One of the most common questions our customer service team receives is, “What is the difference between Coolibar clothing and regular clothing?” Here’s our answer:
Regular light-weight clothing provides little protection.
Most light-weight clothing provides less sun protection than SPF 30 sunscreen. In fact, the Skin Cancer Foundation (SCF) cites a study conducted in Australia that claims a white cotton T-shirt has a UPF rating of 5, allowing 1/5th of the sun’s UVR to pass through, and even more when wet.
Even if you don’t burn through your clothes, UV passes through.
The SCF states UVA (aging) rays account for up to 95 percent of the UV radiation reaching the Earth’s surface. Even though UVA rays are less intense than UVB (burning) rays, they are 30 to 50 times more prevalent. They are present with relatively equal intensity during all daylight hours throughout the year, and can penetrate clouds and glass.
Coolibar Clothing is UPF 50+, which blocks 98% of UVA and UVB rays.
Coolibar SUNTECT® fabrics are engineered and repeatedly tested to provide effective, long-lasting protection from UVA and UVB rays. All Coolibar clothing is rated UPF 50+ from the first to the last day worn. We manufacture several types of fabrics for different activities including swimming, fitness, travel and leisure.
Sun protection is embedded in the fabric.
The sun protection comes from a combination of factors including: zinc oxide or titanium dioxide sunscreen ingredients permanently embedded in the fibers and/or a tight weave construction.
Skin coverage matters.
Coolibar clothes are strategically designed to cover up more skin than regular summer clothing, so you need less sunscreen for complete protection.
Technical properties provide additional comfort.
All Coolibar clothes are lightweight, breathable, quick-drying and easy to care for.
If you have any additional questions, please call our team of sun protection experts at 1.800.926.6509 or visit www.coolibar.com
I love scarves. They are the most versatile styling tool available (in my opinion), taking drab outfits from blah to voilà in a matter of seconds. Now that it’s fall, I try to incorporate a scarf into my look daily for both fashion and function. The Coolibar Aire Scarf is one of my favorite accessories as it does double-duty, providing some flair and UPF 50+ sun protection.
Cover forehead and ears
Fold it in half the long way three times. Tie over once in back.
Cover the neck
Pull scarf tight at opposite ends. Place it in the middle back of the neck so you have equal amount of fabric on each side. Wrap it around the neck in opposite directions, slightly overlapping, until you have about 8 inches left on each side in front. Tie over once or twice (depending on your preference) and adjust so tie is off to the side.
Simply drape over the shoulders and tie once in front, looping one side of the excess fabric inside and over from the bottom.
Cover delicate chest area
Hang around neck, with equal amounts of fabric dangling in front on each side. Take one side and wrap it in a complete circle around the other until you create a loop. Pull the same side you used to create the loop, through the top of the loop. This will make a knot that will allow the fabric to drape nicely.
Cover legs fast
On vacation, or at the beach with bare legs? This scarf is even long enough to wear skirt style. Just wrap and tuck.
The Midwest is in the midst of a late summer heat wave. Being Midwesterners, we typically welcome warm weather; however, with the Minnesota State Fair going strong and other outdoor activities planned for the last week of summer, it’s not necessarily ideal timing. If you’re experiencing this uncomfortable heat, be sure to take the extra precautionary measures to prevent heat related illness. We’ll show you how to, in style!
Dress in loose-fitting, lightweight, breathable sun protective clothes that cover as much skin as possible. Wearing long-sleeves and pants can actually cool you off when the sun causes overheating. Also, protect your face and scalp from the sun by wearing a wide-brimmed hat with a 3” brim or greater.
Coolibar has new prints and colors galore this spring. Choosing a print that complements your facial features can be a daunting task. Our favorite go to stylist, Bridgette Raes, knows all about choosing the right print for your complexion, so we decided to take some advice from her blog.
“When choosing prints, one must consider their own personal coloring to decide just how much bold contrast to wear.
