what I should wear on the beach. I had not yet started wearing hijab, but I was dressing modestly and was not comfortable with a standard bathing suit, even a one-piece. I had eventually decided to get a cute one-piece skirted swimsuit with high haltered neck, which I wore shorts under. But I was still uncomfortable showing this much skin, so I made sure to cover up quickly when I wasn’t in the water (either with my towel, or I  also had a skirt and a loose swim cover).

At any rate, now it is time to look into getting an actual Islamic swimsuit that will fully cover me, including my head. I’ve been searching online the last few days to see what my options are, including if I can possibly get anything in time for our trip. As I’ve been searching, I’ve also come across a lot of articles about Islamic swimwear, both from Muslims and from media reports on the topic. I had some knowledge on the subject already, though. Some of you might remember my recent post Modern Modesty in which I mentioned controversy surrounding Islamic swimwear, often referred to as a ‘Burkini.’ Yesterday, I found a new article which I wanted to mention and share. It’s a piece in The Guardian about Manal Omar’s unfortunate experience wearing her Islamic swimsuit in a swimming pool in the UK. Although she had worn this swimsuit many times before, in many locations including in the U.S., she never had a bad experience except in the UK.

Swimwear for Islamic women has come a long way, and now includes some great styles, with amazing quality. Most garments are high-end, with specially designed fabric to be lightweight and water repellant. Most are generally made out of the same or similar material as many traditional bathing suits, making them very suitable for swimming. Some are even anti-bacterial! While the prices range from around $50 to $170 depending on the quality, it seems very reasonable to me considering the average standard bathing suit costs around $50, with much less fabric!

Here were some of my favorite styles that I’ve found:

From Al Sharifa - I like everything except the cap -- looks a bit odd to me! But that's normal I guess for these swimsuits.

From Al Sharifa – I like everything except the cap — looks a bit odd to me! But that’s normal I guess for these swimsuits.

Islamic swimwear Amazon green and navy

You can find this one on Amazon!

islamic swimwear primo moda

This one from Primo Moda is cute — I like the style of the vest!

 

 

islamic swimwear madamme bk

From Madamme BK, a French brand. These are definitely my favorite as far as style, though they are pretty expensive at $170.

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

Unfortunately for me, however, there is not time for me to order any of these so that they will arrive before we leave to Turkey. But on the up side, Turkey has an amazing Islamic fashion industry and I hope to find a great option there. Plus, it will be better for me to try it on and make sure it’s a good fit. I’ll make sure to update everyone when I come back about my experience wearing an Islamic swimsuit for the first time!

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About Meditating Muslimah

Sharing my experiences as a new Muslimah, thoughts on religion, things that inspire me, foods I love to make and eat, Islamic fashion, travel, and life in general!
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10 Responses to Diving Into Islamic Swimwear

  1. naimavanswol says:

    Good luck! These seem pretty fashion forward.

  2. amitaf86 says:

    Selam. 🙂 Even if you don’t find any fitting swimwear (but I don’t think so) in Turkey you have private beaches, where woman are separated from man. Have you ever tried these?

    • No, I’ve never been to one of those before. Actually, from what I’ve found it is hard to find private, separated beaches. Most of the beaches are standard, mixed. We did find a few hotels that offer separated beaches, but they are generally very expensive and they are further southeast than we’d like to go. However, we did find that a lot of hotels offer separate men and women’s pools, in addition to a mixed pool, or at least if they only had one pool than they had specific hours for men and women. But thanks for the thought! I’ll let you know what we find 🙂

  3. Alsharifa says:

    Salaams from Alsharifa! You can get a suit overnighted to you, just so you know in the future. We’re also always happy to help you with sizing. And, you CAN disguise the hood if you are so inclined. (Just through an over piece to an amira on the top, or use a shayla and wrap around like a normal scarf.)

  4. madamme bk says:

    Bonjour! We from MADAMME BK are very happy that you like our style! Yes, our price are different from other swimsuit brands because we care a lot about quality! We use the best swim fabric available in the market /Italian and everything is Made in France.
    Anyway we appreciate a lot your blog! keep posting =)
    Best regards from Paris!

  5. shereen says:

    assalaamu alaikum wa rahmatullah wa barakatuh.

    soooooo, how did your trip go? the original post is dated august 2013. it is now december 2013. did you find an outfit in turkey? how were the beaches? how was your trip? =:-)

    • Sorry to reply late, and again sorry I didn’t follow up with that post yet! I plan to do a follow up this in a month or so, maybe march, about Islamic swimwear and my experience with it. I did find something last minute that I wasn’t very impressed with. I’m sure I could have found something better if I had had the time. I was already familiar with the beaches, so that was nothing new. The Aegean and Mediterranean coasts are very rocky and pebbly 🙂 Beaches are like those in the U.S. But it was a very nice, relaxing trip 🙂

      • shereen says:

        great, looking forward to the follow-up, insha’Allah.

        just fyi, you may wish to check out “splashgear” if you haven’t done so already. one customer recently contacted splashgear and noted that she tried many of the full-coverage swimsuits that are available in the uae, but that they didn’t compare to the splashgear outfit she had purchased initially. she mentioned that the splashgear swimwear was very lightweight and comfortable, and did not weigh her down as the other brands she tried in the uae. actually, splashgear has received a lot of positive feedback from customers that you can read for yourself at the splashgear website, as well as at swimoutlet.com’s site (one of splashgear’s retailers). i know that the splashgear style is different from the burkini-styled brands, and that’s fine if it’s not your cup of tea, but the difference is deliberate, in order to look and perform like mainstream surfwear.

        in any event, i hope you find full-coverage swimwear that you will be happy with, insha’Allah.

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