A List of Clothes You Can’t Wear at DC Public Pools

Leave the jorts at home, people.
The DC Parks and Recreation department released an illustrated guide to proper swim attire at District pools on Tuesday. Photographs via the parks department.
The DC Parks and Recreation department released an illustrated guide to proper swim attire at District pools on Tuesday. Photographs via the parks department.

The DC Department of Parks and Recreation has officially deemed jorts a fashion faux pas, recently reemphasizing its ban on cutoff shorts at District pools.

In a statement released Wednesday, the department provided an illustrated guide to the dos and don’ts of swim attire, deeming religious swimwear worthy, but string thongs and “long cutoff shorts” really not okay. Also on the prohibited list: “street clothes,” revealing swimwear, leggings, compression shorts, and leotards.

T-shirts, flip-flops, and sarongs are permitted, but only on the deck.

From the sounds of it, the department has seen it all at District public pools. “Underwear and undergarments are not allowed to be worn under swimsuits,” the statement read. Other items not allowed are aqua socks, halter tops, white underwear, tennis dresses, sports bras, and long sports bras.

But for good reason, the department noted: 1) Street clothes can transport contaminants into the pool; 2) cotton fibers can cause clogged filters; 3) colored material not made for swimming may bleed into the pool; and 4) cotton especially may cloud water and cause improper chemical balance. Lycra and nylon are the “best fabrics for proper swim attire.”

For more information on swim attire requirements, visit the parks department’s website or call the aquatics division at 202-671-1289. 

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