Where to Buy Swimsuits in the Winter – Hidden Gems

Where to Buy Swimsuits in the Winter

Looking for the perfect swimsuit for your winter getaway? Or perhaps you just like to swim indoors and it’s about time to replace your old swimsuit. Whatever your goals are, it can be difficult to buy swimsuits in the winter because many retailers have long since pulled them off the racks by then.

That said, if you look carefully, you can still find stores selling bathing suits in the winter. It requires a bit more effort on your part, but you can still find some decent swimwear during the off-season by shopping online, at indoor pools, local swimsuit stores and department stores, and more.

Keep reading on to learn about the various places you can still buy swimsuits in the winter. Keep in mind that none of these options are guaranteed, and you may have to work your way through the list before you find some stock.

Online Stores

Not everyone likes buying clothing online for various reasons like not being able to try them on or shipping costs, however you just can’t beat their selection. If you don’t mind waiting a few days (or eating the cost for express shipping), then buying a winter swimsuit online is the most obvious choice.

Designer Brands

There are so many websites to choose from – just do a quick google search for “best websites to buy swimsuits” or something to that effect, and you can literally find hundreds. That said, many of these websites are from designer brands and will cost a lot, but they have the most fashionable, trendy swimwear.

Websites for Physical Stores

Alternatively, just find the website for your preferred physical store and check their stock online. Remember to enter your postal code or allow the website to use your location so it can display your local store’s stock, allowing you to browse everything online without actually going in person.

The trick here is that if you do find a specific swimsuit in stock, you don’t necessarily have to buy it online – you can then go in person to try it on and buy it in person.

Online-Only Retailers

The above tip doesn’t necessarily apply to web-only retailers like Amazon.com or SwimOutlet.com. In that case, read up on their return policies. You actually can return swimwear as long as it has never been worn in the water, you still have the tags and receipts, and it’s still in mint condition.

Another thing you should read-up on are the customer reviews when shopping online. The provided sizing chart for a swimsuit might be inaccurate. Customer reviews will warn you to size up, size down, or that it’s safe to buy true to size.

Also try to find reviews discussing the overall quality of the swimsuit. I like to specifically filter for 3 or 4 star reviews just to see what the downsides of a product are. Sometimes the complaints are very nitpicky or don’t apply to me, in which case I can feel reasonably confident that I am buying a swimsuit that is decent quality. If it’s a dud, I can always return it.

Shopping online also has the benefit of allowing you to easily compare the prices between various retailers. There’s lots to like about shopping online, and I encourage everyone to do it more often, if only as a starting point.

Indoor Pools

Various places with indoor pools, such as recreation centers, spas, and resorts sell swimwear year round in their gift shop. These will probably be very generic and bland looking (and possibly overpriced), but if you are desperate for a swimsuit, this option is always available.

Swimsuit Stores

Those of you lucky enough to live in warmer climates will likely have lots of swimsuit stores in your area selling swimsuits year round as well. Do a search online for nearby swimsuit stores and give them a visit. Ideally, you call first and ask if they have any swimsuits in stock so that you don’t waste a trip.

Sporting Goods Stores

The swimsuits sold in sport goods stores are going to be more athletic and designed for performance instead of looking cute and frilly. You also likely won’t find any bikinis, but beggars can’t be choosers.

Department Stores

Department stores like Target, Walmart, The Bay, and so on might still have a few swimsuits here and there. This is basically a last-ditch attempt at getting literally anything. If you can’t find any yourself, ask an employee if there are any swimsuits in the back. Expect to hear that there aren’t any. Occasionally you can get lucky and get a winter bathing suit during the off-season.

Thrift Stores

Don’t knock on thrift stores until you’ve tried them. There are some hidden gems you can find, such as designer brand swimsuits at a fraction of their original price. (Goodwill often gets Target clearance).

Aside from quality, another major concern people have with buying thrift store items is hygiene. I wrote an entire article on whether it’s safe to buy used bathing suits, but the summary is that it’s basically no different than buying it from anywhere else.

You think people with questionable hygiene at swimsuit stores don’t also try on the various swimsuits and spread their germs everywhere? Just because something is sold as new doesn’t mean it’s clean.

When shopping for used swimwear, just make sure to never take off your panties when trying them on and to thoroughly clean the swimsuit before wearing it for the first time.

At Your Vacation Destination

If you’ve exhausted all of your options and still can’t seem to find a bathing suit during the winter (I find this hard to believe, but let’s play along with it) then you can always just buy a swimsuit at your vacation destination.

I’m assuming you’re traveling somewhere beach-y and tourist-y, in which case they will absolutely sell swimsuits that have been significantly marked up. It’s not an ideal situation, but at least you will have a swimsuit to wear.

Frequently Asked Questions

Are swimsuits cheaper in the winter?

Not necessarily. Most retailers would have already sold off their stock at a heavy discount at the end of summer (August onwards). So you are either left with nothing in the winter or a full-priced swimsuit. The logic here is retailers are selling to the people who are going on a winter getaway and are desperate for a swimsuit, so they can charge full price despite it being the off-season.

When is the best time to buy a swimsuit?

If you are asking about when is the best time of the year to buy the most heavily discounted swimsuits, then it is just before summer is in full swing (May) or when it’s on its way out (End of August-September).

What are the differences between a summer swimsuit and winter swimsuit?

If we’re talking about a swimsuit designed for cold water swimming in the winter, then there’s plenty. Winter swimsuits (i.e. thermal swimwear, wetsuits) are made with neoprene which is known for its insulating properties. The goal is to keep you warm, not on looking stylish. On the other hand, a “winter” swimsuit for a winter getaway is basically the same as a summer swimsuit.