Sun-Protective Clothing That Actually Looks Good
Cover up with these long-sleeved women's shirts and pants
“The more skin you cover, the better,” says the Skin Cancer Foundation, which maintains that wearing long sleeves and pants is more protective than any sunscreen. But who wants to dress like a mummy all summer? These five women’s pieces, which look as cool as they feel, don’t force you to compromise.
Bluesmiths Kahana ($95)
With a fit more tailored than a typical tee, the Kahana hugs the body yet doesn’t feel constrictive, thanks to articulated seams that let me comfortably paddle an SUP and cast a fly rod. Its UPF 35 protection exceeds that of some sunscreens, and because the fabric is treated with Schoeller NanoSphere—a hydrophobic finish that makes moisture bead off—it never gets heavy with water. I found that this shirt dries within a minute or two.
Stio Sidley ($125)
Collared button-downs are a sun-protection staple. Stio keeps this one from looking stodgy with bright, youthful plaids. Although some sun-safe fabrics are so densely woven that they feel stifling in hot weather, this nylon/poly blend manages to feel light and breezy despite its UPF 50+ rating. It has become my go-to for sweltering late-afternoon mountain bike rides because the tissue-thin woven fabric feels less oppressive than knitted tees.
Black Diamond Alpenglow Sun Hoody ($79)
“Aren’t you hot in that?” people sometimes ask when I’m wearing this hoodie. My answer: no. The thin UPF 50 fabric does a surprisingly good job of keeping me comfortable in blazing sun by deflecting rays. Plus, it takes days of continual use to get stinky, thanks to Polygiene, an anti-odor silver treatment. As for fit, I like that the hood is cut generously enough to form a little eye-shielding brim when I pull it up over my head.
Toad&Co Sunkissed Rollup Pants ($79)
These are like pajama bottoms for your active pursuits. They’re made from a quick-dry nylon/spandex blend that’s marvelously thin, airy, and stretchy. I can bend, squat, and even run in these bottoms without feeling pinched, and the UPF 50+ sun protection proved valuable on multiday float trips.
GracedByGrit Reel ’Em In Capri ($88)
Compression tights are usually too heavy for hot weather, but these are thinner than most and relatively quick to dry. (I stopped feeling damp about 20 minutes after a dunking.) The UPF 50+ fabric is made from recycled fishing nets.