DODGEVILLE, WI -- (Marketwire) -- 04/18/12 -- As the school year winds down for millions of kids, sunny days of frolicking in the backyard, at the beach or at the pool are heating up. With swimwear playing such an important role as the unofficial wardrobe of summer, it's no surprise that 93 percent of parents will shop for kids' swimsuits this season, according to a recent Lands' End survey.(1) The survey also revealed that finding a high-quality kids' swimsuit is the most critical purchase for a fun-filled summer.
Parents agree a substantial amount of kids' time is spent in swimsuits. In fact, 75 percent of parents reported that kids wear swimsuits three or more days a week during the summer months. On those days, more than 80 percent said their kids typically spend three or more hours in their swimsuits.
While kids' fun in the sun is equal to a part-time job, the designers at Lands' End work full-time to design a complete line of kids' swimwear that can stand up to summer activities. From sun protection and quick-drying fabrics to tugless fits and the season's most fashionable styles and patterns, the Lands' End Kids' Swim collection lets kids dive in to a summer of fun.
To help parents shop for swimwear that will survive sprinkler sessions, sand sculpting and all of kids' summer adventures, Lands' End has teamed up with Hannah Keeley, lifestyle expert and mom of seven, to share the following tips:
Tip #1: Quality Offers Better Value
"Kids are tough on their suits, so it pays to invest in quality swimwear," explained Keeley. "It's frustrating to have to replace a swimsuit because the material on the bottoms thinned out from sitting on the edge of the pool or the fabric fades in the first week from the chlorine. In the end, a high-quality suit will save money because it lasts longer."
Parents agree. In fact, 90 percent of parents surveyed said there is a noticeable difference between high-quality and low-quality kids' swimwear. Eighty-eight percent also reported that they are willing to spend more on higher-quality kids' swimwear.
From swimsuits and rash guards to water shoes and beach towels, Lands' End Kids swimwear is designed to last through sun, salt and chlorine. The collection features high-quality, fade-resistant fabrics that retain their shape while resisting snags. Innovative design details also add extra value, such as modesty linings that prevent peek-through and adjustable straps that let suits grow as kids do.
Tip #2: Seek Out Sun Protection
"Keeping kids safe in the sun starts with their swimsuits. Sunscreen washes off, but a swimsuit with UPF sun protection helps protect kids' skin from harmful UV rays," continued Keeley. "A t-shirt or cover-up is another good way to protect kids' skin. They are great for keeping skin shaded and come in handy if someone accidentally gets too much sun."
In addition to t-shirts and cover-ups, rash guards are becoming increasingly popular. Of parents surveyed, 75 percent said they were more likely to purchase a rash guard for their kids this year than in years past. When asked why, an overwhelming majority (87 percent) said it was because rash guards offer greater sun protection than just a swimsuit.
All Lands' End swimsuits and rash guards feature UPF 50 (the highest possible sun protection rating) for extra protection. The Swim collection also includes a wide variety of coordinated cover-up styles that slip on easily for extra coverage.
Tip #3: Keep kids comfortable.
"Comfort is key for kids. You want them to enjoy the day, the activities and the people you are with, not focus on what they are wearing or how it fits," Keeley said. "If a swimsuit isn't comfortable, the fun fades fast."
The parents surveyed confirm that kids care about comfort. When asked what their kids liked least about their swimsuits, 48 percent of parents said it rides up, 41 percent said it doesn't fit right and 33 percent said it stays wet. More than three-quarters of parents (76 percent) said their child's favorite swimsuit feature was its comfort.
And comfort goes beyond the beach. Nearly 70 percent of parents indicated kids will wear their swimsuits in the backyard; more than half (53 percent) will wear their swimsuits for extracurricular activities; one third (34 percent) will wear them around town; and a quarter will wear swimsuits to the grocery store (27 percent) or a sporting event (24 percent) -- making comfort crucial.
And Lands' End agrees. Girls' styles feature smart, tugless fits that keep bottoms from riding up and adjustable straps to ensure a perfect fit. Boys' board shorts and swim trunks feature comfy mesh liners and soft internal drawstrings for a great fit that won't chafe. Since nobody likes a soggy suit, all Lands' End swim styles are made from quick-drying fabrics to keep kids comfortable all day long, in and out of the water.
Tip #4: Support Their Style.
"Let kids have a say when shopping for swimwear. It's something they will be wearing a lot, so it's important that they like their suit," added Keeley. "Go online together or look at a catalog and talk about which suits they like best. A great compromise is to let kids pick the color or pattern and parents pick the style. That way, everyone is happy."
When asked to describe their kids' swim style, two-thirds of parents (67 percent) said kids have a few swimsuits or separates to mix and match with cover-ups, tees, shorts or dresses. For the 86 percent of parents that reported they are looking for age-appropriate styles, Lands' End offers the coverage and modesty they want in the colors and prints kids love.
This season, Lands' End lets kids express themselves with its most stylish collection of sun-kissed swimwear ever. The girls' collection is awash in a tropical palette of pink and turquoise combined with the citrusy hues of lemon, tangerine and lime. From fabulous florals and perfect polka dots to girlish gingham and sporty stripes, there's a perfect pattern for every personality. Girls will also be swept away by a sea of feminine details including waves of ruffles and self-fabric flowers.
Surf's up for boys with vintage-inspired Hawaiian prints on board shorts and rash guards. Boys will be ready to dive into fun with fierce new Graphic Rash Guards that feature sharks, scorpions and other sea-faring creatures.
Kids can add an extra splash of personality by adding a monogram or embroidery to rash guards, cover-ups and beach towels. It's a great way to create a one-of-a-kind suit for a one-of-a-kind kid.
About Hannah Keeley
Hannah Keeley is an author, television personality, lifestyle expert and mother of seven. She is the executive producer and host of the public television series, "Hannah, Help Me!" and the founder of HannahKeeley.com, a complete resource for creating happy, healthy families. Her book, "Hannah Keeley's Total Mom Makeover" is a life-changing tool that helps women be the best moms they can be. Keeley's approach to transformation goes beyond the pep talk to provide moms with the tips, strategies and resources they need to live their best lives. She has been seen on the Today show, Fox and Friends, TLC, and has been a frequent guest on The Rachael Ray Show. She has also been featured in Redbook, Woman's Day, Real Simple, Family Circle and more.
About Lands' End
Lands' End® is a classic American lifestyle brand with a passion for quality, legendary service, real value and a simple two-word promise to stand behind everything it sells: Guaranteed. Period.® Lands' End delivers timeless style for Men, Women, Kids and the Home at landsend.com, 1-800-800-5800, the Lands' End Shops at Sears and around the world. Lands' End is a proud member of Sears Holdings Corporation (NASDAQ: SHLD).
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(1) The 2012 Kids' Swim was conducted by Lands' End via SurveyMonkey from March 23, 2012 through March 27, 2012. The online survey was fielded by 555 participants.