Summer heat and 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 important to take steps to keep as cool as possible. One vital tip? Wear clothing made of fabric that keeps you cool when the temperature climbs. Here are a few of my favorites…
LINEN: If you want a fabric that can serve as a line of defend against perspiration, consider linen or a linen blend. It’s lightweight, but able to absorb moisture and dry out fairly quickly. Whether you’re looking for a relaxed sport shirt, dress pants or a short-sleeved shirt for kicking back at the beach, we’ve got you covered. Keep in mind linen wrinkles easily, so extra care should be taken to avoid any creases you don’t actually want in your clothing.
COTTON: It’s not called “the fabric of our lives” for nothing. Chances are good that most of your clothing is made of cotton, which tells you it’s a versatile material that’s seasonless. The key with cotton is to make sure you get lightweight, breathable variations, like poplin, madras or seersucker, in order to stay cool. But you can even find sport and dress shirts that are treated to keep you cool now. Overall, cotton does a great job absorbing moisture, but it’s not so great at drying, which can leave you feeling damp…if you’re lucky…and downright swampy if you’re not.
PERFORMANCE POLYESTER: While I would normally caution against polyester in the summer, performance polyester is entirely different…it actually wicks moisture away, keeping you cool and dry. You primarily see it in activewear, like golf shirts and basketball shorts…but during really hot days, a golf shirt can work as a casual office option.
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 and wool gabardine are extremely durable and highly recommended if you need a suit that will be worn regularly. Look for an open (or loose) weave to keep cooler in the summer.
RAYON: Rayon absorbs more moisture than cotton, does a great job of staying cool in hot, humid climates and generally looks good. You’ll find lots of camp and casual sport shirts in rayon, especially patterned and tropical styles. Although it’s a lightweight fabric, it is a synthetic fiber, and not the most breathable…something to keep in mind if you’ll be outside at a BBQ for hours.
There are a few fabrics I recommend skipping for the summer if you don’t want to boil in your own juices. Most synthetic fabrics are not the best idea since they’re just not 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 moisture, so you could 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.
CONSIDER COLOR OPTIONS
That thing you’ve heard about darker colors absorbing more heat is absolutely true. So, I suggest sticking with lighter colors to better reflect heat. If you’ve got to wear darker-colored clothing, try to do it in the evenings when the weather cools off.
Hopefully these tips will help you beat the heat 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.