Print Intensity – Combining two colors together in a print creates a contrast between those two colors. For example, if those two colors are extreme opposites (like black and white) you have created a high amount contrast, which gives the print a high level of intensity. If, however, the color combinations found in the print are closer in relationship to each other (a combination of soft pastels, for example) you have created a low amount of contrast between the colors and that combination has a low level of intensity.
Just like color combinations in prints have an intensity level, so does your own personal coloring. Intensity levels vary from person to person, and can be high, low, or somewhere in between, which would be referred to as medium. Your own level is determined by the relationship of contrast between your hair, skin and eyes. The model on the right has a lot of contrast between her hair skin and eyes which creates a lot of contrast or an intensity in her coloring. The model on the left has much softer features, with her hair, skin and eyes being closer in color; therefore her intensity level, would be low.
Why does this matter?
When choosing prints, it is important to consider your own personal intensity level as you’ll always look best when your personal intensity matches the intensity in the prints you choose.
When someone with a low level of intensity in their personal coloring wears too much contrast in the color combinations they choose they look drowned out. When a person with a high level of intensity in their coloring chooses a color combination that is too soft or low in contrast, they look washed out.”
Keep these guidelines in mind if you’re unsure of a print choice, but at the end of the day, if you love a print, go for it!
About Bridgette: Since 2002, Style Expert Bridgette Raes has transformed the wardrobes and styles of hundreds of clients. She is the president of Bridgette Raes Style Group in New York and author of the book Style Rx: Dressing the Body You Have to Create the Body You Want. Her witty, down-to-earth and educational advice has made her a sought-after writer, spokesperson and style expert for many media outlets.
Clothing has protected people from the sun (and other elements) for tens of thousands of years. In addition to keeping skin protected, clothing can also help maintain a modest appearance, which is still important in many cultures.
Effective protection from the sun comes through a combination of clothing that covers up the skin and fabrics that block UV penetration. What’s new today is that it is possible to create sophisticated fabrics that are bright and very light-weight, yet still highly effective in blocking UV. This is made possible by adding UV blockers, such as titanium dioxide or zinc oxide, into the fibers of specially engineered fabrics.
The best of this combination of sophisticated fabrics made into clothing that covers up is the creation of fashionable designs that can appeal to different cultures and countries.
To what extent have these new fabrics been adopted around the globe? The original source of much of the innovation in sun protective clothing was Australia. This country has a relatively fair-skinned population, with high levels of sun exposure due to its location and the active, outdoor lifestyle of its people. In the second half of the 20th century, this combination of factors led to extremely high levels of skin cancer – with malignant melanoma overtaking lung cancer in the 1990s.
Part of the response to this problem in Australia was the re-introduction of the old idea of using clothing as protection against the sun. In particular, when at the beach or in the pool, Australians, particularly children, started to cover up using swim shirts, known as rash guards or rashies.
A federal government agency, now officially the Australian Radiation Protection and Nuclear Safety Agency (ARPANSA), developed guidelines for testing and labeling these garments. According to its website, the ARPANSA has issued over 50 million UPF rating tags for sun protective products.
In US, skin cancer rates have been increasing over the past 50 years with over a million new cases of skin cancer diagnosed annually. The Canadian Dermatology Society estimates 75,000 Canadians will be diagnosed with non-malignant skin cancer annually.
Like Australia, the well-publicized rise in skin cancer rates have prompted people in the United States and Canada to again use clothing as a primary defense against too much sun exposure. Children can often be seen wearing swim shirts while wide-brimmed women’s hats are once again in style. And for 15 years there have been guidelines for testing and labeling sun protective clothing from the American Association of Textile Chemists and Colorists and from the American Society for Testing and Materials based on the standards originally developed in Australia.
These same sun protective clothing standards have also been adopted in Europe by the European Committee for Standardization and the related organizations within member countries. However, in many parts of Europe, particularly within the warmer, southern countries, people still believe that tanning is a sign of being healthy and attractive. On the other hand, there is a growing awareness of the dangers of overexposure to the sun and the role of sun protective clothing, particular in northern regions such as the United Kingdom, Germany, and Scandinavia.
