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Not quite a wetsuit or a t-shirt, a rash guard fits somewhere in between. Rash guards—or sun shirts, as they're sometimes called—are great for wearing during a day at the beach because they protecting your skin from the sun and surf. Made with UPF-protective and water-resistant material, these suits—once snubbed by fashionistas—are now very much on trend. Here are a few of our top picks.
Captain's Chair Rash Guard, Quiksilver Local
West Marine, 4708 S. Tamiami Trail, Sarasota, (941) 360-6000
Captain or not, this is a great pick. This Quiksilver rash guard comes in light and dark blue, and is made from stretch recycled polyester yarn blend fabric. The loose fitting shirt has 50+ UV and UPF protection, plus chlorine resistant and moisture-wicking properties. Buy it at West Marine.
UV Long Sleeve Shirt, Compound Boardshop Local
Compound Boardshop, 3604 S. Osprey Ave., Sarasota, (941) 923-0430
If you're looking for a UV-resistant shirt that is made locally, pick this long sleeve up from Compound Boardshop. These soft, water-resistant shirts are made from recycled materials, show off Compound's logo and can be worn from land to sea. Find three different colors for men and women at the shop or take a look at its online inventory.
Short Sleeve UPF Shirt, Body Glove
When it's too hot outside for long sleeves, shorter options are, thankfully, available. This sun shirt from Body Glove—an online shop that also sell men's and women's swimwear and surf gear—can be found in white or blue camouflage. The relaxed fit has UPF 50 protection and can be worn in and out of the water.
One and Only Rash Guard, Hurley Local
Ellenton Premium Outlets, 5461 Factory Shops Blvd., Ellenton, (941) 723-1150
This rash guard from Hurley is perfect for water sport days. The slim, tighter fit is made from recycled plastic material, making it lightweight and breathable in and out of water. It is quick drying, offers 50+ UPF protection and comes in a zip-up or pullover style. Find it at the Hurley outlet in Ellenton.
Essentials Stripe Zipper Rash Guard, Cabana Life Local
Swim City, 4526 McAshton St., Sarasota, (800) 210-6221
If you want a rash guard that stands out from the crowd, this striped one by Cabana Life will do the trick. The nylon/spandex material offers 50+ UV protection, blocks 98 percent of UVA + UVB rays and has long sleeves with thumb holes to cover the top of your hands. Plus, the accent shoulder zipper is super-cute and makes it easier to put on.
Floral One Piece Swimsuit, Nordstrom
While it isn't a rash guard, per se, this fun, floral swimsuit from Sea Level is made with the same sun-protecting material. The zip-up crewneck style offers stylish protection from the sun, and it's made of 85 percent recycled nylon and elastane. Find it in a variety of patterns and colors at Nordstrom.
Mini Blake Kids Long Sleeve Rash Guard, Mott50
The whole family can match with in this Ocean Candy Wash rash guard from Mott50. The brand has children and adult unisex sizes, with UPF 50+ protection and lightweight materials. It's comfy enough to wear all day. Pair it with matching swim trunks or bikini bottoms.
Kids' Sandshark Short Sleeve Surf Shirt, Coolibar
This short sleeve rash guard from Coolibar is perfect for the older kids in the family, with sizes ranging from child X-small to X-large. Its UPF+ protective material blocks 98 percent of UVA/UVB rays—perfect for a long boat, pool and beach days. It's also quick drying and saltwater and chlorine resistant, so kiddos can splash in the water as long as they want.