Do You Wear A Bra Under A Rashguard? Everything You Need To Know

Rashguards have become a popular garment for water sports, outdoor activities, or just casual summer wear. But an important question arises – should you wear a bra under your rashguard or go braless? We’ll give you a quick answer here: You don’t need to wear a bra under a rashguard in most cases.

The tight, stretchy fabric of a rashguard provides compression and support, making a bra unnecessary for many women. However, personal preference and breast size play a role in deciding what’s most comfortable for you.

In this comprehensive guide, we’ll cover everything you need to know about wearing a bra with rashguards. You’ll learn about the features of rashguard fabric, discover when you may want extra support from a bra, get tips for choosing a bra, and find out how to get the best fit and coverage.

What Is a Rashguard?

A rashguard is a type of athletic shirt that is designed to be worn during water sports activities. It is typically made of a lightweight and quick-drying fabric, such as nylon or polyester, and is designed to protect the skin from the sun’s harmful rays, as well as provide a layer of protection against rashes and abrasions.

Definition and purpose

A rashguard, also known as a rash vest or rashie, is a form-fitting garment that covers the upper body and provides protection against the elements. It is commonly used by surfers, swimmers, divers, and other water sports enthusiasts to prevent sunburn, chafing, and irritation caused by the harsh conditions of the ocean or pool.

The primary purpose of a rashguard is to protect the skin from the damaging effects of the sun. The fabric used in rashguards has a high UPF (Ultraviolet Protection Factor) rating, which means it provides a high level of protection against harmful UV rays.

This is particularly important for individuals who spend long hours in the water, as their skin is more vulnerable to sun damage.

Features and benefits

Rashguards are designed with several features that make them ideal for water sports activities. They are typically made of a stretchy fabric that allows for a full range of motion, ensuring that the wearer can move freely in the water.

The fabric is also quick-drying, which helps to keep the wearer comfortable and prevents the rashguard from becoming heavy and waterlogged.

In addition to sun protection, rashguards also offer other benefits. They provide a layer of insulation, helping to keep the body warm in cooler water temperatures. They also offer a degree of abrasion resistance, which can prevent rashes and irritation caused by rubbing against surfboards, wetsuits, or other equipment.

Styles and variations

Rashguards come in a variety of styles and variations to suit different preferences and needs. They can be short-sleeved, long-sleeved, or even sleeveless, depending on the level of coverage desired. Some rashguards also feature built-in UV protection, while others may have additional features such as thumbholes or zippers for added convenience.

There are also different designs and patterns available, ranging from solid colors to vibrant prints. This allows individuals to express their personal style while enjoying the benefits of a rashguard. Some popular brands that offer a wide range of rashguards include O’Neill, Rip Curl, and Billabong.

Whether you’re a seasoned water sports enthusiast or just starting out, wearing a rashguard can provide you with the protection and comfort you need to enjoy your time in the water. So next time you hit the beach or the pool, don’t forget to pack your rashguard!

Do You Really Need to Wear a Bra Under a Rashguard?

When it comes to wearing a bra under a rashguard, the answer ultimately depends on personal preference and individual needs. Rashguards, which are typically made from a compression fabric, can provide a level of support and coverage that may eliminate the need for a bra.

However, there are certain factors to consider when deciding whether or not to wear a bra under your rashguard.

Compression and support from rashguard fabric

Rashguards are designed to fit snugly against the body and provide compression, which can offer support to the breasts. The tight fit of the rashguard fabric helps to minimize movement and reduce discomfort during physical activities.

For those with smaller breasts, the compression provided by the rashguard may be sufficient support, eliminating the need for a bra.

However, it’s important to note that not all rashguards are created equal. Some may have a looser fit or be made from thinner fabric, which may not offer the same level of support as others. It’s recommended to choose a rashguard that is specifically designed for sports or water activities, as these often provide better compression and support.

When a bra may be recommended based on breast size and activity

For individuals with larger breasts, wearing a bra under a rashguard may provide additional support and comfort. The extra layer of support can help minimize movement and reduce the risk of discomfort or pain during physical activities.

Additionally, the type of activity you’re engaging in may also influence the need for a bra. High-impact sports or activities that involve a lot of movement, such as running or surfing, may require the added support of a bra to ensure comfort and minimize any potential discomfort or pain.

Comfort, coverage, and personal preference considerations

Ultimately, the decision to wear a bra under a rashguard comes down to personal preference and what makes you feel most comfortable. Some individuals may prefer the added support and coverage that a bra provides, while others may find that the compression and support from the rashguard alone is sufficient.

It’s important to consider factors such as the fit and fabric of the rashguard, your breast size, and the activities you’ll be participating in. Trying on different options and experimenting with what works best for you will help you make an informed decision.

Remember, the goal is to feel comfortable and confident during your activities, so choose the option that provides the support, coverage, and freedom of movement you need.

Choosing an Undergarment for Your Rashguard

When it comes to wearing a bra under a rashguard, there are a few options to consider. Depending on your comfort level and the level of support you need, you can choose from bralette or wireless bra options, supportive sports bra choices, and even try on different styles to find the best fit.

Additionally, there are other factors to consider such as the type of straps, bands, and pads that may enhance your overall comfort and support.

Bralette or wireless bra options

If you prefer a more relaxed and comfortable fit, a bralette or wireless bra could be a great choice to wear under your rashguard. These options offer a softer and more flexible fabric, allowing for ease of movement during various activities.

They are often made with breathable materials, which can help keep you cool and dry during your workout or outdoor adventures.

