sun protective clothing wingz

If you’re planning for that trip abroad, or even looking forward to sitting outside in the sunshine over the coming weeks, you probably think that sun screen is your best defence against sunburn? Well, despite sun screen being an important part of your armour, sun protective clothing is just as effective as a high SPF when the heat gets up.

Sun protective clothing -vs- SPF

Don’t believe us? You might believe American institutions like the SCF and the Center for Disease Control who say, officially, that the first line of defence against UV radiation is actually your clothing.

You shouldn’t get it wet though; if you pop on a white tee shirt it’s estimated that the SPF is 15, but it drops as soon as it’s soaked. Best to double up with sun screen, definitely, but just not to rely on it completely.

Did you know that you can actually buy sun protective clothing that’s designed to do the job of a sun cream? No, neither did we. Look for UPF clothes – UPF stands for Ultraviolet Protection Factor and the figure tells you, like a sunscreen, show much of the sun’s UV rays are absorbed by the fabric of whatever you’re wearing and not your skin. So, if a piece of clothing is rated at UPF 50, only two percent of the sun’s rays will penetrate it, meaning you’re pretty well protected from sun burn.

Outdoor companies like Black’s and Lands End have cottoned on to the need for UPF and sun protective clothing – when you’re out and about you don’t want to be having to apply sun cream all the time do you? Most designs are made with tightly woven fabrics which are treated with a chemical UV absorber. Swimwear is also available in UPF fabrics too.

Black is the new sun screen

Strange as it might sound, according to experts, all we know about wearing white in the summer sun to reflect the rays away from our skin is actually wrong! Wearing dark colours is more effective as the dark shades tend to absorb some of the UV rays. Back in 2009, scientists from the Cataluna University found that dark clothing offers better protection from harmful UV rays than lighter or patterned clothes, and advised;

“The colour of cotton woven fabrics is a factor that has a remarkable influence on their protection against ultraviolet radiation,”

Colours such as white and yellow, leave you at more risk of UV-related skin cancer, so pack your black stretch Wingz for your beach trip and wear them when you go out in the sunshine to avoid burned shoulders and worse!