Novice triathletes soon realise that the best way to save time in transition is to limit kit changes.
You need kit you can wear under your wetsuit for the swim, that offers protection and support for the bike leg and doesn't encumber you on the run. In other words, a one-piece tri suit. You might be alarmed at the idea of covering yourself from knee to shoulder in skintight Lycra, but it's a step to consider if you're serious about triathlon.
The advantages of a quick-drying, multi-purpose item of clothing will soon outweigh your aesthetic concerns. Different models trumpet specific materials and features, but the basics are broadly the same. The suits are sleeveless and extend at least to mid-thigh, they have a thin, integrated support pad for protection on the bike leg and they are all made from either Lycra or elasticated polyester that is both quick-drying and wicks well.
Where you'll find differences is in the design and cut of the suit, the position and length of the zip, the presence of rear storage pockets and of course, the price. Here's a selection of the products on the market.