On our first sunny day in Seattle in far too long, I got sunburned. I know better. I fell asleep in the hammock and woke up baked to an itchy pink. I do this once a year, and then I come to my senses and dress appropriately.
I have a few very light weight long sleeved shirts that I picked up at the market in Siem Reap, Cambodia; all my shirts were too heavy for the oppressive humidity. I wanted to dress respectfully without wilting in the heat. Those market shirts are fine if you don’t mind looking like a hippie (which, really, I don’t.) But a little more style is nice.
Patagonia makes a line of don’t-get-sunburned clothing, it’s cute, light, and has 40 UPF (ultraviolet protection factor) sun protection built in to the fabric. I test drove their Sun Shelter Long Sleeved Shirt.
I put any new gear to the laundry test right away — since I can’t control what happens to my washing while I travel, I toss everything new into a standard wash and dry cycle. The shirt held its shape and size. I also check to see how long things take to dry, just in case I’m doing my washing in the hotel sink. This dries out overnight, as advertised. Laundry test? Passed.
I have the shirt in white; it also comes in a Cascade Stripe (blue gray) and Amaranth (pale pink). While I like the cut, the scoop neck collar, the big slash pockets on the side, the empire waist gathering in front, I look a little puritanical in it, I’m not built for this style. That’s too bad, because I also like the weight of the fabric; it’s really light and soft and yes, you can wear it over your existing sunburn without your skin getting more irritated.
Patagonia makes a Sun Shelter Dress that’s a similar shape to the shirt; the dress would make great beachwear over your swimsuit, or a casual dress to wear around the resort or pool. They’ve got a full line of sun protection clothing — if I’d had the good sense to put some on before I headed outside into the sunshine, I’d not be so pink today.
The shirt is $69, the dress is $79, directly from Patagonia.