Men’s Swim Shirts | What are your thoughts?

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I noticed something interesting around the beach and pool on our family vacation last week. There were quite a few men’s swim shirts being worn on the beach. Although I really like the idea, I’m a bit torn on the issue.

Swim shirts, or rash guards are tops designed originally for surfers to protect them from abrasions caused by their wetsuits. Now they are becoming more popular among the non-surfing public as an alternative to sunscreen in protecting the skin from the sun’s UV radiation. But for the middle-aged rounder set, it seems like the swim shirt serves another purpose. You see, body image is just as much a concern for older men as it is for older women, and removing your shirt at the beach can be embarrassing or uncomfortable for my big-boned brothers. I understand this completely, as I’m much rounder in the areas that were flat as a board years ago. So instead of covering up the beer belly with a t-shirt that billows and puffs up when you go into the water, a swim shirt fits snug, dries quickly, blocks the sun and looks cool. You never have to take off your shirt on the beach again. Perfect right?

So what’s my problem then?

I’m not sure. You should wear what makes you feel comfortable. But shouldn’t you be comfortable in your own skin? Is it just a cop-out on the hard work that goes into changing your body and getting fit?

I like the idea and I think I’ll try it out. I do think though that I will initially feel a little self-conscious about wearing it.

What are your thoughts on swim shirts for men? I’d be interested in hearing from both men and women on this issue.

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  1. I am a personal trainer and I often wear a swim shirt when I am in or near water. My physique is not where it used to be years ago but the primary reason is because I have several tattoos that I got when I was younger. Wearing the swim shirt allows me to keep the indiscretions of the past hidden. Personally I don’t see a problem with it.

  2. It is becoming more of a necessity these days to keep our children out of the sun due to skin cancers. It is more important to cover up at the beach and pool when you are young to prevent the cancer later in life.

  3. I wear a swimshirt because I am shy about my body, not because of the way it looks. I mean, there’s a reason boys regularly wear a t-shirt in public, right?

  4. I am a male and have never liked being topless in public. Was not that I did not have a good physic, just never felt comfortable with people looking at my naked body. Was on vacation with my family and stopped in at an outdoor pool and was not allowed to keep my swim shirt on as I was a male. I left with my family and felt embarrassed about my body as a man being told by a young woman I had to remove my swim shirt or leave.. Was not that long ago that men were required to have tops on same as women and I find it more beneficial these days versus all the chemicals being applied to prevent skin cancer Young boys being exposed to to much sun can have life long effects, so be smart and cover up young children, boys and girls.

  5. I don’t really care at all if a boy or man wants to wear a swim shirt, but when it’s the mom making them because they’re claiming that the males should be covered just like the girls or it might turn a girl on, I get frustrated. If my boy doesn’t want to wear a shirt to swim, he shouldn’t have to. I personally think that women are turning boys into sissys. For goodness sake let them be manly.

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