What to Wear Under Rash Guard for Comfort and Support

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O'Neill Men's Reactor-2


O'Neill Women's Basic Skins

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Undercover Waterwear Swim Leggings

You have options when it comes to dressing under your rash guard. But the question is how to get comfortable in a wetsuit and what should you wear under a rash guard? It all depends on what feels best for you. Rash guards are a brilliant invention, providing an extra layer to help protect against the sun, wind, and the unforgiving surfboard.

Bikinis can be brilliant and one option you can wear under a rash guard. But make sure to get a bikini that actually supports. No one wants to be dealing with saggy tops or bottoms that fall down at the worst moment. Look for options with lift for larger sizes. Some places will recommend halters, but anyone with a larger cup size knows that’s a fast track to a strained neck. Padding is popular to hide nipples, but also to give additional shape. However, be aware that padding doesn’t dry as fast as the rest of the swimsuit, which can be a tad awkward.

Remember, the silhouette of your bikini top under your rash guard will emphasize the shape of your bust. Any padding or underwires might lead to strange alien-boob formations that your rash guard will display to the world! So, opt for smooth styles with wider straps to prevent gouging in the shoulder. Keep in mind that bikini tops under a rash guard should be smooth designs rather than textures like lace. In this context, textures like lace or crochet will just lead to unnecessary discomfort, defeating the purpose of a comfortable and supportive swimsuit.

Understanding the Concept of Rash Guards

Rash guards, known to some by their other name, rash vests, have been climbing the popularity ranks over the recent years. They’re a hybrid of a swim and a ski shirt, made of materials that stretch and resist harmful things like saltwater, chlorine, and UV rays. Designed originally for surfers wanting to dodge skin irritation and sunburns, they’ve become a favorite for swimmers and divers as well.

Form-fitting and versatile, you can wear a rash guard solo without anything underneath or worn on top of a swimsuit for extra coverage. Nowadays, they’re not only saving your skin when your out riding the waves or diving into the deep, but they’re doubling as everyday beachwear. The key takeaway is that knowing what to wear under a rash guard can make your seaside adventures a whole lot more comfortable.

  • Rash Guard as a Swim Shirt

Rash guards have their roots in surf culture but their usage has evolved, and they now serve as a functional piece of swimwear. Made of stretchy fabric like polyester, nylon, or spandex, they stand up to saltwater, chlorine, and UV rays, giving you an extra line of defense between your skin and the elements. Designed to prevent skin irritation and sunburns, they give you the freedom to take a dip without worrying about the effects of the harsh sunlight.

Because they’re form-fitting, rash guards can be worn on their own without bottoms or layered over a swimsuit for additional coverage. This is a great advantage for those wanting a bit more protection than a conventional swimsuit or for activities that require a bit more physical exertion. Whether you’re catching a wave or casually wading in the shallow end, a rash guard has you covered.

  • The Difference Between a Swim Shirt and a Rash Guard

Time to unravel the mystery, folks. Let’s talk about the difference between your regular swim shirt and this high-performance clothing item we call a “rash guard”. A swim shirt, as the name suggests, is a shirt you wear for swimming, usually made of light, loose, quick-drying fabric. It’s not as tight to the body and quite frankly, not as stylish either. It’s kinda like wearing a baggy t-shirt in the pool or the sea. But hey, it does the trick sometimes!

On the flip side, a rash guard is like a swim shirt on steroids. Made of stretchy materials like polyester, nylon, or spandex, it’s form-fitting, resisting the chlorine and saltwater it comes in contact with. By wearing a rash guard, you’re protecting yourself from harmful rays and getting that extra shield against skin irritation. Plus, it’s snug as a glove, so it stays put and won’t get in your way, whether you’re catching waves or simply catching some sun.

Discovering Various Options to Wear Beneath Your Rash Guard

When it comes to having fun in the sun, it’s not just about wearing a rash guard. The reality, folks, is that there’s a whole world of things you can wear beneath your trusty rash guard to keep you comfortable at the beach. Rash guards are great for protecting your skin from the sun, but that stretchy material may cling very tightly to your skin, especially when wet. So, what’s a beach lover to do?

1. Neoprene Wetsuit Shorts: O’Neill Men’s Reactor-2

Score 9.2 OUT OF 10
Neoprene Wetsuit Shorts: O'Neill Men's Reactor-2
Now, let’s talk about something a bit different from your typical bathing suits. How about some neoprene wetsuit shorts? These bad boys, like the O’Neill Men’s Reactor-2, are an excellent choice to wear under a rash guard. They are made from a thicker material that’s perfect for protecting your skin from rashes. Plus, they are quite comfortable, making them one of the great options you can wear under your rash guard.
They ain’t just great for swimming either. These shorts can be a godsend for other water activities, too. So, whether you’re surfing the waves or diving to the deep, these wetsuit shorts have got you covered – literally. Just make sure to pick a pair that fits well and won’t give you a case of the chafing blues!
  • Thick material protects against rashes
  • Comfortable fit
  • Good for various water activities
  • Durable design
  • May run small in size

