You've heard about UV sun protection clothing. You're considering buying some. But before you do, you have to know: does it even work?

The short answer is yes! The long answer is a little more complicated than that. We're going to get into the specifics below, educating you on the science that drives UV clothing to be effective.

The Importance of UPF

To understand the efficacy of UV clothing, you must also understand the importance of UPF. UPF stands for ultraviolet protection factor. The higher the clothing's UPF rating, the more it protects your skin from the sun damaging UV rays.

This figure is similar to SPF (sun protection factor), the figure that is used to measure the efficacy of sunscreen. In fact, they operate on the same rating system. So, if a piece of clothing has a UPF of 40 and a sunblock has an SPF of 40, they will provide identical levels of protection.

Standard pieces of clothing possess UPF ratings of around 5. This is particularly true of cotton shirts and the like.

UV clothing, on the other hand, comes with UPF ratings ranging from 30 and beyond. Whereas UPF ratings between 30 and 50 are considered to very good, ratings that exceed 50 are considered to be exceptional.

For the sake of example, a piece of clothing with a UPF rating of 50 will allow through only 2% of the sun's UV rays. Conversely, a piece of clothing with a UPF rating of 5 will allow through 20% of the sun's UV rays.

As you can imagine, exposing yourself to 20% of the sun's rays — especially on a hot day — is still bound to cause some skin sensitivity. In some cases, it could even lead to long-term damage.

By wearing top-notch UV protection clothing, you're reducing your exposure by 10 times. In other words, 1 hour of sun exposure in a standard piece of clothing is equal to 10 hours of sun exposure in a piece of UV clothing.

What's the Difference Between Standard and UV Clothing?

The question you might have now is: how is UV clothing so much more protective than standard clothing? The answer lies in their respective constructions.

Standard clothing possesses a relatively loose weave, one which allows UV rays to pass through with little resistance. UV clothing, on the other hand, possesses an exceedingly tight weave, making it fairly difficult for UV rays to poke through it at all.

There's also the issue of materials. Whereas standard clothing is comprised primarily of cheap, sun-vulnerable materials like cotton, UV clothing often contains sun-resistant materials like polyester, spandex, nylon, and polypropylene. Canvas, denim, and satin are often used as well.

As a result, UV clothing is not only more resistant to the sun than is standard clothing, but it's often tougher and more comfortable as well. So, while it's a little more expensive, it's generally worth the investment.

When Is UV Clothing Necessary?

It's not necessary to wear UV clothing at all times. But if you're going to be spending a great deal of time outdoors, it's highly advised. Some activities that call for UV clothing include the following.

When You're Golfing

Even if you're only playing 9 holes, a round of golf lasts, at the very least, an hour and a half. On a hot, sunny day, an hour and a half of sun exposure can leave your skin crispy and red. And the skin under your clothing isn't necessarily an exception.

Fortunately, there are all kinds of golf-oriented UV clothing available, from short-sleeve polo shirts to long-sleeve polo shirts to mocks to khaki shorts and more. If you're an avid golfer in a particularly sunny part of the world, you're advised to buy some of this clothing for your wardrobe.

When You're Playing Tennis

Like golf, tennis is an outdoor sport that's played over the span of a few hours. As such, tennis players have no choice but to deal with the hot, beating rays of the sun.

What they do have a choice over, however, is how they will defend themselves against those rays. While sunscreen will certainly help, it shouldn't be the only line of defense. UV clothing should be utilized as well, as their effectiveness will outlast the effectiveness of sunscreen.

When You're Participating in Water Sports

Sunscreen is effective. But unlike UV clothing, it operates under time constraints. Whereas UV clothing will provide protection for the duration of the time it's being worn, sunscreen will lose its efficacy after an hour or two.

For this reason, if you're participating in outdoor water sports like surfing, paddleboarding, or surfing, you're advised to wear UV clothing. There are UV-resistant swim trunks, bikinis, shirts, and more. Everything you need is available to you.

When You're Gardening

Maybe gardening is your thing? If so, you likely spend hours at a time under the hot, beating sun. As such, you undoubtedly need to be wearing UV clothing.

There are UV-resistant hats, bandanas, shirts, pants, and otherwise. Throw on some of these clothing items before picking up your spade, and you won't even have to worry about applying sunblock.

When You're Hiking

Hiking is one of the outdoorsiest activities there is. As such, it's bound to expose you to a great deal of sunlight, even if you spend the majority of the hike under the cover of dense trees.

For this reason, avid hikers are advised to invest in UV-resistant clothing. Sun-resistant bandanas, hats, and shirts can go a long way in keeping hikers' skin healthy.

Looking to Buy Some UV Clothing?

What do you think? Is UV clothing for you? If so and if you're looking to buy some right now, our website is the place to be.

We sell UV clothing of all kinds, from men's clothing to women's clothing to kids clothing and more. Check out our selection of clothing now!

January 13, 2023 — Gabriella Lowell