Wherever you are in the world, it appears quite a difficult task to locate Goth sunblock clothing. Key to embracing a Goth image appears to be the ghostly white, sometimes translucent skin pallor so desired in the early 19th century. The Japanese also used to revere an incredibly white skin as being highly fashionable. It appears that there are Japanese Goths today that really do set the example in many ways from a Goth perspective, both in managing their pale skin color as well as their creative flair for Goth fashion.
I understand that maintaining the high standards required for Gothic beauty as well as fashion, requires a lot of hard work as well as creative ingenuity. Fashion colors seem to be limited predominantly to black and white. With splashes of red of course. Tightly woven cottons provide excellent protection from the sun's UV rays. White cotton will reflect the light and heat of the sun, but the UV rays that burn you can still get through a loose weave. Black cotton is much more effective at protecting your skin, even though it absorbs the heat more so than white does, at the opposite of the spectrum and also feels hotter to wear.
However, Goth sunblock clothing with a certified protective factor called UV Protective Factor (UPF), seems to be rather limited when it comes to high fashion. There are many clothing outlets that provide certified UPF clothing of very high standards, all attaining a minimum of UPF 50+, but I have not yet been successful in finding one that specializes in Goth sunblock clothing.
The following are 2 sites where I found possible options for Goth sunblock clothing:
Coolibar hats provide a wonderful variety but in my mind almost all project a look that embraces a love of the sun and being outdoors. However, there are a great variety available and you never know, they may appeal from a Goth sunblock clothing perspective? One of the great things with many of these hats today are the ones that you can toss into a bag or suitcase and they don't crush! I think these hats are gorgeous, but not so sure they will fit in with the more dated Victorian or Edwardian type fashion desired by Goths?
I got really excited to find a site called Gothic Hats, but was quite disappointed to find every single hat was a top hat, with very slight variations between designs and colors. No good at all for any kind of sun protection. Nothing like the following were there, which could be a whole lot more protective:
Coolibar have a few intriguing designs for what they call "swim sun sleeves" that look like they could appeal for alternative uses to swimming for someone wishing to protect their arms and hands as part of Goth sunblock clothing. They have black designs with motifs, plus black and white designs as shown below.
The sunglasses do not look classical enough for a Goth to choose, but I would imagine should be quite important as part of Goth sunblock clothing items.
You can even buy jewelry but can't imagine how that helps protect you from the sun!
A site where they say 'you can buy over 10 million unique handmade and vintage items from over 800,000 independent creative businesses in over 150 countries!' Quite something actually. I found it a very interesting site in that it looks like they are quite approachable for you to be able to request your own design and therefore possibly even a specific Goth sunblock clothing item?
Besides using a sunscreen, most Goths also always make sure to carry an umbrella or a parasol when outdoors. Not perhaps something considered an item as part of their Goth sunblock clothing, as it can present a problem. If desiring to be fashionable with your choice of Goth parasol, the dream antique parasol is top choice. Never mind the expense, if you manage to acquire the real thing, they are usually made with lace and this doesn't necessarily provide the best sun protection!
A great example for Goths are the Japanese - where Japan's popular and influential Gothic-Lolita and Gothic Punk subculture has quite a large following. According to one Goth beauty blog, "nobody does Goth like the Japanese". In terms of fashion, there is a look called "Gothic Lolita" which has fired up the imagination of many young Japanese women, who go to extremes to create perfect ensembles. They pair poofy skirts over crinolines with elegant ruffled Victorian blouses. Japanese Goths favor black and white, but occasionally add touches of red or pastel blue or pink. Stockings are black fishnet or white with bows on the top, either knee-high or thigh-high. No Japanese Goth is fully dressed without a black or black and white ruffled headdress. These women are committed to Goth perfection. Their fashion example set is most inspiring to non-Goths like me, never mind avid Goth followers! When it comes to Goth sunblock clothing, they must also be an inspiration to follow.
A Goth follower will endeavor to have at least one tattoo, but preferably multiple ones. One thing all people with tattoos are told, is to protect them from the sun in order for them to last. This can be done with the wise choice of quality sunblock clothing. The trick is to find suitable Goth sunblock clothing in the traditional Goth colors. Where the clothing does not cover the tattoos, it is important to wear quality sunscreen for protection.
For Goths, where a pale face is a critical element, sun protection is a very necessary daily task. When it comes to having to be outdoors in the sunshine, they will typically choose the highest possible SPF. This is a common belief for many Goths, but I would encourage them to rather reapply often than rely on a high SPF. The difference between one SPF and another is minimal. ie. an SPF of 30 provides 97% protection from UVB rays; an SPF 60 provides 98% protection and an SPF 100 99% protection. The table below illustrates this.
It is also common practice not to reapply when you wear an SPF that is very high. ie. anything above SPF 60. This is due to the mistaken opinion that this will provide protection that lasts better than the lower SPFs do. As a general rule, the sunscreen will provide protection for about 2 hours before requiring reapplication. If you swim or sweat due to exercising, you should reapply more frequently than that. No sunscreen is considered to be waterproof. The description that applies is water resistant and the FDA has ruled that water resistant certification should be for either 40 minutes or 80 minutes.So reapplication would apply to either 40 minutes or 80 depending on the certification.
Another aspect forgotten by many people, never mind Goth followers, is that a sunscreen needs to protect you from both the UVA rays as well as the UVB rays. The SPF provides protection from the UVB rays only. It is hugely important to make sure you not only buy a sunscreen with UVB protection (SPF of 30 minimum if outdoors in midday sunshine) but UVA protection certification for as high as possible. ie.not just broad spectrum, but at least UVA 4 star or medium protection. In my mind though, you should opt for the highest possible UVA protection possible. ie 5 star or HIGH.
References for Goth sunblock clothing: