Whether you love the beach, thrive on being one with nature in the great outdoors or heading for a summer vacay in the coming holidays, there are some things you just can’t do without—fashion essentials to help you overcome the sweltering heat and the unforgiving sun rays. To make your summer experience that much more pleasant and enjoyable, we’ve rounded up six necessities—from clothing that provides ultraviolet (UV) protection to sunglasses and linen outfits—you have to pack before you head out the door. Your skin will thank you.
Text: Ho Guo Xiong
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1. UV-protective outfit
You should be familiar with the term sun protection factor (SPF) because you should be applying a sunblock with at least an SPF of 30 every day, even if you’re staying at home indoors. (If you’re not, it’s not too late to start now.) But have you heard of UPF—ultraviolet protection factor? The rating indicates how effective an article of clothing is in shielding you from the sun rays. According to Japanese label Uniqlo, “UPF measures how many times more it would take for your bare skin to be sunburned from the same sunlight exposure” and that “a higher UPF offers better UV-blocking properties due to longer UV protection”. In addition, both Uniqlo and Mott50, a label that retails sun protection garments, agree that non-UPF treated fabrics only have a low UPF rating of 5 and would thus be insufficient to protect your skin from UV rays.
2. Big sunglasses
Trendy mini sunglasses, like those sported teetering close to the ends of noses on the likes of Kylie Jenner, Rihanna and Dua Lipa, might be cute for the ‘gram and all, but they simply do not provide enough shade protection against the sun’s rays. Instead, we’re advocating for large, goggle-like sunglasses that cover from the eyebrows to the top of the cheeks as they block out as much light as possible. Remember, sunglasses are the only sunblock option for your precious peepers. Lastly, ensure that your sunglass is actually certified to have UV protection.
3. Straw hat
A straw hat is almost synonymous with summer vacay. It’s undeniably your best friend in balmy weather because 1) it shades you from the sun and 2) it look hella cute with a breezy summer outfit, whether you’re going for a beach party or just lounging by the pool. This summer, we’re opting for a straw hat with straps because you can securely knot them around your face to prevent them from flying away with the wind. The last thing you want to do on a romantic picnic date at Marina Barrage is to chase after your hat, right? We also don’t recommend a visor if you’re going to spend a long time in the sun because scalp sunburn is real.
4. White shirt
White shirts are a wardrobe staple to look sharp for work. But there’s no reason to keep them in the closet for the weekends either. Whether it’s a t-shirt or a button-up shirt, you can dress them down in a multitude of ways — from making it into a crop top by tying a knot to french tucking it into casual wide-legged trousers or denim jeans with a straw bag in tow. Plus, white reflects heat so it will keep you cool too- — just choose a looser silhouette or one made with a thinner, lightweight fabric such as silk or linen.
5. Sandal flats
Summer is a period to spend time outdoors and enjoy nature. You might be taking more walks in the park or heading to yacht parties, so proper footwear is in order to fulfil your needs. And by that, we mean flats, because well, it’s self-explanatory why they are a better choice than heels. Sandals get our vote because not only are the straps secure, they are also girly and chic, and easy to pair with your coveralls and kaftans.
6. Linen clothing
Made out of fibres of the flax plant, linen is another summer staple to have in your wardrobe. Not only is it lightweight, linen is also absorbent and breathable, which means that it can absorb your perspiration and wick them away to ensure that you feel fresh and cool. Plus, linen clothing comes in a rainbow of colours, from its natural shade of ivory and ecru to black, red and blue even, so trust us when we say it’s hardly a boring choice.