What Is Sun Protection Clothing and How to Wear It

When you want to get out and enjoy the great outdoors, it’s important to be mindful of how much sun you’re getting. UV rays can lead to skin discoloration, aka sun spots and skin cancer. While putting on sunscreen is one option, sometimes you just don’t want to put that greasy stuff all over you every two hours. Another option is sun protection clothing.

Commonly referred to as UVF (ultraviolet protection factor) or SPF (sun protection factor) clothing, these separates are made with fabric that can block the sun’s rays. The key is in the weave. Tightly-weaved fabric doesn’t allow light through. Therefore it doesn’t reach your skin. For this reason, a lot of athleisure and active wear clothing is made with polyester and nylon. It has a thicker weave for UV protection yet is lightweight, moisture-wicking and shiny fabric reflects radiation. A win-win!

Here are some options for UVF/SPF sun protection clothing and how to wear it.

SPF Shirt

An SPF short-sleeve shirt is a much better choice for active wear than a cotton t-shirt. This lightweight shirt protects you from UV rays and has moisture-wicking features. When you sweat, you’re not walking around in wet clothes because the material wicks moisture away from your body and dries quickly. Shop SPF shirt.

SPF Long-Sleeve Top

Long-sleeve SPF tops are lightweight and easy to throw on when you’re getting too much sun. I prefer them to putting on sunscreen. Wear them alone or over a shirt. They are thin enough to layer under a cotton t-shirt with a graphic design if you want something to show your personality. You can also wear them under a fleece jacket, raincoat or more insulated jacket so you can pack up your bag for any weather. Shop SPF long-sleeve top.

SPF Zip-Front Hooded Jacket

A zip-front jacket is easy to take with you to throw on over a short sleeve or long sleeve shirt for a bit of warmth if there is a chill in the air. You can leave the front open to keep things light, and the hood will protect your head from sudden winds and offer your scalp SPF protection if you forgot to bring a hat. Shop SPF zip-front hooded jacket.

SPF Pants

A pair of SPF hiking pants is good for your outdoor wardrobe. They will protect your legs from the sun, bugs and poisonous plants you may rub against when out in fields or trails. A pair of convertible pants will allow you to unzip the bottom half to turn them into Bermuda shorts so you can wear them year-round. Don’t forget to spray the lower half of your legs with bug spray and sunscreen when they are exposed. Shop SPF convertible hiking pants.

SPF Accessories

Don’t forget to protect your head and neck from the sun. Melanoma is very common on the scalp from the sun’s rays on your head when you’re outdoors. A hat and a scarf or neck gaiter are good options to cover up. Shop SPF hat.

So now that you know about UVF/SPF clothing and how to wear it, which one will you try first?

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