I just get my first farmer john wetsuit - My question is: what do you wear under it - bathing suit or "go commando"

wet suit
I never wore anything under mine and I used it for years before I got a drysuit. You just have to wash the inside with mild detergent every so often or it gets smelly from sweat. It is designed to work best against the skin.


fleece-lined neoprene
I wear small fleece-lined neoprene shorts from the local dive shop.

With a farmer John …
Under wetsuits you can wear rash guards and it makes them much more comfortable and easier to put on and take off. Less binding in the arms and less binding at the neck. Depending on how tight it fits you can layer 2 mm neoprene or hydroskin underneath it to increase the range of cold water it will take. I don’t use a farmer john any more but when I did wore a rash guard on top, the farmer john and would layer with a 2mm top. I have some diver shorts that are pretty close to being a speedo that I wear under one of my wetsuits that has a zipper in front from NRS and it makes it more comfortable. my surfing wetsuits I don’t wear anything on the bottoms.

what I wear
I wear running shorts as a bottom, and some sort of PolyPro or similar on top.

In theory, wearing clothes under (particularly wicking clothes that may wick water out of the west suit) makes a wet suit less effective heat trapping wise, but I find it makes it more comfortable rubbing wise.

Go commando
Not just in theory…in reality.

If your wetsuit fits right, it’s form fitting and little water will flush through. Any clothing under it will help water flow. I’ve also found that “rash guards” actually cause rashes (in my case); think about it, a piece of cloth dampened with sea water/river water/sweat, held tightly against your skin for hours. It might be wicking material, but where is that moisture going to wick to under neoprene?

I always look for “smooth skin” or “titanium” lined suits because A) they seal to your body better and b) they’re much easier to clean the funk off of than cloth/fuzzy lined gear.


rash guard
I always wear a rash guard and similar bike style shorts. I find it more comfortable, and easier to change in and out of in the parking lot.

I wouldn’t wear anything loose
The tight stretchy synthetics for sports/running/biking work well and they are thin enough that they don’t affect the performance of the suit. My favorites are a small pair of Tyr shorts that are stretchy Lycra material.


lycra or slik
i wear a swim suit always and a light lycra or silk blouse to stop chafing.

wearing nothing works better but for modesty i have a light swim suit and i can sometimes find silk tops cheap at the thrift store or salvation army shop.

this way i can put on my cloths in public and not have peoplr lear at me.

i wear the same swim suit diving for the same reasons.

Very snug and thin polypro
That way I don’t have to wash my wetsuit as often. The polypro helps keep some of your skin oils and sweat gland excretions off the wetsuit.

Just throw the polypro in the washer and rinse the wetsuit and you will smell daisy-fresh like me.

Works best next to skin and
it’s easier to get on and off that way but I use a rash guard and lycra brief because the rubbing makes my skin…rash.

Lycra boxer/briefs and a hydroskin
shirt. If you go commando, you’ll have to make sure to wash the suit with mild soap after every use. Skin oils and sweat will break it down sooner as well as making it pretty stinky after a while. Sometimes I use a pair of lycra base layer pants that I wear winter hiking or to sleep in when doing overnight hikes. Comfort and insulation value should be the biggest concern with a farmer john since a swim is going to allow plenty of water into the suit through the arms/shoulders no matter what.