June 09, 2020

Realizing you’re on the wrong side of a fashion trend can be painful. One moment you’re sailing along, feeling sharp, and the next second you’re hopelessly out of the mainstream, ready fodder for jokes about your lack of fashion awareness. We can all be forgiven for making the occasional fashion faux pax, so it’s fine to cut yourself a little slack at times. But if you really want to project the right image, it’s important to cut out unforced errors.

Our fashion conundrum for today deals with a rising trend in athleisure — the rash guard. Should you wear this specialized piece of surf gear, even if you’ve never caught a wave? And if you do, when and where should you slip on this skin covering? Perhaps most importantly, how do you select and purchase a quality rash guard?

A Little History

Men haven’t always rocked the bare-chested look at the beach or pool. In fact, it wasn’t until the 1930s that it was common for men to strip down to swimsuits, board shorts, or other swimwear when they hit the water. The impetus for covering up again came with the growth of surfing. Surfers not only wanted protection from abrasive saltwater, but they also realized the utility of protecting their skin from the sun, sand, and spills. Regular cotton t-shirts were too bulky and heavy, so the modern rash guard swim shirt, made from light-weight and stretchable synthetic blends entered the market. 

Fashion is replete with examples of sport-specific clothing entering the larger marketplace. After all, that’s what athleisure clothing is really all about! And so the rash guard cover up has become a favored piece of clothing for the pool and beach scene, as well as other leisure activities. 

So… Should You Wear a Rash Guard?

Here’s the good news — you should wear a rash guard any time you want. Not only will your dermatologist thank you, but you’ll also find that a rash guard is a perfectly utilitarian piece of clothing that makes sense to wear. At the beach? Enjoy protection from the sun when you’re making a sandcastle with the kids, and protect your skin from abrasion when you pick up the boogie board. At the local pool? Don’t hesitate for a minute to slip on a rash guard to keep your skin protected from harmful UV rays. 

Don’t be afraid to expand your horizons. A rash guard can look and feel great in a variety of other settings as well, making it a versatile addition to your athleisure wardrobe. 

What Makes a Great Rash Guard

Quality rash guards, like the Willy California 801 Rash Guard, are designed for comfort and utility when you’re at the beach or pool. Let’s examine some of the things that make a rash guard a great rash guard. 

  • Task-specific fabrics. The perfect rash guard shirt material will combine strength, stretch and warmth. Rash guards made from synthetic blends like polyester, lycra and spandex provide all three. If you want a touch more warmth, look for blends that incorporate neoprene (think wetsuit for scuba) for its extra insulating power. 
  • UV protection. One of the main reasons to wear a rash guard is for sun protection, and quality gear makers like Willy California build UV protection into the garment. For max protection, check out one with at least a UPF 50 rating to prevent getting a sunburn. Wearing a sun shirt on top of wearing sunscreen while doing water sports or being outside, will ensure your skin is protected.   
  • Quality construction. What’s the point in wearing a rash guard if the seams chafe? Always select a rash guard that’s made with non-chafing flat-lock stitching. For the maximum movement, opt for 6-panel construction.
  • Fit. By design, a rash guard shouldn’t have a lot of extra fabric to weigh you down. But you don’t have to opt for a skin-tight fit. You’ll find rash guards made to fit a variety of body types, so be sure to shop around for the rashie that flatters your body. Also, there are sleeveless rash guard, short sleeve rash guard and long sleeve rash guard options to fit your needs. 

When is the Right Time to Wear Your Rash Guard?

We said it earlier, and we meant it — you should embrace the rash guard and wear it with pride! Here are just a few of the places where a rash guard makes sense (and looks stylish, too).

  • At the beach. Too obvious? Maybe so, but the beach is where the rash guard was born and it’s where it’s in its natural element. And don’t think that you need to have a surfboard on your roof rack to get the most out of rashie. A rash guard is perfect for playing in the surf with the kids, snorkeling, flying a kite, or taking a long walk with your sweetheart. If you do it on the beach, it’s better with a rashguard. 
  • After the beach. After a day on the beach, be sure to stop at the beach bar for your favorite cocktail. Your rashguard will be as at home as the umbrella in a pina colada. Not to mention it is quick-drying, so you won't have to worry about the cool breeze hitting your wet skin. 
  • At the pool. Whether you’re hanging out in the shallow end with the kids, swimming a few laps, or finishing a novel in a deck chair, your rash guard will keep your skin protected from the sun all day long. 
  • For sports. Beach volleyball, kayaking, standup paddleboarding, snorkeling at the beach, or badminton and croquet in the backyard. They’re all a great opportunity to wear a rash guard. 
  • For around the house (and beyond). When you want a comfortable, casual top for walking the dog or cutting the grass, your rash guard will do the job. And when you need a comfortable and durable top that moves with you for those trips to the home improvement store, slip into your rashguard and hit the road. 

A Shirt For All Seasons

A rash guard is a versatile and useful garment that has outgrown its origins as a sport-specific piece of gear. Choose a best seller rash guard and pay attention to the fit, fabrics, and build. You’ll make a valuable addition to your wardrobe that will be at home around the water and wherever else you roam. 

When you’re looking for a rash guard the first step is to go with a brand you trust. Visit Willy California for high-quality athleisure wear made in the United States.