The New Swimsuit Issue

The full-coverage swimsuit for Muslim women — nicknamed the Burqini — is taking off with secular swimmers too

Matt King / Getty

Mecca Laa Laa wears a 'Burqini' on her first surf lifesaving patrol at North Cronulla Beach in Sydney, Australia on February 4, 2007.

Move over, Tankini. Since the full-coverage swimsuit dubbed the Burqini (as in burqa plus bikini) hit the international market in January, devout Muslim women have been snapping them up. The polyester suits were designed to accord with Islamic laws that require women to dress modestly and to eliminate the risk of drowning when the yards of fabric used in traditional burqas get soaked. Now, however, non-Muslim beachgoers are getting into the full-covered swim. Whether women are worried about health, weight or the tolls of age, the Burqini offers a comfortable alternative to a skimpy two-piece or clingy maillot.

The demure suits,...

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