In Asia, many people have continued the practices of the past centuries and use clothing for modesty and protection against the sun. Sun umbrellas or parasols are very popular in countries such as China and Japan. And a number of countries, such as Indonesia, have started to adopt Australian-style swimwear. So, many people in Asia continue to be cautious about exposure to the sun in the same way they have for many generations.
Cultural beliefs about health and the sun have been an important factor in shaping the fashions we see and wear. Today, although attitudes differ around the world, in many countries we are seeing a generally increasing recognition of the importance of protection against the sun’s damaging UV rays.
After a lifetime of holidays abroad, Suzanne Morphet combined her passion for travel with her profession as a news reporter and became a travel writer. Suzanne shares her latest venture to Marquesas Islands – which she calls a tropical paradise – as well as the Coolibar gear she took along.
“Before my recent cruise through the Marquesas Islands in the South Pacific I looked for clothing that would protect me from the harsh equatorial sun. But I also wanted clothes that would be comfortable in the heat and stylish. I was pleased to discover Coolibar, which uses innovative new fabrics and technology to make clothes that are breathable and a pleasure to wear.
For ease of travel, I pack lightly. I took just one small suitcase for my two-week cruise, with only clothes that I could wash and hang-dry overnight. Coolibar clothes fit the bill perfectly. These are some of my favorites:
Sport Shirt: I wore this shirt many of the days we went ashore. It’s light as a feather, with a hidden front pocket for a passport or money. I loved the vibrant color (Lagoon) and got lots of compliments on it.
ZnO Sun Wrap: This is what I mean by innovative technology. The ZnO line is made with bamboo cotton embedded with micro-particles of zinc oxide. Sounds like sunscreen for your skin, but there’s no messy application. It’s safe to say I wore my ZnO Sun Wrap every day. It kept me comfortable in air-conditioned restaurants or out on deck late at night while stargazing.
ZnO Beach Pants: They might be considered beach pants, but I got away wearing them into town, to market, sightseeing, you-name-it. Indispensable, they are the perfect accompaniment to the Sport Shirt or other sun-protective shirt. Mine are white and I worried if they would stand up to frequent hand-washing but they did and still look like new.
Sun Shawl: Sometimes I just wanted to wear my skimpiest bathing suit and lie in the sun. That’s when my sun shawl came in handy. It’s long enough to cover me from head to toe. And it’s so lightweight I wouldn’t heat up underneath it. Perfect for lying poolside and reading.
ZnO Maxi Dress: You can dress it up or down. Nicely fitted, but not clingy. Does double duty as a sundress and a dinner dress. I never thought a little black dress could be so versatile!”
It’s time to start planning for your tropical vacation to escape the chill and daily-grind. We at Coolibar take pride in our ability to not only provide stylish sun protective options for days by the water and more, but to help you pack more efficiently by offering versatile pieces. Take a look at our 2012 resort sunwear. This year’s “in” pieces are pinks, purples and prints that all mix-and-match.
Special Promotion: For Free Standard Shipping Online: Select “standard shipping” when prompted, then enter AUTUMN in the promotion code box when you check out. By Phone: Provide the promo code AUTUMN when completing your order with a representative at 1.800.926.6509. Note: Free standard shipping is available only in the U.S. and its territories. This offer cannot be applied to previous purchases, nor combined with additional promotions and/or codes. Offer expires November 15, 2012.
Helen Vong, skin care guru at theskiny.com, came to us with a brilliant SunAWARE idea. “Let’s do a Coolibar UPF 50+ outfit makeover to show how easy it is to be protected from the sun.” Who are we to argue?
“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 (before picture). 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 look blah on Rodeo Drive? In retrospect, I wish I knew about Coolibar, back then. This company makes 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.”
Helen took her look and gave it a UPF 50+ makeover (after picture).
Coolibar’s commitment to providing the highest quality sun protection possible is something we take very seriously. In the past few months, various news outlets posted articles questioning the effectiveness of sun protective clothing. In response, we decided to take a moment to clarify a few points about Coolibar sun protective clothing and our UPF 50+ guarantee. We invite and appreciate all feedback in the reply section below.
Does the UPF protection wear out or wash out? How can you be sure?
