Also prefer a one-piece suit. I am also long-waisted
(but lean with a small waist relative to hips and bust
) and I can never find top/short combos that fit right. If a top is tight enough in the waist, it is usually too tight in the bust. If the latter fits, the waist flaps on the swim. Ditto for waist and hips on the shorts. So a one piece works better--I will only consider a two-piece for a wetsuit swim. And sized for women, not girls. Even petite women or those with small frames are usually not straight up and down! It is almost as hard for smaller women
(I'm a size 2 or 4 in normal clothes
) to find stuff that fits as bigger athletes --the manufacturers tend to assume that if you wear size small, you must be a 12 year old or anorexic.
Comfort--the suit has to work on all three legs. That means tight enough so water isn't going in the neck or chest on the swim
(one of my one piece suits does that--it looks like it fits well, but I cannot wear it on a non-wetsuit swim
) but not chafing anywhere, chamois is in the right place so no chafing on the bike or run, and not so thick that it feels awkward on the swim and run, and everything is comfortable for the run. Unlike a lot of women, I really like suits with a built-in bra
(I'm fairly small; they have enough support
) but I realize many don't--willing to wear my own sports bra underneath if the suit is otherwise good. Pearl Izumi has a matching bra with some of their suits, but they don't work for me--too tiny to cover enough for decency, and not enough support. Again, smaller women are not tween girls! Some kind of cooling fabric is also a very good idea.
Aside from that, color. There are just way too many plain, boring colors like black, red, and blue out there.
(Thinking 2XU in particular.
) A lot of women do not want a suit to look exactly like a men's suit. But nor do we all want pink! I agree--I would wear minty green, purple, and orange, even two or three of those together! It's nice to have a choice of colors, not the least so family and friends can pick their athlete out of a crowd. I recently bought two suits in Australia that I really like. One is black with rainbow-colored designs; the other is green designs
(seems Hawaii-related--flowers, sea turtles
) on a black background. Both are distinctly women's suits but neither is PINK!
One other thing--there are very few one piece
(or even tri tops
) women's suits out there with sleeves. I looked for ages and only found one kind
) that was crazy expensive and came in colors I couldn't stand
(all black, orange and gray
). One of my Australian suits
(from a small company there
) has sleeves. You always see pro women in sleeved tops and onesies, that I assume are custom-made. It would be nice to have sleeves as an option from more brands. I usually race in the tropics, and no matter how much I apply sunscreen, it is always my shoulders that get burned.