Planning your summer holiday wardrobe? You might want to take inspiration from the surfing community. We’re not talking long, baggy shorts, or slogan T-shirts, but rash vests.
Also known as rash guards, these sports shirts are thought to have originated in Australia, where surfers wear them under wetsuits to prevent them rubbing against the skin or, in warmer weather, on their own to protect against the sun, and also stop the body from chafing when they’re lying on a surfboard.
So why wear one if you don’t surf? Well, they’re very practical — many rash vests have a UPF rating of 50+ (like an SPF factor for clothing). This means they block around 98 per cent of UV rays. And it’s not just niche surf brands making them — swimwear brands are making chic collections of the traditional rash vest.
If you prefer a one-piece, swimwear labels have merged them with conventional swimwear to create a costume with sleeves. California swimwear brand Seea has long-sleeved swimsuits in stripes and florals that owe as much to a vintage Fifties aesthetic as they do to surfing.
They provide a stylish way to avoid sunburn — as well as covering up the dreaded flaffy upper arms.Daily Mail