Who Loves Rash Guards? THIS GIRL.



We chatted about rash guards last year, Mamas, but I never pulled the trigger.  I'm not sure why – oh.  Yeah.  That.  

So anyway…[awkward pause]….this year we're doing the beach in a BIG way.  Like it's our job.  Which includes trying out some of my previous recommendations, aka rash guards.

Limi Ricki was nice enough to send over this seriously cute polka-dot rashguard



J.Crew has declared the rashguard + bikini bottom a "whole new swimsuit" and….OK.  I'll buy that.  While I'm not loving the potential for farmer-style tans, throwing a rashguard on allowed me to play – hard – without, uh, losing something. (And since I'm still sporting some major scars, having one of these babies accidentally pop out would result in a whole new level of mental trauma for everyone involved.)

I like rashguards best over sexy, skimpy bikinis, to make them a little more family-friendly.  BUT.  Some rashguards are so chic that you could pair them with board shorts and still come out ahead of a dowdy swimdress.  You know?  But in general, I do like rashguards paired with a hefty dose of Oooo La La.  Like this:



1. Mara Hoffman Cosmic Rays Rash Guard, $148 at Everything But Water | J.Crew Neon French Top in papaya, $44 (25% off with code PACKME) | J.Crew Neon String Hipster in Neon Pink, $40 (25% off with code PACKME)

2. J.Crew Sun Shirt in Kiwi Neon Yellow, $68 (25% off with code PACKME) | American Apparel Bikini Top in Metallic Army, $12 | J.Crew Shattered Swirl String Bottom, $44

3. J.Crew Sun Shirt in Navy, $68 (25% off with code PACKME) | Target Red Halter Bikini Top, $18 at Target | J.Crew High Tide Bikini Bottom in Frog Print, $84 (25% off with code PACKME)

4. Lands End Striped Rash Guard, $44 |  J.Crew Seersucker Gold Trim Top in Neon Peach, $58 | J.Crew Floral Cove – just sold out!  But the J.Crew Blurred Floral Hipster, $25 would work

5. Becca By Rebecca Virtue Optical Illusion Zip-Front Rash Guard, $74 | J.Crew Triangle Halter Top, $44 (25% off with PACKME) | J.Crew Photo Floral Bikini, $44 

6. Lands End Tie Dye Rash Guard, $45 | Old Navy Bikini Top, $12 | Crochet Bikini Bottoms, $44


 Here are a few more seriously cute rashguards:

Rashguards (1)

Short-Sleeve Rashguards:

W Swim Photo Rashguard, $32 (on sale at Nordstrom!)

W Swim Photo Rashguard (orange) just sold out….try this one instead, $32

Lime Ricki Rashguard, $40

Pret-a-Surf Rashguard at Shopbop, $190



J.Crew Tie Dye Sleeveless Rashguard, $64

Billabong Sleeveless Rashguard, $52

Marc Jacobs Cropped Scuba Swim Top, $98



Pret-a-Surf for J.Crew Striped Rashguard, $225

Old Navy Rashguard, $22

Tommy Bahama Sailboat Rashguard, $94



Trina Turk Maze Rashguard, $52 (on sale!)

Zinke Neon Red Surf Shirt, $99

Tommy Bahama Sunset Sky, $94


Happy long weekend!




  1. I have a rashguard from Carve Designs that I’ve been super happy with. And Seea has some lovelies, too. (Heck, even Gap has some cute ones for kids!) Excellent post! Glad to see so many choices out there for sun protection.

  2. They look so cute on small framed ladies. I’m tallish, semi curvy, D cup (which I like to minimize, especially in swimsuits). I’m thinking the look may scream “ready for scuba!” on me. Thoughts?

  3. Saltytexan: I’m also tallish and curvy. I’d go with a rashguard that is NOT zip-front (preferably something with a bit of pattern, but at least not black) and regular swim bottoms (bikini or brief, but NOT board shorts or “swim skirt”). Don’t go too matchy. But anything like #1-6 (the first set of examples) should be fine.

  4. I love the look! However…I’m still searching. My own so-unlovely scars are on my thighs, and I have a nursing baby who likes to, um, dig in my shirt more than an ooo-la-la top would withstand. I think I’ve been in denial about how hard it’s going to be to find something I feel comfortable in – something both pretty & safe! – and suddenly beach season is here. Got any suggestions? A bathing suit post for those of us who can no longer bare gorgeous legs would be fantastic!

  5. I love the rashguards from Coolibar.com They have jackets that zip that are not the super tight scuba kind. They’re perfect for curvy moms who do not want to be sausaged into a tight top that cuts off circulation. I agree with Cordelia and would love a post for moms who don’t have great legs!

  6. I don’t think #7 really qualifies as a rash guard! I have the Lands End one (two of them actually…one from last year and one for this year). It’s absolutely fantastic; it’s light, dries well, and offers both sun protection and modesty on the beach and the boat. Last year’s lasted through MANY wears here in Florida and came out ready for another season. With two different tops (one bikini halter and one tankini), two different bottoms (pink and blue), and a pair of cover-up shorts for runs into the convenience store, I feel like I actually own about ten swimsuits when paired with the rash guards. I don’t feel frumpy, but I DO feel fashionable and comfortable!

  7. I developed an allergy to sunlight when I was 16, so I either have to endure painful rashes and chills while dozing off with Benadryl, or I wear SPF clothing to the beach and sit under an SPF umbrella. I used to look like a dork with these big caftan-like things (my oldest called it my beach burqa) and my hat, but now with the new rash guards, I just toss a wrap over my legs and I’m covered – literally. I’m actually grateful for my allergy because now almost 30 years later, I have very few wrinkles and age spots while several of my friends are starting to get pre-cancerous spots removed.
    I really like Athleta’s rash guards but this year they added ruching which looks ridiculous! Also for anyone looking for a great protective hat, I love Solumbra’s rolled brim hat. I have mine in canvas with black trim, and it’s surprisingly comfortable and handy.

  8. I just ordered/received a swim shrug and swim jacket (the last one more for just every day cover) from UV Skinz. I’m plus size, so it’s so hard to find cute rashguards/coverups. I’m extremely pale and burn easily, but am determined to head out in the sun this year.

  9. I love the way these rash guards look and love the idea of the sun protection even more … however, I am rocking a bad diastasis recti after twins quickly followed by a 3rd baby. I think I should stay away from the rash guards as they look a little too form fitting? Am I right?
    I did follow your advice and ordered about 15 deep plunge swim suits to try on. I will return the 14 that look the worst on me. Thank you for your incredible fashion advice for us postpartum and nursing girls. I have purchased many items upon your recommendation and have been happy with all of them.

  10. I’m go glad these are happening now. I had an atypical mole taken off a few months ago and it was enough to scare me under the umbrella for the summer. It’s nice to see more sun coverage having a moment!

  11. I actually got a loose fitting rashguard/swim shirt at Academy. Cheap too. I don’t like the form fitting ones b/c I have a pooch from a second baby who thought she needed to tunnel out of my belly button. There are loose ones out there, you just have to look. I’m looking for another one with ruching along the front or sides to hide the pooch.

  12. The rash guard I ordered from Lands End was on the loose side — it fit at my shoulders and arms but definitely wasn’t too form-fitting at the belly (I’m actually waiting for one size smaller to see if I like that better). Just FYI, they’re not all super tight!

Leave a Reply