What are Different Types of Sun Protective Clothing?

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  • Written By: Diane Goettel
  • Edited By: Bronwyn Harris
  • Last Modified Date: 16 January 2020
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Sun protective clothing is clothing that can be worn in order to keep the sun from tanning, burning, or damaging the skin. One of the most popular kinds of sun protective clothing is a wide-brimmed hat. A hat with a wide brim not only protects the face from the sun, but it can also offer shade to the shoulders and the upper parts of the chest and back.

For people who easily burn or have a family history of skin cancer, sun protective clothing is an important part of the wardrobe. While wearing topical sunscreen can help in terms of reducing sunburn, clothing can be more effective, especially if a person plans to spend a long period of time outside. Sunscreen only protects the skin up to a certain amount of time outside. Furthermore, during hot weather or vigorous activity, sunscreen can be diluted or washed away by sweat.

Most opaque clothing can be worn to protect the skin from the sun. However, there are some garments that are designed specifically to provide protection from the sun. Such garments are usually made with natural or synthetic fibers that are proven to offer optimum blockage against the sun.


There are a number of lines of clothing for children and babies that include sun protective clothing. This is because babies’ and children’s skin is especially sensitive to sunlight and can easily burn. These lines of clothing often include hats, shirts, and trousers that will protect skin from sun damage.

Linen is a common material for sun protective clothing because tightly-woven linen can shield the skin from the sun, but is also quite light and breathes well. While it may not protect the skin as completely as a synthetic materials like nylon, it is much more comfortable to wear in hot weather and while sitting in direct sunlight. Furthermore, linen can be stylishly cut into pantsuits, dresses, tunics, and shirts that can be worn even in some professional settings. In fact, some hats with wide brims are made of linen.

Finally, one of the most important pieces of attire in sun protective wear is sunglasses. In order to protect both the eyes and the delicate skin around the eyes, it is advisable to wear sunglasses that filter UV rays. Many clothing lines that sell sun protective wear also sell sunglasses. Even companies that sell such clothing for children offer eyewear that helps to block out the sun.


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Post 3

@bythewell - It is important that people don't go the other way as well. You should definitely make sure you have sun protective style clothing for your children, but you also have to ensure they get enough vitamin D.

I've heard of kids who hardly ever get outside to play, and when they do their parents put so much sunscreen on them they don't get a chance to make vitamin D, which we make when our skin hits the sunshine.

Of course, eventually the kids will get sick, because it's an essential vitamin. So, definitely protect your kids, but make sure you don't over-protect them.

Post 2

@Mor - You don't have to rush out and buy expensive clothes that are marketed as being UV sun protective clothing or anything. You just have to make sure that you wear material that is heavy enough to block the sun's rays, and you have to make sure that you wear it over most of your skin.

That means wearing hats and long sleeved shirts, or at least putting on sun screen.

It might seem like overkill and I know a lot of people want to get a bit of a tan and might not like the idea of covering up, but it's so important, especially for kids. I know so many people who have had skin cancer, and more than

one of those people have died from it. It's something like the second most common cancer of young people as well.

And getting sunburned as a child increases your chances of getting it. So it's up to parents to make sure that doesn't happen.

Post 1

This was something that I thought was rather pointless until I managed to get burned through my shirt on a really hot day.

I always thought that simply wearing something was enough and that every bit of clothing was technically sun protection clothing, because there was no way that the sun could get through it.

Well, apparently the sun can get through lighter kinds of cloth and will still burn you if you stay out long enough. So it's probably worth getting sun protection clothing, especially for kids.

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