25 Fashionable UPF Clothing Options for Maximum Sun Protection

This article is part of spring fashion month, where we break down your must-have fashion pieces for the months ahead. From denim jackets to cozy sandals, we asked editors, influencers, and experts about their must-haves for spring and beyond.

Sunnier weather means finally planning a picnic or camping trip suitable for Instagramming, or taking your roller skates for a spin. Maybe it just means leaving your house for the first time in months, like a squirrel tasting freedom after hibernation season. Don’t let it rain on anyone’s parade (or the aforementioned picnic), but plenty of research shows that the more time you spend outdoors, the higher your chances of skin damage. According to the Skin Cancer Foundation, while a tan may create the illusion of a “healthy glow,” there’s actually no such thing as a safe tan. That’s why we stock our closets with clothing that includes sun protection SPF/UPF to give your precious skin an extra layer of protection so you can safely get all the mood- and immunity-boosting vitamin D you need.

“UPF stands for Ultraviolet Protection Factor, which measures a piece of clothing’s ability to block the skin from all UV rays,” says Dr. Aanand Geria, a board-certified dermatologist. He describes UPF as similar to sunscreen’s SPF, or sun protection factor, with the main difference being that SPF is only for UVB rays, while UPF is for both UVA and UVB rays. “Most clothing will provide some level of UV protection, however, certain clothing is specifically tested and marketed to provide adequate protection,” he says.

The mechanism behind UPF clothing is simple: Dr. Shasa Hu, MD, FAAD, Associate Professor, Ph.D. Philip Frost, dermatologist and dermatologist, says she’s a “huge fan of UPF clothing” [because] They offer extra protection through woven fabrics or fabrics impregnated with special chemicals that filter UV rays. “Because of this, they don’t last forever and usually only last 50 to 80 washes, depending on quality. UPF clothing is definitely a better alternative to sunscreen for people who are outdoors or have a very active lifestyle,” she says explain.

While you’ll still need to wear sunscreen to protect your bare body skin, the following UPF/SPF-infused clothes are sure to become your full-time BFFs this spring and summer, recommended by the outdoorsies who wear them the most.


“Coolibar has options for kids and men, so it’s very popular with families,” says Ms. Hu of one of her all-time favorite UPF brands. This practical quarter-zip features a quarter-zip closure and a relaxed fit, perfect for impromptu ventilation. It comes in 12 summer-friendly colors ranging from Fresh Mint to Pacific Blue Heather.


“It’s a lightweight, roomy hoodie with moisture-wicking and odor-control technology,” says Geria. “It has UPF 50+ protection and thumb holes to protect your hands, making it perfect for a long day in the sun.”

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“These tees are a must-have for beach days, featuring a lightweight design and moisture-wicking sunscreen fabric for UPF 40 sun protection,” says Geria. “They also have cooling features like the mesh-lined back vents that allow air to flow and keep you from overheating.”


“My favorite UPF piece is also the ultimate dad shirt: the Columbia PFG Tamiami II,” says business editor and avid hiker Kevin Cortez. “It’s designed for fishing with a generous size and has mesh-lined vents on the back to let your body breathe. This tee features Columbia’s Omni-Shade technology, which offers UPF 40 protection that outshines most cotton tops.” Quick moisture wicking. It comes in both short and long sleeve styles, but I prefer the latter for extra sun protection. Plus, when you need to ventilate those arms, you can roll up the sleeves and secure them with built-in tabs Keep them up. It’s perfect for hot and overly bright days, and it’s almost always on sale.”

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Whether you’re splashing on your surfboard or lounging on the shore, this long sleeve will come in handy all season long. “Technically, this is a sun protection suit designed for surfing, but it has a slightly loose fit so it’s really more like a regular T-shirt,” says author, avid traveler and says outdoor enthusiast Todd Plummer. “It has a soft, cotton-like feel, plus the sun protection benefits. If I’m going anywhere in the tropics, I bring a couple of these and wear them all day.”


“Houdini makes great, sustainable clothing, and it tends to rely on natural fabrics rather than synthetics. Its Desoli Tea is no exception,” says Cortez. “This t-shirt is made from merino wool that regulates the temperature as needed—cools you when it’s hot and keeps you warm when it’s cold. Merino wool has natural microbial properties so it doesn’t smell bad when you sweat, and it’s UPF The level has also reached 30.”

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We absolutely love this packable parka with UV protection. Not only is it available in men’s styles, it’s also UPF 40+ and water resistant. It’s also a true must-have travel essential.


Hu says she (and many of her more active patients) choose the Athleta because of its sleek design. It couldn’t get any more stylish – and sun protection! — than this effortless, breezy dress for extra coverage and UPF 50+ protection at the beach or boardwalk. It has two handy side pockets and is available in five colors in regular, tall and small sizes.


“This loose-fitting UPF 40+ protective shirt from Lululemon is perfect for activewear and will protect your skin from UV rays,” says Geria. “It’s lightweight, has some stretch, and dries quickly. It also has thumbholes to help extend protection to your hands.”


