Sun Through Cloth: How Does A Tan Thru Swim Suit Work?

How to prevent tan lines and without tanning nude: Tan thru swimsuits and swimming trunks for men and women offer UV sun protection while allowing for an overall tan.

If tan lines ruin the look of your strapless tops and dresses, you no longer have to pack your bag and head off to the nearest nudist colony or build a privacy fence in your backyard for nude tanning. You don't have to worry about tanning nude in a tanning center either. Consider wearing one of the tan thru swimsuits made from sun through cloth. Tan thru swimsuits are no longer confined to the women's swim apparel department. Swim trunks for men are also available.

Tan thru swimsuits have been around for years, and today's versions work as advertised. Tanning centers have reported successful overall tanning when their clients wear the suits. They also offer some degree of protection from the harmful ultraviolet rays of the tanning machines and the sun. Protection varies, ranging from SPF 2 to SPF 10. While the swimsuit manufacturers tout the sun protection factor, claiming that you won't burn, most suits offer less than the minimum 15 SPF that health care professionals recommend. You'll want to add sunscreen for protection to keep from burning. Remember that skin that hasn't received repeated exposure to the sun is tender, and it's more likely to burn than skin that has been exposed to the elements year-round, year after year.

Technology is wonderful, but like most new technologies, the early versions of the tan thru swimsuits were beta tests, at best. Early versions, made in Australia over a decade ago, were made of cotton fabric. Unfortunately, the cotton was see through as well as tan thru when wet, so the original tan thru swimsuits didn't break any sales records.


Today's iterations offer full coverage--wet or dry. Newer tan thru swimsuits use new fabrics such as Dorlastan, and often contain a high percentage of Lycra. Lycra, coupled with a double needle construction of some brands, offers enhanced durability--fit to battle the elements and win. Tiny pores woven into the anti-bacterial, high-tech mesh fabric, allow the sunlight to filter through the fabric while keeping peering eyes out. The fabric is the only high-tech component. There's nothing high tech or mysterious about the way it allows the sun to reach the skin through the tiny pores. As you move about and those tiny pores shift slightly, you receive a perfect overall tan.

You won't find solids and dainty prints in tan thru swimsuits. The print is high contrast to avoid any possibility of seeing through the fabric. Many are available in "eco-prints," bold and vivid nature prints. Tan thru swimsuits are more like a second skin than a swimsuit. There is no way that you'll go unnoticed in a tan thru swimsuit, so if you don't want to call attention to yourself or to less-than-perfect areas of your body, it's best to sun in private in these swimsuits.

Tan thru swimsuits are particularly popular among divers, because they are near weightless and create less drag when swimming through the water. They are also extremely quick to dry.

Retail stores report that each year's version of the tan thru suit gets better and better, and sales figures support this report. They also report that customers have refused to limit their tan thru suits to sunning and swimming. They wear them around the yard while attending to chores and gardening. They are the perfect travel swimsuit, requiring little space in a suitcase, and they dry overnight.

Due to the sustained popularity of the newer versions, some companies have manufactured tan thru sports shirts. Can entire tan thru sportswear lines be far behind? Little did Coco Chanel know when she accidentally started the tanning craze where it would lead!

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