I’m going to my dermatologist today, which is always a pretty good reminder that if you are a person who has ever been outside (ever), then you should be having your skin looked at by a medical professional as you get older. It’s no secret that I live in Hawaii where the sunny days certainly outnumber the cloudy ones, which also means that my chances for sun exposure and skin damage are very high. I have both a personal and family history of skin cancer, so making sure I’m wearing sunscreen is always a top priority and when I can get UPF-grade swim or sun safe clothing, all the better! If you’re in the market for new sunscreen, be sure to checkout my Ultimate Guide to Reef Safe Sunscreen. Today I’m sharing the best UPF swim + sun safe clothing picks for trendy and cute, yet safer-for-you, options. Let’s dive in…
The Ultimate Guide To UPF Swim + Sun Safe Clothing
What is UPF? Why does a UPF clothing rating matter?
First of all, let’s talk a little bit about UPF, what it means and why it’s important. UPF stands for Ultraviolet Protection Factor. Why is UPF important? UPF ratings on clothing (UPF 50, for example, which is the rating you often see on clothing garments) means that only 1/50th (or 1 %) of the UV radiation (both UVA and UVB rays) can get through the fabric. But if I’m wearing normal clothes, doesn’t that protect me? Regular clothes might provide a physical barrier, but UVA and UVB rays can penetrate it. Scary, right? This is why it’s important to wear UPF clothing!
Now, let’s dive into what you’re here for — the best UPF swim and sun safe clothing picks!
The Best UPF Swim + Sun Safe Clothing
Mott 50 – My friend introduced me to Mott50 when I saw her sweet daughter wearing it. Their designs are some of my very favorite, which is why they are #1 on this list. Everything from sports bras to leggings, dresses, cover-ups and more. You can’t go wrong with the avocado print 😉
Carve Designs – I discovered Carve Designs through an Instagram ad, actually, but I’m so glad I did. They have some super cute running shorts and an assort of other UPF50 clothing items that look super comfortable.
Athleta – Old reliable! I swear, if Athleta or Costco doesn’t make it, I don’t want it. Athleta is my go-to for all sorts of clothing occasions and UPF swim and clothing is no different. Their selection of rash guards is impressive (the colors in this one have me swooning) and I’ve got my eye on the Sunlover Dress for breezy summer days and as a beach cover up.
Lilly Pulitzer – It should not be shocking to anyone that America’s favorite resort brand has a collection of UPF picks. My natural inclination to all things color has me loving this line, but if you’re not one for bright shades, skip this one 😉 My go-to is the Sophie Dress and I have it in two prints.
Coolibar – Coolibar is new-to-me, but they have something for the entire family which is a total win. Coolibar is an entirely “sun safe” company. They are dedicated to promoting the dangers of the sun and offer a lifetime warranty. It’s a company whose mission I can definitely get behind! Plus, they use dogs in their product photography which scores extra points 🙂
J. Crew – In a semi-shocking discovery, one of my favorite casual clothing brands offers some nice UPF options in the swim department for kids. J. Crew’s UPF swim collection is fairly limited (and all children-based from what I can tell), but what they do have is over-the-top cute.
Primary – And speaking of goodies for kids, check out Primary! They have a good selection of UPF 50 options for babies and kids that will be cute, colorful and most importantly — affordable!
Are you feeling inspired to be a bit more sun-conscious this summer? I sure hope so! Do you opt for UPF clothing? Which are your favorites?
Disclaimer: I’m not a doctor or medical professional. It is my personal belief that the best possible way to prevent sun damage or skin cancer is to stay entirely out of the sun. I also recognize that it’s nearly impossible and unrealistic to do that. I’m not suggesting these items 100% prevent skin cancer or skin damage.