This one is pretty self explanatory.
Through the day:
Welcome to the second post in this little series. Let's talk about clothing. Our recent temperature was pushing the 40°C mark. Not only is that very hot, but the Aussie sun is brutal. I can burn in about 5 mins. Not just a little pink glow, but a solid red burn (thanks mum and dad). Clever dressing and sunscreen is the way to go!
A few general guidelines about clothing for super hot and strong sun days.
1. Cover as much of the neck as possible.
Clothes are a great UV protector. Crew necks are the best. Yes, they make you sweat, but that's a small price to pay. The pink top in the picture below is the Gable Top by Jennifer Lauren Handmade. Get into it, it's a wonderful pattern. Note the slash neck covers most of my neck, especially the décolletage which tends to burn very fast. (Skirt is made by me - Simplicity 3733)
2. Protect the shoulders, the arms and the pits!
If the arms cannot be covered, then at least aim to protect the shoulders and the fleshy bits around the armpit. Nothing hurts quite like sunburn around the armpits. The thought process usually goes "it's hot! I'll wear something small and then I'll be nice and cool." Let me tell you from experience, shoulder, arm and related area sunburn is really painful. Can't sleep in any position without significant discomfort. Kimono sleeves are a great option as they let the breeze through, but do protect the shoulders. The dress below is made in a linen blend from Vogue 8811. High neck, hat and sunnies for ultimate protection!
3. Learn to love the long.
Maxi dresses, maxi skirts and palazzo pants are the way to go. Legs should be covered. It has been well documented that behind-the-knee sunburn is off-the-charts painful. Sunburn in a hinge joint... ouch. The full length is delightfully stylish, swishy and helps move air around. The palazzo pants below are store bought though I do have plans to make some of my own. The teal dress is the Anna Dress by By Hand London. Kimono sleeves and wide boat neck. I did get sunburn in this dress just the other day - on the shoulders.
Hats, lightweight gloves, shawls and parasols can help protect the skin from sunburn. A sunburnt head and part is perhaps the most unpleasant type of sunburn I've experienced. Ever. Gives you a headache, makes you feel really hot, can't brush or style your hair, the skin peels and looks like dandruff. The worst.
I would also highly recommend carrying a little fan. Not only helpful in hot weather, but gorgeously cute. Polaroid sunglasses with Category 3 or 4 lenses will protect eyes from harmful UV rays. Most of my sunnies come from The Cancer Council. They have a great range and are high quality. The hats pictured below are all vintage and bought from markets.
The higher the number, the stronger it is. But most people don't know how it works. An example: 30+ means you get 30 x longer in the sun than you usually take to burn. So my 5 mins x 30 = 2hrs and a bit before I need to reapply. Basically, reapply sunscreen frequently to make sure it stops sunburn.
I apply it on my face pretty much every morning in summer. Toner > moisturiser > 50+ face sunscreen > standard makeup. If you need top ups through the day, just dab it on top the the make up. This can make you look a little greasy, but it's better than being sunburnt!
In regards to fabric choice, natural fibres are best. They breathe, they feel lighter, and they do not melt into the skin if alight (see post here for more about that). There are also fabrics that are 'moisture wicking'. That means they draw moisture away from the skin. A lot of sports clothes and active wear have wicking properties. Avoid polyesters like the plague. They are clingy, they increase heat and therefore sweat. No one needs that.
I hope this post has been helpful with dealing with summer and brutal sun! Good luck, cover up, use sunscreen and have a wonderful (and safe) summer season.
Knitter. Home seamstress. Dance Teacher.