Wearing UV Protective Clothing To Protect Skin From Sun’s Harmful Effects

by Texas Homesteader ~ 

If you work outside often, wearing sun UV-Protective clothing can protect skin from the harmful effects of the sun.

RancherMan & I work our homestead every day, most of our daily activity involves being outside. We are careful to protect our skin from the sun.

I hate slathering sunscreen on my skin every day. All those chemicals! But we work outside each day & sun protection is important! I protect my skin with sun-protective clothing. #TexasHomesteader

Although these shirts were sent at no cost to me to try out & review, please remember that my words will be my own. I’ll share the real story with y’all, no fluffy obligatory stuff!

(Note: Some links in this post will take you to other related articles for further information. But links preceded with * are affiliate links. If you click and buy something I could receive a tiny commission.)

How We Protect Our Skin While Working Outside

Sun protection is important. Although sunblock is still an important part of sun protection, I’ve written a post about ways we Protect Our Skin From Sun to offset sunblock use. I encourage you to check it out.

We often protect our skin from the sun by covering it instead of using sunblock:

Wide-brimmed hats (helllooooo cowboy!)

Long-sleeved lightweight shirts


Heavy shoes or boots

The fine folks at *Vapor Apparel agreed to send sun-protective shirts for us to review. RancherMan & I will each compare our individual experiences with the performance of the shirt.

About Vapor Apparel’s Solar Shirts

Per Jennifer at Vapor Apparel:

    1. These garments are made with 100% Microfiber (a special performance spun polyester)
    2. The garment’s UPF/UPX INCREASES with each washing. In fact, after 25 washes the UV-B % block reaches coverages of: 99.44% dry and 99.92 wet!
    3. These solar shirts are actually endorsed by The Skin Cancer Foundation for their sun protection.

When the shirts arrived I was pleased with the colors. I’d requested tan for RancherMan & a pretty water-blue for myself.

We would be trying both long-sleeve as well as short-sleeved solar protective shirts.

I hate slathering sunscreen on my skin every day. All those chemicals! But we work outside each day & sun protection is important! I protect my skin with sun-protective clothing. #TexasHomesteader

When I handed the shirts to RancherMan his first exclamation was “Wow. These shirts feel like sleepwear!” LOL – well I guess if you can mow the yard in your PJ’s that’s a GOOD thing, huh??

When To Use Sun Protective Clothing

The weather was blue-sky sunny and the temps were in the low 90 degrees range. Hot and humid – typical summer weather for our area of NE Texas.

RancherMan will be using his long-sleeved solar shirt during the 4 to 5 hours-long chore of mowing the yard. (yeah, it really takes that long!) He also used it for several hours on the tractor mowing pastures.

To protect his skin from the sun he typically wore a regular light-colored long-sleeve cotton T-shirt. But today he’s trying out a sun-protective *Solar Long-Sleeve Shirt.

I will be using it primarily for my gardening chores since they typically involve the same measure of sun exposure time as his mowing the yard.

RancherMan’s observations about Vapor men’s shirt:

  • The sizing for the shirt seems to be a little small. He typically wears a size Large but ordered an XL yet it’s still semi-snug across his belly. Not really tight, just not as loose as he’s accustomed.
  • The short sleeve shirt sizes are even a little more snug than the long-sleeve versions, even though they were the same size. 
  • There was a noticeable reduction in the feel of the intensity of the sun on his skin after putting on this shirt as compared with his regular long-sleeve cotton t shirt.
  • He sweat about the same in this solar-protective shirt as his lightweight cotton one. So no sweat difference than with an ordinary tshirt, but he had significantly more sun protection and actually stayed cooler.
  • He mentioned that although he sweat just as much in this solar-protective shirt as his lightweight cotton one, there was no ‘work funk’ smell afterward. That’s because these shirts have a zinc-based addition that keeps fabrics fresh and defends against odor-causing bacteria. I guess it really works!
  • The shirt wicks moisture away & didn’t get heavy with sweat like his old cotton standby did. 
  • The solar-protective shirt didn’t stick to his body as he sweat as he was afraid it would. (yea wicking action!)
  • He ended up with a coffee stain on the front & a quarter-sized spot of dirt or grease on the elbow of the shirt (maybe from the tractor?) All stains came out easily in the wash. I used my same Homemade Laundry Detergent and it all came out beautifully, even without pretreating.
  • He commented that it was a very comfortable & lightweight shirt, yet the slinky feel is not as preferable to him as the cotton T-shirt he’s used to wearing. 

My Observations About Vapor Women’s Shirt:

I’ll be in the sun all day while doing hours of gardening chores. So I’m wearing the *Ladies Solar Long-Sleeved shirt along with denim jeans, a wide-brimmed hat and gloves.

I hate slathering sunscreen on my skin every day. All those chemicals! But we work outside each day & sun protection is important! I protect my skin with sun-protective clothing. #TexasHomesteader

Here are my thoughts about the women’s shirt:

  • The ladies shirts definitely run small. In a regular t-shirt I wear a size medium, but I often opt for a size large instead for a loose fit. So for this Solar Long-Sleeved Shirt I’d requested an Extra Large based on *Amazon’s Sizing Chart & my measurements. It fit comfortably, but certainly not loose.
  • The ladies shirts are also pretty fitted. So it’s slinky and snug and shows every line & curve. So keep that in mind, ladies!
  • The sleeves are very long, which I find delightful. I’m a tall girl and sleeves that are long enough for me are sometimes hard for me to find.
  • I was TOTALLY surprised at how cool I stayed in this shirt versus other shirts I’ve worn in the sun. A true skeptic here, but I was very pleasantly surprised. This is the biggest benefit right here!

Although I love that I’m so protected from the sun, this shirt is too pretty limit its wear to schlepping around in the garden. It will be worn when we’re out & about too. 

I hate slathering sunscreen on my skin every day. All those chemicals! But we work outside each day & sun protection is important! I protect my skin with sun-protective clothing. #TexasHomesteader

Conclusion? We Love Vapor UV Protective Shirts!

I’m very appreciative of the Vapor Apparel folks for sending these shirts to RancherMan & me to try. I must say I’m pretty impressed with these solar protective shirts. 

Personally I love the feel of them (although RancherMan prefers a traditional cotton look & feel to the silky-type qualities).

I’m also very pleasantly surprised at how much cooler they keep me in that hot Texas sun. I was really skeptical given the heat & humidity of NE Texas. The thought of wearing a long-sleeve shirt seems like madness!

But they really DO keep me significantly cooler than a short-sleeve shirt would. Not only do they block that hot sun from hitting my skin, but the wicking action also helps keep me cool. A true skeptic at first but no more!

So if you are concerned about the sun’s harmful rays on your skin but don’t want to slather on sunblock every day, check out Vapor Apparel’s solar-protective shirts. They’re light, comfortable, affordable and look terrific!



*Vapor Apparel Sun UV Protective Shirts

Skin Cancer Foundation

Want To See Other Sun-Protection Posts?


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6 thoughts on “Wearing UV Protective Clothing To Protect Skin From Sun’s Harmful Effects

  1. Stacy fredette

    What brand hat do u use? Love your blog!

    1. Texas Homesteader Post author

      🙂 Thanks for the kind words, Stacy. When I’m on the tractor for hours I typically wear a white straw Resistol. When I’m in the garden I use the hat in the photo because it’s a much shorter duration in the sun. It’s just your regular ole garden-variety generic-brand hat. (“Garden Variety”? LOL – see what I did there?) ~TxH~

  2. Joe

    These look very nice. Do you know if they offer full camo patterns for hunters? It gets really hot early in dove season.

    1. Texas Homesteader Post author

      Good question, Joe. I know they have solar shirts with a cammo image on them, but I’ve not been able to locate a Vapor Apparel solar shirt that has the cammo pattern over the entire shirt. ~TxH~

  3. Cynthia D

    I have not tried this brand, but use sun block clothing from a couple of other companies and find they are great for blocking the sun, being cool for having long sleeves and not having to use sun block. I have a pair of sun block gloves that I use for driving. I don’t use them in the garden because I don’t want to get them dirty, but I do use heavy work gloves and hope that will control the skin damage. When driving I was told never to hold the steering wheel on the top because of the sun damage that can be causes by the sun through the glass.

    I will look into this company’s line.

    1. Texas Homesteader Post author

      I have other brands of sun-protective shirts and of course they have their place as well, but I’ve been really impressed with this Vapor Apparel sun-protective shirt Cynthia. And we attended an affair this weekend and I’d taken my solar shirt as part of my dinner outfit and got many compliments on my look. This one is just too pretty to stay in the garden! Thanks for commenting, & stay sun-safe, girl! ~TxH~


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