In sunny and hot summer weather, is it better to wear short sleeve or long sleeve shirts? There are differences of opinion.
Fabric For Sure
For me, regardless of the length of the sleeve, the fabric needs to be not cotton, but some form of “Dri-Fit”, wick-away synthetic. Otherwise, the shirt becomes a heavy, wet weight you have to carry around the court.
And in the summer sun, I also recommend wearing pure white – or at least a light colored shirt (the other day, I wore a fluorescent yellow shirt; and a similarly colored butterfly tried to mate with me!). And in the cool weather, the dark colors will help keep you warm by absorbing the sunlight.
Pros and Cons
While the short sleeved shirt is much lighter and less cumbersome (especially when soaked), the long sleeve provides protection. According to retired dermatologist Michael Fenster, “There is no question that wearing long sleeves provides much greater protection against skin cancer, particularly if the shirt is one of the newer high SPF factor shirts. Some clothing provides only minimal sun protection, particularly when wet, but the newer high SPF factor shirts provide excellent protection.”
“Fabric does matter, as well, and the wick away fabrics are better than cotton because they allow for greater evaporation and therefore less heat retention. Light colored fabrics, especially white, absorb much less heat than dark colored fabrics.”
Using Sun Block
Of course, players should also remember to use 30+ Sun Block on other exposed skin areas. And when wearing long sleeves, don’t forget to cover the backs of the hands.
How about YOU … are you a short or long sleever?
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