What Are You (Really) Wearing? The Scoop on Sun-Protective Fabrics

Sun protection

Now trending: stylish sun protection. That is, cover-up designs made from fabrics that can protect you from the sun’s harmful UV rays. We’ve learned that layering on this “UPF” clothing, as it’s called, is just as important as lathering on the SPF. So let’s shed some light on it, shall we?

UPF – short for Ultraviolet Protection Factor – is the measure of how much sunlight a fabric can shield. Materials with tight weaves and complex pigments have a higher UPF-scale rating. Put it this way – a basic white cotton tee rates at about 5 UPF, while synthetic stretch activewear often comes in at 50+, the highest and most protective.

Industry ingénues like Mott 50 have really put the “fun” back into functional cover-ups. Not only do we love their laid-back looks, but we applaud their efforts in supporting melanoma research and sun-safety education.

So gammas, be gone – here’s to years of healthy (and happy) skin.

By Jillian Hudon, Staff Writer

Want the lowdown on fabrics and more? Follow our What Are You (Really) Wearing? column every Tuesday.   

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