Will It Ruin Your Clothes? Not NecessarilyAs many already know about me, I love swimming fully clothed. Preferably, wearing skirt suits, dresses with jackets, office attire, etc.
Some people have commented they think it looks sexy, but are afraid to try it themselves. They will ask me, "doesn't it ruin your clothes?" The answer is no...at least in the vast majority of instances. Here's a run down as to why.
For the most part, two bad things can happen to clothing if it gets wet. Shrinkage (fairly uncommon) and color bleeding (the much more common event if your clothes are damaged).
Shrinkage can occur, but typically doesn't. It depends on the fabric. Clothes labeled "dry clean only" usually will not shrink. If anything, the colors are more likely to bleed. However, I've gotten wet in my dry clean only clothes many times without damage - no shrinkage or color bleeding. Other clothing is not as color fast. Depending on exposure to water, a certain amount of the dye will bleed from the clothes. For those that have taken a bath in their clothes, and the water turns color, it's because of a bit of dye bleeding. Swimming in a chlorinated pool can accelerate the bleeding process, so if you are thinking about diving into a pool fully clothed, but aren't sure how the chlorine will impact the dye, you may try a hand washing a portion of the fabric in a sink to see what happens.
One thing I've noticed lately is that more and more clothing is machine washable - particularly with nicer women's office wear. i see many more dresses, skirts, blouse, jackets, slacks that are machine washable - which means the fabric will not shrink and the dyes are color fast. Hand washables are usually safe in the bath rub or shower as well. More at risk is the likelihood of the fabric torquing and not laying flat. One way to avoid this issue is if the fabric is soaked, not to run in through the drier. Run it through the spin cycle to get the excess water out. Re-shape the garment, and allow it to dry flat instead.
I've gotten wet in several different outfits - both men's and women's clothing. I cannot think of a single instance where a garment was ruined when getting it wet by wearing in the bathtub/shower or wearing it swimming in a pool. That doesn't mean it can't happen, but they way clothes are being designed today, it's not something likely to occur.
I've taken a few of my girlfriends into the bathtub with our clothes on. Some wearing the outfit they wore to work that day. They had concerns about the well being of their clothes, but everything survived nicely. Granted, we were not wreckless about what was worn. Nothing overly expensive. Nothing that seemed extremely delicate. But we did not worry about items that were dry clean only, and we did experience some color bleeding - but overall, everything turned out ok.
As for shoes, that's a story for another time. However, I will say that shoes usually hold up well after a swim or a soaking, but a little more attention needs to be paid to the shoes to ensure they aren't damaged. As always, use your head!