“Columbia’s SPF 50 provides great protection,” says permanent makeup artist and skin cancer survivor Tammy Rosales. “I was worried about long sleeves, but to my surprise, they weren’t hot even in 90-degree weather. [I like that] They are available in different colors. “

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“Magellan Outdoors also comes in a variety of colors and styles,” says Rosales. “Red was the first shirt I chose to try on and again I was pleasantly surprised. They also offer a style with a thumb opening to cover your hands which was really important to me as I recently had skin cancer .”


“Athleta is one of my favorite activewear brands, especially the leggings,” says business editor and avid outdoorswoman Amanda Oliver. “My top pick is the Salutation Stash Tights, which are made from soft, breathable UPF 50+ material and feature a comfortable high-rise waist and convenient side pockets.”


I’ve owned these durable Eddie Bauer leggings for several years, and while I wear them most on the road and travel, they look as good as the day I got them. They’re made of UPF 50 material that’s odor resistant and super stretchy, and there’s a handy pocket at the waistband to store my belongings.


While this UPF 40+ loose-fitting short sleeve is designed for running, it’s also comfortable enough for lounging all day. I love its classic fit, which can be worn formally or casually, and its more advanced sweat-wicking properties, which keep me dry in the sweltering heat.

Uniqlo cardigan-upf-cnnu

This Uniqlo cardigan with UV protection technology is so cute I hardly consider it a utilitarian piece of clothing designed to protect me from the sun. I chose gray because it’s perfect for any season, but I plan to buy more colors because it’s a functional and on-trend cardigan.


The best part about this versatile crop? It has a built-in shelf so I can wear it as a bra or top during low-intensity workouts. Made with UPF 50+ protection, they’re great worn with biker shorts for a workout or evenings out with high-rise pants. Few things in my closet are as durable as this Athleta top, and I love the high neckline for extra support.


If I’m going to be sweating in a storm, I usually opt for a pair of cropped pants instead of full-length leggings. With their UPF 50+ protection and cropped fit, these capri pants are perfect for sweaty and sunny days. Plus, the combination of compression and high waist makes me feel good, tucked in, so I can take on whatever the day has to offer (which is usually a really high intensity workout and some errands).


I’ve had a hard time finding a bra strong enough to support high-impact activities, from outdoor runs to training camp, but this Athleta bra made with UPF 50+ material is a godsend. Its front zipper makes it super easy to put on and take off (read: no Houdini-like struggles), it has adjustable shoulder straps for custom support, and a back keyhole for extra ventilation. The cups fit my breasts perfectly and felt like they were custom made for me. I feel a sense of loss every time I wash it.


“It’s hard to find cute clothes with built-in SPF, but this brand has some great staples,” says Katherine Garbarino, founder of Girls Living Well and beauty, health and wellness enthusiast. “This top keeps me protected on walks. Sunscreen makes me sweat more, so it’s a good option.”


Bodysuits are the IT fashion item of the moment, and this sun-resistant silhouette makes saluting the sun a whole lot safer. “I love Athleta’s Transcend bodysuit because it can be worn alone or layered on a breezy morning (it can be cold in South Florida—or at least when you haven’t lived in New York in a few years This feeling),” says freelance writer and editor Marci Robin. “It has a UPF 50+ rating and is made of moisture-wicking fabric, which makes me feel like I’m sweating less than I actually am (very).”


“My partner and I love Outerknown – and they have so many blanket shirts for post-sea swims and post-surfing (thanks Kelly Slater!). Their women’s Active Tank is perfect for hiking, running, and immediately Jump into the waves,” said Silvie Snow-Thomas, a public relations executive and frequent hiker. “I especially love that it’s a completely sustainable tank made from recycled fishing nets and other nylon waste.”


For a dressier option that offers plenty of coverage and protection, look no further than this on-trend skirt. “My favorite piece of clothing is the IBKUL skirt,” says Alison Blackman, editor-in-chief of advicesisters.com, who lives on the beach. “This UPF 50+ skirt looks like a skirt but has shorts inside. It’s perfect for golf or anything, and I love it because you can go from the beach to the bar without looking sloppy.”


Little ones always need a little extra protection, which is why pool-goer Sara Goldberg chose this cute UPF 50+ swimsuit for her daughter in a small size. “This SPF long-sleeve swimsuit is perfect for long days in the sun,” she says.


“This hat is made of soft, lightweight fabric that’s super comfortable, quick-drying and durable,” says Geria. “It provides UPF 50+ protection for your head and face to help maintain healthy skin. This hat can be adjusted to fit almost any head shape, and it also folds down for travel and storage.”


We all know that our face is more prone to sun damage than any other part of our body. Wear this versatile hat with UPF 50 and an adjustable drawcord to keep it in place. “I also really like the SCALA UPF 50 hat, which comes in so many colors and varieties,” says Blackman.


You can’t play in the sun without the adequate protection of a wide-brimmed hat. “My favorite hat right now is the Montecito from Wallaroo Hats, which looks like a cross between a fedora and a rancher,” says Blackman.

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