When I was little, my grandparents’ beach garb was hilarious / embarrassing.
My grandfather was the most delicate of red-heads. He was so sensitive that defensively he always wore a hat because when the wind ruffled his hair, it hurt.
My grandmother is the most delicate of health-nut, and despite the fact that she thinks sun and ocean-air are good for one’s constitution, the sun’s bright-light hurt her eyes and she didn’t like the feeling of her skin getting hot.
On the rare occasions they would go to the beach with us, they would sit fully garbed, hatted and bespectacled, with a towel over their laps, under the protective covering of a big umbrella. (I tried to find a picture of this because I know some exist, but alas. None are digitized.)
As a child, their beach costumes were extremely amusing because:
a.) The extent of “skin care” concerns at age 7 is when Mom gets annoying every couple of hours and makes you stand-still while she reapplies sunscreen to you,
b.) The beach is the most fun place in the world! Why would anyone want to be hindered by clothing, stuck under an umbrella?
c.) Sun damage and skin cancer were just words. Their significance and importance don’t mean anything because when you’re 7 you’re invincible and bad stuff doesn’t happen to you.
As an adult looking back, I think they must have really loved us to suffer all of the annoying parts of going to the beach with none of the benefit.
As an adult looking back, I also think that my yearly skin-checks would be a lot happier and whole less painful if I had taken any of their heed.
Back in the 80’s, society was not as aware of the dangers of the sun, and being tan was desirable.
Even though my grandparents looked silly to me at the time, they were way ahead of the curve in terms of skin protection trends.
If they were going to the beach now, they would be amazed at the fact that they could be sun-safe and all covered up, and look completely modern and on-trend.
More and more companies are adding sun-safe clothing options to their offerings (Lululemon and J.Crew instantly come to mind) with more varied and creative options coming out all the time.
A few weeks ago a catalog for MOTT50 showed up in my mailbox.
I’d never heard of them, and have no idea how I got on their mailing list, but I guess the odds make it inevitable that at some point a random catalog is going to come your way that will actually be relevant and useful.
Super cute, super wearable, beach clothing.
“Taking care of your skin? It’s wellness, not vanity.”
Looking at the Summer 2017 options, it’s like a combination of Lululemon meets the best of J.Crew basics. Chambray shirts and joggers, oversized white button-down cover-ups, matching athleisure sets, and all with built-in SPF!
Parasols are great (and I see more and more people carrying them now that summer-sun is here) but for those people that want other options, MOTT50 offers easy-peasy sun-safe threads that you’ll be happy to work into your wardrobe.
Chambray shirts usually have an SPF of 3, but this one has SPF-30!
Classic boyfriend button-down with SPF-50!
Ready for SoulCycle, or Avalon!
These leggings and crop-top can be worn in or out of the water, and with an SPF-50+, they will keep your skin safe regardless of what activity you’re doing.
The SPF-50 bathing suits for little girls covered in emojis is pretty cute, but the avocado-print takes the cake. (The thumb-holes provide extra-coverage, but also extra-sass.)
All pictures from MOTT50’s instagram account (@Mott50) or website.
In the end…
It is a delight that so many companies are helping make sun-protection easy, desirable, and fun. Gone are the days of having to feel embarrassed about sun-safe clothing.
Thanks to MOTT50 and their ilk, people can have safe skin, enjoy their time outside, and feel confident and comfortable in the fashion choices they’re presenting to the world.