Soon we will be attending sizzling backyard barbecues, humid outdoor weddings or simply lounging in 90 degree heat with nothing more than a cold beer to cool us down. AHH, the long hot days of summer are quickly approaching!
Dressing for the cold is fairly straightforward. The colder the weather the more layers we add. Or we choose clothing which is made in fabric that promises to keep us comfortable in frigid weather. However, dressing is not as straightforward when we are faced with scorching temperatures. Finding a heated room to thaw out in the winter months is easy enough but locating AC at an outdoor wedding in the inferno of summer is another challenge altogether.
In order to stay cool in extreme hot weather this summer remember to stay away from wearing synthetics. This means anything made in polyester, nylon, acetate, and even clothing made from fabrics which have wicking properties. And just because a fiber is natural does not mean it is cool to wear in the heat. Silk can actually stick to your skin and depending upon the weave can leave you feeling wet.
There is an easy way to test the breathability of a fabric. Take a small portion of fabric up to your mouth and breath through it. If you cannot easily feel your breath on the other side of the fabric don’t wear it during a hot spell.
The best fabrics for Sahara Desertlike weather are linen, hemp, and cotton. Rayons, viscoses, and tencels might also be suitable but keep in mind they are processed using petroleum products so make sure to do the breath test first. Another key to finding the best hot weather fabrics lies in the weave.Tight weaves will be warmer than loosely woven fabrics—think gauze vs. gabardine. Wools can also work but they must be a tropical wool which means they are expressly woven to be light and breathable in humid weather.
The fit will affect the comfort of your clothing. As much as you may love your leggings and skinny jeans they will only add to your misery. Think loose-fitting pants, shorts or skirts with a fuller sweep.
If you are headed to a wedding where the bride and groom thought it would be fun to stage their reception in an old barn with no AC then opt for a sleeveless dress. If sleeveless is not your thing then try one with a dropped armhole and dolman sleeves.
Your footwear is a consideration as well. The best choice to make is sandals. If you plan to do a lot of walking make sure your sandals have a thick sole. Sneakers are extremely popular but most are made in thick synthetic materials and will leave your feet uncomfortably wet. If you prefer to wear sneakers opt for one with an upper made of canvas.
Eat well, laugh a lot, stay cool and chic this summer!