Can You Wear a Shirt When Swimming?

Wearing a shirt while swimming has always been a tricky question; one that’s left the internet divided. You’ll have people telling you either not to or to go ahead and take your shirt off when you get in the pool.

Ask anyone and they’ll tell you that it depends on the situation but how do you know when it’s appropriate? Well, I’m here to answer every last question about whether or not you can wear a shirt when swimming. So follow this post to answer the query;  can you wear a shirt when swimming?

The answer is simple. Yes, you can wear a shirt when swimming. It’s not advisable to wear clothing in the pool or in the ocean because it can get caught on something and pull you under, it can weigh you down and make it harder to swim, and it can get damaged by chlorine or salt water.

But if you want to swim with a shirt, then go right ahead!

The only exception might be if your shirt has buttons, zippers, or other metal parts that could become dangerous if they come into contact with electricity (like pool motors). In that case, take off your shirt before getting into the water.

Is It Ok To Wear A Shirt While Swimming?

The short answer is yes, you can wear your shirt while swimming. However, it is not recommended. The best way to protect yourself from the sun is to cover up with loose-fitting, long-sleeved clothing, a hat and sunglasses.

If you’re going to be out in the heat for more than an hour, use sunscreen with an SPF of 15 or higher and re-apply every two hours. If you’re going to be in the water for more than 30 minutes, use waterproof sunscreen on exposed areas of skin and reapply it after swimming.

Why Would One Want to Wear a Shirt to Swim?

As odd as it sounds, a lot of people do prefer to swim with their shirts on due to some reasons which include:

1. Protection from Ultraviolet Exposure

Wearing extra clothing is an effective way to protect your skin from excess UV exposure especially if you are prone to sunburn. Of course, not everybody skins sunburns at the same rate.

The rate at which your skin sunburns will depend on your skin type and your Melanin Level. If you are wondering what melanin is, it is a brown pigment that protects the skin from the harmful effects of UV rays.

This means that people with darker skins have more melanin than people with fairer skins. So for fairer people who have low melanin, they have to find ways to protect themselves from UV rays and the options available to them are Subblock and long clothes.

For Swimmers, Sunblock is not a good alternative because it is greasy and oil and these conditions are very uncomfortable for swimmers. Again, the process of applying layers upon layers of sunblock can be strenuous especially if you are a swimmer that wants to stay long inside the pool.

The only option left for some swimmers who aren’t comfortable with sunblock is to wear a shirt to protect them from the damaging effects of UV rays.

ALSO READ: What Swimsuits Do Olympic Swimmers Wear?

2. Public Scrutiny

Shirts provide a level of comfort for people who are very shy or are very conscious about their bodies. It Is a fact that most swimsuits can be more revealing than most kinds of clothes we wear for social outings.

At some point, the clothes are so revealing that it is hard to tell the difference between the swimsuits and the underwear and this can be uncomfortable for some who are conservative.

Majorly, people who battle with bodily insecurities such as hairy, acute acne, body mark, overweight, underweight etc usually find it hard to expose their body while swimming. Again, some people are too modest and find exposing their bodies quite inappropriate This is another reason why some prefer wearing a shirt while swimming.

Can I Float in My Shirt While Swimming?

Yes, you can float in a shirt. It’s not going to be as easy as floating on a raft or in water wings, but it can be done.

The first thing to do is make sure that your shirt is loose fitting and made of a material that will not retain water. For instance, if you have a long sleeve button down shirt that has buttons on the sleeves, this is not a good idea because it will make it harder for you to get out of the shirt and into the water.

You also want to make sure that there are no pockets or anything else in the way so that when you jump into the water your arms will be free to swim around.

When jumping into the water, try to jump straight up instead of forward so that when you hit the water it will feel like someone pushing on your back and sending you under water. If you jump forward then it could knock all of the air out of your lungs causing them to fill with water instead of air which would make it impossible for you to breathe and would cause panic attacks as well.

Once under water try kicking with both legs like normal swimming strokes until you come up for air again so that you do not use up too much energy before getting onto land again!

Can One Drown From Swimming With Their Shirt?

The answer is yes, you can drown from swimming with your shirt. However, it’s not common and it would be very unlikely for someone to drown in this way.

If you’re just swimming and your shirt gets caught on something, it’s possible for you to drown. However, if you’re swimming without your shirt on and lose your balance or have some other problem, it’s not likely that you’ll drown from that alone.

4 Best Lightweight Shirt to Wear While Swimming

1. BALEAF Men’s Short Sleeve Solid Sun Protection Quick-Dry Rashguard Swim Shirt

BALEAF Men's Short Sleeve Rashguard Swim Shirt UPF 50+ Sun Protection Rash Guard Black Size L


This is made from 100% polyester material. It is specially made to protect the wearer from the sun’s harmful rays. The fabrics are quick-drying, lightweight and breathable. It is perfect for athletic wear and comes with a boardshorts connector loop at the bottom helm that attaches the hash guard to boardshorts to prevent it from riding up.

2. TSLA 1 or 2 Pack Men’s Rashguard Swim Shirts

TSLA Men's Rashguard Swim Shirts, UPF 50+ Loose-Fit Long Sleeve Shirts, Cool Running Workout SPF/UV Tee Shirts, Sun Block Sky Blue, X-Large


This is specially designed for water sports and surfing. It offers 50 SPF/PF sun protection. It is designed to be durable, high-density fabrics and offers protection against rashes, abrasions and harmful ultraviolet rays. The material is stretchable with water shedding capability. The manufacturer advises that it should be washed separately before wearing.

3. Speedo men’s Uv Swim Shirt Short Sleeve Loose Fit Easy Tee

Speedo Men's Uv Swim Shirt Short Sleeve Loose Fit Easy Tee


This is also made from 100% polyester and offers UV block with UPF 50+ protective fabric. Its low moisture absorption for fast comfort makes it possible for the fabric to dry easily. The long-lasting soft and durable fabric makes this material last swim after swim without compromising shape or quality. It is also designed to be soft and breathable.

4. BALEAF Men’s Short Sleeve Rashguard Swim Shirt

BALEAF Men's Long Sleeve Rashguard Rash Guard Sun Protection Swim Water Shirt UPF SPF 50+ Surfing Diving Ocean Blue Size XL


The swim shirt is made from a mixture of Nylon and Spandex in a ratio of four to one. It is made from an excellent quick-drying and breathable material and offers premium sun protection from the sun’s harmful rays. It comes mostly in black colour and is designed with a raglan sleeve and adds enough room to move.

Conclusion – Can You Wear a Shirt When Swimming?

Swimming is fun, but it can be annoying to deal with a shirt. So, yes—you can wear a shirt when swimming, but only if you’re okay with hassles from the lifeguards and other people around you.

If you want to completely avoid wearing a shirt when swimming, try looking for somewhere that won’t mind, like your own pool or the ocean. Good luck!


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