The Science Behind- Hugo Boss UV Protect

Written by: Robert Charlton | April 30, 2014.

Fashion isn’t always famed for technology or practicality; style usually comes before substance, but designers at Hugo Boss are looking to change the game.

The Idea & Range

Boss UV teeBoss UV t shirtBoss UV T

Without compromising their classic style they have created an initiative to protect their wearers from harmful UV rays. Unlike your average high street t-shirt, or even your average high end t-shirt, this one is able to offer a full SPF 50+factor protection, blocking UV rays almost completely and on a permanent guarantee basis.

The idea is that the brand’s popular SS14 line can be worn more frequently in the warm weather environment and offer a unique level of quality and function which competitors can’t replicate. Many holiday makers pack Hugo Boss clothing into their suitcases during the year, now they can rest-assured it is the appropriate choice to make.

The t-shirt itself comes in a regular fit with a comfortable crew neck, also in an impressive collection of ten colours. The logo-printed t-shirt is a neutral style which can cover a variety of styles and dress contexts, meaning the UV t-shirt can be worn with almost anything you like.

Boss philosophy

The brand from Germany is a respected and innovative figure in the clothing industry having started off in 1924, since then they have remained relevant through their continued excellence in design. The vision is that the label provides a fashion idea that suits every occasion, tying in with the high quality portfolio and reputation in the process. A blend of sports wear, formal wear, business, casual and high fashion clothing are all incorporated into this umbrella philosophy of making clothing which calls on the brand’s expert understanding of lifestyle and desire to achieve the highest quality design.

Technical detail 

SPF- Sun protection factor- the higher this figure, the higher the protection offered.

Below is an example of a typical summer t-shirt which has a lightweight construction with breathable gaps, crucially allowing UV rays to reach the skin and therefore providing low protection at a scale of less than SPF 5

Sun protection

Below is the more detailed weave, similar to that of the Hugo Boss UV protect. The gaps are more condensed and as such only 2% of the sun’s rays will be able to pass through to the skin- thus offering a permanent protection to the wearer, SPF 50.

sun protection UV

This SPF figure helps establish what fraction of the sun’s ultraviolet rays can penetrate through the material and reach the skin, typically a high street garment of the same style would offer less than 10, this Hugo Boss t-shirt allows just 1/50th of the sun’s harmful rays to go through the material, as opposed to 1/10th on a t-shirt with SPF 10 protection.

Clothing is the first line of defence against sun burn and harmful rays, blocking or absorbing these reduces the risk of damage to the skin.

The obvious rule of thumb is that loose and lightweight materials, light in colour, offer the lowest amount of protection, whereas clothing with detailed and heavily constructed weaves offer the best, as sun struggles to find a way through. It might not feel as comfortable in warm weather, but a dark denim product is up there with the best protectors from UV rays due to its thick exterior.

Impact on fashion

Hugo Boss have designed a t-shirt which- on appearance- looks no different to their most stylish and popular pieces in the range, to the naked eye it looks to be made in exactly the same way. Typically a t-shirt couldn’t offer a fraction of the cover that this t-shirt does, unless it was made of a much denser materials such as nylon or corduroy, instantly making this a market leader in the niche protective clothing market. This suggests in future the brand could make all of their products in this way because clearly it doesn’t sacrifice the style benefits of flimsy material or traditional stylish products.

boss uv protect styleBoss Uv protection styleBoss Uv style

On wearing the UV protect t-shirt, it still feels lightweight and breathable and crucially has comfortable pure cotton feel. Upon closer inspection, the stitch is noticeably more condensed, suggesting it might insulate heat and absorb moisture to a greater degree than traditional materials.

The crucial thing about this design is that it is just as easily incorporated into beachwear and holiday clothing as it is in contexts where the UV protection isn’t important. It has an adaptable style aesthetic which make it a cross-season product.

Style guide

Bold colouring is a popular summer fashion characteristic as discussed yesterday in Brighten up Your Spring. This range of t-shirts offers a colour to match every outfit choice and is free to wear with shorts, jeans chinos or other. Take a look below for some ideas on how to incorporate this new style into your everyday outfits.

Wear it with:

boat shoe ted bakerChino Shortboss UV white


And if you’re going to the beach…

Armani TowelRay Ban Tortoise Shelled



Not for me!