The Cutest Sun-Protective Clothing & UPF Styles

Empty Nest Blessed by Suzy Mighell
woman on a playground wearing sun protective clothing from chico's

If you know my story and my passion for skincare, then you know how crucial proper sun protection is to me. As a warm-weather-loving Texan and frequent traveler to Sanibel Island, I frequently spend my summer days in the sun. While the sun can be fantastic for your mental health, too much of those UV rays can be physically dangerous.

As always, click any pink text link or image for more information. All styles fit TTS unless indicated.

UPF 50+ Nantucket Tassel Romper (Click through to see all 4 colors/patterns) | Gold and Pearl Hoop Earrings

Proper sun protection isn’t just for beach trips, though — your daily morning walk, sightseeing in Europe, or attending a summery backyard BBQ are all times when your precious midlife skin is exposed to harmful UV rays.

Tulum Sleeveless Ruffle Dress (Click through to see all 6 patterns.) | Pearl Embellished Sandals (Click through to see all 5 colors.) | Handbag (Click through to see all 14 colors!) | Similar Sunglasses

If you’re enjoying good company or making memories, it can be challenging to remember to reapply sunscreen. Meet your new best friend: UPF, sun-protective clothing!

woman over 50 wearing a coral colored off the shoulder dress standing in front of coral building

UPF 50+ Off the Shoulder Tassel Hem Dress | Braided Strap Sandals (Click through to see all 9 colors!) | Handbag (Click through to see all 14 colors!) | Similar Sunglasses

All clothing provides some degree of sun protection, but the amount of UV protection a cotton t-shirt provides is not nearly enough to protect your skin. That’s why I love clothing made specifically to protect our bodies from the sun’s damaging rays.

UPF 50+ Navy Stripe Sleeveless Ruffle Dress (Click through to see all 6 patterns.) | Navy Machine Washable Sneakers | Similar Sunglasses

Sun-protective clothing is so easy to add into your life and wardrobe. It’s one of the most important things we can do to protect our skin from harmful rays, helping us enjoy the great outdoors safely.

woman over 50 posing on a playground wearing sun protective clothing from chico's Zenergy line

UPF Ruffle Sleeve Polo | UPF Citrus Side Pocket Skort (I love the side pockets for your phone, golf balls, shells, or whatever!) | Beaded Lemon T-Strap Sandals (Memory foam footbed & flexible outer sole make them so comfy.) | Beaded Lemon Drop Earrings (SO CUTE!)

UPF vs. SPF – What’s the Difference?

SPF, or Sun Protection Factor, is a standard measurement used to rate the effectiveness of sunscreen. It measures how long it takes for sun-exposed skin to redden. SPF only measures UVB rays — which means most sunscreens only protect you from UVB rays unless they specifically state that they offer broad-spectrum protection. Supergoop is my favorite, clean brand of broad-spectrum sunscreen!

woman over 50 posing in the surf in a beach outfit

UPF 50+ Sleeveless Terry Tunic (Click through to see all 6 colors/designs available) | Pearl Drop Earrings

UPF, or Ultraviolet Protection Factor, is the standard measurement used to rate the effectiveness of sun-protective fabrics. The rating indicates the degree to which the sun’s UV rays penetrate a piece of fabric and reach your skin. UPF ratings range from 15 to 50 and only apply to products that claim they are sun protective.

UPF 40+ PFG Tamiami™ II Long Sleeve Shirt (25% off right now) | Saturday Trail™ Long Shorts (25% off right now) | Similar Sneakers | Similar Sunglasses

Fabric that is rated below UPF 15 is not considered sun protective. (That white cotton T-shirt I mentioned earlier would offer only a UPF 5 rating, meaning 1/5th — or 20% — of UV radiation will pass through and reach your skin!🤯😱) Just as you do with sunscreen, you want to look for a higher UPF rating.

UPF Ruched Sleeve Top – (Adjust the sleeve ruching to customize how far down you want the sleeves to go – Click through to see all 5 colors.) | UPF Side Pleat Skort (Made from stretchy & lightweight Neema fabric, and the side pleats are darlingClick through to see all 5 colors.) | Beaded Lemon T-Strap Sandals (Memory foam footbed & flexible outer sole make them so comfy.) | Beaded Lemon Drop Earrings (SO CUTE!) | Sanibel Paradise Beach Tote

You may have noticed that UPF clothing can be on the expensive side! The reason? The fabrics are specially treated to filter ultraviolet rays. Some UV-protective clothing builds in factors like fiber density and structure (like thread count per inch), while other fabrics are pre-treated with a UV-inhibiting ingredient. I think of UPF clothing as an investment in my health! You can learn more in THIS article from the Skin Cancer Foundation.

UPF 50+ Napa Sleeveless Tiered Maxi Dress (Runs large. Click through to see all 3 patterns.) | White Braided Strap Heels (Click through HERE to see other variations/colors.) | CZ Stud Earrings

Aim for a UPF rating of 50+. That means only 1/50th of the sun’s UV rays will pass through. UPF 50+ fabric will significantly reduce your skin’s UV radiation exposure because only 2% of UV rays will get through. Also, UPF takes into account both UVA and UVB rays (while SPF only takes UVB rays into account unless it indicates “full-spectrum”).

woman posing on a dock in a upf 50 beach outfit idea

UPF 50+ Tie Sleeve Swing Dress | White Tory Burch Logo Sandals | Pearl Drop Earrings | Similar Sunglasses

Cute, Sun-Protective Clothing

UPF 50+ Ruffle Polo Top (Click through to see all 4 colors.) | UPF 50+ Skort (Click through to see the other pattern.) | Brooks Sneakers (These are the ones I work out in every day!)| Similar Sunglasses | Earrings Sold Out

Alright, enough science talk! Protecting yourself from harmful UV rays is a must, but sun protective clothing doesn’t have to be drab or so thick and hot that you’re sweating buckets. In fact, we’ve come a long way in terms of the styles available for sun protective clothing. (Read that: They’re A LOT cuter than they used to be and often loose, cool, and sweat-wicking! Here are some of my favorite brands when it comes to sun-protective clothing.

We’re rounded up some of the cutest UPF 50 pieces we could find, categorized by type of clothing. Browse away, my friends! 👇👇👇

Sun-Protective Activewear

Sun-Protective Mini Dresses

Sun-Protective Maxi Dresses

Sun-Protective Bottoms

Sun-Protective Tops

Sun-Protective Cover-Ups

Aren’t these pieces just too cute?! And I love that they’re all sun-protective! Did you know UPF clothing was a thing? Let me know below!

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Suzy Mighell

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  1. Suzy,
    Happy Thursday. What a wonderful post with so many great finds!! Thank you for the links to all of your favorites. Have a great last day at Sanibel.


    1. Wendy,

      Thank you so much! I can’t remember a post where I had so many photos! (Proof that I really do love my UPF clothing!) Hahaha

      I’m so happy you enjoyed it! Thanks for taking a second to let me know!


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