It seems to me that the hottest new trend in UPF clothing is swim tights. At first I was resistant to this trend. Then last year my family vacationed in St. Croix and while enjoying some of the most beautiful snorkeling at the only US underwater National Park, Buck Island Reef , I got burned. It was my first burn in five years. The guilt was overwhelming. I had to push aside my vanity and buy some UPF swim tights.
So I set off to find swim tights that could qualify as “cute.” (Can you hear my husband laughing?) I looked at my favorite brands that I always recommend: Coolibar and Athleta. But at the time, everyone just carried basic black. While I can understand the appeal of solid black, I figured
if I was going to wear swim tights, I was going to WEAR swim tights!
The search brought me to a new (to me) brand of UPF clothing, Mott 50.
Based in Chicago, Mott 50 was founded by two women who saw the need for a “lifestyle brand” that offered UPF50 fashion. I appreciate their efforts in both style and function for many of the pieces they offer. Their fabrics are fun with accessible patterns and colors without feeling kitschy or overly mature.
I ordered a pair of the Reese Swim Leggings in the Butterfly pattern. I found them to be neutral but appealing and likely the best for minimizing the scale of my lower half.
They arrived in a timely manner along with a Mott 50 cloth tote. The fabric and color was exactly as shown. The sizing was perfect. The high rise of the waist is comfortable but I’m not likely to wear them with just a bikini top anytime soon.
I took my new UPF 50 swim tights on their first outing for an 8-hour day of boating and snorkeling in Roatan. They worked!!! I stayed cool, protected and burn free. The sun was brutal that day and every other guest on the boat left with sunburns so bad they were radiating heat. I never had to re-apply sunscreen except to my face. The swim tights went on and came off easily in between snorkeling stops and they dried very quickly. They also stopped jelly fish stings which proved very helpful. Maybe the best outcome was that at the end of the day other people on the boat complimented me and asked me where I had purchased my swim tights. To me, that is success through leading by example.
I do have some concerns about the seaming and wonder how many wears/washes I will get before the product breaks down. The fabric also seems to expand a bit in water so if you’re between sizes, go down a size.
Overall, the swim tights were a success. I can see myself wearing them often on the ski boat, when snorkeling and when paddle boarding. I’m a fan of the swim tights and will be doing a bit more research on Mott 50 as an overall brand.
If you have been considering a pair of swim tights, go for it. The freedom they provide while playing outdoors makes up for any insecurity or vanity issues you might feel.
Let me know if you love them!