July 27, 2012 | Tips & Style

Summer Fabrics

Summer is in full swing and as you know, it’s hot—really really hot—jump-into-a cold-shower-as-soon-as-you-get-home hot.  This can make picking the right outfit challenging, especially when trying to balance comfort with something that’s workplace appropriate.  Tougher still—how do you keep cool during your commute, yet stay warm enough to get work done in that freezer they call an office?

Here are a few tips that should keep you cooler and more comfortable this summer.

For starters, choosing the right summer fabric can make a huge difference.  The best fabrics are those that are light, moisture absorbent, and breath easily (i.e. have loose or open knits).  Natural fabrics are your best bet here, as synthetic ones tend to trap heat and perspiration close to the body.

Here are a couple natural materials, well suited for the summer months:

Cotton is the quintessential warm-weather material.  Given that it’s soft, breathes easily, and absorbs sweat, it’s an ideal summer fabric.  It’s also usually light on the wallet, which is part of the reason it’s everyone’s go-to.  It’s important to keep in mind though that 100% cotton garments do have the tendency to wrinkle more easily than their polyester-blended counterparts, so a mix will keep you looking sharper, for longer.  But be careful, as polyester doesn’t breath very well—so keep its percentage relatively low.

Linen is another summer staple and for good reason.  Though commonly associated with bedding, this flax-derived fabric is also a great clothing option.  It keeps you cool and fresh and wicks away moisture from the skin without sticking.  It’s a durable material that dries quickly and softens with wear.  Like cotton it can wrinkle, but high quality linen, after a good pressing (especially from us!), is perfectly fine.  Linen is great for “business-casual” and keeps you looking sharp and feeling cool in the summer heat.

Hemp is another natural material ideal for summer.  Like cotton and linen, hemp garments wick away moisture and breath well, keeping you cool and dry on those really hot days.  Hemp is also one of the most eco-friendly fabrics to manufacture, is hypoallergenic and gentle on the skin, and UV resistant.  In a way it’s tailor-made (pun intended!) for the summer.  It does require a bit of extra care, but that’s what we’re here for!

Read more about the benefits of hemp fabric here.

Bamboo fabrics offer many of the same features as those made from hemp and are another great eco-friendly way to keep cool this summer.  Organic cotton is another green option for those of you looking out for Mother Nature’s best interests.

Now that we’ve got you wearing the right stuff, how do we deal with that sub-zero office environment given that you’re wearing clothes that are supposed to keep you cool?  Well luckily, that’s a simple fix.  Layers.  By wearing layers that can be easily added and removed you can stay cool on your way to work without cooling down too much once you’ve settled in at your desk.

Here are some additional summer fabrics to consider:

  • Silk – Another light and natural material.
  • Seersucker – A stylish derivative of cotton.
  • Madras – A plaid variation of seersucker.
  • Chambray – Denim’s lighter cousin.
  • Eyelet – With all those holes, it keeps you well ventilated.

And remember, whatever the material, we can help keep it looking and feeling great!

For more tips on beating the heat this summer, check out this article.

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