If you’re looking to change it up in the swimwear department, you might want to consider a rash guard. For those unfamiliar with this type of gear, we have all the information you need to make the right decision when it comes to setting up your summer for success with a rash guard below.

What Does a Rash Guard Look Like?

Let’s face it: The rash guard might not have the most alluring moniker. But name aside; rash guards can be cute, fun, and, most importantly, comfy and functional. 

A rash guard is a tight, sleek, fitted bathing suit top, typically made of Spandex or a Spandex/nylon polyester blend. What sets a rash guard apart from other types of bathing suits is its coverage factor: a rash guard may have long or short sleeves. In either case, they offer more protection and coverage than any other bathing suit category (outside of wetsuits, of course). 

Reminiscent of a wetsuit, the modern rash guard is significantly more stylish than your typical scuba garb. They come in a variety of colors and styles, and we promise that you won’t miss your string bikini, especially since you can rock your triangle bikini under your rash guard. 

Why Should You Consider a Rash Guard?

Traditionally, rash guards are spotted on passionate surfers and other water sports enthusiasts, but the tides are turning. More and more people have been turning to rash guards for their regular, everyday pool and beach use, and with good reason.

Cold Protection

Rash guards are fantastic when it comes to protecting the wearer from colder water temps. If you are one of those people who is always chilly, a rash guard makes it easy (or easier) to jump in the water.

Weather conditions aren’t ideal, but you still want to get in a little beach time? The rash guard has your back. Then, when it’s time to lounge by the pool, terry or linen cover-ups are in order.

Sun Protection

Did you know that some people are allergic to the sun? Yes, literally. Whether you have a sun allergy or you happen to burn easily, a rash guard can be a lifesaver. Truth be told, it’s 2023, and we should all be well past allowing ourselves to pretend that slathering our bodies with baby oil and baking in the sun is safe. 

Even if you aren’t the type to get frequent sunburns, extra sun protection should still be at the forefront of your thoughts when it comes to swimwear. No matter what you’re sporting to the shore, a broad-spectrum sunscreen is in order.

Protection From Surfaces

As we said, rash guards tend to get a reputation for being “surfer gear,” and with good reason. The coverage of a rash guard is great for those who are getting on and off a board repeatedly. It shields us from surf wax and also from rough surfaces.

This benefit doesn’t have to be specific for surfers, though! If your kids like to bury you in the sand, a rash guard can keep sand… well… away from places you don’t want sand! Even simply laying on a beach chair can be more comfortable with an extra layer of fabric — no one likes those plastic backings digging into their skin while they dig into their summer reads. 

Protection From Other Elements

If you’re one of those people who is a tad skeeved out about lake or ocean swimming, maybe a rash guard can change your mind. The extra fabric helps protect you from algae and other underwater plant life.

A Quick-Drying Suit

One thing that holds some people back from diving into rash guards is the common misconception that they are uncomfortable. Actually, nothing could be further from the truth. They dry so quickly that they are super comfortable- one might argue more comfortable than your average suit.

What Should You Look for in a Rash Guard?

There are so many fabulous swimwear options, so you should go into this purchase prepared. We have some tips on what you should consider when buying your first rash guard. 

Thermal vs. Regular Rash Guards

Think about what you will be using your rash guard for. If you plan to swim in places where you might be a little colder, look for words like “thermal” or “thermo” in the name or description. If you want the coverage and don’t need a thicker, warmer suit, then a regular rash guard should suit you just fine. 

Sleeve Length

How much coverage are we talking about here? Are you hoping to cover as much skin as possible? If so, you might want to go with a long sleeve rash guard like The Torquay Rashguard in Sangria.

If you want more coverage and protection in the chest and shoulders but don’t mind your arms exposed, short sleeves might be better for you (just don’t forget your sunblock, or you’re in for some wicked tan lines!). 

Color and Style

Please don’t for one second believe that wearing a rash guard means that you have to sacrifice style. Though classic black never goes out of style, the modern rash guard comes in many different colors and styles. If comfy, cute, and sporty is your vibe, you’re in the right place.

While the Andie rash guards are fashion perfection, you can also try out long-sleeve styles like The Augusta Jacket. The cropped, snap-button jacket brings a distinctly 90s aura to your swimwear. Pair it with the matching high-waisted bottoms or over a tankini; the choice is yours!

Eco-Friendly Fabric

We need to take care of our planet and be environmentally friendly whenever we can. Opting for an eco-friendly material such as Sustainable Recycled Nylon can be an easy way to do your part. 

The Torquay Rashguard in Poppy from Andie Swim is made with recycled nylon and Spandex. 


Rash guards are not only for surfers and scuba divers! In fact, in modern times, we know how important it is to protect our skin from the elements to stay healthy. With a sleek, sporty look that is amazing on every body, you’re about to find your new favorite style of bathing suit top. 


Do You Really Know How to Protect Your Skin from the Sun? 17 Tips and Myths | Healthline

Swimmer's Itch - Symptoms and Causes | Mayo Clinic

Sun Allergy | Mayo Clinic

12 Summer Skin Problems You Can Prevent | American Academy of Dermatology Association