The Best Hot Weather Fabrics for Big Men

By Bruce Sturgell

 

Summer heat and big guys don’t always mix, especially when we’re trying to dress for an occasion that’s more formal than, say, mowing the lawn or going for a jog. In the dog days of summer, it’s especially important that we take steps to keep as cool as possible. One vital step is to wear clothing made of fabrics that keep you cool when the temperature is high. Below you’ll find a few of my favorites, as well as a list of fabrics to stay away from until the weather cools down a bit.

 


Great Hot Weather Fabrics for Large Men

Linen: If you want a fabric that can serve as a line of defense against perspiration, consider linen. It’s lightweight, but able to absorb wetness and dry itself out fairly quickly. Whether you’re looking for dress pants or a short-sleeved shirt for kicking back at the beach, it’s pretty easy to find linen clothing in the style you want and the size you need. Keep in mind that linen wrinkles easily, so extra care should be taken to avoid any creases you don’t actually want in your clothing.

Cotton: They don’t call it “the fabric of our lives” for nothing. Chances are good that most of your clothing is made from cotton, which tells you that it’s a flexible material that works in both summer and winter. The key is to make sure you get lightweight, breathable variations of cotton, such as poplin, madras, or seersucker, in order to stay cool. Cotton does a great job sucking up water, but it’s not so great at drying out, which can leave you feeling damp if you’re lucky and downright swampy if you’re not.

Wool: Not all wool clothing is made to be as well-insulated as a winter coat and, depending on the way wool is processed, it can make for a great summer clothing item. Worsted wool is extremely durable and highly recommended if you need a suit that will be worn regularly. It’s important to consider how the worsted wool is woven in order to ensure that your suit is more breathable. Look for an open (or loose) weave to keep cooler in the summer.

Rayon: Rayon absorbs more liquid than cotton, does a great job of staying cool in hot, humid climates and just generally looks great. It sounds like the perfect material for hot weather clothing, right? There’s one hitch—rayon doesn’t hold up very well over long periods of time. It’s recommended that you get your rayon clothing dry-cleaned in order to preserve it. Also, although rayon is lightweight, it’s a synthetic fiber, and they’re generally not the most breathable.

 

Steer Clear of These Fabrics this Summer

There are a few fabrics I recommend skipping for the summer if you don’t want to boil in your own juices around mid-July. Most synthetic fabrics, such as Nylon and Polyester, are a bad idea for summer as they just aren’t breathable. At the other end of the spectrum, I’d say staying away from silk is probably a good idea. Sure, silk is lightweight, but it doesn’t do a good job of absorbing liquid, so you’ll end up with a soaked shirt. Definitely not the kind of look you’re going for when you’re on a date or headed into the office.

 

Color Considerations for Big and Tall Men

That thing you’ve always heard about darker colors absorbing more heat is absolutely true—stick with lighter colors in order to better reflect heat. If you’ve got to wear darker-colored clothing, try to do it in the evenings when the weather is cooler.

Hopefully these tips will help you keep cooler in the sweltering summer heat. Do you have any tips or tricks for dealing with sweat and hot weather? Tell us in the comments below.

 

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