What is a Rash Guard?
Are you prepared for countless hours in the sun and water this season? Just be sure to factor in protection from harmful UV rays, sand and rough waves. A rash guard may be the solution you’re looking for. It is an athletic shirt, originally designed for surfers, made of spandex, nylon or polyester that protects the wearer's skin while swimming, including damage from rashes, chafing and scrapes. It is sometimes referred to as a sun shirt because it is a great way to protect yourself from sunburn and can double as a coverup over your swimsuit.
How Should a Rash Guard Fit?
Comfort and functionality are key features to look for when selecting a rash guard or sun shirt. The right fit can vary depending on the activity you’re participating in.
- Loose Fit or Athletic Fit: For water sports it is important to have a tighter fit, otherwise the loose material could weigh you down and limit mobility. Athletic Fit is perfect for boosting performance. Loose Fit is little more than a waterproof t-shirt and is used for more casual activities such as boating or swimming in the pool.
- Sleeve Length: Rash guards come in short and long sleeves. Deciding between the two depends on the activity and your comfort level. Long sleeves offer more protection from the sun and short sleeves keep you cooler. Although a rash guard’s main function is not to provide warmth, thermal rash guards can provide added heat when swimming in colder water.
How to Wear a Rash Guard
Rash Guards and Swim tees are known for the excellent skin protection they provide for water sports, beach activities, and sun exposure. However, rash guards can be useful for far more instances than just the beach. Here are some of our favorite ideas for your rash guard.
- For water or beach sports: The rash guard is the gold standard for surfing. It protects your skin from the harsh waves, from scrapes and cuts if you wipe out, and from the harmful UV rays. It’s also a great option for beach sports like jogging, volleyball, or swimming laps.
- As a swimsuit cover up: If you are spending the day lounging on the beach, the rash guard can be a great article of clothing to keep on hand when you want to come in from the beach. It’s quick drying, so you won’t have those pesky water marks from your swimsuit underneath, and you can choose great designs so that it looks just like a regular t-shirt while you are strolling down the boardwalk or stopping for lunch.
- Gardening or Lawn Work: Spending any time outside can increase your risk for sun exposure. Instead of having to lather up in sunscreen throughout the day, if you are intending on spending the day outside working on your garden or mowing the lawn, throwing your rash guard over a pair of shorts will protect your skin from the sun or scratches from plants while you are working in your garden.
- Hiking: On a hike, a rash guard can be used as a layering piece, to protect you from the sun, or worn on its own with your regular hiking gear. The quick-drying, wicking fabric prevents chaffing and keeps you comfortable on the hottest and sweatiest of days. The extra fabric coverage and UV protection fabric gives you additional protection against the sun’s harmful rays. Because rash guards have a thicker fabric, it also protects your skin against scrapes and cuts from branches or rocks.
Let Us Help You
Here at Lands' End, we know how important safety and comfort are when enjoying the summer weather. That's why we have a wide variety of rash guards and swim shirts in various styles and sizes. We offer rash guards for men and women that are stylish and unique. Protective swimwear shouldn’t cramp your style. Find the perfect piece to complement your swimsuit.