How to find an Islamic swimsuit

We recently received this question from a concerned husband of a hijabi. We thought we’d share it with you and our answer as well. If any of you have suggestions for him please feel free to add your comments!


Living in Southern California, we have tons of fun places here that involve getting wet. I would love to take my wife to these places, but it becomes a problem because she wears the hijab. She never wants to go to the beach because she can’t go in the water and she either ends up sitting by herself or not coming. There are lots of water parks that she can’t go to. Even the swimming pool in out apartment building is “off limits” to her because of the hijab issue.

I suggested to her that she try one of those Islamic swim outfits that have been labeled “burqinis”. But she says that they are VERY ugly would not be caught dead wearing them.

I don’t really know what they look like and I don’t know much when it comes to fashion, but  she says, “They make you look like a Teletubi”. I want to buy her something that she can wear that would allow for her to join the fun with us, without compromising her “fashion integrity”.


Do you know anything about these outfits. Are they really THAT ugly? Are there any alternatives? Or will covered women forever be stuck standing at the shore, while their husbands and brothers play around in the water? Your advice is greatly appreciated.


I had the same dilemma and so I made my own concoction so that I could swim when we’d go on vacation.. I went to the Nike store and found fabrics that are meant to stay dry through sweat etc. and it worked out great. However it can get a little complicated to swim in if the pants start to stretch endlessly in the water.

So I decided to buy an Islamic swimsuit, the first one was a disaster so I returned it.

I was happy to finally find Splashgear. The lady who designs it I believe lives in L.A. or around there.

In my opinion it’s the best one out there because the pants are the exact material of men’s swim trunks so they dry immediately after you get out of the water. The shirts are the same as one’s worn by surfers and there is a matching hijab that you can wear which also dries immediately and doesn’t weigh you down in the water.

Here is the website:

It’s a little hard to navigate, but if you contact her she’s good about getting back to you and figuring out sizing etc.

I’ve worn this suit on vacation in Florida and to the swimming pool in my building and no one has looked twice.

Good luck on choosing a suit.

This article has 8 comments

  1. Reem

    Assalamu alaykum Mariam!

    First, I’m excited to have discovered this site and have bookmarked it! 🙂

    I’d like to know which Splashgear suit you are wearing in the picture. I am trying to decide between the Resort shirt (the longer shirt) with the pants and the Island shirt (the shorter shirt) with the La Femme pants (the pants with the skirt).

    I’m also trying to choose a color!! Purple and black are the only colors left in my size at I was worried the purple may be too much, but it looks nice on you in the picture. So I just want to make sure, is the purple bright or overwhelming?

    Many thanks for your time and effort on here!


  2. Nadia Malik

    I just recently went to Miami, and I made a swim outfit for myself as well. I had track pants that were in swim material. They worked great becuase they did dry off well, and they weren’t heavy in the water. Nike dry-fit shirts and pants are also great for water.
    A lot of people DID give me weird looks, but I honestly didn’t care. I haven’t been able to go swimming in a LONG time, so I was just ecstatic to be able to be in the ocean. Regardless, if you choose to wear hijab in a non-Muslim country, you know you won’t ever look like the majority of people around you. So I think you just have to embrace it and go on with your life.

  3. Mariam Sobh

    Nollie you can see the one I purchased here.. I posted a pic of me in it. It’s the purple one

  4. layla

    I am an american muslim convert in egypt. i wanted to swim and had to find something to wear to the resorts and beach.. the islamic swisuits are kind of expensive. i used black lycra leggings, and a skirted long sleeve body suitand wrapped a matching veil around my head with decorative headband.. and it was covering yet stylish in my own style. now.. i think alot of bathing suit ideas can come from used dance costume sites online. something that looks not so much extra material. hope it helps it helped me alot i feel more comfy now and no sunburn!

  5. Kelly

    I used to be afraid of being a freak to wear something like this at the pool. Then I decided that it isn’t MY problem, it’s that person’s problem. Alhamdulillah I take my kids all the time to the pool now. In about 45 trips to the pool/beach, etc I only felt uncomfortable twice. Once the very first time I went swimming, and another time after that when there was a couple near me and they were laughing. Maybe they were laughing at me, maybe not though. (My hubby insists I’m sensitive).

    Anyhow, you don’t need to go swimming to own an Islamic swimsuit either. I find it’s really comfy, and the one I own is cooling.

    Also, I hate this story it’s incredibly sad, but there was a 3 year old boy at an indoor waterpark recently who drowned. His mom was outside of the pool watching him when she lost sight of him. I can’t imagine the pain that family is going through. But the lesson is this: there is a pool in our city and the rule is you have to be within arms reach of small children who cannot swim at all times. I think it’s a fantastic rule.

    I also agree about the husband not pressuring the wife, it is her choice. But if she wants to take part in that aspect of their family life, she does have an option. 🙂

    I know that there is always curiosity in the eye of the non Muslim, and of course they might be wondering why the husband isn’t wearing a certain item. But who ever saw a hairy back and thought it was hawt? I kid I kid.

    I guess I just view my life as an American convert that I’m an ambassador for both sides. I can explain to non Muslims certain things maybe in a way that they can understand better, and I can explain to the Muslimeen certain aspects of the American lifestyle as well.

  6. nollie

    mariam, which one of the splashgear suits did u get?

  7. sally

    I know a lot of women like them and feel comfortable in them, but I can’t see myself wearing them. At least not in a ‘non muslim’ country.
    Maybe I’m too self conscious, but I dont feel comfortable wearing that to a beach in North America. I feel that people would stare at me and wonder..”why isnt HE wearing all that?”.
    I guess it’s up to the individual, it seems like it worked out for you Mariam.
    However, I’d advice the husband not to pressure his wife. Unless he can see himself going to the beach wearing something similar.

  8. nadja

    Have a look at this report from Germany about the growing popularity of the burqini: There is a woman shown at the pool in a very nice green wide burqini which to me does not look tele-tubbish at all! I don’t know where you can get it, though.

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