Because we are so meticulous about testing, we can absolutely guarantee UPF 50+ protection from the first day our product is worn until the last day.
Coolibar UV fabric testing results significantly exceed all published American and Australian standards and are submitted to the following tests:
UV transmittance tests performed according to the American Association of Textile Chemists and Colorists Test Method 183 (AATCC 183).
Fabrics tested both before and after life cycle exposure to laundering, sunlight, and chlorinated water according to American Society for Testing and Materials D 6544 (ASTM D 6544); (life cycle – 40 washings, exposure to 100 fading units of simulated sunlight).
Garments labeled according to the guidelines specified in American Society of Testing and Materials D 6603 (ASTM D 6603).
Each color of production fabric tested according to the Australian/New Zealand standard AS/NZS4399 for UV transmittance developed by the Australian Radiation Protection Agency And Nuclear Safety Agency (ARPANSA)
Do you need to add additional sun protection to the product such as Sun Guard or wear sunscreen under Coolibar sunwear?
At Coolibar, we carefully develop technical fabrics that are then thoroughly tested at independent labs to ensure each product meets or exceeds our UPF 50+ standard. This UPF 50+ rating is the highest rating available to clothing and blocks more than 98% of harmful UVA and UVB rays. There is no need to add UV detergent to the clothing. Sunscreen is only required on areas of skin not covered by Coolibar clothing.
Do all sun protective clothing brands offer the same sun protection?
Other companies may claim their products offer UV protective qualities, but very few make the investment required to ensure lasting performance. Our experience has shown that a single UV fabric test does not accurately reflect the consistency of UVA & UVB blocking levels across similar fabrics or colors. Each year, we test over 600 samples of our production fabrics, at each stage of manufacturing, so that we can match the UV transmittance level of each Coolibar garment to exact test results. We use independent labs to test every color and every dye lot for each fabric used so that we can confidently guarantee the consistent level of UV protection throughout the life of each garment. We know of no other apparel company that can make the same claim and back it up with independent lab test results.
With so many sun hats to choose from, how do you narrow it down to the perfect one? The three most important factors to consider are: brim size and shape, material, and the activity for use.
Brim size is a fundamental factor in the level of UV protection provided by a sun hat. Most physicians recommend a minimum brim of 3 inches or greater. Coolibar sun protection hats range from 3 inches to 8 inches in brim size. Brim size is most important for blocking direct UV rays.
The shape of the sun hat and brim also impacts the hat’s UV blocking ability. In some environments, there may be significant dispersed or reflected UV. This dispersed UV can bounce up underneath the brim of the sun hat and will often strike areas lower on your face such as your chin and cheeks. In general, brims that curve down and sit closer to your face will provide better protection against this reflected UV. For complete sun protection, it is best to also use sunscreen on your lower face area while wearing a sun hat.
Another approach to protecting against reflected UV is to wear a flap hat. Sun hats with flaps can almost completely protect your skin from reflected UV where the fabric lies on your skin – such as your ears and neck. Some sunblock hats with flaps have an extended neck flap that can wrap all the way around to the front of your face and provide excellent protection for your chin and cheeks.
The second key factor for UV protection is the material used to make the sun protection hat. Look for a hat constructed from material rated UPF 50+, meaning it will block 98% of the direct UVA and UVB falling on it. Cotton canvas typically provides good to excellent sun protection. Straw hats with a tightweave or fabric lining under the brim will keep your face shaded too.
One other factor that has a modest affect on sun protection is the color of the underbrim. A sun hat with a dark underbrim will absorb more reflected UV that could bounce down on to your face and thus provide more protection for your skin as well as help minimize UV and glare on your eyes.
Finally, consider what you’ll be doing outdoors while wearing the hat. If you’ll be in a windy environment, opt for a hat with a locking chin strap. For water or other physical activities, look for a wicking or chlorine resistant hat material. And of course, for an outdoor wedding, picnic or other fashionable occasion go for the oversize brim that will provide excellent coverage and a stunning look.
If you consider these factors in selecting a sun protection hat, you can be confident your choice will provide excellent sun protection.