These pieces may look like normal clothes, but they actually have a built-in form of sun protection called UPF to give you an extra shield. Here are a few pieces worth adding to your warm-weather wardrobe.

By Erica Metzger
May 30, 2019

Applying your favorite sunscreen is a smart way to keep your skin safe from the summer sun, but there's another (less obvious) way to further its protection when you're spending a lot of time outdoors: UPF clothing and accessories.

UPF, or the Ultraviolet Protection Factor, is built into fabric to prevent rays from sneaking through (because yes, you can get sunburned through your clothes). UPF measures the amount of UVA and UVB rays that penetrate a fabric. The fabric's construction, color, and material determine the UPF (some fabrics are also treated with UV-absorbing dyes). Tight weaves of dark or vivid colors provide better sun protection, says NYC dermatologist Patricia Wexler, M.D.

UPF clothing has been around for a few years but is growing in popularity—and not just amongst outdoorsy types! Here are seven stylish summer fashion essentials that will give you the ultimate UPF protection this summer.

Wallaroo Scrunchie Women's Hat

A wide brim covers your face, and the crushable shape makes it totable whether you're heading to the park, beach, or flea market. This wire-edged, adjustable brim hat is made up of fabric that blocks 97.5 percent of UV rays—and it comes in 10 fashionable colors.

Image courtesy of MOTT50.

Kelly Swim Suit

A suit with UPF 50 means hard-to-shield spots are protected, which is important if you're spending all day in the sun. This sleeved swimsuit will keep you covered up as you surf, swim, raft, and hang by the pool. Its palm and avocado print is sure to turn heads, too!

BloqUV Bandana

Tie the BloqUV bandanna around your neck or wear it as a headband to shield your hair and scalp while you're out under the sun. It's an ideal piece for those long days when you have to get all that yard work and gardening done.

Endless Summer Polarized Sunglasses

UV protection is better and more affordable than ever. When you're shopping for a new pair of sunglasses, look for UV 400 to block 100 percent of UV rays. These inexpensive polarized glasses from Peepers reduce glare and come in three summery colors: purple, turquoise, and tortoiseshell.

Duluth Trading Co. Elbow Sleeve T

Did you know the average T-shirt is only UPF 5? Upgrade to Duluth Trading Co. Elbow Sleeve T with UPF 35-plus to get more built-in sun protection as you tend to the garden. Plus, the shirt is a full two inches longer than ordinary T-shirts to ensure it stays tucked in (and keep you covered as you bend, reach, or sit).

Lands' End Swim Cover-Ups

If you're heading to a resort or beach for a vacation you'll likely have a cover-up on your packing list. Lands’ End Swim Cover-Ups with UV Protection are cute poolside and around town. Perfect for tossing over your suit when you step away from the beach or pool to keep you protected and comfortable.

Image courtesy of REI Co-op.

REI Co-op Savanna Trails Skirt

Activewear doesn't always have to look like gym attire. Case in point: REI's Co-op Savanna Trails Skirt is stretchy and quick-drying (and it has pockets!). Plus, it's UPF 50.

Buying clothing with UPF ensures you're doing the most you can to protect your skin, and with options as trendy and functional as these, why wouldn't you? Take the extra step to add UPF items into your wardrobe—your skin will thank you for it!


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