SPF Clothing, A Florida Wardrobe Must
For at least a decade, my former NYC internist prescribed vitamin D pills. I had the lowest level in her entire practice, she said, and I needed to beef that up. Moving to Florida, however, quickly changed that. Incidental sun exposure from time in the car, running errands, going for walks and boating meant a sizeable uptick in vitamin D. If you play tennis or golf, you know exactly what I mean.
That's the good news; you definitely want a high vitamin D level. But of course there's the dark side of all that happy sun exposure. Within the first few months of living here, the damage was noticeable. It’s not enough to slather sunscreen. And given the humidity, your body quickly becomes a hot, slippery mess.
Here’s a fashionable option, which was news to me as a new Florida resident: SPF clothing. It’s readily found at top boutiques like Sandpiper Clothiers, with locations in Naples, Marco Island, and Key Largo. Co-proprietor Sandra Perdue says SPF clothing from iconic names like St. James and Lilly Pulitzer, plus relative newcomers Mott 50 (pictured here, cute no?) and Ibküls (formerly Iciküls) are among her top-sellers year-round, especially for active women. “For years, a woman’s only option was to buy protective clothing in the menswear section at stores like Bass Pro Shops," says Hawkins. "Chic SPF clothing for women is a fairly recent phenomenon.”
Ladies, there's no actual sunscreen in many of these garments. (Is that even possible? I'll recon that and get back to you.) Instead, these chic offerings work their magic via innovative fabrics and weaves incorporating ICEFIL®, a multi-step skin cooling technology. Bonus: they form an airy barrier between you and the sun, wicking away sticky sweat too.