A garment with a UPF of 50 only allows 1/50th of the UV radiation falling on the surface of the garment to pass through it. In other words, it blocks 49/50ths or 98% of the UV radiation. Look for this rating on bathing suits.
While not all clothing is rated yet, there are some things to keep in mind while selecting your summer wardrobe. Here are the factors that affect the level of ultraviolet protection provided by a fabris and the UPF rating. We are listing these in order of importance:
- The weave of the fabric – tighter weave is best
- The color of the fabric – darker is better
- The weight of the fabric – heavier is better
- The stretchiness of the fabric – less stretch is better
The other major factor that affects protection is the addition of chemicals such as UV absorbers or UV diffusers during the manufacturing process. Many factors that make a garment comfortable also make it less protective – the major design challenge for sun protective clothing is how to combine comfort, style and protection in the one garment.
While not all clothing adds UPF protection, Penny & her fabulousstaff would be more than glad to help you select the perfect pieces that do the best they can. For example: the amazing Joseph Ribkoff dress to the right is a better choice – add a great hat for more coverage – and for exposed areas, apply sunscreen before you dress – and don’t forget to apply just before you head out the door for lunch. Many sunscreens now come in a powder tube that can be applied just like powder make-up! They come in translucent and tinted – not messy and can be carried in your purse.
Be safe – and help us spread the word!