This summer, beat the heat, and avoid sweat stains by picking out pieces made from breathable fabrics. These special materials are designed to keep you cooler even when temperatures rise while still helping you look stylish and fashionable. The following tips will help you determine which fabrics are the best fit for warm weather and how you can use them to enhance your style this summer.
In general, natural fabrics tend to be more breathable than their synthetic counterparts. They’ll allow air to get to your skin and release perspiration quickly, so natural fabrics are the clear choice when you want dry, lightweight outfits for the summer. Here are some of the best breathable, natural fabrics to look for when you’re out shopping for summer clothes:
- Cotton: Cotton is the most popular choice of the breathable summer fabrics available. It’s soft, comfortable and cozy, yet it still feels cool even when it’s hot and humid outside. Cotton is also durable, machine washable, and comes in a variety of fabrics depending on how it’s been woven. Though some varieties of cotton include denim, flannel, corduroy, and velvet, these are thicker weaves that you may want to avoid when it’s hot out. Instead, choose seersucker, chambray, or other lighter weaves that will feel light and breezy on warm days.
- Linen: Linen is made from vegetable fibers, delivering twice the strength of cotton. Though it wrinkles easily and doesn’t have much stretch, it’s one of the most breathable fabrics you can get. It’s especially cool and comfortable in the heat, and the lightweight, absorbent material breathes well even in humid climates.
- Hemp: Hemp is a lesser-known breathable fabric that is a bit stiff, but it’s also three times stronger than cotton and will soften with each washing. It’s also naturally resistant to mildew, mold, and rot, so you don’t need to worry about getting hemp clothes wet.
- Bamboo: Another lesser-known fabric that breathes well is bamboo. This material is made from bamboo fibers and is exceptional for helping moisture to evaporate quickly, so sweat won’t stick around long. Bamboo also has some added benefits in that it’s naturally anti-bacterial, hypoallergenic, static-free, wrinkle-free, and durable. It’s also an eco-friendly option when you’re shopping for summer clothes.
As mentioned above, synthetic fabrics like nylon and polyester are not known for their breathability. There are a few exceptions in this category, however. One is polar fleece; however, this soft, fuzzy fabric is intended for use in colder weather.
For warm weather, the synthetic fabric which may help keep you cool is rayon. This is an extremely absorbent material that is soft and comfortable. Many people find it flattering since it doesn’t attract static and drapes nicely. More importantly, however, it’s also very breathable and can feel light and airy on even the warmest summer days.
A newer addition to the fashion industry is moisture-wicking fabrics. Though most are polyester-based, they have a special weave that makes them more permeable so that sweat can evaporate more quickly. Though these materials are usually used to create performance or athletic gear, there are also some casual clothing items made with them. These are especially helpful for summer ensembles since they wick sweat away from the body to keep you cool and comfortable.
Moisture-wicking clothing is a great choice for certain pieces in your wardrobe. Casual tops, including tees and tanks, are often made with these materials, as are leggings and activewear. While these often have a similar feel to clothing made from a cotton/spandex blend, they will keep you much cooler and drier in the summer heat.
Now that you know which breathable fabrics to search for, here are some shopping ideas to help you find the best clothes for staying cool in the summer:
- Choose a looser fit: Not all clothes made with breathable summer fabrics are ideal for beating the heat. If you want to stay comfortable when the temperature climbs, choose clothing with a looser fit. Even the most breathable fabrics can feel warm when they are fitted snugly to the body. The most comfortable summer clothes will combine breathable materials with a loose, airy cut.
- Pick light colors: Clothing that’s made with lighter colors won’t absorb sunlight the way darker clothing does. Choose whites, cream, and pastels over black or dark clothes in the summer.
- Watch out for blends: Be sure to closely check the tags on clothing. Many pieces will be made of a blend of fabrics that includes less-breathable materials (especially polyester). Look for 100 percent cotton or linen or opt for clothing that includes a blend of breathable materials.
- Don’t forget your feet: Choose breathable fabrics for your summer socks to help keep you cool from head to toe. When going sockless, choose light, open-toe sandals to keep your feet from overheating.
Don’t let the summer heat keep you from looking stylish and chic and feeling comfortable. Use these tips to hunt for fun fashion finds that you can wear all summer long without feeling like a sweaty mess. With the right breathable fabrics, you’ll stay cool until fall arrives.