Shun The Sun, In Style

Posted on September 5th, by Helen in Sun Protective Clothing. 19 comments

Shun The Sun, In Style

Growing up, I always silently saluted the little Asian ladies who wear long sleeves and hold umbrellas on the hottest of summer days. It never occurred to me that I might one day get sun smart too and become one of them.

Well that day has come. Kind of.

After writing a magazine story about the aging effects of the sun, back in the early spring, I decided that this (now past) summer is going to be year I start changing my ways. Why? Well frankly, I’m getting older and my skin isn’t bouncing back like it did from weekend trips to the cottage.

Like most people I only really wore sunscreen on vacation, and in my twenties, I went on my fair share of sun escapes – and I have the sunspots to prove it. In fact, I’ve got a newly formed speckle on my lower lip that wasn’t there last year (thank you, Ibiza). After age 30 you can’t get away with calling these spots “cute freckles” anymore.

Consider this photo taken last summer at the hotel lobby at the Thompson in Beverly Hills. At first glance, you’d think I was being sun smart with a wide brimmed hat and long sleeved button up shirt. Truth is, that flimsy hat was a cheapie from Walmart with absolutely no sun filter. The shirt was also a bargain that was useless against the scorching UVA rays (think of the “A” as for aging) I surely soaked in that weekend.

I guess I could’ve wore clothing with sun protection, but I’ve long equated anti-sun clothing as frumpy athletic gear. And who wants to like blah on Rodeo Drive? In retrospect, I wish I knew about Coolibar, Etsis and Wallaroo back then. These companies make sun-protective apparel look sexy! I particularly fell in love with their sun hats. My dermatologist, Dr. Lisa Kellett, says that size matters when it comes to the brim of an effective sun hat: six inches is the way to go. These sun hats for women below meet her requirements. Check them out!


My top summer hats of 2012:

Coolibar specializes in modern-looking sun protection clothing year-round. My favourite combo is their light-weight boyfriend shirt worn with their wide brimmed Nautical sun hat. Swish, yes? The kind folks at Coolibar provided this outfit for me after I provided them with my “before pic.” Check out the difference.


Etsis makes glamorous toppers with detachable panels that block away the sun. This is me at the cottage donning a white hat with black panels. Can you tell that I’m a basic black-and-white kind of girl yet?

Wallaroo makes chic hats for guys and gals. I’m absolutely gaga about their Frankie, which makes me hum MJ’s smooth criminal every time I put it on.

I hope my summer obsession with sun hats lasts longer than the fleeting season itself. Given the fact that I don’t see any new post summer spots on my face, I think its safe to say that these hats work! Maybe next summer, I’ll move on to sun umbrellas. I’ll bring back the parasol! But not in a weird way like how Katie Perry attempted at last year’s MTV awards…


Instead, I’ll try to channel Kate Middleton’s lady-like vibe…


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