2. Dive Skin: O’Neill Women’s Basic Skins

Score 9 OUT OF 10
O'Neill Women's Basic Skins Upf 50+ Long Sleeve Sun Shirt
Alright, next up on our list is something for the ladies. Say hello to the O’Neill Women’s Basic Skins. It’s a lycra dive skin that’s meant to be worn beneath women’s rash guards. Now, you might be thinking, ‘Why would I need to wear anything under my rash guard?
  • First up, they’re well-known for their superior ability to handle skin infections. Now, nobody wants to get up close and personal with some nasty skin fungus, right?
  • Second, these skins work a charm for absorbing sweat and keeping you dry. Say goodbye to feeling like you’re swimming in your own sweat!
  • Next, they prevent skin-to-skin contact. Handy, if you’re someone who’s constantly rubbing elbows with others, especially in aquatic sports.
  • Finally, these skins protect against various types of skin infections. We’re talking serious skin protection to keep you safe and healthy.
  • Despite their perks, the O’Neill Women’s Basic Skins might be slightly pricey for some folks. Remember, you’re paying for quality, but it can be a bit hurtful on the wallet.
  • Plus, they might not offer as much variety in design or color options compared to some other brands. A tad disappointing if you’re keen on expressing your unique style.

3. Swim Leggings: Undercover Waterwear Swim Leggings

Score 7.8 OUT OF 10
Swim Leggings: Undercover Waterwear Swim Leggings

So, ya think a pair of swim leggings can’t offer enough support for all ladies? Hold that thought. Undercover Waterwear has got it sorted out. Designed to be comfortable and move with your body during activity, these leggings are all about making you feel secure ‘n’ relaxed. Sure, the material might stretch a bit when wet, but that’s no biggie. They still hold up pretty well.


  • One thing you’ll appreciate is that they have room for you to wear a swim bra underneath. So, ladies, you can enjoy the luxury of extra support.
  • Undercover Waterwear is made to handle pool chemicals and salt, meaning they won’t fade or weaken after a couple of dips in the water.
  • These leggings also dry pretty fast. So, say hasta la vista to feeling soggy for hours post-swim.
  • Finally, they offer an added layer of protection against, you know, skin infections and the like. Can’t argue with that, can ya?


  • If you’re not one to wear a swim bra, you might find the swim leggings slightly uncomfortable or constrictive.
  • Plus, they’re not the cheapest option on the block. So, if you’re on a tighter budget, they may be a bit of a stretch.

4. Wicking Base Layer Shirt: Duofold Wicking Shirt

Score 9 OUT OF 10
Duofold Men's Mid Weight Wicking Thermal Shirt
If you choose to wear your rash guard, a good under option is the Duofold Wicking Shirt. It’s a nifty little number. The material is a blend of two proprietary fabrics from Duofold, ensuring you get both comfort and performance while out and about in your adventures.
  • It offers reliable protection from the sun.
  • It is designed with top-notch moisture-wicking capabilities. 
  • It is machine washable. After each outing, just toss it into your washing machine.
  • The Duofold Wicking shirt does an ace job of shielding your skin from harmful rays.
  • While it does offer sun protection, it’s not as high ranking as some other brands.
  • Repeated machine washing could cause the shirt’s color to fade over time.

5. Compression Shorts: Under Armour Shorts

Score 9.4 OUT OF 10
Under Armour Men's HeatGear Long Shorts

Now, if you’re a fan of the shorter route, literally, then Under Armour Shorts might fit the bill for you. These compression shorts are tailor-made for sporting activities. Made from a blend of polyester and elastane, these shorts fit snugly without being too restrictive.

The fabric wicks away sweat, keeping you dry and comfortable. Not to mention, these shorts provide a good amount of protection for your skin from rashes. Summertime surfing in those choppy waters? Bring it on, I say!


  • The fabric of these shorts is thick and durable, offering extra protection while out on the water.
  • The shorts are designed to wick away moisture, making it comfortable for long hours in the water or on the beach.
  • They help to protect your skin from rashes. Perfect for folks with sensitive skin!
  • The Under Armour Shorts can be comfortably worn under other garments, like rash guards or board shorts, for added comfort and protection.


  • Firstly, these shorts may not provide ample protection for the skin exposed to the adverse environment..
  • Secondly, despite being a sturdy option, swimming, surfing or snorkeling could be less comfortable due to the form-fitting nature of these shorts.

The Role of Bras Under Rash Guards

Let’s move on to another important aspect of what to wear under your rash guard – bras. Rash guards, also known as rash vests, have been gaining popularity as a swimwear option in recent years. They’re usually designed from stretchy fabric like polyester, nylon, or spandex that can stand up to the elements, including chlorine, saltwater, and UV rays from the sun. As a result, they provide an additional layer of protection for anyone who’s swimming, diving, or surfing.

