UPF clothing is quite possibly the most underrated thing in fashion right now. SPF sunscreen is great for protecting your skin from sun damage by blocking its ultraviolet rays, but you have to reapply it every two hours for it to be effective. It turns out, sunscreen isn’t the only way to protect your skin.
Sun-protective clothing, also called UPF (ultraviolet protective factor) clothing, is made with fabrics that have ultraviolet protection. It’s like sunscreen you don’t have to reapply, or sunglasses for your body.
As good as the sun may feel after a ridiculously cold winter or cloudy day, it shines ultraviolet rays that can damage the skin and cause wrinkles, burns, cancer, and leathery skin to name a few. Protecting your skin from UV rays is important year-round, but especially during sunnier months when the rays are more intense.
This is what makes UPF clothing genius. Unlike sunscreen, which you need to reapply, you can wear UPF clothing and have your skin protected all day from the sun’s harmful UV rays. And, where you might miss a spot when applying sunscreen, it’s hard to do that with clothes.
It's important to note that after many wears and washes, the coating on some UPF garments may weaken, although it's also hard to tell when this happens.
Personally, I’m guilty of usually never reapplying my sunscreen. I’m even more guilty of forgetting to apply sunscreen in the first place. So sun-protective clothing solves these problems. Of course, it's still crucial to apply sunscreen, especially to the parts of your body the UPF clothing may not cover.
Below, 15 pieces of the most stylish UPF garments so that you can look good this summer while protecting your skin.
Overland Western Hat
Hats are a great way to shield your face from the sun. This Western-inspired hat combines leather and mesh for a breathable wear that protects you from the sun without overheating your head. On top of everything, its removable strap means it's good for staying on your head on a windy day and a calm one.
Constant Sol Sienna Duster
This lightweight duster, available in a blush pink or gray, is the perfect layering and packing piece for all seasons. It also offers UPF 50+ and UPF 45+, respectively.
Onia Versatility Camp Shirt
A piece that you'll want to wear all summer long. Pair with the matching shorts for a monochromatic moment, or tuck it into a printed skirt for some extra flair.
Janessa Leoné Darcy Hat
Bucket hats are timeless. They’re easy to dress down on the beach or rock in a streetwear look. Janessa Leoné puts a statement spin on the bucket hat with a plaid pattern and a wider, down-turned brim. This gives the hat more personality and gives the hidden-faced wearer even more allure.
Vineyard Vines Midi Shirt Dress
This is one of those amazingly versatile dresses that you can wear from morning to night, from running errands to an outdoor event. Vineyard Vines makes various UPF dresses in a lightweight, stretchy, and comfortable fabric. The geometric pattern and blue color on this UPF 50 dress adds flair while remaining easy to pair with whatever accessories you choose.
If you like the style but prefer long sleeves, then look at this midi-sleeve version.
Revvv Swim Cobalt One Piece
When you’re swimming, it’s important to apply sunscreen all over, but especially if your swimsuit is made of a thin material since the skin under might be getting damaged or burned. A UPF swimsuit adds that extra layer of protection. This UPF 50 one-piece is designed for a comfortable swim while being stylish enough to wear with high-waisted jeans as a cutout top.
Lilly Pulitzer Monica Skort
Lilly Pulitzer designs are always imaginative and beautifully colorful. This UPF 50 skort with tropical inspiration is no different. Made with bright and stretchy fabric as well as front, back, and undershort pockets, this stylish skort is great for summer looks and especially perfect for golfing.
Solbari Long-Sleeve Polo Dress
Designed for those with sensitive skin, Solbari’s long sleeve polo dress is a classic style now made with UPF 50 sun protection. Since it's made of cotton and bamboo, this dress helps keep you cool from summer heat while looking good doing it.
Muji UV Protection Hoody
Muji is a great place for minimalist styles and essential wardrobe pieces. This lightweight, unisex, and UPF 50 hoodie combines the relaxed style with sun protection.
Personally, I love wearing rashguards with high-waisted jeans and shorts. They’re such a versatile garment, from what you can wear them with to how you can adjust the zipper for more or less chest coverage. And, of course, you can go from the street to the water. Lively's colorful UPF 50 rashguard is perfect for adding color to your summer outfit. Plus, it's made of 80% recycled nylon.
Verona Straight Leg Pants
Wide-leg pants are such a wardrobe essential. These can help bring balance to the overall silhouette of an outfit, especially when paired with a slim top or wide hat. Coolibar’s flattering and flowy wide leg UPF pants also have an elasticized waist for comfort all day.
Title Nine Sleeveless Jumpsuit
For all the jumpsuit fans, meet your new favorite sun protective outfit. This UPF 50 jumpsuit has a bunch of hidden features that make it the ultimate day-to-night outfit, from work to the after party. Thanks to internal clasps, you can wear this with wide or slim legs as well as a scoop or v-neck.
Toad & Co Maxi Dress
Maxi dresses and sundresses are practically summer essentials. This lightweight dress with a cutout detail at the back is what will keep you comfortable, effortlessly stylish, and not overheated. You can feel extra good in this since it's made with recycled fibers—and has pockets!
If you like the silhouette but prefer a more minimalist pattern, opt for the solid color option instead.
Prana Railay Tunic
For a more casual and flowy look, look to this relaxed-fit UPF 50 tunic from California-born brand Prana. It’s wrinkle-resistant, meaning it’s great to bring with you while traveling since you can quickly pull it out and wear it with no ironing required.
Vuori Mudra Plyo Tank
A crop tank is a much-loved summer item. Here, it meets sun protection at UPF level 30. It's fitted and made with a moisture-wicking ribbed material to keep you cool while you wear it. But if you prefer this style but long sleeve, look to the long-sleeve lux crop top tee.
J. Crew Active Bike Shorts
If you still like the '80s inspired bike shorts trend or go on long rides, then why not try UPF bike shorts? Made from recycled materials and with UPF 50 protection, these can conveniently keep you protected while running errands, at the beach, or on a long bike ride.