Ask dapperQ: Hellllllllp! Masculine Swimwear?

One reader asks:

“I recently had top surgery and my doctor instructed me to keep my scars out of the sun. Have any suggestion[s] for swimwear that provides water-proof chest coverage but is not a women’s tankini top?”

And another reader asks:

“Last year, I went to Miami with some of my gay guy friends. We went to the beach and then a fancy hotel pool party right after. They looked so stylish at both. But, I looked so stereotypical in a sun-faded black tank and board shorts. What are some alternatives?”

Autostraddle’s Swimsuit Issue has some great recommendations for stylish masculine swimwear options. I completely agree with their editors that rash guards are great for chest coverage for those who desire more water-proofing than what a tank-top provides but who do not want to wear bikini or tankini tops.


Butch Swimwear

Rash Guards from left to right:
Volcom Round Stone Surf Tee Rash Guard
Volcom El Duble L/S Surf Tee Rash Guard
Level Six Coastal Rash Guard Shirt – UPF 50+, Loose Fit, Short Sleeve
Billabong Eclipse Surf Tee Rash Guard

Shorts from left to right:
O’NEILL Feral Boardshort
TAVIK Tripper Hybrid
VOLCOM Maguro Bonemuda Boardshort
TAVIK Loco Boardshorts

Another tip I liked from Autostraddle’s post: GO VINTAGE!

Marimacho SwimwearMarimacho’s Super Boi Swim Brief

You can always add a button-down to any of the boardshorts in the above collage to take them from the beach to poolside for a tailored, preppy look. But, my most fierce gay boy friends take style risks, such as adding some unexpected 70s flare and showing a bit more of the thigh (and they still read as masculine). Try some of these looks that are definitely not your standard tank-top/boardshort combo:

Butch Swimwear II

Shirts from left to right:
Mint Sequin Anchor Tank
Hamm’s Vintage Logo Navy Mens Tank Top
RVCA Commander Tank Top

Shorts from left to right:

Diesel Divine Trunk DXY
Retro 1970’s Swimsuit/Swimwear
Vintage Activa Nineties Swimsuit/Swimwear
BOSS Hugo Boss Krill

If you’re not comfortable wearing only a tank by the poolside, you can certainly wear a lightweight sports bra for extra coverage under these vintage-inspired tops.

Now, to be FULLY prepared, you’ll need to know what to pack so you don’t end up sun poisoned and carrying your towel in a brown paper shopping bag. No worries. We show you how to pack for a beach getaway here.

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1 Comment

  • This is so hard. And sorry, I’m really not digging the vintage thing. Or the idea of swimming in clothes. For me (living as female) the least awkward thing that I’ve come up with is something that looks like sportswear… if you look online, there are a lot of swim tops that look like sports bras, and bottoms that look like shorts. (I even found some swim bottom shorts at Target, that look like women’s running shorts, so they don’t get in the way but they’re not UNDERPANTS.) I think it looks like a perfectly normal thing to wear from the perspective of others, but not girly at all, just practical. I’ve also seen swim tees and once a swim hoodie that looked pretty awesome.

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