Years ago, during The Great Tankini Phase of the 2000s, I remember recommending that us mamas give a rash guard + bikini bottom combo a try. The combo was just as functional as a tankini, but had a sportier, more youthful vibe.
I never did like those tankinis.
Swim styles have shifted now, and these days we’re more likely to see one-piece swimsuits or high-rise bikini bottoms. (And yes, cheeky bottoms, too, but I haven’t fully embraced those yet. Next year.).
Latest Crush: Rash Guards + High-Rise Bikini Bottoms
Personally, I’m loving the new crop of rash guards (many of them actually cropped) paired with high-rise bikini bottoms. The leg-line is long, and the peek of skin keeps it modern and fresh. I also like the option of wearing a sexier bikini top underneath, so I’m not committed to the look all-day (the problem I sometimes have with one-piece swimsuits).
I’m wearing Seea’s Palomar cropped rash guard (size medium), and it’s comfortable and so well-made — my new favorite. Of course, the color I’m wearing is almost sold out, but there’s still a textured navy in stock, and I found a few additional colors/sizes at Free People (the brown is gorgeous and fully stocked).
And you can’t argue the practicality of the combo. I’m not doing much chasing of kids these days…my little guys are older now… but we’re still having some serious beach adventures.
Look at Raines coming to save me. He was right — I do prefer the longer boards. MUCH easier to use.
Fit Notes: I almost always size up in swimwear, and this rash guard, bikini top, and bikini bottoms were no exception: I’m wearing a size medium across the board (I’m usually a size small in most things, 26-27 in jeans). The beach hat is a men’s size large, but I have a big head, tons of hair, and I wear it big to fit over my ponytail or bun, and can still tip it down in front to better block the sun. The beach sunglasses are relatively inexpensive, super-lightweight and polarized.
My Fav Cropped Rash Guard + High-Rise Bikini Bottom Combinations
I’m so in love with Seea’s Palomar Cropped rash guard that I don’t think you’d go wrong in any color. But if you are navy-houndstooth-check or BUST (and I get it), that pattern is available in a cool, retro one-piece swimsuit, too. And Seea makes a ton of seriously cute surf suits, if that’s more your speed. As always, give our Backcountry code a try (THEMOMEDIT) — it works on *most* full-priced items.
Now back to cropped rash guards!! Because the magic is in the mix, here are a few ways I’d mix-and-match my two favorite in-stock colors of Seea’s Palomar rash guard.
What To Wear With Seea’s Palomar Rash Guard In Navy
While one could just snag the matching bottoms (the combo is SO CUTE)….there are a bunch of great possibilities here — and some surprising color combinations that would work just as well.
What To Wear With Seea’s Palomar Rash Guard in Brown
I have a major thing for chocolate brown in the summer. There’s nothing so effortlessly chic and fresh as a bikini (or rash guard) in a rich brown. The vibe is a nonchalant, beachy kind of luxe…so good.
Have Black High-Rise Bikini Bottoms? Here Are A Few Cropped Rash Guards To Match
As I mentioned, my current favorite high-rise bikini bottoms are Mikoh’s Lami bottoms. I tried on a ton, and some weren’t comfortable enough, some didn’t stay up, some were too cheeky, and some weren’t cheeky enough. Mikoh’s, for me, hit the sweet spot. The black is almost sold out at Backcountry, but there are a few additional sizes available at Amazon.
Thoughts? Anyone else taking another look at rash guards, especially cropped ones, now that high-rise bikini bottoms are such a thing? I’ve noticed my kids seem to burn faster this year; we seriously can’t keep up with the sunscreen application (we’re already reapplying EVERY HOUR) so rash guards might be playing a major role in our beach happiness.
photo credits: Terah Wilson Photography in Wilmington, NC (so nice working with you!!!)