Sun Protection Wear from Patagonia

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.

Photo of the day (10.21.10)

Do spies wear sundresses? Flickr user jrodmanjr snapped this woman in Moscow‘s Red Square and imagines she may be a cold war spy, her black briefcase full of classified documents. More likely an art student with a portfolio, but any any rate, its fun to speculate on the secret lives of strangers. As a photo, it’s pretty interesting too: nicely framed, distinctly Russian, and the mysterious girl’s dress balances nicely with the colors of St. Basil’s Cathedral.

Photograph any intriguing people on your travels? Submit your photos to Gadling’s Flickr Pool & it could be our next Photo of the Day!