Supportive sports bra choices

For those who require more support, especially during high-intensity activities, a supportive sports bra is the way to go. These bras are designed with features such as adjustable straps, underwire, and wider bands to provide maximum support and minimize bounce.

Some sports bras also offer moisture-wicking properties to keep you dry and comfortable throughout your activities.

Trying on different styles

When choosing a bra to wear under your rashguard, it’s important to try on different styles to find the one that suits you best. Everyone’s body is unique, and what works for one person may not work for another.

By trying on different styles, you can determine which ones offer the right level of comfort and support for your needs.

Other bra considerations: straps, bands, pads

Aside from the style of the bra, there are other considerations to keep in mind. The type of straps can play a role in your overall comfort and support. Adjustable straps allow you to customize the fit, while wider straps distribute the weight more evenly.

Additionally, bands that are snug but not too tight can provide the right amount of support without causing discomfort. Some bras also come with removable pads that can enhance shape and provide extra coverage.

Remember, the key is to find a bra that makes you feel comfortable and supported while wearing a rashguard. Whether you opt for a bralette, wireless bra, or a supportive sports bra, prioritizing your comfort and personal preferences will ensure an enjoyable experience during your activities.

Getting the Best Fit and Coverage

Rashguard and bra sizing for the right compression

When it comes to wearing a bra under a rashguard, finding the right fit and compression is crucial for both comfort and functionality. It is recommended to choose a sports bra that provides adequate support and compression for your bust size.

This will help minimize any discomfort and ensure that you can move freely during your activities.

It’s important to keep in mind that rashguards are typically designed to be tight-fitting in order to provide optimal coverage and protection. Therefore, it is best to opt for a sports bra that offers a similar level of compression.

This will help prevent any unnecessary movement and ensure that your bust stays in place without causing any discomfort.

When selecting both a rashguard and a sports bra, it’s advisable to refer to the sizing charts provided by the manufacturers. These charts will help you determine the appropriate size based on your measurements.

Remember that different brands may have slightly different sizing guidelines, so it’s always a good idea to consult the specific brand’s chart.

Avoiding bra show-through

One common concern when wearing a bra under a rashguard is the possibility of show-through. This can be particularly problematic if you’re in a situation where you’d prefer to keep your bra concealed. To avoid this, consider a few strategies:

  • Opt for sports bras with thicker fabrics or added padding. These can help minimize any potential show-through.
  • Choose a rashguard that has a darker color or a pattern that can help camouflage any bra lines or show-through.
  • Layer your rashguard with a thin, seamless camisole or tank top. This can provide an extra layer of coverage and help conceal your bra.

By following these tips, you can ensure that your bra remains discreet and your focus stays on your activities rather than worrying about any show-through.

Matching bra and rashguard colors

While matching your bra and rashguard colors may not be essential, it can certainly add a stylish touch to your overall look. When choosing colors, consider the following:

  • For a cohesive look, opt for a bra and rashguard that are in the same color family. This can create a visually pleasing ensemble.
  • If you prefer a more contrasting look, consider choosing a bra and rashguard in complementary colors. This can create an eye-catching and dynamic outfit.
  • Don’t be afraid to experiment with patterns and prints. Mixing and matching different patterns can create a unique and fashionable look.

Ultimately, the choice of color coordination is a personal preference. Whether you decide to match or mix, the most important thing is to feel confident and comfortable in your chosen attire.

Caring for Your Rashguard and Undergarments

Proper care and maintenance of your rashguard and undergarments are essential to ensure their longevity and performance. Here are some important tips to keep in mind:

Follow fabric care instructions

Each rashguard and bra is made from different materials, so it’s crucial to follow the specific care instructions provided by the manufacturer. These instructions will guide you on the proper washing methods, temperature settings, and whether or not you can use a dryer.

By following these guidelines, you can prevent the fabric from getting damaged or losing its shape.

Rinse after saltwater use

If you’ve been out in the ocean and your rashguard or bra has come into contact with saltwater, it’s important to rinse them thoroughly as soon as possible. Saltwater can be corrosive and cause damage to the fabric over time.

Simply rinsing them with fresh water will help remove any salt residue and keep your garments in better condition.

Proper storage and drying

After use, it’s essential to store your rashguard and bras properly. Make sure they are completely dry before folding or hanging them. Dampness can lead to the growth of mold and mildew, which can ruin the fabric.

Additionally, avoid storing them in direct sunlight as prolonged exposure to UV rays can cause fading and deterioration.

When to replace worn-out rashguards or bras

Even with proper care, rashguards and bras will eventually wear out. It’s important to regularly inspect them for signs of damage, such as stretched-out elastic, holes, or fading. If you notice any of these issues, it’s time to replace them.

Wearing worn-out garments not only compromises their effectiveness but can also be uncomfortable. Aim to replace your rashguards and bras every 6-12 months, depending on how frequently you use them.

Remember, taking care of your rashguard and undergarments will not only extend their lifespan but also ensure that they continue to provide the necessary support and protection for your activities. By following these simple tips, you can enjoy your favorite water sports or outdoor activities with confidence!


Rashguards provide UV protection, rash prevention, and light compression for many activities. Their stretchy fabric means you can often go comfortably without a bra underneath. However, personal preference and breast support needs may make wearing an undergarment preferable.

A wireless bra, bralette, or supportive sports bra under your rashguard can provide extra coverage and shaping. With the right rashguard-bra pair selected for your unique needs, you’ll feel comfortable, protected and ready to take on any adventure.

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