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T-shirts are Classic Swimwear

Before we had fancy swimwear, tees and pants were worn in the water, mainly for modesty but also for fun. This is a popular fashion in most of Asia.

Plain T-shirts are the staple of a man’s wardrobe. They are called classic for a reason after all. The casual and laid back look of T-shirts have long been experimented with to give us looks like semi-casual and sporty and everything in between.

The cool thing about different types of T-shirts is that they can be modified in a million ways to create unique styles and yet they will retain their essence as a longest standing garment of choice for men.

Versatility has gotten the white tee far. Perfect as a top layer under the scorching sun or a jack-of-all-trades underneath another garment, there's nothing it can't work with, and well, yet it's just a white T-shirt, right? Wrong! Fit, feel, and, of course, affordability are important considerations.

T-shirts make great swimwear when you want to jump in on the spur of the moment. Especially the light weight shirts are very easy to swim in and for many people may be more comfortable than even a bathing suit. When you're training to swim competitively, you may want to wear a T-shirt in the pool during practice because it will force you to work harder to get through the water.

Cool Cotton

Please note that cotton soaks up a lot of water and can get cold from evaporation cooling in places of low humidity. In cool weather cotton can chill you out quickly. In hot weather this cooling effect can be refreshing. Otherwise changing into dry clothes soon after your swim would be wise.


T-shirt colour choice is important if you plan to wear it in the water. When you decide to go into the water only in bottoms and a T-shirt, you may want to stay away from white and light colored clothes, because the may go transparent once you are wet.

When you go into a chlorinated pool in a darker color shirt, remember that in all likelihood, your T-shirt will suffer some discoloration. Wearing a newer colored T-shirt, especially one that has not been washed yet, it is a good idea to avoid pools because you may end up dying the entire pool water, which will not make you popular with the pool owner or your fellow swimmers.

Sunburn Protection

When you travel to tropical countries, you will notice that local people often wear light cotton clothes while swimming outdoors. They don't want a tan, but protection against sunburn.

Outdoors a dark shirt can actually provide some added protection from the sun, therefore it may be a good choice to wear in the water. This is especially important for those who are fair-skinned and burn easily.

Skin damage from sunburn is cumulative, builds up over time, and leads to early skin aging. Children's skin is more sensitive to sunburn so a good looking hoodie, or other long-sleeve top, is always a welcome choice.

Most kids enjoy swimming in clothes as it adds fun and variety. Have different outfits ready to keep them motivated for sunburn protection. Always have a few spare clothes to hand when heading near water. Kids just love to jump into the water when they feel like it.

Shopping Tips for Women

For women, wearing a T-shirt in the pool or while swimming is often a modesty issue. Many women may not want the attention received from wearing a bathing suit. Remember though is that once the T-shirt gets wet, it shows your shape as much as a bathing suit would.

Can't find T-shirts that are long enough? If you're shopping for a casual T-shirt, try looking in the boy's or men's section. Their T-shirts are cut longer and also tend to be cheaper. "Tall Tees" are longer still. If you normally wear a size small or medium you can usually fit into a boy's X-Large quite comfortably.

cotton swim shirts for women and girls Be bold, express your style.
cotton swim shirts for women and girls If someone makes stupid remarks, just shout "Women's Power" or simply say: "I can do anything I like".

Reader Comments

Never Topless

by Wananuk, Pattaya, Thailand

You'll never catch me swimming without a T-shirt on. I'm a firm believer that more men should follow my lead. Why? Let me explain:

Have you noticed that men seem to be showing off their swim shirts and pullovers at an growing rate these days? It seems that modern men are more eager than ever to express their individuality and style to the world. Isn't it far more attractive for men to leave something to the imagination? I feel quite alluring in a large T-shirt during my dips in my local community pool. Give it a try, men. You might be surprised by the flirty looks you receive.

Not only is swimming with a T-shirt more attractive, it also improved my swimming endurance. I don't have 'proof' to back this up in any way, but from experience, I can tell you that a waterlogged T-shirt cuts through the waves in a way bare skin never could. Much like a weight lifter goes through his workout, swimming in a T-shirt simply cuts through the pool working against the extra drag resistance. That's why smart competitive swimmers practice in T-shirts or more clothes for the 100m final.

Swimming with a T-shirt will mean that you will take longer to dry off. This might sound like a negative, but there are some positive aspects. That extra drying time can give you a chance to contemplate your life choices, chat up other swimmers around the pool or showers, or horse around with your chums in the locker room. In the event you are not with any chums, horsing around by yourself is also an option. I just bought a turtleneck pullover. This is going to be a wild ride.

Lucas and Lee
Quite often we see people wearing a T-shirt in a swimming pool. Usually any T-shirt as long as it is clean and not way oversized is fine to wear. So just go for it and have fun. We always swim in public pools wearing a T-shirt and baggy shorts or kite pants. Never had a problem.

I think that if you're comfortable that way then wear it. I wear T-shirts also and don't think it would be a turn off. Leave the guys with some imagination. LOL. Yeah, later they are going to try to get to know you and figure out whats under there. Just tease'em a little.

Usually, T-shirts are not allowed in the pool because they are "street clothes", but rashguards are completely acceptable to wear. I'm a lifeguard and in our pool you can only wear clean T-shirts that you use for swimming only. Maybe you should ask the lifeguard if its okay to wear clothes in the pool.

I have experience wearing T-shirts in a public pool. It was the last day of school and I was graduating from middle school. I go to a catholic school so we always had to wear a T-shirt for swimming, because our teacher did not want us to "show all of our stuff". We got in the pool and had a lot of fun and felt so good. It was very colourful to see everyone in wet T-shirts. Some forgot their swim shorts, so they went swimming in their jeans and T-shirts.

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