Beach Bumming Pt. 1
When I found out that my husband booked a last minute honeymoon to Jamaica shortly after our wedding, rather than excitement, I felt a sense of dread. The Caribbean sun has never been kind to my skin, no matter how much sunscreen I wear. It’s a given that I’ll get a sun rash midweek, and new splattering of sunspots on my face when I return. I’ve spent the last two years trying to treat the damage with lasers, peels, and quality skincare so the thought of another sun vacation potentially undoing my investment was unsettling. But I couldn’t back out, after all, it wasn’t just any vacation, it’s my honeymoon! And both of us were in need of a getaway after six months of hardcore wedding planning in between our full-time jobs. So in planning my wardrobe for the week, I wanted to be as skin-conscious as possible. I knew that I had to pack some sun protective clothes but how many pieces? After rummaging through my amassed collection of UPF 50+ clothes, a long overdue story idea emerged in my head: I will wear one sun-blocking garment per day, showcasing the most wearable and flattering designs out there, starting with a home-bred company, UV Couture. Based in Mississuaga, Ontario Canada, UV Couture was started in 2009 by Heather McCartney who I interviewed two years ago here. Sparked by a melanoma scare in her family (you can read about it here), Heather set out to make a line of lightweight stylish sun protective clothes using a blend of polyester and spandex mixed with built-in chemicals that deflect 98% of UVA (the aging rays) and UVB (the burning rays). The latter feature is what gives it the UPF 50+ designation, a rating system of sun protection for clothing. “Smart Meets Sexy” is UV Couture’s apt slogan, and each piece is named after a celebrity who Heather feels would suit their personal style. These are the three pieces I wore on my trip.
One of UV Couture’s first and most unique pieces, the Chest-Tee ($39) provides protection for that neglected spot that often gives away our true age, our décolletage. Just like your face, the skin on the neck and chest is prone to fine lines, crepiness, and discolouration if it isn’t habitually shielded from the sun.
Sure, these days you can see our derm for some micro-hydration injectables or laser and/or light treatments to improve the situation, but it’s always best to prevent sun damage before it happens.
How to Properly Wear It: Fasten the choker around your neck to hold the Chest-Tee in place and tuck the bottom underneath your bikini top. Also available in white.
Wear the Chest-Tee by the pool or in the water.
The Cameron Sun Shirt
Named after classic California girl, Cameron Diaz, the Cameron ($89) is a crew neck sporty tee ideal for active beach-loving types. The drawstrings on the shoulders and hip allow it to be adjusted to your shape while the silver toggles add a bit of flare to your sun game.
Remove the toggles before tossing this shirt into the washer or else your laundry room will rumble like you’re washing rocks.
The Charlize Sun Shrug
By far, my favourite piece – and the one that fetched the most compliments from my hubs and strangers – was the Charlize Sun Shrug, $129. Inspired by actress Charlize Theron (the epitome of “Smart Meets Sexy”), the brains at UV Couture didn’t miss a beat when designing this versatile wrap. Not only does it provide maximal UV coverage, the cut drapes beautifully and it’s flattering from all angles. It fastens at the waist with two draw cords, and it includes a little pocket on the left upper arm for room keys, extra cash, or lip balm. Also available in black and light blue.
And let’s not forget the finishing touch: a rhinestone starfish brooch for that extra bling factor.
Wear the Charlize Sun Shrug while playing beach sports. It’s surprisingly light and won’t weigh you down.
I’m obsessed with UV Couture’s Instagram account. If you like what you see in this post, let them know!