The Best Swimwear Trend Ever.

Most stylish rash guards for women.

Most stylish rash guards for women.

1. Mara Hoffman, $140/ 2. Rip Curl, $39.50/ 3. Tommy Bahama, $84

4. J. Crew $59.50/ 5. Red Carter, $149/ 6. Becca, $74

The rash guard.  It makes even the most un-athletic beach goer appear Blue Crush-worthy. It offers skin extra shelter from the sun. It makes water sports insanely stylish. (I may or may not have taken up paddle boarding as an excuse to add a couple to my closet.)  The right one can have slimming superpowers that make going to the beach bearable on the most "ugh I can NOT bare my body in public" days. Even if you don't have a paddle board or surfing excursion in the near future, nobody needs to know that. You look awesome and athletic, enough said. 

Beyond that, when you leave in a beach town (which I do) and run into every person you know every time you step on the sand, swimwear that keeps you decent without looking dorky is a necessity. Especially when you are at said beach with a 3 year old determined to recreate the Justin Timberlake/Janet Jackson "wardrobe malfunction" moment timed as it if were premeditated to happen as soon as  her preschool teacher and your dentist strolling by. 

The rash guard is the swimwear gift that keeps on giving.

Looking ahead to warmer days (and hours spent paddling along the Saugatuck River as soon as the temperature is tolerable) I have been on a buying binge, scouring my favorite online destinations for styles that strike a perfect balance between sporty and sophisticated. And, in some cases, a tad bit sexy.  There is no reason practical can't be (just a tiny bit) provocative, right?