The snug fit of rash guards has led many to wear them either alone or over a swimsuit for added coverage. While their original purpose was to shield your skin when out on the water, they’ve grown to be a trendy choice for beachwear as well. Since they are so form-fitting, wearing a bra under your rash guard can add a layer of comfort and support, especially for women. From opting for a swim bra to a sports one, or even exploring pushup inserts, the choice is yours, as long as it enhances your comfort and overall rash guard experience.

1. Swim Bra and Its Advantages Under Rash Guard

A swim bra works wonders beneath a rash guard. As its name suggests, swim bras are bras that are specifically made to handle pool chemicals and salt from the waves. Unlike regular lingerie, these aren’t afterthoughts in design. They’re intended to get wet, dry, and yet still handle pool chemicals without compromising comfort or support.

Now, when it comes to UV protection, the combo of a swim bra and rash guard is second to none. It’s like taking all the advantages of the UV Skinz brand and adding an added layer of protection, literally. The rash guard acts as a shield against harmful sun rays, and if you’re a water enthusiast who loves to play hard, this duo will keep your skin guarded, and your figure supported.

2. Can You Wear a Sports Bra Under a Rash Guard?

So, can you wear a swim bra under your rash guard? Absolutely! If you’re planning on a day of active fun at the beach, then a sports bra under a rash guard for swimming can offer the support you need while still being comfortable at the beach. Rash guards are great for protecting your skin from the sun, but pairing it with a sports bra offers even more support.

Now you might be wondering whether a regular bra can also be worn under a rash guard. These regular bras under your rash guard could work, but there’s always a tendency for the guards to become semi-transparent or cling tightly to your skin when wet. Which is why, it’s best to opt for bras that are specifically made for swimming, as they don’t cling very tightly to your skin. This can eliminate chafing and the bras will dry quickly, making them ideal to be worn underneath rash guards for dry activities too.

3. Exploring Swimwear Pushup Inserts for Additional Support

Now, let’s talk about pushup inserts. These things are a game changer for the ladies who want a little extra oomph. When worn, they give a nice shape under your rash guard. However, there is one thing you need to be careful about. Just like a bar of soap in the bathtub, these inserts sometimes have a mind of their own. An embarrassing situation where it heads south can arise if not properly secured.

So, how do you prevent such a mishap? The best way to wear these is when they’re paired with a one-piece swimsuit. Having a swimsuit keeps the inserts in place and prevents them from taking an unexpected journey. So if you’re in the quest for additional support under your rash guard, consider giving these inserts a shot.

Considering Built-in Options and Layering Techniques

Now that we’ve discussed the various options you can wear under your rash guard, let’s talk about built-in options and layering techniques. See, just like a superhero suit, some rash guards come with built-in options. A rash guard with a built-in bra adds an extra layer of convenience, while also giving you a streamlined look.

When it comes to layering, it’s all about getting the combinations right. Wearing a rash guard over a one-piece swimsuit can give you maximum coverage, while pairing it with a swim bra and board shorts will give you the flexibility for a more active day at the beach. Remember, comfort and functionality should be your guiding principle when layering your beachwear.

Do Women’s Rash Guards Have Built-in Bras?

For the ladies out there who are curious about rash guards, you might be wondering, “Do they have built-in bras?” That’s a reasonable question. As luck would have it, some women’s rash guards do indeed have built-in bras. So, if you are looking for some added support without having to squeeze into an additional layer of swimwear, these could be a good choice for you. It’s kinda like having the cake and eating it too, huh?

However, it’s essential to remember that not all rash guards come with this feature. Some are simply a snug-fitting shirt made of stretchy fabric like polyester or spandex, without any additional built-in support. So, if you prefer a rash guard with a built-in bra, you’ll have to keep an eye out for the right one. It’s as if you’re on a treasure hunt at the beachwear store – just follow the ‘X’ mark on the label.

Do You Wear Anything Under a Rash Guard?

Now, you may also ask, “Do you wear anything under a rash guard?” Again, the answer depends on your personal preference. Some people who value comfort over everything else might prefer not to wear anything under their rash guard. After all, these shirts are typically made from body-hugging material that feels smooth against the skin. Plus, they’re designed to prevent chafing and skin irritation – that’s why they’re called rash guards in the first place!

On the other hand, if you want more coverage or support, you can choose to wear a bikini or one-piece underneath your rash guard. Some even opt to wear a swim tank for the extra comfort it provides. Really, it’s about whatever floats your boat and makes you feel comfortable and confident in your beachwear.

Concluding Thoughts on Wearing Under a Rash Guard

When it comes to upper body swimwear, a rash guard is a solid choice. Commonly known as a rash vest, it serves as a protective layer between you and the harsh elements. Made from stretchy fabrics like polyester, nylon, or spandex, these shirts are sturdy against chlorine, saltwater, and the sun’s UV rays. They started off as gear for surfers but have since become a staple for everybody, even those who just want to avoid a skin infection when frolicking in the water.

An important thing to remember though, is that while rash guards are designed to be form-fitting, they should never be too tight or too loose. After all, a rash guard that allows you to move freely increases your comfort, and doesn’t that beat uncomfortably sucking in your tummy all day?

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