What Should I Wear Under a Wetsuit?

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“What should I wear under a wetsuit?” is a common question for anyone who’s new to wearing wetsuits. Any experienced diver or surfer can tell you that there really isn’t specific attire to be worn under a wetsuit – You just wear what’s most comfortable according to the situation. 

However, it helps to know the pros and cons of each specific garment you can wear under a wetsuit so that you can decide what works best for you.

What Should I Wear Under a Wetsuit?

Whether you’re a man or a woman, the best thing you should wear under a wetsuit is a pair of diving shorts to reduce chafing. Women can also wear a bikini top to support their breasts, since not all wetsuits come with additional padding in the chest area. In cold climates, a full-body jumpsuit or rash guard will help keep you warm.

A group of surfers on the beach

Men also tend to wear standard board shorts under their wetsuits. Boardshorts are often worn due to convenience rather than for comfort. However, because boardshorts are loose-fitting, they can easily bunch up inside your wetsuit and cause further chafing.

The Best Garments to Wear Under a Wetsuit

Some people wonder why regular underwear isn’t preferred. This is because any clothes you wear under a wetsuit will get wet. Wearing a wetsuit will not stop water from getting your clothes or body wet. 

So, if you decide to wear underwear under your wetsuit, they will get soaked and stay soaked. This can most likely cause a rash in your private areas and will be very irritating. 

To help you better understand which attire is best for you to wear under a wetsuit, we’ve put together a list of the best garments that can be worn under a wetsuit.

Diving Shorts

Diving shorts are similar in design to bicycle shorts, though with material more suitable for water activities. These shorts are the best option for both men and women because they fit close to the body which allows the wetsuit to slip on easier. 

They are also better due to the length. Diving shorts stop right above the knee. This prevents the wetsuit from rubbing against your inner thighs, which can cause chafing. 

Rash Guard

A rash guard is usually paired with diving shorts to give you a semi full-body suit. Rash guards can protect your neck and armpits from chafing while wearing a wetsuit. They are also a good option when diving in low-temperature weather or deep water. 

One-piece Swimsuit 

This is a good idea if you will be wearing a wetsuit to surf or another water activity that makes you move a lot. A one-piece swimsuit can give you more movement in your arms and legs under a wetsuit. You won’t have any tight-fitting clothes restricting your arms or legs. 

Thin Jumpsuit

Deep-sea divers often wear a thinner jumpsuit to swim in cold water. A thin wetsuit is typically 1 millimeter thick, and it gives you full-body protection under a wetsuit. Because it is so thin, you can wear it as ad additional layer underneath a thicker wetsuit. 

Do I Have to Wear Anything Under a Wetsuit?

No, you do not have to wear anything under your wetsuit, however, there are consequences that come along with not wearing anything. This is why most people who wear wetsuits wear garments underneath. 

These are some of the reasons why you would need to wear something under a wetsuit:


The inside of a wetsuit is not smooth against your skin. This means that moving a lot in your wetsuit can cause it to rub against your skin and cause chafing in sensitive areas such as the inner thighs, armpits, neck, stomach, chest, and behind your knees. 

Wearing clothes underneath your wetsuit can add a barrier between your skin and the inside of the wetsuit. 


A wetsuit takes time to pull on and off. This is especially made difficult when you have nothing underneath the wetsuit to allow it to slip on smoothly. Diving shorts or full-body jumpsuits can help you easily slip your wetsuit over your legs and thighs which is the toughest area to get the wetsuit over.

Not only this, sometimes you will have to get your wetsuit on while on a boat or dock. This means you won’t have many private places where you can get fully undressed. 


To keep your wetsuit as clean as possible, it’s best to at least have something to cover your genitals. People also tend to borrow or rent wetsuits when going scuba diving. For this reason, you should always wear undergarments to protect yourself, as well as others who may wear that wetsuit after you. 

a woman sitting beside a surfboard wearing black and white wetsuit


There are many garments made specifically to wear under wetsuits. A quick search will give you several options to choose from. Although, if you choose to wear nothing under a wetsuit, well, that’s entirely up to you.