swim shirts

Why Buy Swim Shirts?

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Swim shirts are hugely popular with men, women, and children. They fall into two main categories for wear:

  • Under a wetsuit for protection from chafing and rashes
  • Over swimwear for UV protection


Swim Shirts for Wear under a Wetsuit

These garments are often called “rashguards”, “rash guards” or “rashies” and they definitely live up to their name. They can be long or short-sleeved and are much more form-fitting than those designed for over swimwear.

This type can also be worn without a wetsuit in warm water where they will provide UV protection for surfers and snorkelers as well as protection from the stings of Jelly Fish. In this case, the swim shirt will be fitted with an elastic loop at the bottom that attaches to board shorts or the shorts of a woman’s two-piece swimsuit.

They are very stretchy, usually with a Nylon, Lycra, Spandex or combination knitted fabric construction that is very fast drying for comfort when you get out of the water.

The flatlock seam construction, often with almost all the stitching on the outside of the garment, make for maximum comfort and eliminates as much as possible, any chafing from the wetsuit or a rash from having your skin in contact with the neoprene for long periods.

Many of the fabrics are chlorine resistant making the fabric last a lot longer if the swim shirt is used regularly for pool swimming.

Of the ‘under wetsuit’ style swim shirts for men you probably won’t do better than choose one from the O’Neil or Speedo range for the quality of construction, accurate sizing and comfort.

The range of swim shirts for women is even bigger than for men, we particularly like the ranges from Attraco and Body Glove, they are comfortable to wear which is the critical thing of course, but the styling is very figure-flattering and the color combos are excellent.

Swim Shirts for UV Protection

Designed for wear over swimwear, on the beach and in the water, this type of swim shirt for men, women, and children is usually looser fitting and often they look very much like normal Tees – but that’s where the similarity ends!

The fabrics are factor 50 plus, for great protection from the sun which makes them ideal beachwear for little ones who hate having sunscreen applied! Wear them in or out of the water, they are comfortably stretchy, but wick perspiration away from your body and dry quickly. Many of the fabrics are chlorine proof so if you are vacationing by the pool, they only need a quick rinse in cool water, before hanging them to dry ready for wear the next day.


Short and long-sleeved versions are available and most are fitted with an elastic board shorts connector so you can wear them surfing and snorkeling without risk of them riding up.

Kids love the great selection of colors, fabric designs, logos and styles available. Swim shirts for women are figure-flattering for wear like a normal Tee, to and from the beach, cutting down on the packing for your vacation! Take a look at the range from HydroChic if you need plus size, the designs are awesome! If you are looking for something a little different in swim shirts for men, check out the ranges from Aqua Design and Kanu Surf.