June 5, 2015

Bahama Mama: Modest Swimwear (Part 2 - Swim Tops, Tunics, and Rash Guards)

For part 1 of this ongoing series on modest swimwear and how to get it, start here.

Modest swimwear. Those words seem to be a paradox of each other. If you're dressing modestly, you can all but forget the beach exists. If you plan to swim, you can all but forget that modesty exists.

But these things, my friends, do live in harmony.

Yesterday I talked about, how after years of shying away from water activities, I finally decided to come up with a functional alternative to the current modest swimwear options. The first step, have a solid base layer (see more by clicking here). Once you have a base layer, build on the foundation.

You know that vision of Bo Derek rising out of the water and whipping her hair back and forth? It's not possible in a drenched, weighed-down cotton shirt. Working that scene in a cotton tee is more likely to lead to a version of you struggling to get out of the water, looking like an inebriated Frankenstein fighting with a gorilla on your back.

Cotton is fabric that is meant to absorb. It's pretty much a sponge.By replacing that cotton shirt with a surf shirt, you can recreate your Bo Derek moment however you like.

Surf Shirts and Rash Guards
Surf shirts and rash guards are to water what wicking shirts are to sweat. Technical wicking fabric, the type that many sports shirts are now made of, are designed to pull wetness away from your skin and allow it to evaporate quickly. Surf shirts and rash guards are made of fabric designed to absorb little water, pull it away from your skin, and to enable it to dry quickly.

Surf shirts and rash guards come in all brands, price points, and sleeve lengths. Typically, a rash guard will be a tighter fitting product, though many exist that are are fitted without being tight. I own a surf shirt by Roxy and a rash guard from a brand called Sporti, both of which I used on my recent trip to the Bahamas. Sporti is an in-house brand developed by swimwear merchandiser, SwimOutlet. Despite Roxy having a more prominent footprint in the swimwear industry, I liked the Sporti guard more, as it had a longer length that fell just past my bottom. It also felt sleeker in the water and dried faster.

Being almost 5'7", what is tight on me may not be to my best friend Amie, who stands 5'0". Keep that in mind as you click the images below.
Swim Tunics from Coolibar
I am very specific to citing Coolibar for their swim tunics. I don't know of any other place that offers a long-sleeve tunic top that's meant for swimming and offers the same type of coverage without decrease in function as Coolibar does. They are quite a bit pricier than the surf shirts and rash guard options but I think for the utility they provide, they are worth the purchase. If you see this on 6/5/15, you can navigate to their site and get 10% off your purchase!

These swim tops from Coolibar come in 8 colors and 4 prints. Click on the picture today to get yours!

Next time, part 3 - modest swim bottoms!