Mediterranean beach
Mediterranean beachIsrael news photo: (file)

"I love it, love it, love it. I am so so so excited. I can't believe how good the product is because it's tzanuah, modest and also looks like a bathing suit not a dress you all of a sudden go into the sea with--it'll take on the nation!!" So wrote Atara, a religiously observant woman from Brookline, Massachusetts to the HydroChic swimwear manufacturer who makes modest bathing suits.

Religious women, whether Jewish, Christian, or Muslim, look for conservative swimwear when bathing. Various swimwear companies are now catering to modest swimmers' needs by offering swim dresses that fall below the knee and blouses that extend to their wrists.

Shereen Sabet, a religious Muslim swimsuit designer, created Splashgear. Two French-born religious Jews followed suit by creating the Israeli-based Sea Secret. The company consulted with a rabbi before designing swim wear that meets religious Jewish requirements.

Several Israeli beaches maintain separate hours so the religious and modestly-inclined bather could bath without "eye pollution" issues. However, many religious women were previously upset at the bathing gear available. Before the advent of modest swim gear, female bathers were faced with either wearing skimpy bathing suits or wearing bathrobes that constricted their ability to swim.