Even though winter is just around the corner, the promise of sun and summer is always a nice thought. So is the idea of a nice warm weather getaway.
So whether you live somewhere warm, are dreaming of warmth, or are planning a warm vacation, youâ€™re going to need to upgrade your swimsuit. A new pair of trunks is always a good idea and this year, you should also incorporate a swim shirt into your summertime game.
Swim shirts, aka surf tees or rash guards, are great for extra sun protection or if youâ€™re feeling a little beach body shy. They come in various styles and thickness, but all are generally water-wicking, practically weightless and feature a UPF 50+ rating (thatâ€™s Ultraviolet Protection Factor). Plus, technology has advanced so far that you can wear one on a blazing hot day and still feel cool and comfortable.
There are two main types of swim shirts to choose from:
1. Rash guards: Designed to be tighter-fitting, rash guards are primarily worn by surfers to protect their chests from surfboard or boogie board rashes.
Most rash guards come with connectors that you can attach to your board shorts so they donâ€™t ride up. If youâ€™re looking for a shirt that will stand up to water sports and other activities, these are a great option. If youâ€™re a bit self-conscious and prefer not to show off every upper body curve, pass on a rash guard and instead go with a looser fitting swim shirt.
One more note about rash guards- they arenâ€™t meant for lap swimming, and constant movement and chlorine exposure will cause most of them to degrade more quickly.
2. Swim shirts, aka surf tees or surf shirts: Primarily used for extra sun protection, these shirts are looser fitting than rash guards and also lighter weight.
They come in a variety of styles, ranging from slimmer athletic to looser t-shirt-esque, as well as a spectrum of colors and even patterns. If youâ€™re looking for some extra coverage at the beach, on the boat or even in the yard, a swim shirt is your ideal option.
A few general tips when it comes to selecting a swim shirt: the lighter weight paired with lighter colors can turn see-through when wet and black will be warmer than other colors. A happy medium is to choose a vibrant color you like that coordinates well with your swim trunks.
Here are our top picks for best swim shirts, in no particular order.